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THL105/THL408 RSG: Identify

Old Testament Studies

Identifying what you need

Planning an effective search strategy can save you time and retrieve more relevant results.

At this first stage, you need to work out:

  • what the assessment is asking you to do
  • how you are going to search for answers to the question

If you are confused or unsure about the assessment topic, ask your lecturer or tutor who will be happy to talk it through with you.

Exegesis Assessments Resources

Primary Biblical Sources:

These are the preferred versions as listed in your Subject Outline, to be used for the analysis of a narrative or poetic passage.Select from 

  • 1 Sam 3 (narrative)
  • Esther 2 (narrative)
  • Psalm 90 (poetry)
  • Amos 5 (poetry)

For a Jewish perspective on the Old Testament see

This text is also available within  Oxford Biblical Studies Online. A number of  the readings for your subject are extracts from this  publication.  

Secondary Sources

Analysis of a narrative or poetic passage including

  • social, cultural and historical background of the Old Testament.
  • awareness of a range of texts from the Pentateuch, Prophets, Writings and Apocrypha​.

If you have chosen to analyse one of the poetic passages, this online book may be useful.

If you have chosen one of  the narrative passages then this could be a useful resource:

Old Testament Literary history

Website resources

Resource pages for Biblical Studies 

Contains links to biblical texts and various other texts related to the Bible compiled and owned by Torrey Seland, Professor emeritus and former Dean of Studies, School of Mission and Theology, Stavanger, Norway.

This site  is useful for the tasks required in Assessment 4, Exegesis paper. 


The Chronology of the Old  Testament is useful to see  the sequence  of biblical periods which have been correlated with archeological and verified historical sources. Bible Gateway includes a Chronology of the Old Testament here

Prescribed text:

This concise volume introduces readers to the three main sections of the Hebrew Bible (Tanakh) and to the biblical books found in each. It is organized around two primary "stories": the story that scholars tell about the Old Testament and the story the literature itself tells. Concluding with a reconsideration of the Old Testament as more like poetry than a story, three main chapters cover: The Pentateuch (Torah), The Prophets (Neviʼim), The Writings (Ketuvim). With key summaries of what the parts of the Old Testament "are all about," and including suggestions for further reading, this volume is an ideal introduction for students of and newcomers to the Old Testament.

     Author Dr Brent Strawn,

             Professor of Old Testament at Duke Divinity  School

Character Study


Oxford Reference online enables you to locate the scripture passages in which your chosen character appears, from Chronicles or Kings or similar books within the Old Testament. 

Once you have identified the relevant scripture passages, you can search using the scripture passage as a field within the databases, to search for secondary sources which focus on this character. 

Find your definitions by searching Oxford Reference Online

Selection of one from  Daniel Samuel Rehoboam /

Elijah Naomi / Hagar

Focus on historical, theological and literary concerns relevant to the passages in which your chosen character appears. 

Use the  online theological databases to search on  the name of the character as SUBJECT or PERSON or SUBJECT NAME to obtain journal articles providing secondary literature for this assessment task.

Other useful sources

Looking for additional web-based resources?

The Divinity School Library at Duke University Libraries, Durham, North Carolina,  has a Biblical Studies Guide with links to many additional tools and resources, including Instructions for Word Study, Font and Language tools,  and the List of Greek and Hebrew Word reference Sources with a  key to Strong's numbering.

They have also prepared a detailed Biblical Exegesis guide.

Art and images related to Biblical texts are included in their   Image Resources for Biblical Studies: Getting Started guide

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