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Unit outline_

BBCL2603: Destruction and Messianism in Prophecy

Semester 1, 2022 [Normal day] - Remote

This unit deals with prophetic works of the Hebrew Bible which cover a period of almost two hundred years from the destruction of the Kingdom of Israel to the restoration of the kingdom of Judah and the hope of the revival of the Davidic monarchy. The prophetic texts reflect the engagement of the ancient writers with theological matters, arising from the political and social challenges of their time.

Unit details and rules

Academic unit Hebrew, Biblical and Jewish Studies
Credit points 6
12 credit points at 1000 level including at least (6 credit points in (BBCL1001 or BBCL1002 or HBRW1111 or HBRW1112 or RLST1002) and (6 credit points in Hebrew, Biblical and Jewish Studies, Ancient History, Anthropology, Archaeology, History, English, Philosophy, Studies in Religion, Arabic Studies or 6 credit points from (BBCL2607 or BBCL2609 or BBCL2610))) or (12 credit points at 1000 level in Biblical Studies and Classical Hebrew or Jewish Civilisation, Thought and Culture)
Assumed knowledge


Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Ian Young (FASS),
Type Description Weight Due Length
Presentation Tutorial presentation and paper
30% - 1500 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO6 LO5 LO4 LO3 LO2
Participation Class participation
Class participation
10% Ongoing n/a
Outcomes assessed: LO1
Assignment Course essay
60% Week 13 3000 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6

Assessment summary

Details about assessment are available on the Canvas site for this unit

Assessment criteria

Criteria in essay assessment:


Critical exegesis with a close attention to the texts   

Coherent and structured discussion  

Understanding of themes, genres

Use of references  

Clear and flowing writing  

For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.  

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 Destruction and Messianism In Prophecy: what are our questions? Lecture (2 hr) LO3 LO5
Week 02 From shepherd to Messiah: Why David? Lecture (2 hr) LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 03 Winds of change, fear of destruction: The Rise of the Assyrian Empire Lecture (2 hr) LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 04 Realpolitik vs Theodicy Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO3 LO4
Week 05 Morality vs. Worship Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO4
Week 06 Predicting destruction Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO4 LO5
Week 07 What kind of comfort? Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO4 LO5
Week 08 The prophet as an individual Lecture (2 hr) LO2 LO3
Week 09 A New Covenant Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO3 LO5
Week 10 God's servant Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO3 LO5
Week 11 Prophets after the exile Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO5
Week 12 “A light to the nations”: Choseness and universalism Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 13 David’s dynasty in late Second Temple Judaism and the New Testament Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO3 LO4 LO5

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Required readings

See course handout.

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University's graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. Recognise different types of prophecies by content and structure.
  • LO2. Identify the range of voices and tendencies of the writers concerning values, politics and religious issues.
  • LO3. Discuss the connection between political-social circumstances and theological ideas.
  • LO4. Deal with questions of the historical-literary background of texts.
  • LO5. Examine the development of widespread terms such as “Messiah”, “redemption”, “New Testament”.
  • LO6. Write scholarly exegeses of biblical passages.

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

We changed some topics and tutorial questions in response to student feedback.


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