Course Description

Who is Moses, and what does his life have to do with Israel’s exodus from Egypt and God’s giving of the Law at Mount Sinai? This course will examine the Moses story in the context of the Book of Exodus, attending above all to the book’s canonical shape and its historic reception. Students will also become familiar with some of the current debate about the formation of the Pentateuch, particularly as it relates to different accounts of Israel’s origins in the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament.

Requirements: Daily readings, daily discussions, a presentation, a final paper.

Download the Syllabus (Summer 2018, v 1.0.x).

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Required Texts (Summer 2018)*

Benjamin D. Sommer. Revelation and Authority: Sinai in Jewish Scripture and Tradition. Yale University Press, 2015. ISBN: 978-0300234688.
Order it in Canada or the USA.
Brevard Childs. The Book of Exodus: A Critical, Theological Commentary. Westminster John Knox, 1974. ISBN: 978-0664229689.
Order it in Canada or the USA.
von Rad
Gerhard von Rad; ed. K. C. Hanson. Moses. Second Ed. Wipf & Stock, 2011. ISBN: 978-1606087718.
Order it in Canada or the USA.
Optional but strongly recommended: Gregory of Nyssa; trans. Abraham Malherbe. The Life of Moses. HarperOne, 2006. ISBN: 978-0060754648.
Order it in Canada or the USA.

Please note that textbook selections for my courses often change with each iteration of the course.

Making Sense
Margot Northey, Bradford A. Anderson, and Joel N. Lohr. Making Sense in Religious Studies: A Student’s Guide to Research and Writing. 3rd ed. Don Mills, ON: Oxford University Press, 2019.
This title is optional but highly recommended. It includes basic advice on things like reading religious texts, writing essays and book reviews, making oral presentations, and learning languages. It should help you master fundamental tasks in nearly any course in religion or theology.
The SBL Handbook of Style, 2nd Edition, is the definitive style manual for biblical studies and related disciplines.
A blog ( and free Student Supplement (PDF) should cover the issues most common to term papers. The AST library copy is in the reference section at PN 147 S26 2014.
Serious students of biblical studies will want a copy of their own. Order one from SBL Press or elsewhere online. ISBN 978-1589839649.
See my resources page for further advice on writing, style, and research.

Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Further Bibliography

The following bibliographies, compiled and annotated by Thomas B. Dozeman, are very useful. Depending on your current location, you may need to log on to a proxy server to get access.

  • “Book of Exodus.” Oxford Bibliographies Online: Biblical Studies. DOI: 10.1093/OBO/9780195393361-0038
  • “Moses.” Oxford Bibliographies Online: Biblical Studies. DOI: 10.1093/OBO/9780195393361-0175
  • “Pentateuch.” Oxford Bibliographies Online: Biblical Studies. DOI: 10.1093/OBO/9780195393361-0092