THP403 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.

No offerings have been identified for this subject in 2022.

Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


School of Theology

Enrolment Restrictions

This subject is not available to students who have completed THL202, Old Testament History and Narrative, as this is a paired subject and shares similar content.

Assumed Knowledge

THL105 Introduction to Old Testament Studies

Subject Relationships

THL202 Paired Subject

Incompatible Subjects


Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to demonstrate a critical awareness of the complexity of issues related to the nexus of Old Testament narrative and history;
  • be able to critically analyse the impact of the fields of archaeology, historiography and other ancient textual witnesses in the ongoing work of biblical interpretation;
  • be able to critically analyse ideological perspectives underlying Israel's historical and narrative literature;
  • be able to demonstrate advanced competence in the exegesis and interpretation of biblical texts and critical engagement with primary biblical sources and secondary literature;
  • be able to demonstrate an ability to discern appropriate hermeneutical and interpretive frameworks related to particular texts and synthesise biblical response(s) to issues of contemporary relevance; and
  • be able to demonstrate self-guided learning, including sound research, and sophisticated writing and communication skills.


This 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; 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; 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
  • The theological and ethical issues arising from the study of biblical narratives
  • The appropriation of these texts in religious and non-religious settings
  • The trope of "Promised Land" in colonial literature and practice

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of THP403 in Session 2 2021. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated and can also differ to suit the mode of study (online or on campus).

Item Number
Value %
Major essay
Exegetical paper
Minor essay

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: June 2022. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.