Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2012-2013 (archived)

Module THEO42730: Advanced Hebrew text and exegesis

Department: Theology and Religion

THEO42730: Advanced Hebrew text and exegesis

Type Open Level 4 Credits 30 Availability Available in 2012/13 Module Cap None.


  • Reading competence in biblical Hebrew and in biblical Greek, equivalent to at least two years study of each. Basic reading skills in German.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To provide students with the skills and knowledge required for detailed textual and exegetical work on the Hebrew Bible at an advanced level.
  • To familiarize students with the reference tools used by modern scholars for analysis of texts.


  • A biblical text, selected each year in consultation with participants on the module, will be studied in detail with respect to text-critical, philological, and exegetical issues.
  • Students will be introduced to the ancient versions, key text-critical techniques, and relevant issues in the translation and exegesis of biblical Hebrew.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Students will possess a good working knowledge of the ancient biblical versions: their character, inter-relationship, and significance.
  • Students will understand key issues in the exegesis and translation of biblical Hebrew texts.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • The ability to employ text-critical arguments and techniques in an informed way.
  • The ability to use key reference and research tools for translation and exegesis.
  • The ability to approach philological and translational problems in a professional way.
Key Skills:
  • Enhancement of abilities in problem-solving, through engagement with difficult textual and linguistic problems.
  • Enhancement of the ability to present complicated information in a clear and orderly fashion.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • In the first seminar, students will be introduced to the key issues surrounding the history of the text and versions, both in general and with particular reference to the text which is to be read, and given guidance both on reading and on the tasks required for exegesis, enabling them to gain the requisite subject knowledge. As appropriate to their prior knowledge, they will also be introduced to key reference and research tools. For subsequent seminars, students will be expected to have prepared an agreed amount of text, translating the Hebrew and Greek versions, noting textual issues arising from other versions or from variant manuscript traditions, and using commentaries or other secondary literature to identify key text-critical, philological and exegetical issues. These will be presented for discussion in the seminars, where students will be guided in the application of text-critical techniques, and the adjudication of philological or exegetical proposals, and where they will be given an opportunity to explore effective ways in which to present their findings. During Epiphany term, students will be expected to prepare a detailed commentary on a short section of text, which will be assessed to determine their achievement of the learning outcomes.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Seminars 8 fortnightly in Michaelmas and Epiphany 2 hours 16
Reading and preparation 284
Total 300

Summative Assessment

Component: 5000 word critical commentary on the text Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
commentary 5000 words 100%

Formative Assessment:

Preparation for seminars.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University