THL105 Introduction to Old Testament Studies (8)

This subject is a foundational introduction to the contents of the Old Testament (Hebrew Bible) and to basic scholarly tools and critical methods used in Old Testament studies. It surveys the formation of the Old Testament, both as a whole and as comprising collections of books, while focusing on selected texts from the Torah (Pentateuch), Prophets, Writings and Apocrypha. It pays particular attention to issues of oral and textual transmission, historical and geographical context, religion and culture, genre and canon, exegesis, interpretation and diverse theological perspectives.


* Offering has a residential school. Please view following information for further details.

Session 1 (30)
On Campus
Canberra Campus
Ming Hua Theological College
Port Macquarie Campus
United Theological College
Online *
Canberra Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: THL105. 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

Not available to students who have completed subject THL408.

Subject Relationships

THL408 Paired Subject

Incompatible Subjects


Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to demonstrate a working knowledge of the contents of the Old Testament and of its social, cultural and historical background;
  • be able to demonstrate familiarity with key historical, cultural, literary and theological issues pertaining to the study of the Old Testament;
  • be able to discuss in a way that shows developing critical awareness a range of texts from the Pentateuch, Prophets, Writings and Apocrypha;
  • be able to demonstrate an understanding of interpretive issues concerning the relationship between the two Testaments in the Christian Bible;
  • be able to discuss the use of Old Testament texts in the life of the contemporary Church;
  • be able to engage in basic exegesis of Old Testament texts and to interact with primary biblical sources and secondary literature; and
  • be able to demonstrate self-guided learning, including basic research, writing and communication skills.


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • The contents of Old Testament books
  • Scholarly methods of Old Testament studies
  • The historical, cultural and geographical contexts of the Old Testament
  • The diverse literary genres within the Old Testament, including Hebrew narrative, poetry and rhetoric
  • Exegesis and interpretation of texts from the Pentateuch, Prophets, Writings and Apocrypha
  • Old Testament theology and theological issues in the Old Testament
  • Ethical issues arising from the study of the Old Testament

Residential School

This subject contains a 2 day Optional Residential School.

The residential school for this introductory subject provides an orientation to the subject matter, methodology, library resources, and research tools pertaining to the study of the Old Testament.

Activities include lectures, library orientation and group work.

Special Resources

Online students who choose to attend the optional residential school in Canberra will need to arrange and cover the costs of travel, accommodation and meals.


For further information about courses and subjects outlined in the CSU handbook please contact:

Current students

Future students

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: July 2019. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.