Course Summary

Interpretation and application of the texts of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy

The course is given to historic-grammatical exegesis but includes an added element related to fitting application in a modern setting. It is organized in five modules: Introduction to The Torah and Genesis (Module 1), Exodus (Module 2), Leviticus (Module 3), Numbers (Module 4), and Deuteronomy (Module 5). The course is valued at 3 graduate semester credits.


1.   Analyze the relationship between the biblical text and cultural, political, religious, and social contexts.

2.  Formulate a paradigm for interpreting and applying The Torah.

3.  Judge the consistency with which conclusions are drawn from methodology commonly used to interpret and apply The Torah.

The course grade is the average of three multiple choice exams and two essays.  The exams cover (1) Genesis (Module 1), (2) Exodus and Leviticus (Modules 2-3), and (3) Leviticus and Deuteronomy (Modules 4-5). The essays are related to one of the textbooks and are written after the exams.  Credit for the course requires a score of 70% or greater on each graded element, which counts for 20 percent for the final grade.  A sample problem is given below.

The author of Genesis (A) divided the work into five major divisions based on stories, (B) divided the
work into ten major divisions based on genealogical tables, (C) divided the work into two major divisions based on dating, (D) made no definable divisions within his work.


Bible. Original language or any translation; NIV is recommended

Internet commentaries and articles are linked from the online syllabus

A variety of texts are recommended and available in the Electronic Collection at no cost to the student.  A text by Vogt is the principle source for essays, whether it be the one in the Collection or available in hard copy.  Should the student wish to substitute hard copies for e-books, the following are recommended:.

The Expositor’s Bible Commentary. Vol. 1: Genesis-Leviticus. Rev. ed. Zondervan, 2008. 832 pages. $35.99 ISBN: 978-0310230823

Hamilton, Victor P. Handbook on the Pentateuch. 2nd ed. Baker Academic, 2005. 480 pages. $29.72 ISBN: 978-0801097737

Vogt, Peter T. Interpreting the Pentateuch: An Exegetical Handbook. A vol. of Handbooks for Old Testament Exegesis, ed. by David M. Howard, Jr. Kregel Academic & Professional, 2009. 224 pages. $18.43 ISBN: 978-0825427626