Course Summary

An introduction to the 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. 5 semester hours of undergraduate credit.

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. Appraise relationships among the key people in the Old Testament.

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

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

4. Arrange important Old Testament events in chronological order

5. Synthesize information from multiple biblical text.


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.

Forum Postings

Up to 20 forum postings of statements or responses are recommended. The postings will provide further opportunity to learn and will create interaction with other students around the world.


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 will provide background information for each of the biblical books. While resources that appear in the Extended Resources and in the Online Library will prove helpful, the central text that is required reading is the Bible itself.

Brisco, Thomas V. Holman Bible Atlas: A Complete Guide to the Expansive Geography of Biblical History. Broadman and Holman Reference, 1999. 298 pages. $18.14 ISBN: 978-1558197091