Reading the Hebrew Bible / Old Testament

Level 4 - DT1001

This course provides an introduction to key books of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, a knowledge of which is essential for those wishing to gain an understanding of Judaism and Christianity and their cultural, social and political influence during the last two millennia through to the present day.

Topics covered

Section A: The Pentateuch and the former prophets (History of Israel and Judah)

  • The primeval history (Genesis 1–11)
  • The Pentateuch (Exodus 1–15 and Deuteronomy 1–11)
  • The history of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah (1–2 Kings)

Section B: The latter prophets

  • Eighth century prophets (Hosea and Amos)
  • Prophecy in an age of exile (Ezekiel and Deutero-Isaiah)
  • Post-exilic prophets (Haggai and Zechariah 1–8)

Section C: The writings

  • Wisdom literature (Proverbs, Ecclesiastes)
  • Biblical songs (The Psalms, lamentations and song of songs)
  • Historiography after the exile (Ezra-Nehemiah)


Forum participation (10%); a two thousand word essay (40%) and a 1.5-hour unseen written examination (50%).

Tutor in Biblical Hebrew and Hebrew Bible

Dr Marilyn Burton

Dr Marilyn Burton

Marilyn Burton received her PhD from the University of Edinburgh in 2014. Her research interests centre around biblical translation, linguistics and exegesis. She is the author of The Semantics of Glory: A Cognitive, Corpus-Based Approach to Hebrew Word Meaning (Brill, 2017) as well as a number of articles and chapters relating to Hebrew semantics.