Reading the Hebrew Bible / Old Testament

Level 4 - DT1001

This course provides an introduction to key books of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, a knowledge of which is essential for those wishing to gain an understanding of Judaism and Christianity and their cultural, social and political influence during the last two millennia through to the present day.

Topics covered

Section A: The Pentateuch and the former prophets (History of Israel and Judah)

  • The primeval history (Genesis 1–11)
  • The Pentateuch (Exodus 1–15 and Deuteronomy 1–11)
  • The history of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah (1–2 Kings)

Section B: The latter prophets

  • Eighth century prophets (Hosea and Amos)
  • Prophecy in an age of exile (Ezekiel and Deutero-Isaiah)
  • Post-exilic prophets (Haggai and Zechariah 1–8)

Section C: The writings

  • Wisdom literature (Proverbs, Ecclesiastes)
  • Biblical songs (The Psalms, lamentations and song of songs)
  • Historiography after the exile (Ezra-Nehemiah)


Forum participation (10%); a two thousand word essay (40%) and a 1.5-hour unseen written examination (50%).

Tutor in Biblical Hebrew and Hebrew Bible

Susannah Rees Divinity Tutor

Susannah Rees

Susannah Rees is currently working on her PhD at King’s College London. Her research focuses on the role that cosmetics play in the construction and performance of identity in ancient Israel.