This paper will be concerned with Old Testament history from the reign of Hezekiah to the conquest of Babylon by Cyrus and with theological and literary responses to the Babylonian invasions and their consequences in the literature of the time, with particular reference to relevant sections of Genesis-Numbers; Deuteronomy; Joshua-2 Kings; Job; exilic elements in the Psalter; Isaiah 40-55; Jeremiah; Lamentations; Ezekiel. The Faculty Board will prescribe a portion of the Old Testament for special study.
The exilic age has long been regarded in scholarship as a watershed for the faith of Israel, with important theological understandings formulated in this period. It is also a crucial time in the history of Israel and a time of the collection and writing of formative documents. This course seeks to give a thorough understanding of the literature, history and theology of the period leading up to the Exile, of the Exile itself and of the repercussions that followed it. It involves study of texts from different genres of Old Testament material, including some detailed textual work. It also involves engagement with scholarly methods of analysing literary texts, of evaluating historical claims with the assistance of archaeological finds and ancient Near Eastern parallels and of seeking an overall sense of the theological developments of the period.
Form and Conduct of Examination
The examination will consist of a three-hour written paper, which will be divided into three sections. Section A will contain five essay questions on prophecy and a gobbet question on the set text. Section B will contain five essay questions on the Pentateuch and Joshua-2 Kings. Section C will contain five questions on poetic and wisdom literature. Candidates will be required to attempt four passages from a choice of eight in the gobbet question in Section A and three essay questions taken from at least two sections of the paper. NRSV and Hebrew Bibles will be available for use in the examination, but candidates are not expected to show greater precision in Biblical references as a result of the availability of Bibles.