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Spring Semester, 2023                                                            Larry E. Jones

Email:                                                             Western Bible College

Course number 2206                                                             Ph: (816) 392-1276


                     Old Testament Survey I

Course Description:

An exposition of the Pentateuch and the historical books (through Esther). This survey will deal with background issues, methodology of interpretation, and the theology of God’s covenant dealing with his people. 3 semester hours

Course outcomes:

Student should be able to:

  1.  Describe the content of the Pentateuch and historical books
  2. Relate these writings to their historical and cultural background in the ANE world.
  3. Compare and contrast biblical and ANE documents to identify similarities and differences.
  4. Trace and synthesize the promise, covenant, and land themes and show how these are connected to the blessings and cursing, law, and sacrifice, and rebellion and fulfillment concepts
  5. Describe and evaluate modern approaches to understanding the composition of the Pentateuch and the Deuteronomistic historical records.
  6. Develop skill in interpreting scripture, and applying its lessons to modern life.
  7. Transform their own personal spiritual formation and excitement based on God’s Word.


Hamilton, V., Handbook on the Pentateuch. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1982

Howard, D., An Introduction to the Old Testament Historical Books. Chicago: Moody, 1993

Pritchard, J.B. The Ancient Near East: An anthology of the Texts and Pictures. Vol I. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1958

These text books can be purchased at sign up for Western Bible College as the charity

Other assigned and unassigned books articles will be mentioned in class. Students should read as widely as possible in supplementary texts from all points of view to be thoroughly acquainted with key historical, critical, exegetical, and theological issues

Course Requirements:

Students will:

  1. Commit themselves to be in class and come prepared
  2. Read the biblical text for each book covered and the assignments in the textbooks
  3. Compete minor study paper assignments in preparation for class
  4. Take all test when scheduled and complete written assignment on time (A late penalty will be assigned to all papers not handed in during the class period that they are due).


  1.  Complete a Mid-Term Exam                   40%
  2. Complete a final exam                            40%
  3. Do a literary analysis of a narrative         20%

I normally grade on a curve and use short essay exams rather than t/f’s multiple guess, thus a student needs to know their material well. Since people who ask questions in church (or non-Christian) do not usually give multiple choice answers for you to chose from, it is important for you to be able to respond to them out of the wealth of your understanding of issues. These kinds of test also require that you know your material better so try to keep up with your reading and start reviewing your notes well before the exams. Questions will come from lectures as well as the readings.

Recommended secondary texts:

Wolf, H. An introduction to the Old Testament Pentateuch. Chicago: Moody, 1991

Archer, G. A Survey of Old Testament Introduction. Chicago: Moody ,1994

Dillard, R and Longman, T. An Introduction to the Old Testament. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1994

Hailer, W.C A History of Israel from the Bronze Age Through the Jewish Wars. Nashville: B&H, 1998

Durning the class, commentaries on various books of the Bible will be mentioned for students to evaluate for further use int their ministry. These will include commentaries like Ross, Hamilton, or Wenham on Genesis, or Hartley or Wenham on Leviticus, Hubbard or Campbell on Ruth, Williamson or Fensham on Ezra and Nehemiah. It is important to begin building a solid library of resources now. It is wise to go to the library and read a section from any book to make sure that it is the kind of commentary that will help you. Some use Hebrew, some are devotional, so make sure you spend your money wisely.

Schedule: (We may not be able to follow this schedule exactly but the general plan is given. Students should read The appropriate passages in the Bible and text for each class). The below listed schedule will be in view along with Western School Calendar of Events Spring Semester 2023

Jan 12th Introduction

            Critical Views of the Pentateuch

           Gen 1-3

Jan 19th Structure of Gen 1-11


Jan 26th  Gen 12-25 The promises to Abraham

              Gen 25-50 The life of Jacob

Feb 2nd  The date of the Exodus

                Ex 1-6

                Ex 7-15

Feb 9th    Ex 32

Feb 16th The Law

               Leviticus and Worship


                          Take home Mid-Term exam

March 3rd    The Numbers


March 10th spring break

March 17th Joshua


March 24th   Introduction to narrative literature

                   1 Sam 1

                   1 Sam 4-7

March 31st short research paper 4-6 pages

Apr 6th    The United Kingdom

Apr 13th The Divided Kingdom

Apr 20th The exile and Post-exilic era

Apr 27th    Ezra


                                  Take home final exam

The paper is due one week after the end of the semester. The structure of the paper will be explained durning the class March 24th. This is a short paper of 4-6 pages research paper based on the literary analysis of David and Bathsheba story in 2 Sam 11-12 and will not require the reading of a whole group of commentaries. You will  Trace the plot, characters of both David and Bathsheba

The final exam will be fastly approaching so it will be imperative to not leave your work on this paper until the last week.



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