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This course explores the major themes of the Old Testament. Particular attention will be given to the themes of creation, calling, covenant, redemption, holiness, theocracy, testing, exile and return.

Your Assignments

Theological Theme Essays:
Each week students will write an essay on a selected theological theme to be derived from
the Old Testament. More specific instructions will be provided in the weekly assignment
instructions on Moodle, but the following general guidelines apply. Each essay should
contain the following elements:

(1) An introduction that introduces the Old Testament theological theme under
consideration and the Old Testament texts to be analyzed in the essay (1 paragraph
total; at least 150 words).

(2) A main section that analyzes the assigned Old Testament texts in order to discern their
contributions to the theological theme. This section should include a discussion of the
similarities and differences between each text’s perspective, ideas, or assertions
pertaining to the theological theme (2-3 paragraphs total; at least 400 words).

(3) A conclusion that summarizes the most significant aspects of the theological theme as
derived from the assigned Old Testament texts, and further indicates potential
implications for the student’s life, theology, ministry, and/or community of faith (1
paragraph total; at least 200 words).

Essays should primarily reflect students’ honest interaction with the Old Testament texts.
As such, students may not consult secondary resources (commentaries, Bible dictionaries,
etc.) except by permission of the professor. Students should also avoid drawing on Christian
theology and New Testament texts in their presentation of theological themes and in their
analysis of the assigned Old Testament texts. Each point of analysis and each conclusion
drawn should point to one or more details in the Old Testament text for support.

Interpretive Issues Position Papers:
Each week students will write a position paper dealing with a selected interpretive issue
related to the study of the Old Testament. More specific instructions will be provided in the weekly assignment instructions on Moodle, but the following general guidelines apply.

  • Introductory information necessary to engage with the interpretive issues will be provided in the weekly video presentation, so students should view the presentation before beginning their papers
  • Secondary resources should only be consulted when assigned or approved by the professor, and should be properly cited if utilized.
  • Students are required to adopt and present a particular position or stance on each interpretive issue, and must explain and defend their position while critically evaluating the relevant data, ideas, etc.

Databases Related by Subject

Resources Recommended by Your Instructor

Old Testament Introductions, Surveys, and Criticism:

Old Testament Theology and Ethics:

Methods of Interpretation:

Social/Historical/Cultural Background:

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