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Ancient Egypt and the Bible

Course Times & Enrolment

Wednesdays from 27th September 2023 (Code AC026-104) Wednesdays from
27th September 2023 6:30pm - 8:20pm • (10 classes)
G36A Paterson's Land, Holyrood Campus • Tutor: Judit Blair PhD, MTh
This course is now closed for enrolments

Course Summary

According to the Bible, throughout history there always had been a contact between the Egyptians and the Israelites. Egyptology in the 19th century was mainly concerned with discovering archaeological and cultural records and thus evidence for certain biblical events. This course looks at similar themes in the history and religions of ancient Egypt and Israel.

Course Details

Pre-requisites for enrolment

No prior knowledge required.

Content of Course

1. Creation myths in Egypt and the Hebrew Bible.

2. Creator gods.

3. The Egyptian myth of the destruction of mankind and the Flood Narrative in Genesis 6 – 8.

4. Joseph in Egypt.

5. The Exodus 1.

6. The Exodus 2.

7. The concept of evil in Egypt and the Bible.

8. Akhenaten, the instigator of Jewish monotheism?

9. Pharaoh Shoshenk – Shishak (OT).

10. Further parallels between Egypt and the Bible.

Teaching method(s)

Lecture based with class discussion.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  • Identify, compare and contrast key themes in Egyptian mythology and the Bible.

  • Using primary and secondary sources compare and contrast key themes, characters and events.

  • Discuss and critically evaluate previous and recent scholarly research on these issues.

  • Explain the impact ancient Egypt had on the surrounding cultures and why it continues to influence western societies today.


Core Readings


  • Manley, B., 2003. The Seventy Great Mysteries of Ancient Egypt. London: Thames & Hudson.

  • Pritchard, J. B., ed., 1969. Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament, 3rd.ed. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

  • Redford, D.B.,1993. Egypt, Canaan and Israel in Ancient Times. Cairo: The American University in Cairo Press.

  • Rohl, D., 2015. Exodus. Myth or History? St. Louis Park, MN: Thinking Man Media.

  • Gordon, Cyrus H. and Gary A. Rendsburg, 1997. The Bible and the Ancient Near East, 4th ed. New York & London: W.W. Norton & Company


  • Day, P. L., 1988. An Adversary in Heaven: satan in the Hebrew Bible. Atlanta: Scholars Press.

  • Forsyth, N., 1987. The Old Enemy: Satan and the Combat Myth. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Class Handouts

Handouts will be provided.


If you have questions regarding the course or enrolment, please contact COL Reception at Paterson's Land by email or by phone 0131 650 4400.

Student support

If you have a disability, learning difficulty or health condition which may affect your studies, please let us know by ticking the 'specific support needs' box on your course application form. This will allow us to make appropriate adjustments in advance and in accordance with your rights under the Equality Act 2010. For more information please visit the Student Support section of our website.