SC 138 Beginnings of God's People

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Module Level


Time Allowance

Lectures: 24 hours; Tutorials: 3 hours; Assignment: 24 hours; Tutorial preparation: 12 hours; Reading for class: 24 hours; Exam preparation: 12 hours


Continuous assessment (essay & tutorials) 40%; Final examination 60%

Module Aims

MODULE AIM: To familiarize students with the stories of the beginnings of God’s chosen people in the Pentateuch, as well as current approaches to their interpretation for Christian theology.


--Overview of the Pentateuch

--Israel’s stories of creation and sin

--Narratives of the patriarchs and matriarchs

--Exodus liberation of the chosen people from slavery

--Foundational role of covenant in relation to God and the community

--Basis of Israel’s ethical codes

--Torah as revelation, divine word, and call

--Deuteronomy & the Deuteronomist

--Readings of key Pentateuchal texts in the New Testament

Learning Outcomes

  • Upon successful completion of this module, students will be able to: outline how the five Books of Moses serve as a foundational text within Judaism and Christianity; discuss Israel’s understanding of God as Creator and of the universe as creation; interpret the foundational roles of the biblical patriarchs and matriarchs within the origins of the people of Israel; explain how the covenant binds God's people together, and indicate the character of Torah as revelation, divine word, and call; discuss how key Pentateuchal texts are read in the New Testament and in the lectionary; offer a close, analytical and faith-filled reading of major Pentateuchal texts.


  • KEY TEXTS: BIBLE: Genesis and Exodus.
  • Boadt, L., Reading the Old Testament. 2nd ed. New York: Paulist, 2012. [221.61 BOA]
  • Collins, J. J., Introduction to the Hebrew Bible. Minneapolis: Fortress, 2004. [220.44 COL]
  • Sarna, N. M., Exploring Exodus. New York: Schocken, 1987. [222.1206 SAR]
  • Sarna, N. M., Understanding Genesis. New York: Schocken, 1966. [221.7 SAR]