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Reading Source Texts


Admission requirements

Biblical Hebrew II or the equivalent (please get in touch with the course leader if you are in doubt)


In this course, we will read a selection of biblical texts in Biblical Hebrew, discuss their construction in both literary and historical terms, their (interesting) grammatical features as well as their content. This year the focus will be on texts reflecting a priestly background. We will read texts from Leviticus, Ezekiel and Psalms in order to reflect on the religious life in the temple(s) of ancient Israel and Judah.
The basis of our work will be the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia (or Quinta as and where available). Other biblical texts will be provided ad hoc (Qumran, Samaritan Pentateuch) as appropriate and as desired by course participants

Course objectives

This course will provide students with the opportunity to practice and refine the language skills they have picked up during their degree so far. The course will introduce them to a corpus of texts which is centra lto ancient Judaism and to understanding the religion(s) of ancient Israel and Judah. The course will also introduce students to a comparison of different genres written by authors who come from a similar background and worldview, showing the importance of attention and awareness to genre.


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction


Assessment method

For 2nd year BA students: 10% participation 90% a 2,500 word essay on a text or topic to be agreed with the course leader
For 3rd year BA students: 10% participation 90% a 3,500 word essay on a text or topic to be agreed with the course leader

The final mark for the course will be determined by using the weighted average of these two marks.

Resits for the essay will be available at the next possible deadline.

Essay feedback tutorials will be offered (students who would like one, should request it from the the lecturer)

Reading list

Students should have access to a copy of the texts of the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia, including the critical apparatus (the main tekst which is virtually identical to the textus receptus can be accessed in most other printed editions, as well as the electronic tekst provided by the German Bible Society at: But as we are going to read the texts with attention to their textual history, access to the main text is not sufficient. The library has several copies that can be borrowed. You can purchase your own copy from the German Bible Society (normal print:; larger print:
Further literature will be shared in class.


Enrolment through My Studymap (Login | Universiteit Leiden) is mandatory.


  • For substantive questions, contact the lecturer listed in the right information bar.

  • For questions about enrolment, admission, etc, contact the Education Administration Office: Vrieshof