Course Description

This course is an introduction and detailed survey of the text of the Book of Exodus. It will explore various approaches and interpretations of the story of Exodus. Attention will be given to literary and narrative aspects of the text. Special emphasis will be given to liberation, black, feminist, rabbinic and postcolonial theologies in the reading of Exodus.

Learning Objectives

Reading the Bible is both a science and an art. It requires a knowledge of both the whole as well as the books, sections, paragraphs, and sentences of any given text under investigation. We will look at the Book of Exodus from three perspectives: the world behind-the-text, the world in-the-text, and the world before-the-text. We will discuss various methods and approaches to studying Exodus. This course is designed to discuss essential matters of introduction and to offer strategies, methods, and frameworks for approaching the study of Exodus.

Course Outline

Class 1: Introduction to the Book of Exodus (Part A)
Course Overview, Exodus: A) Its Names, Scope, Significance, and Content

Reading Assignment 1: The Book of Exodus

Class 2: Introduction to the Book of Exodus (Part B)

B) Its Author, Origin, and Sources; C) Its Unity, Structure, and Literary Composition; D) Its Genres and Reading Strategy; E) Its History and Historicity; and F) Its Theology

Reading Assignment 2: Stony the Road We Trod: “Introduction” by Cain Hope Felder

Class 3: Setting (Exod 1:1–2:25)

Reading Assignment 3: Reclaiming the Imagination: “The Exodus as Paradigmatic Text in the African American Community” by Cleophus J. LaRue

Class 4: Characters (3:1–7:7)

Reading Assignment 4: Exodus: Religion, Race, and Nation in Early Nineteenth-Century Black America: “Exodus, Race, and the Politics of a Nation” by Eddie S. Glaude, Jr.

Class 5: Conflict (7:8–15:21)

Reading Assignment 5: Sisters in the Wilderness: “Hagar’s Story: A Route to Black Women’s Issues” by Delores S. Williams

Class 6: Journey (15:22–18:27)

Reading Assignment 6: God of the Oppressed: “Introduction” by James H. Cone

Class 7: Revelation (19:1–24:11)

Reading Assignment 7: Exodus and Revelation: “Introduction” by Michael Walzer

Class 8: Sanctuary (24:12–40:38)

Writing Assignment is due. See below for instructions.


  1. Completion of all weekly assignments
  2. A study Bible is helpful (e.g., ESV Study Bible & the Harper Collins NRSV Study Bible)
  3. Bring a notebook for note taking and a folder for holding course notes and handouts.
  4. Internet access is very helpful. Course notes will be posted to the web site:

    www.sacrapagina.com. Please check the site weekly for the notes before coming to class.


  1. Read or listen to the entire Exodus at least one time. This counts for 10% of your grade.
  2. Each week you will have reading assignment. This counts for 30% of your grade.
  3. A short-paper (3-5 pages, double-spaced 12pt, .75-inch margins) on a topic below:
    • Tell the story of your life and/or family history as an exodus story
    • Trace the use of the Book of Exodus and the exodus motif in the Book of Isaiah
    • Trace the use of the Book of Exodus and the exodus motif in the Book of Revelation
    • This counts for 60% of your grade.
  4. Attendance to each class is mandatory. Please read and follow New Life’s summer attendance policy. If you exceed the maximum amount of allowed absences, then you cannot receive credit for this course.

Course Documents

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