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Religious Studies (RELS) 380
Advanced Studies in the Hebrew Bible (Revision 1)

Revision 1 closed, replaced by current version.

Delivery mode: Individualized study.

Credits: 3 - Humanities

Prerequisite: RELS 204, an equivalent course at another Canadian university or permission of the course instructor.  Also strongly recommended are a senior level English course and a course in Biblical Studies or Old Testament Studies from a secular post-secondary education institution.

Centre: Centre for Global and Social Analysis

RELS 380 is not available for challenge.

Course website


This an advanced level course designed to introduce students to the historical critical methods used in the  secular, academic study of the Hebrew Bible.  Students will be introduced to the use of form, textual, source, and rhetorical criticism. They will also be introduced to alternative theories to the Documentary Hypothesis, and a detailed  evaluation of works by major Biblical scholars such as Wellhausen, Von Rad, Noth, Gunkel, Mowinckel, and Van Seters.


Unit 1: Approaches to the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament

Unit 2: The Ancient Worlds of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament

Unit 3: The Torah

Unit 4: Nevi’im I: The Former Prophets (Joshua, Judges, 1-2 Samuel and 1-2 Kings)

Unit 5: Nevi’im II: The Latter Prophets (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and “The Twelve”)

Unit 6: The Writings I: Wisdom (Proverbs, Job and Ecclesiastes)

Unit 7: The Writings II: Songs of Israel (Psalms, Lamentations)

Unit 8: The Writings III: (Ruth, Esther, Song of Songs)

Unit 9: The Chronicler and the Deuteronomist

Unit 10: Apocalypticism and Heroism: Daniel and the Apocalyptic Visions of Early Judaism


To receive credit for RELS 380, you must complete both assignments as well as the final examination, and achieve a course composite grade of at least “D” (50 per cent). The weighting of the composite grade is as follows:

Tutor Marked Exercise 1 Tutor Marked Exercise 2 Final Examination Total
20% 40% 40% 100%

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials


McKenzie, Stephen L., and Graham, M. Patrick. The Hebrew Bible today: An Introduction to Critical Issues. Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 1998.

The HarperCollins Study Bible: New Revised Standard Version, with the Apocryphal/Deuterocanonical Books. Ed. Wayne A. Meeks. New York: HarperCollins, 2006.

Other Materials

The course materials also include a study guide, reading file and a student manual.