THL511 Contemporary Approaches to Biblical Studies (16)


This subject compares and contrasts major contemporary approaches to the study of the Old and New Testaments. It traces recent developments in Biblical Studies, paying particular attention to methodology, both in a theoretical framework and through an analysis of a variety of concrete exegetical problems.

+ Subject Availability Modes and Location

Session 1
InternalUnited Theological College
DistanceUnited Theological College
Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: THL511
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

Enrolment restrictions

Master of Theology and Bachelor of Theology (Honours) students only.
Incompatible subject(s)Related subject(s)
THL411 THL411 Paired Subject

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:

  • be able to demonstrate an in-depth understanding of major methodological options in contemporary Biblical Studies;

  • be able to analyse and critique selected methods and their contribution to the solution of particular exegetical or theological problems;

  • be able to show advanced skills in biblical exegesis; and

  • be able to demonstrate independent research and writing skills.


The subject will cover the following topics:
  • Historical-critical methods (reading the text as history)
    • including text criticism
    • source criticism
    • form criticism
    • redaction and composition criticisms
    • historical reconstruction
  • Biblical theology (reading the text as theology)
  • Literary approaches (reading the text as literature in its own right), including:
    • literary criticism
    • rhetorical criticism
    • narrative criticism
    • reader-response criticism
    • deconstruction
  • Sociological and Ideological approaches (reading the text within its social and political world), including contemporary hermeneutical developments (exploring concerns such as gender, race, location, and ecological factors within a contemporary reading of the Bible)


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.