Course Summary

Meaning in Old Testament law, wisdom, and psalms literature

The study deals with principal theological concepts found in three different kinds of Old Testament literature: legal, wisdom, and praise. The course considers essential elements in the covenant God established with Israel at Sinai and the relevance of those elements to modern life. The three modules of the course are designed to increase the student's knowledge of the basic elements of Old Testament theology and build on the student's general acquaintance with the Scriptures, especially those covered in BRS 123. Moreover, the course further develops the student's critical thinking and writing skills. The course is organized in three modules: (1) Theology in Law, (2) Theology in Wisdom, and (3) Theology in Psalms. 3 semester hours of undergraduate credit. BRS 121 and 123 are recommended prerequisites.  Not open to students with credit for BRS 3.


1. Formulate conclusions about the relevance of law, wisdom, and praise to the Sinai covenant

2. Synthesize theological elements that appear in the Old Testament

3. Determine the modern application of theological concepts found in the Hebrew Scriptures


Credit for the course requires a score of 70% or greater on each of three multiple choice examinations, an essay, and a book review.  The exams and writing assignments are valued at 20 percent each toward the course grade. A sample multiple-choice exam problem is given below:

Biblical wisdom advocates that the highest outcome of wisdom is (A) faith, (B) knowledge, (C) prosperity, (D) moral perfection.


A Bible

The following books that are accessed from Electronic Collection in the Course Menu:

Bartholomew, Craig G. and Ryan P. O'Dowd. Old Testament Wisdom Literature: A Theological Introduction.  IVP Academic, 2014. 336 pages.

Longman, Tremper. Old Testament Essentials: Creation, Conquest, Exile and Return. IVP Connect,
2014. 215 pages.

Seeskin, Kenneth. Thinking about the Torah: A Philosopher Reads the Bible.  A vol. of the JPS Essential Judaism Series. The Jewish Publication Society, 2016. 222 pages.

Should the student prefer a hard copy substitute, the following is recommended:

Waltke, Bruce. The Old Testament Theology: An Exegetical, Canonical, and Thematic Approach. Zondervan, 2007. 1024 pages. $35.59 ISBN: 978-0310218975