Old Testament Survey

Summer 2019 (May 26 - August 2)

This course provides a brief overview of the Hebrew Scriptures (in English) following the three-section division of the Hebrew Bible – the Law (Torah), the Prophets, and the Writings. Emphasis will be placed on each book’s origin and setting, content and form, and overarching themes in relation to contemporary life and mission. Occasional attention will be given to interpretive issues and theological concerns.

Learning Outcomes/Course Goals

Completion of this course should result in (1) an basic understanding of the nature and process of the composition of the OT, (2) a structural knowledge of the history and traditions of Israel as portrayed in the OT, (3) basic skills in interpreting OT texts and the critical use of scholarly resources, and (4) the ability to reflect theologically on the central themes of the Hebrew Scriptures and their significance for NT writers.


Course Format

Weekly online video instruction coordinated with textbook reading and online forum reflections/discussions. Workload: approximately five to seven hours per week.

Required Reading

A more critical English translation (vs. paraphrase) of the Bible – NRSV, ESV, NIV, NASB, NKJV, NLT, or the internet-based NET. (Some use “verbal/formal equivalence” translation guidelines, while others use “dynamic/functional equivalence” translation guidelines. The NKJV differs in providing footnoted reference to the “critical” NT Greek texts (UBS4 or NA27) used in the other translations while translating from the Textus Receptus.)

House, Paul R., and Eric Mitchell. Old Testament Survey, 3rd ed. Nashville: B&H Academic, 2007.


Highly Recommended Resource

  • Patzia, Aruthur G., and Anthone J. Petrotta. Pocket Dictionary of Biblical Studies. Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 2002.


Recommended Reading

  • Longman, Tremper, III. Introducing the Old Testament: A Short Guide to Its History and Message. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2012.
  • Waltke, Bruce K., and Charles Yu. An Old Testament Theology: An Exegetical, Canonical, and Thematic Approach. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2007.
  • Youngblood, Ronald. The Heart of the Old Testament: A Survey of Key Theological Themes, 2nd ed. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 1998.



Satisfactory” evaluation required for completion of the course)
1. Weekly online posts and participation in online forum related to video instruction, class notes, and textbook reading

2. Final essay (3–5 pages) that demonstrates the integration of course content with a contextual personal or ministry issue of biblical interpretation

3. Participation in video-conference calls

1. Overview of the Old Testament and the Creation Era
2. The Patriarchs
3. The Exodus Era
4. The Conquest and Judges Eras
5. The Early Kingdom
6. The Divided Kingdom
7. Exile and Return
8. The Inter-Testamental Period
9. The Prophetical Books
10. The Wisdom Literature