Course Summary

The content of the Old Testament and pertinent issues in Old Testament studies

The course lays the foundation for an in-depth study of the Old Testament by exposing the student to the people, places, events, and ideas that contribute to its makeup. In the process, the course summarizes pertinent issues in current Old Testament studies. It is organized along the lines of the Testament's three major divisions: (1) The Torah, (2) The Prophets, and (3) The Writings. Required for the M.T.S. and M.Div. degrees. Recommended prerequisite: MRS 622 A Search for Spirituality. May not be counted for credit if the student has completed the discontinued course MRS 001 The Hebrew Scriptures. 3 semester hours of graduate credit.


1. Identify leading characters and events within a sequential timeline

2. Analyze the assumptions underlying critical study of human encounters with the Bible

3. Explore defensible decisions regarding critical issues such as documentary hypothesis, creation and flood, dating the exodus


Credit for the course requires a score of 70% or greater on each of 3 module examinations and two writing assignments.  Each graded element is valued at 20% of the final grade.  Exam problems are in a multiple choice format. Forty problems are presented the student from an exam data bank, with a limit of 40 minutes to take an exam. In the event of a failure to attain 70 percent, the student may retake the exam, but it will present a different set of 40 problems. A sample problem is given below:

The Torah was first described as "Pentateuch" by (A) David, (B) Isaiah, (C) Jesus, (D) Origen.


First, you will need is a Bible. The New International Version is recommended, because of its readable translation and wide use. Exam problems use the language and spellings found in this version. However, if the student has some other English version, this should do fine.

Additionally, you should read from a good introductory work.  Two are available from the Electronic Collection without cost to the student.  If one prefers hard copy, one of the following books is recommended.

Archer, Gleason L. A Survey of Old Testament Introduction. New ed. Moody Publishers, 2007. 512 pages. $15.99 ISBN: 978-0802484345

Brueggemann, Walter. Introduction to the Old Testament: The Canon and Christian Imagination, 2003. Westminster John Knox Press, 2003. 452 pages. $30. ISBN: 978-0664224127

Dillard, Raymond B. and Tremper Longman III.  An Introduction to the Old Testament. 2nd ed. Zondervan Publishing House, 2006. 528 pages. $26.47. ISBN: 978-0310263418

Harrison, R. K. Introduction to the Old Testament. Reprint ed. Hendrikson Publishing, 2016. 1344 pages. $36.30 ISBN: 978-1619707498