Old Testament Introduction
Course code: BITH 502

Old Testament Introduction introduces the literature of the Old Testament in its socio-historical, literary, and canonical contexts, methods of Old Testament study, and critical issues of Old Testament formation and interpretation. Attention is given to analysis of critical views.

Intended Outcomes

  • Knowledge of
    • The historical, cultural, and literary realities underlying the formation of the Old Testament.
    • A well-informed evangelical posture toward the growth and shaping of the canon during the Old Testament period as well as its final compositional and canonical integrity.
    • The scope, methods, and distinctive issues associated with OT studies.
    • How critical theories regarding authorship and composition impact interpretation and theological formulation as well as application.
    • Key sources for dealing with problems of OT interpretation.
    • The socio-historical context that must inform OT interpretation.
    • The primary ways in which the NT approaches and appropriates the OT.
  • Appreciation for
    • The role and significance of textual criticism for interpretation.
    • The ways in which the historical, ideological, and literary dimensions of the OT interact.
    • Insights from those who don’t share your presuppositions, but are nonetheless consistent with them and with the data of Scripture.
  • Gaining of confidence
    • that you can give a defense of the development, canonization, and authority of Scripture.
    • in the reliability of Scripture
  • Ability to
    • Engage effectively the major questions of OT study and scholarship (historicity, canonicity, authorship) in order to equip others to respond to these issues.
    • Define accurately and defend the inspiration, infallibility, and inerrancy of Scripture.
    • Recognize and critique assumptions and conclusion that are inconsistent with Scripture as the inspired word of God.
    • Refute those who contradict sound doctrine as it relates to the Old Testament.
    • Articulate how OT Introduction relates to the four primary domains of theological study: biblical theology, systematic theology, historical theology, and practical theology.

Assignment Overview

  • Readings, research essays, some video lectures, and weekly live synchronous video class meetings facilitate meeting the objectives above.
  • The two major research papers cover the topics of “The Problems of the Old Testament in Relation to Its Inspiration” (addressing alleged discrepancies in the Old Testament) and “Archaeology and the Old Testament.”


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