No offerings have been identified for this subject in 2016

THL202 Old Testament History And Narrative (8)


This subject focuses on Old Testament narratives from Joshua to 2 Chronicles, which relate ancient Israel's story of origins from settlement in Canaan to the Babylonian exile in 587 BCE. It examines key figures and defining events, with due consideration given to extra-biblical sources and archaeological evidence. The subject investigates the functions of narrative in the writing and rewriting of Israelite history and also explores ethical issues arising from these narratives. Attention is given to the accounts of conquest and settlement, the centralisation of Israel under the monarchy, the division of the kingdom, exile to Babylon and historical interpretation in the work of the Chronicler and in later Jewish and Christian texts.

+ Subject Availability Modes and Location

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details prior to contacting their course coordinator: THL202
Where differences exist between the handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject information

Duration Grading System School:
One sessionHD/FLSchool of Theology

Assumed Knowledge


Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to discuss in a critical way issues relating to history and narrative in the Old Testament
  • be able to identify and to analyse critically biblical narrative, including its role, functions and ethical implications
  • be able to identify major periods in Israel's history and their defining events
  • be able to demonstrate an understanding of the role of archaeology, historiography and textual witness in reconstructing ancient Israelite history
  • be able to demonstrate familiarity with the distinctive characteristics of the Deuteronomistic account
  • be able to discuss critically the main features of the Chronicler's interpretation of Israel's history
  • be able to demonstrate familiarity with aspects of the reception history of Old Testament narratives in later Jewish and Christian texts
  • be able to demonstrate developing competence in the exegesis and interpretation of biblical texts
  • demonstrate self-guided learning, including research, writing and communication skills


The subject will cover the following topics:
  • The relation between biblical narrative and Israelite history
  • The significance of archaeology, historiography and textual witness in the study of Israelite history
  • Narratives of Israelite conquest (Joshua)
  • Israelite society before the rise of kings (Judges and Ruth)
  • Samuel, Saul, David and Solomon (1 & 2 Samuel, 1 Kings)
  • The rival kingdoms of Israel and Judah (1 & 2 Kings)
  • Exile and dispersion (2 Kings and Esther)
  • Attention to the reception history of Joshua to 2 Kings, including revision by the Chronicler and use in later Jewish and Christian texts
  • Exegesis and interpretation of biblical narratives
  • The role and functions of biblical narrative: historical, ideological and aesthetic
  • Theological and ethical issues arising from the study of biblical narratives


The information contained in the 2016 CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: 06 September 2016. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.