Course Summary

Factual content of the Old Testament

The course introduces the people, places, and events found within the Old Testament, including a minimum of 100 personalities, major geographical sites, stories, events, and prophetic discourses. Moreover, an introduction to the different types of literary genres contained in the Old Testament will be given. Normally, this is the second course in an undergraduate certificate and/or degree program at NationsUniversity. The course is organized in five modules: (1) The Torah, (2) The Former Prophets, (3) The Latter Prophets, (4) The Writings: History, and (5) The Writings: Wisdom and Worship. 3 semester hours of undergraduate credit.  No credit allowed with former BRS 1. 

The course emphasizes self-discovery with a view toward achieving competency in biblical content. Until the student becomes acquainted with the content of the biblical text, there is little justification for moving forward with theology or application. Furthermore, critical thinking skills begin with an open mind, not with predetermined conclusions. Ignorance and hearsay only block the opportunity to draw sound conclusions. The study concentrates on primary sources, not secondary ones.  Consequently, course objectives point toward achieving a high level of literacy regarding the biblical text. Critical issues and background studies are reserved for later courses.


1. Relate people to geographical locations, events, and institutions listed in the Old Testament

2. Compare and contrast the different types of literary genre contained in the Old Testament

3. Arrange important Old Testament events in chronological order


Credit for the course requires a score of 70 percent or greater on each of five multiple choice examinations. Each graded element is valued at 20 percent of the final grade.
A sample exam problem is given below:

A river flowed from the Garden of Eden and divided into this river: (A) Arnon, (B) Jordan, (C) Nile, (D) Tigris.


The primary resource you will need for this course is a Bible. You should read it several times during the course. The New International Version is recommended because of its readable translation and wide use. Exam questions will use the language and spellings found in this version. However, if the student has some other English version, this should do fine.

Secondary resources can supplement your study, but this is a study in primary source material, not in secondary sources.  You may consider the Extended Resources and the Online Library for secondary sources that will introduce the biblical books.  A Bible atlas, like the one listed below, is a handy tool for capturing a glimpse of the geography and general setting of the biblical world.

Brisco, Thomas V. Holman Bible Atlas: A Complete Guide to the Expansive Geography of Biblical History. Broadman and Holman Reference, 2014. 256 pages. $25.37 ISBN: 978-0805497601

See Electronic Collection on the Course Menu for a secondary source available without cost to the student.