The Pentateuch


This subject is a detailed investigation of the five books of the Pentateuch (Torah: Genesis to Deuteronomy). It examines the history of and contemporary perspectives on the Pentateuch along two main lines: detailed exploration of various Pentateuchal texts and the study of critical developments in Pentateuchal scholarship. Exegetical and interpretive competence is further developed and refined through the critical review and creative application of historical, socio-cultural, literary and ideological methods of analysis to a range of texts in the Pentateuch.


One Semester


Semester 1 every even year

Subject Points




Delivery Mode

On site at St Francis College Milton; or Externally – log in to listen and participate or view the lecture via video later.


THL105 and either THL202 or THL209 recommended

Dozeman, T.B., (2017), The Pentateuch: Introducing the Torah.  ISBN 9780800699482

The year of publication and ISBN given corresponds to the copy placed in Closed Reserve at the Roscoe Library; there may be other valid ISBNs that differ because of a different publisher or format. Please contact your lecturer or the Roscoe Library staff to confirm text before purchasing. If purchasing, we recommend that you use

Prescribed Texts

Exegesis 60%

Research Essay 40%



This subject will cover the following topics:

  • In (the) Beginning – Genesis 1-11

  • Patriarchs – Genesis 12-50

  • Egypt and Exodus – Exodus 1:1-15:21

  • Wilderness, Covenant and Calf – Exodus 15:22-40:38

  • Leviticus – Leviticus 1-17

  • Numbers – Numbers 1-36

  • Revisiting the Covenant – Deuteronomy 1-28

  • Leadership and Singing – Deuteronomy 29-34

  • Authorship

  • Primeval History

  • Traditions

  • Recent Trends

  • Finding Women in the Torah

  • Moses

  • Theological Interpretation

  • Canonical Criticism

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:

  • be able to demonstrate an understanding of the Pentateuch as a whole

  • be able to demonstrate an understanding of the structure and composition of each book in the Pentateuch

  • be able to demonstrate familiarity with critical scholarship regarding the development and composition of the Pentateuch

  • be able to demonstrate knowledge of the distinguishing characteristics of, and relationships between, oral and written sources

  • be able to discuss in a critical way issues raised by archaeology and historiography in relation to the Pentateuch

  • be able to demonstrate advanced interpretive skills in reading Pentateuchal texts demonstrate self-guided learning, including research, writing and communication skills