THL303 Judaism and Early Christianity (8)

This subject explores the rise of Judaism following the Babylonian exile (mid-sixth century BCE) to the second century CE. It examines the influence of Hellenism, the Maccabean revolt, Judea under Herod and Rome, the two Jewish Wars, sectarian Judaism and Jewish beliefs and institutions in the first century CE. The rise of early Christianity within the context of formative Judaism and the competing responses of these two movements to the destruction of the temple in 70 CE are examined.

No offerings have been identified for this subject in 2021.

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

Assumed Knowledge

Students are recommended to have prior knowledge equivalent to or studied THL105, THL106 and at least one 200-level biblical studies subject.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to demonstrate a critical and informed understanding of issues relating to the rise of Judaism from the mid-sixth century BCE to the second century CE;
  • be able to identify distinguishing features of major Jewish groups and institutions in the first centuries BCE and CE and their impact upon the Jewish war of 66-73 CE;
  • be able to demonstrate a knowledge of Rabbinic traditions and their principal literary expressions;
  • be able to discuss Jesus and the rise of early Christianity within the context of formative Judaism;
  • be able to demonstrate advanced competence in the exegesis and interpretation of biblical texts through critical engagement with primary biblical materials and constructive engagement with secondary literature; and
  • be able to demonstrate self-guided learning, including advanced research, writing and communication skills.


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • The development of Judaism from the sixth century BCE to the second century CE
  • An examination of evidence relating to sectarian Judaism
  • Josephus, Philo and the Dead Sea Scrolls as sources for understanding formative Judaism and early Christianity
  • Torah and messiah in sectarian Judaism (including early Christianity)
  • The impact upon Judaism of Hellenism, Roman occupation and Herodian rule
  • Jewish sages and the development of rabbinic Judaism
  • Jesus in the context of Judaism
  • Diverse expressions of early Christianity in relation to Judaism

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of THL303 in Session 1 2020. 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 %
Short essay (character analysis)
Short essay (document analysis)
Research essay

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: May 2021. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.