Course Summary

Formation of the Old Testament canon, the composition of the Old Testament books, and critical issues relating to Old Testament documents

The course assumes the student has a working understanding of the Old Testament. The task at hand shall be less concerned with content and theological meaning than with matters that enlighten the study of the biblical text. The study introduces issues which the modern student faces when reading the Old Testament. Prerequisites: BRS 121, BRS 123. 3 semester hours of undergraduate credit. Credit not allowed if the student has completed BRS 5.

The course is organized in three modules: (1) The Torah,תּוֹרָה, (2) The Nevi'im (Prophets),נְבִיאִים, and (3) The Ketuvim (Writings), כְּתוּבִים.


1.  Explain the diversity of literary genre in the Tanakh

2.  Solve perceived textual problems located in the Tanakh

3.  Apply literary analysis to interpret the content of the Tanakh

Credit for the course requires a score of 70% or greater on each of three exams and two essays. Each element will count for 20% of the final grade. A sample multiple choice exam problem is given below.

Translations are (A) never reliable, (B) always reliable, (C) reliable only insofar as they accurately give the meaning of a passage, (D) valuable for modernizing out-of-date content.


Extra-biblical resources include Internet articles and videos are complemented by three e-books that deal with Torah, Writings, and Prophets.  The e-books are located in the Electronic Collection and have no cost associated with them.  The following may be substituted if one wishes to locate a hardcopy survey.

Hill, Andrew H. and John H. Walton. A Survey of the Old Testament. 3rd. ed. Zondervan Publishing 
House, 2009. 800 pages. $31.57 ISBN: 978-0310280958