THE PENTATEUCH

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ABOUT THE LECTURER

Dr Caroline Batchelder was born in Scotland, and grew up mainly in Malaysia and Australia, as well as time spent in England and the Philippines. After finishing school in Canberra, she undertook a BMus at the NSW State Conservatorium. After years primarily involved with family and church, and four years living in Shropshire, England, Caroline enrolled in an MDiv at Morling Theological College, going on to complete her ThD in Biblical Studies at the end of 2015. This was a literary-theological investigation of the figure of the Servant in the ‘Servant Songs’ of Isaiah 40‒55, with particular interests in ‘justice’ (Hebrew mishpat) and the image of God.

COURSE INTRO

At the beginning of the bible, we find the Pentateuch. From Genesis to Deuteronomy, these books are essential for understanding our faith today. For ancient Israel it described their origins, creation stories, ancestors, exodus from Egypt, covenant with Yahweh, the journey to the Promised Land and their worship of Yahweh. Similarly for us as Christians, our salvation-story is framed by the people, images and stories found in the Pentateuch. Together in this unit we will explore these foundational themes of creation, faith, salvation, covenant, worship, land and journeying present in the Pentateuch. We will particularly discover the wonder of the Pentateuch’s literary structure and techniques as well as the world it constructs. It will also survey how the Pentateuch sets the stage for what follows in the rest of the biblical canon.

COURSE OUTCOMES

This course unit examines the literary and ideological themes and structures evident in the Pentateuch, with particular focus on the world it constructs and the influences it exerts on the remainder of the OT and modern culture.

Students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate a critical understanding of the world of the Pentateuch, including its composition, themes, content, message, characters, and ideology
  • Examine both the primary biblical materials and secondary literature from a range of perspectives
  • Explain the narrative and legal techniques used in the Pentateuch
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the role of the Pentateuch within the context of the contemporary church