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An Instructor’s Manual to

An Introduction to the Old Testament

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Table of Contents

Suggested Websites 2

Chapter Summaries 7

Student Learning Objectives by Chapter 60

Chapter Quizzes and Answers by Chapter 71

Midterm and Final Exams 143

Suggested Essay Questions by Chapter 153

Sample Syllabi 160

Suggested Websites

Bible Maps and Background:

Biblical Backgrounds



Bible Pictures



Artwork and Collections



Werner-Forman Archive



Middle East Images



Images of Archaeological Sites



Images from Israel



The Bible Atlas



Bible History Online



LDS Study Helps



Institute for Judaism and Christian Origins



Biblical Studies UK



Bible Mapper



Bible Atlas



Bible Maps and Charts



Bible Places



Bible Texts and Extras:

Glo Bible



Tyndale House Toolbar



Hebrew Bible Project



Academic Online Bibles



Westminster Leningrad Codex



Biblical Manuscripts



Scripture and Resources



Biblical and Extrabiblical Commentaries:



ANE and Greco-Roman Texts:

Loeb Classical Library



Perseus Digital Library



Classical Literature



Ugaritic Texts



Library of Ancient Texts Online



Electronic Tools and Ancient Near Eastern Archives



Ancient Texts and Myths



Electronic Text Corpus of Sumerian Literature



Ancient Assyrian Texts



Hittite Texts



Ancient Egyptian Texts



K.C. Hanson’s Collection of Documents



Academy for Ancient Texts



Classics Archive



OT Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha:

NET Bible



Pseudepigrapha, Apocrypha, and Sacred Writings



Online Pseudepigrapha



Early Jewish Writings



Septuagint:

Septuagint Online



English LXX



New English Translation of the Septuagint



Greek Bible in the Roman World



Dead Sea Scrolls:

Scrolls from the Dead Sea



Digital Dead Sea Scrolls



Scrolls from the Dead Sea



Virtual Qumran



Dead Sea Scroll Collection



Talmud and Mishnah:

Jewish Sacred Texts



Jewish Virtual Library



Ancient Bible Versions



Talmud



Targumim



Patristic Writings:

Christian Classics Ethereal Library



Orthodoxy on Patristics and Monastics



Fathers of the Church



NT Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha:

Gnostic Library



Non-canonical Literature



Pseudepigrapha, Apocrypha, and Sacred Writings



Early Christian Writings



Apocryphal Writings



Deuterocanonical Books



Chapter Summaries

Chapter 1 – Introduction

Key Terms

minimalism, biblical historiography, terseness, parallelism, meter, imagery, genre, narrator, point of view, plot, character

Key Points

• When a person reads the Old Testament and later New Testament he/she take into account the historical, literary, and theological concerns of the writers.

• The study of the OT keeps the ancient context and modern application in mind when reading and living out biblical faith.

Chapter Summary

Before we really delve into the OT, we should consider some introductory notes. First, there are a number of ways to write an Introduction to the Old Testament, but our approach is from a confessional perspective, specifically Protestant evangelical. One can certainly read the OT as a Roman Catholic or Orthodox Christian or even an agnostic or atheist, but the presuppositions and even take away for these diverse readers would be distinct from our enterprise. Second, we ask questions of the OT from a historical-critical perspective. The biblical stories contain real events, ideas, and people, so we want to understand all of this in its original context. Third, it is essential that we consider the OT from historical, literary, and theological viewpoints. If we read these books in a purely historical manner, then we would not note the verbal artistry and thematic intentionality by which writers share the story. Neither would we be able to discern the theological development and telos for how these events and people figure in to God’s plan of reconciling the creation to himself.

Pedagogical Suggestions

• Read a popular OT narrative or psalm out to the class and ask how we observe both the ancient context and contemporary application.

• Ask the class why it is essential to think firstly well about God and then to live secondly out of that faith.

Suggested Essay Questions

• What role does archaeology play in the study of the OT?

• Explain one of the two cautions to the study of the OT.

Other Media Sources/Websites





Chapter 2 – Genesis

Key Terms

JEDP, Redactors, Fragmentary Approach, Supplementary Approach, Form Criticism, Tradition History

Key Points

• Note the indications of editorial activity in Genesis and also the greater literary unity between Genesis 1-11 and 12-50.

• The patriarchal narratives take up Genesis 12-36, 38 while the Joseph narrative occurs in Genesis 37, 39-50. Keep in mind the authorial emphases.

Chapter Summary

Genesis is the foundation story for the OT and then the greater biblical story set forth and culminated with the NT. Genesis teems with questions regarding how to understand the creation of the cosmos and humanity in Genesis 1-2; the departure from the garden and rebellion of humanity in Genesis 3; the various genealogies and stories set forth in Genesis 4-11; and then the focus on Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph in Genesis 12-50. There are many ideas set forth concerning the sources and composition of Genesis, but regardless of how a person understands the discrete stories, the final form evinces a unified foundation story for Israel.

The author of Genesis is nowhere identified in the biblical canon. However, tradition posits Moses as the author because of his close connection with the other books of the Torah and which are treated as a unit. The authors of this text posit Moses as the divinely inspired editor of preexisting material, whether in oral or written form.

The primeval history of Genesis 1–11 has many parallels with the literature of the ANE, especially that of Mesopotamia. Though many scholars have suggested dependence/borrowing to explain these parallels, the authors of this text suggest that the similarities result from a shared conceptual world or a common source, while the differences reveal important theological commitments of the biblical authors.

The creation account presents Yahweh as the creator who brings order and functionality to the cosmos. The narrative then shifts from God to people and the destruction brought by human sin. The flood presents God's punishment of sin but his preservation of a faithful remnant. The Babel narrative establishes the need for special revelation, which God provides through the family of Abraham.

The patriarchal narratives of Genesis 12–50, though not intended to be journalistic history, still contain genuine historical information. Our examination of the archeological evidence from the period corroborates much of the information about lands, culture, and lifestyle in the biblical narratives. The purpose of the narratives in 12–50 is to introduce obstacles to the covenant, caused by circumstances or human sin, which God subsequently overcomes. Obstacles arise primarily in challenges to the survival and propagation of the covenant family.

Pedagogical Suggestions

• Chart the literary and artistic design of the creation week (e.g., making a space and then filling it).

• Ask the question of students why genealogies (Toledoth formulae) are essential to understanding the Genesis story and Israelite history.

Suggested Essay Questions

• If the messianic seed is understood to come from Judah’s line, why is so much material dedicated to the Joseph story and Ephraim?

• What are the advantages and disadvantages of the Documentary Hypothesis and source-critical studies?

• What are some possible reasons why Genesis 39-50 is about Joseph and not about someone from the tribe of Judah?

Other Media Sources/Websites









Chapter 3 – Exodus

Key Terms

Decalogue, Book of the Covenant, early 15th century date, late 13th century date, Horeb/Sinai

Key Points

• The literary structure first focuses on release from bondage (Exo 1-18), then the giving of the Law (Exo 19-24), and finally the building of the tabernacle (Exo 25-40).

• The inside of the camp is considered holy and clean, while the outside of the camp is foreign or unclean.

Chapter Summary

Exodus demonstrates that Yahweh is a rescuing and redeeming God for Israel. The exodus event, however it should be understood with respect to archaeological and historical data, is a watershed experience to form Israel’s identity. In addition to redeeming the people from slavery, God gave the people his instructions for how to maintain the covenant relationship. He also made Israel build a wilderness sanctuary in order to know and approach their covenant and redeeming God. Tradition attributes the book of Exodus to Moses; modern scholars grant varying degrees of responsibility to Moses as writer, but most acknowledge Moses as the source of the material found in Exodus. Those who accept the Documentary Hypothesis attribute the final redaction of the book to a priestly writer during or after the exile. The authors of this text argue that the material in Exodus primarily originated with Moses, but that he did not compile the book into its present form.

The historical period narrated by Exodus spans approximately eighty-five years. However, scholars have struggled to determine the approximate date of the exodus, primarily because only two Egyptian pharaohs ruled for more than forty years (the duration of Moses' exile in the wilderness). The argument for an early or late date rests primarily on one's interpretation of the numbers recorded in the Bible, as well as the extra-biblical historical and archeological information.

Geographical considerations further complicate our understanding of the exodus as we try to reconstruct the route taken by the Israelites. The authors of this text prefer the traditional southern route, which most convincingly accommodates the biblical and geographical information.

Exodus explains how the Israelites came to be enslaved in Egypt and were later delivered; reveals the character of God, who keeps his promises to the patriarchs and adopts Israel as his covenant people; and instructs the Israelites in how to maintain their covenant relationship with Yahweh. The book of Exodus divides into the narratives of Israel in Egypt, their journey through the wilderness, and their sojourn at Sinai. Throughout Exodus, God progressively reveals more of his person and character to Abraham's offspring and establishes his presence in their midst.

Pedagogical Suggestions

• Have students list the various Egyptian plagues and their association with Egyptian deities or religious beliefs.

• Draw out the design of the wilderness tabernacle and Israelite tribal camp.

Suggested Essay Questions

• How does the Israelite camp design reflect the creation account in Genesis 1-2?

• Based on the biblical and historical evidence does one exodus date have more appeal? Is it possible that the question of the exodus date is too narrow and that there may have been more than one?

• Describe the configuration of the wilderness tabernacle and the Israelite camp.

Other Media Sources/Websites

See suggested websites above.





Chapter 4 – Leviticus

Key Terms

Holiness Code, five offerings, Day of Atonement, ritual purity

Key Points

• The five types of sacrifices give various ways in which Israelites can be reconciled to Yahweh and to each other.

• The Holiness Code sets forth how Israelites should live out ritual purity.

Chapter Summary

This third book of the Pentateuch provides instructions for priestly activity and outlines the standards of holy living for the community. Though the book does not specify its author, the traditional view ascribes the work to Moses, based on the book's own claim. Scholars date the book according to their dating of the exodus. An early exodus places the book in the early stages of the Late Bronze Age, while a late date places the book between the Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age. Those who adhere to the Documentary Hypothesis ascribe the entirety of Leviticus to the priestly source. The authors of this text argue for Moses as the author, writing during the Sinai sojourn.

The ritual and sacrificial systems prescribed in Leviticus share many similarities to the customs of the ANE. However, the Hebrew system bears several important distinctions, revealing unique theological understandings.

Leviticus picks up where Exodus left off in the narrative of Israel's journey. The book prescribes the procedures for liturgical worship and the regulations for holiness in the community, concluding with the establishment of the covenant between Yahweh and Israel.

Holiness is a central theme of Leviticus. When applied to God, this concept denotes God's separation from his creation; when applied to God's creatures, the concept indicates something that has been set apart for God's service. The purpose of the sacrificial system was to allow the people to worship God and to maintain his presence in their midst.

Leviticus provides a number of ritual purity laws. At first glance it seems that the divine instructions are too rigid, but they are for the health, safety, and holiness of the people. This includes animal and grain offerings to restore covenant among the people and God. They ensure a covenant relationship between the Israelite tribes and Yahweh. The historical, literary, and theological sections are helpful in order to understand the contexts of Leviticus.

Pedagogical Suggestions

• Have students divide up in groups for those who have a skin irritation or cut or have not kept any of the various Holiness Codes so they can see the rigid purity laws.

• Have students divide up and read the blessings and curses to each other.

Suggested Essay Questions

• Describe the reason and benefit of the five offerings.

• Why is diet, circumcision, and ritual purity so essential to covenant relationship to Yahweh?

Other Media Sources/Websites





Chapter 5 – Numbers

Key Terms

chiasm, chronological structure, topographical structure, topical structure

Key Points

• Numbers can be read and structured in a variety of ways, depending on whether the reader focuses on chronology, topography, or topicality.

• A major theme is the death of one generation and the rise of a new generation.

Chapter Summary

The book of Numbers continues the narration of Israel's journey from Egypt to Canaan, focusing on Israel's rebellion and testing in the wilderness. The book is traditionally credited to Moses, though Moses is only once mentioned as the author. The text implies that priests were also instrumental in writing down God's instructions regarding priestly duties. Though some view the book as a compilation of at least four literary sources, others argue for the antiquity and unity of the work. The authors of this text assume that most of the literary material originated with Moses, though the book did not reach its final form till sometime after Moses' death.

Numbers covers a period of approximately thirty-eight years, divided into the completion of Israel's sojourn at Sinai, the wilderness wandering, and the journey of the second generation from Kadesh to Moab. The dating of Numbers (whether early or late) depends largely on the date assigned to the exodus. Though some scholars have questioned the historicity of Numbers (based on the lack of corroborating archeological evidence), the authors of this text find such skepticism unwarranted.

The purpose of the book of Numbers is to extol the patience and faithfulness of Yahweh and to further explicate the nature of his covenant with Israel. Though holiness dominates the portrayal of God, other aspects of God's character also emerge in his interactions with his people. Numbers explains how the people came to enter Canaan after their flight from Egypt and sojourn at Sinai, and records the early history of God's covenant with the people after he forms them into a community. The book also serves as a warning to future generations as it records the tragic consequences of rebellion and disobedience against God.

One major theme of Numbers, the census lists, has caused difficulty for interpreters. Some prefer a literal interpretation, others a literary reading. The authors of this text suggest that the problem, while not categorically solved, is greatly reduced by reading the word usually translated "thousands" instead as military "units" or individual fighters.

This book demonstrates the manner in which God reveals himself to Israel in the midst of the ANE culture. Through the covenant stipulations, God rejects certain cultural practices, tolerates others, and embraces others. By situating his revelation in the midst of human culture, God reveals his respect for culture but also his higher commitment to holiness among his people.

Pedagogical Suggestions

• Have the students reflect on the necessary death of a generation of Israelites over the age of 20 years before the younger generation can enter Canaan.

• Consider the importance of genealogies and census taking.

Suggested Essay Questions

• Longman and Dillard give three ways to look at the structure of Numbers. Evaluate each.

• How is the wilderness theme appropriated in the Pentateuch, the rest of the OT, and then in the NT?

Other Media Sources/Websites





Chapter 6 – Deuteronomy

Key Terms

Deuteronomistic History, covenant treaty, suzerain, vassal, centralization, retribution

Key Points

• Deuteronomy both looks back to the rest of the Pentateuch and looks forward to taking and living in a new land.

• Deuteronomy carries expectations that are both taken up and either disobeyed or unknown to later Israel.

Chapter Summary

Deuteronomy is presented as Moses' final address to the Israelites before his death, reminding them of the experiences of the previous generation and providing them with the opportunity to renew the covenant. Both the Documentary Hypothesis and the Deuteronomistic History Hypothesis date Deuteronomy late in the seventh century BC. The authors of this text argue for Mosaic authorship according to claims of the book itself. Scholars have debated whether the work more closely resembles the Neo-Assyrian or Neo-Hittite treaty form; the authors of this text argue that it is closer to the latter.

Deuteronomy formalizes and clarifies the covenant between Israel and Yahweh, giving the second generation opportunity to renew the covenant before they enter the land. The primary theme of the book is summarized in the Shema, which exhorts the people to follow and serve the Lord with their hearts.

The book is organized according to the ANE treaty formula. Though scholars long struggled to understand the logic of chapters 6–26, these chapters are now recognized as correlating to the Ten Commandments. The first four commands concern man's relationship with God, while commands 5–10 address man's relationship with man. The prohibition of other gods before Yahweh (Deut. 6–11) relates to God's authority over Israel and their responsibility to follow him. The command forbidding images (Deut. 12), concerns proper worship of Yahweh––God does not want Israel to adopt the cultic customs of the nations around them in constructing images to mediate his presence. Proper treatment of God's name (Deut. 13:1–14:21) exemplifies that true commitment to God will be reflected in one's conduct. The exhortation to respect the Sabbath (Deut. 14:22–16:17) concerns God's claims over his people, and the implications of this in their care for what God has given them and in their treatment of others. The command to honor parents (Deut. 16:18–18:22) carries implications for the proper response to human authority, for it was primarily through authority structures––particularly parents to children––that the covenant was preserved and passed on. The prohibitions against murder, adultery, and theft (Deut. 19–21; 22:1–23:14; 23:15–24:7) safeguard human dignity. The command against false testimony (Deut 24:8–16) concerns truthful dealings between neighbors. The command against coveting (Deut 24:17–26:15) protects the rights of individuals. The law as a whole is primarily concerned with proper approach to God and proper relationship with one's neighbor.

In the context of the ANE, the gods gave their worshipers no guidelines for proper worship; people were left to guess whether they were in proper relationship with the gods, based on their fortunes. The Israelites, however, received clear instructions from God for how he desired to be worshiped and how he expected the people to act in relation to each other. The Israelites thus viewed the law with gratitude and delight.

Pedagogical Suggestions

• Have students compare the Decalogue in Exodus and Deuteronomy.

• Like the blessings and curses in Leviticus, have the students speak them from Deuteronomy 27-28 as an emotive reminder of the life and death that reflects covenant keeping or covenant breaking.

Suggested Essay Questions

• How is the book of Deuteronomy a significant study for scholars, especially with respect to cultic reforms and the exilic period?

• Does Deuteronomy have more affinity with first millennium Assyrian treaties or second millennium Hittite treaties? Explain.

Other Media Sources/Websites





Chapter 7 – Joshua

Key Terms

early conquest date, late conquest date, minimalist rejection model, immigration model, peasant revolt model, collapse model, cyclic model, holy war, land, rest

Key Points

• There are marks of a unified assault conquest and a protracted conquest.

• There are biblical and historical data to give support to both the early and late date exodus options.

Chapter Summary

The majority of scholars attribute this book to the Deuteronomistic school, though others suggest an earlier date. While some contest the historicity of the book, arguing that it is composed of etiological legends, others press for the essential coherence and reliability of the conquest accounts. The lack of forthcoming archeological support further complicates the work of scholars.

Though we cannot be sure of exact dates, the events of Joshua probably took place after the Hyksos were expelled from Egypt and before the Sea Peoples invaded Palestine. Historical reconstruction presents Egypt as the dominant but distant power in Palestine during the time of Joshua, primarily concerned with protecting military outposts and trade routes.

Joshua's purpose is to reveal the role of God in keeping his covenant promises to Abraham by giving the land to Israel. The book describes the Israelites' entrance into the land, the commissioning of Joshua, and the conquest narratives, then details the territorial boundaries of the tribes and narrates the renewal of the covenant.

Pedagogical Suggestions

• Have the students list the similarities and differences among the conquest models.

• Note how Joshua sets covenant markers before and after entry into the land. Have students consider how physical covenant signs are important to obedient faith.

Suggested Essay Questions

• There are internal, textual difficulties with the Joshua conquest narrative. Evaluate the historically and theologically the conquest of Canaan.

• There are modern ethical sensibilities that question the idea of a “holy war” prescribed by God. How should this idea be understood in light of biblical and modern morality?

Other Media Sources/Websites





Chapter 8 – Judges

Key Terms

judges (minor and major), literary cyclical (or downward) spiral, Deuteronomist

Key Points

• Although there are literary and historical divergences with Joshua-Judges, they should be read as a literary complex.

• The tribal conquests, allotments, and figures all contribute to a proper understanding of the book.

Chapter Summary

Modern scholarship generally groups this book with the Deuteronomistic history; the dating of the book depends largely on an early or late date for the exodus. The author of Judges largely ignores major historical events, focusing rather on the theological implications of Israel's history. In contrast to its neighbors, which were organized as city-states, Israel was organized with a tribal structure.

The purpose of Judges is to explain the theological significance of the events between Joshua and David. The recurring disobedience and apostasy of the Israelites under the tribal leadership brings them under God's punishment (in enslavement) and subsequent mercy (in deliverance). The book demonstrates that the people need a king, not merely to lead them in battle, but to lead them in covenant faithfulness.

The judges were raised up by God to deliver the Israelites, but the book specifies very little of their role apart from military leadership. The Spirit of the Lord plays a prominent role in the book, at times granting authority to the judges and empowering them for their tasks.

To understand the apostasy of Israel evident throughout this book, we must consider the contrast between the monotheism taught in the covenant and the polytheism which pervaded Canaanite culture. The failure of the initial generations to perpetuate the covenant teaching ensured that the Israelites simply adopted the prevailing worldview of their neighbors.

Pedagogical Suggestions

• Have students read some of the Judges accounts out loud for a different effect.

• Talk about the real and transparent lives of these figures and how they are still God fearers.

Suggested Essay Questions

• How does the writer portray the idea of kingship, and how does this prepare the reader for the Samuel narrative?

• Samson is given positive and negative qualities. Describe these characteristics and how the writer wants us to understand this enigmatic figure.

Other Media Sources/Websites





Chapter 9 – Ruth

Key Terms

Megilloth, Ketubim, go’el (kinsman-redeemer)

Key Points

• Ruth is a Gentile woman who follows the Israelite worship of Yahweh.

• Ruth is a virtuous woman in the genealogy of King David.

Chapter Summary

Because of its placement within the Hebrew canon, the book of Ruth is not counted as part of the Deuteronomistic history. The dating of the book is uncertain, though a pre-exilic date gains increasing support. We also cannot be certain of the specific period of the judges during which the book occurred. The literary and dramatic qualities of the book have led to its classification as an idyll.

This book explains how, in the midst of apostasy and disobedience, covenant faithfulness could remain and be passed on to one such as David through his ancestors. We see God's hand of preservation upon those who were obedient, and his loyalty to the covenant.

Two practices built into Israelite society were designed to preserve family and land, the backbones of the covenant: the levirate marriage and land redemption. Both of these practices feature prominently in the book of Ruth. The covenant loyalty of the individuals in the book mirror and express God's own covenant faithfulness.

Pedagogical Suggestions

• The students can name all the reasons why Ruth should be disqualified from Israelite worship.

Suggested Essay Questions

• Even though God is rarely given mention, how does he figure into the Ruth story?

• Describe the social idea of a kinsman redeemer.

Other Media Sources/Websites





Chapter 10 – Samuel

Key Terms

Ark Narrative, corvée, 4QSam

Key Points

• There are both strong desires for and against kingship in Samuel.

• Samuel has the role of prophet and priest in Israel.

• The tribe of Benjamin (Saul) is rejected, and the tribe of Judah accepted (David).

Chapter Summary

First and Second Samuel were originally one book which followed Israel's history from the conclusion of the judges period to the establishment of the monarchy. Though the events of the book probably occurred in the 11th–10th centuries BC, it is difficult to determine when they were recorded.

The primary purpose of this book is to record the history of the Davidic covenant. The book introduces Samuel as the one who brings about the transition from the judges to the kings. Also marking this transition is the self-imposed exile of Yahweh, who abandons Israel because of her apostasy. The people's desire to establish a king demonstrates a further rejection of God; from the beginning, the people misunderstand the function of the human king, who was intended to represent the divine king, Yahweh. The first king, Saul, acts much like the judges of the previous age––providing temporary deliverance to the people from their enemies. His failure results from lack of spiritual depth and sound judgment. In the transition from Saul to David, the author is careful to avoid any implication of fault in David. The author intends to legitimize David's claim to the throne, but he does not conceal David's blameworthy actions. David's success as king is crowned by his retrieval of the ark of the covenant, the establishment of Yahweh's throne in Jerusalem, and the formation of the Davidic covenant.

David's sin with Bathsheba marks the beginning of his decline, and the following chapters record the sins of David and of his sons, which jeopardize the covenant. Though God remains faithful to David and preserves him through the rebellions of Absalom and Sheba, Samuel concludes with God bringing judgment on David through famine and plague.

Pedagogical Suggestions

• Students can trace the movement of David throughout his life on a map of Israel.

Suggested Essay Questions

• How do scholars understand the composition of Samuel?

• Compare some of the aspects of Samuel in the MT and Qumran manuscripts.

Other Media Sources/Websites



Chapter 11 – Kings

Key Terms

Former Prophets, Latter Prophets, Baba’ Bathra, antedating, postdating, Nisan, Tishri,

Key Points

• Kings has intertextual and interthematic associations with Deuteronomy in multiple places.

• Kings narrates the high and low points of Israelite and Judean monarchies.

Chapter Summary

The books of First and Second Kings record the history of Israel from the death of David to the fall of Jerusalem and the end of Hebrew national independence. Some scholars argue for a single author/redactor of Kings, while others ascribe the book to the Deuteronomistic school of writing. The authors of this text assert that the book was probably written between the fall of Jerusalem and the decree of Cyrus, perhaps in two stages. Many archeological findings have been unearthed which lend support to the biblical account.

The book surveys the history of Israel from the united empire under Solomon to the split of the monarchy under Rehoboam and records the political and religious occurrences of the divided kingdoms until their end. The Israelite kingdom suffered from great political instability and spiritual apostasy. By comparison, the southern kingdom of Judah enjoyed relative political and spiritual stability and lasted about 150 years longer. The greater success of the southern kingdom is tied to the legitimacy of the Davidic dynasty, through which God intended to establish eternal kingship in Israel.

Kings functions as a record of the covenantal failures of the Israelite kings and priests, who led the people into spiritual apostasy. Prophets functioned as divinely appointed messengers to guide the conscience of those in power. Disobedience resulted in the judgment of God on the entire nation. In contrast, obedience invited God's blessing. The narratives reveal the dynamic interaction between God's sovereign stewardship of the covenant and the reality of freedom and accountability in the recipients of the covenant. Kings thus functions as both a word of exhortation and of warning to the audience.

The book is arranged according to chronological sequence, with some concession to the author's thematic interests. The histories of the northern and southern kingdoms are recorded simultaneously, with the interweaving of concurrent narratives. Elijah and Elisha serve important theological functions as they testify to God's covenant faithfulness and uncontested power. The style of the kingship narratives resembles that of other ancient annals in the ANE.

Pedagogical Suggestions

• The students can list the Israelite and Judean kings and give a one sentence description of each.

• Students can take a map of Israel and Judah and learn well the place names from Deuteronomy to Kings.

Suggested Essay Questions

• How does the book of Kings begin and end, and what does this tell us about the author(’s, s’) emphases?

• Reflect on the similarities and differences between the royal Jerusalem cult and the popular countryside and village cult.

Other Media Sources/Websites





Chapter 12 – Chronicles

Key Terms

Paralipomenon, synoptic, chronicler, schism

Key Points

• Chronicles is a synoptic version of parts of Samuel and Kings.

• Chronicles portrays positively the Judean kings, temple and priesthood.

Chapter Summary

First and Second Chronicles were originally a single book ascribed (in Jewish tradition) to Ezra. Modern scholarship has largely rejected Ezra as author, and simply asserted an unknown, but probably priestly, chronicler drawing from a multitude of sources during the postexilic period. Along with Ezra-Nehemiah, Chronicles is probably one of last books of the OT canon to be written.

Chronicles covers the historical period from the close of Saul's reign to the Babylonian captivity of Judah. The chronicler writes this work as a "theology of hope," looking forward to future restoration in the midst of present distress. The freedom exercised by the chronicler over his sources has led scholars to question the accuracy of this book more than any other in the OT. Confessional scholars have asserted that the audience's thorough knowledge of Israelite history allowed the chronicler to select his material based on his theological emphases. His message focuses on the role of the united monarchy under David and Solomon in establishing and maintaining the temple in Jerusalem. He explains that Israel has brought the covenant curses upon herself by her disobedience and that Israel could only be restored by imitating the model of the faithful Jerusalem of the past.

The books of Chronicles begin with the building of Solomon's temple and close with the edict for the building of the second temple. The historical materials were probably gathered during two distinct periods: the ministries of Haggai and Zechariah and the reforms of Ezra and Nehemiah. The genealogies emphasize the unity of Israel and remind the people of God's faithfulness to the covenant with Abraham. Throughout his work, we see the chronicler's emphasis on the importance of worship, the priesthood, and the necessity of repentance; he makes extensive use of typology as a way of understanding the present.

Pedagogical Suggestions

• The students can examine the synoptic material to note differences between Samuel-Kings and Chronicles.

Suggested Essay Questions

• How does the book of Chronicles begin and end, and what does this tell us about the author(’s, s’) emphases?

• How are David and Solomon portrayed by the chronicler?

Other Media Sources/Websites





Chapter 13 – Ezra-Nehemiah

Key Terms

memoir, Artaxerxes I, Artaxerxes II, Cyrus Decree, Achaemenid,

Key Points

• Ezra-Nehemiah have similarities and differences with Chronicles, another Persian book.

• Ezra is about rebuilding the temple site; Nehemiah is about rebuilding the city walls.

Chapter Summary

Ezra and Nehemiah both ministered to Jerusalem during the postexilic period. The priest-scribe Ezra oversaw the religious revival of the postexilic community, while Nehemiah oversaw the rebuilding of Jerusalem’s wall. Both came from positions in the Persian royal court to minister in Palestine. Ezra and Nehemiah were originally a single composition of an anonymous postexilic chronicler; large portions of the text are written in Aramaic. The chronicler's theological interests include the covenant renewal with the restoration community, the rebuilding and rededication of the Jerusalem temple, the continuity of the pre- and postexilic Israel, and the legitimacy of the postexilic community as God's people.

Rather than inspiring hope in the people, the new temple only reminded them of glory lost and expectations unfulfilled. The community was threatened externally by hostile neighbors and internally by apathy and decay. Against this backdrop, Ezra and Nehemiah instituted their reforms. The accounts emphasize the covenant renewal of the postexilic community, reminding the people that God's faithfulness in the past represents his plan in their present and future. The book is arranged according to historical chronology and the author's theological emphases. Archeological findings corroborate the historical reliability of Ezra and Nehemiah; more difficult is determining the nature of the relationship between the men's respective ministries, since neither mentions the other.

The reform of the postexilic community was motivated by a desire to avoid a second exile and to preserve the ethnic identity of Israel. The reforms of Ezra and Nehemiah had immediate and long-term consequences on Judaism, both socially and religiously, many of which are reflected in the ministry of Jesus in the New Testament.

Pedagogical Suggestions

• Students can chart the Persian rulers and revolts.

• A map of the temple and Jerusalem in the 5th century can be studies for the topographical references in these books.

Suggested Essay Questions

• Evaluate the supposed dates for when Ezra and then Nehemiah (or Nehemiah and then Ezra) were in Jerusalem.

• What does this Ezra-Nehemiah literary complex tell us about Jewish schisms and tension in the Persian Yehud?

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Chapter 14 – Esther

Key Terms

satrap, Jamnia, apocryphal additions, diaspora, Purim, peripety, satire

Key Points

• Esther is a novella set in the Persian diaspora that had questions regarding canonicity and later Greek additions.

• Esther is an incredible story of bravery and persecution.

Chapter Summary

Much controversy surrounds the book of Esther, including questions of canonicity, genre, historicity, and authorship. The book is set during the reign of Xerxes I (Ahasueras), reigning during the 5th century BC. Contemporary sources fail to identify most of the major actors within the book, leading many to question the work's historicity, though this is not ample evidence to outweigh the book’s own insistence on its accuracy. The literary characteristics of the book indicate that the work is not intended as a historical chronicle; rather, it is intended to convey to the scattered Israelites a theological message of God's protection of his people and his judgment against their enemies.

The plot and message of Esther are structured around the technique of reversal, which is heightened by irony. The text is read annually at the celebration of Purim, which commemorates the deliverance of the Jews recorded in the book and also establishes its celebration. The events of the book imply that God's display of power is designed to confirm the people in their faith, rather than witness to the surrounding world, which has already observed God's revelation through Israel.

Pedagogical Suggestions

• Students should read the addition of Esther.

• Consider the Saul-Agag conflict in light of the Mordecai-Haman conflict.

Suggested Essay Questions

• What are some reasons why Esther had some difficulty being accepted in the Hebrew canon?

• Compare the Mordecai and Haman story with that of Saul and Agag.

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Chapter 15 – Job

Key Terms

dialogue cycles, Babylonian Job, Babylonian theodicy

Key Points

• The prologue and epilogue give a certain theological perspective to the poetic speeches.

• Although the setting is ancient, Job has a universalized appeal to wisdom.

Chapter Summary

Job was probably an Edomite living in the patriarchal period, though the composition of the book probably took place much later. Though the literature of the ANE bears many resemblances to this work, Job itself displays greater sophistication in its form and philosophical perspective. The book of Job seeks to discover God's policies concerning justice, specifically regarding his treatment of the righteous: does God's pattern of blessing the righteous interfere with their actual development of righteousness? The book of Job serves to vindicate God's policies as the author establishes and maintains Job's innocence. God's justice is maintained through his wisdom, by which he orchestrates the events of the world.

The prologue introduces the characters, sets the stage for the drama that follows, and presents the philosophical issues which the book will address. Three cycles of dialogues by Job and his friends occupy chapters 4–27. The friends affirm traditional theology (the "retribution principle") and its corollary, both of which Job also affirms. At the same time, Job defends his own innocence––which eventually leads him to accuse God of injustice. Job repeatedly requests a mediator, one to plead his case before God and provide restoration. Chapter 28, the Hymn to Wisdom, suggests that true wisdom has not yet been heard. In his following oath of innocence, Job intends to force God to act. Elihu enters the scene, affirming God's justice and the retribution principle, but rejecting its corollary. The final section of the book contains God's speeches to Job, Job's response, and the epilogue, in which Job is restored to his previous prosperity.

The book of Job confirms that God tends to act according to the retribution principle, but cautions that it cannot address the issue of causation. The book also affirms the divine attributes of wisdom, justice, and sovereignty.

Pedagogical Suggestions

• Students should consider how prose and poetry relate historical ideas and how much liberty and license an author or editor has with a story.

• The various speeches can be read out loud for a fresh engagement with the book.

Suggested Essay Questions

• Evaluate the context and time frame of the Job figure in relation to the patriarchs and Israelite history.

• How does wisdom, creation, and suffering all tie in to this ANE theodicy?

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Chapter 16 – Psalms

Key Terms

superscriptions, postscripts, Aramaisms, Akitu festival, psalm genres, Zion, Baal

Key Points

• The Psalter is a collection of 150 psalms in a 5 books.

• In addition to a messianic theology, more laments are in the first half with more praise or thanksgiving in the second half.

Chapter Summary

When speaking about the book of Psalms, we must distinguish between the individual authors and the editor who brought the psalms together and arranged them into their canonical form. Half of the psalms identify David as their author; several other authors are also named, and some psalms remain anonymous. The book of Psalms is divided into five books; close examination of the individual books reveals a purposeful arrangement intended to convey a message. The book was probably compiled in stages over a long period of time.

Most of the psalms can be classified as praise, lament, or wisdom, based on typical characteristics and a consistent format. Though we can observe some similarities between Israelite and Mesopotamian praise and lament, usually involving content and literary style, we also notice distinct differences, involving differing views of God and appropriate modes of worship.

The purpose and message of Psalms can be addressed at the level of the individual author and of the editor/redactor. Many of the psalms were probably written for liturgical use, others in response to historic circumstances, and others as private reflection. The book of Psalms as a whole concerns the vindication of the righteous and the punishment of the wicked, as well as God's commitment to the nation of Israel. The individual and national emphases merge in the person of David, as a righteous man needing vindication and as the ultimate king representing the nation of Israel.

The books of Psalms seems to be grouped thematically: Book I contains mostly laments; Book II focuses on events of David's reign; Book III reflects on the fall of the northern kingdom; Book IV affirms the hope and faith of the exiled people; and Book V emphasizes thanksgiving and praise to Yahweh. The first two psalms of the book introduce two major, recurring themes: the retribution principle and kingship. The book also addresses the relationship between God and nature––an important subject in light of the importance of agriculture in Israelite society and the popular theology of Israel's neighbors.

Pedagogical Suggestions

• Students should write their own praise, lament, and thanksgiving psalms.

Suggested Essay Questions

• What is thematically significant about each of the five books of the Psalter and the greater Psalter narrative?

• Reflect on the lament and thanksgiving genre. What are specific psalms of this genre type, and how do they function?

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Chapter 17 – Proverbs

Key Terms

anthology, Lady Wisdom, Lady Folly, Amenemopet, synecdoche, Marduk/Ishtar, Baal/Asherah,

Key Points

• The Proverbs are general maxims for living a godly and balanced life.

• Proverbs is an anthology of poetic sections taken from kings and fathers.

Chapter Summary

Proverbs contains eight collections of wise sayings, ascribed to Solomon, Agur, and Lemuel. The book also mentions the editorial work of Hezekiah's scribes, indicating that the book probably reached its final form sometime in the 6th century BC. Instructional wisdom was concerned with the three centers for teaching: the family/clan, the royal court, and the scribal schools. Hebrew wisdom literature developed during the united monarchy under Solomon and the divided monarchy under Hezekiah.

The purpose of Proverbs is to preserve wisdom for succeeding generations. The book is divided into discourse, collections of proverbs, and appendices, though these writings are not arranged systematically. Hebrew wisdom literature, unlike that of its neighbors, acknowledges only one God: Yahweh. The book emphasizes the close association of the fear of Yahweh with the knowledge of God. Because Yahweh is the source of wisdom, only those who know God can be wise. The blessings of the way of righteousness come when a proper relationship with Yahweh results in proper action toward one's neighbor. Proverbs has much to say about appropriate speech, as well as appropriate male-female relationships.

Pedagogical Suggestions

• Have students create modern day proverbs.

Suggested Essay Questions

• Compare and contrast Proverbs 1-9 and 10-31.

• In what way, if at all, can Lady Wisdom be associated with Jesus and his divine status?

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Chapter 18 – Ecclesiastes

Key Terms

Qoheleth, frame narrator, “meaningless”, “under the sun”

Key Points

• Ecclesiastes has a cynical realism for its poetic core and a frame narrator providing a theological perspective of the sage.

• True wisdom is to enjoy the people and pleasures of life for they are gifts from God.

Chapter Summary

The author of Ecclesiastes is identified as "Qoheleth," traditionally associated with Solomon. While not impossible, this view is problematic. Regardless of the identity of Qoheleth, the author is most likely an anonymous compiler of Qoheleth's wise sayings. The book contains a number of literary genres common to the ANE, in addition to works which address the incongruity between conventional wisdom and the reality of life experience. The basic message of Qoheleth is that nothing "under the sun" can give meaning to life, but that the pursuit of God can allow one to enjoy the pleasures of life as gifts from God. Both good and bad come from God, and both are used by God for his purposes.

The book states the problem, explains the author's experiences in attempting to solve the problem, and provides his solution: a worldview with God at the center. The author then applies his stated view to various life situations, particularly when facing adversity. Qoheleth's solution to facing adversity is followed by life advice, warnings, and injunctions.

Pedagogical Suggestions

• Students can talk about and develop an appreciation for “small things” in life based on Qoheleth’s material.

Suggested Essay Questions

• There seems to be a frame narrative that begins and concludes the book. Evaluate how we should understand the material from Qoheleth and that of the frame narrator.

• Describe whether the view of wisdom complements or contradicts or corrects the wisdom set forth in Proverbs and Job.

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Chapter 19 – Song of Songs

Key Terms

anthology of love poems, dramatic-character reading, allegory

Key Points

• Song of Songs is originally a collection of love poetry that is set as a love drama between a lover and her beloved.

• Although often allegorized, the book celebrates erotic human love and affection.

Chapter Summary

It is difficult to determine with certainty either the authorship or date of this writing. The superscription which references Solomon does not necessitate that Solomon be the author, and the mentions of Solomon within the book simply indicate that he is one of the leading characters in the love story. The work is probably best understood as an anonymous composition from the northern kingdom during the early preexilic period. There are no clear historical allusions or parallels in the book, though the poetry probably reflects events that occurred during Solomon's reign.

Song of Songs has puzzled interpreters because of its theme, the difficulty of classifying love poetry, and its inherent ambiguity. Several approaches to interpretation have been set forward: dramatic, typological, cultic, wedding cycle, didactic, allegorical, and literal.

Song of Songs is composed entirely in lyric poetry, quite similar to that found in Egypt during the New Kingdom. The structure of the book is difficult to identify because whatever structure one perceives will depend on the interpretation one prefers. The terse and ambiguous nature of poetry further complicates attempts to define an organizing framework.

From a literal-historical interpretation, the purpose of Song of Songs is to celebrate and provide instruction concerning heterosexual love. The book affirms the virtue of chastity, provides a model of love, and affirms the merit of physical love within marriage.

Pedagogical Suggestions

• Similar to other wisdom literature, students can write modern versions of the love poetry.

• Have the students attempt to identify whether it should be read as a two or three character drama.

Suggested Essay Questions

• What are the various ways in which Song of Songs was interpreted in Judaism and Christianity?

• What does the text of Songs actually say about sexuality, and how does this align or deviate from other texts of sexuality in the Bible?

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Chapter 20 – Isaiah

Key Terms

Holy One of Israel, remnant, Servant Songs,

Key Points

• Although there are some literary and contextual differences between chapters 1-39 and 40-66, the book has a remarkable unity.

• The children and events surrounding Isaiah ben Amoz should be understood before these figures and ideas take on typological shape for NT writers.

Chapter Summary

Because of the distinct shifts between chapters 1–40 and 41– 66, as well as the remarkable predictive prophecy in the earlier chapters, scholars generally posit at least two authors for this book.

Chapters 1–39 are set against the invasion of Israel by Tiglath-Pileser III. Damascus was subsequently conquered and the people were exiled as their land became part of the Assyrian Empire. The second major event underlying these chapters was the invasion of Judah by Sennacherib in 701. Because Hezekiah trusted in Yahweh, the Assyrian army was destroyed.

The purpose of Isaiah is to convey the trustworthiness of Yahweh. The book begins with oracles of indictment, and then records the commissioning of Isaiah. The author next treats the failures of Ahaz and delivers oracles against the nations. The “Woe” oracles shift to the time of Hezekiah, recording his alliances with Egypt, his deliverance from Sennacherib, and the prophecy of his downfall. Next is the exile to Babylon, then prophecy of political and spiritual restoration for Israel, effected in part by “the Servant”––possibly the ideal Davidic king. The author closes by addressing those who would return from exile in the future.

Pedagogical Suggestions

• Students observe thematic aspects of Isaiah both as influential over subsequent prophetic literature and NT writings.

Suggested Essay Questions

• Evaluate the issue of authorship in the book of Isaiah.

• Consider the Suffering Servant Song and how they both point to a singular and plural messianic servant of Yahweh.

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Chapter 21 – Jeremiah

Key Terms

LXX Jeremiah, MT Jeremiah, Vorlage, ´atbash, Oracles against the Nations, Book of Consolation, New Covenant

Key Points

• Jeremiah is the last prophetic word before Judah goes into exile and the land and temple are destroyed.

• Jeremiah also gives a remnant hope for a New Covenant between Yahweh and his people.

Chapter Summary

Unlike many of the OT books, Jeremiah provides information concerning its writing. After the prophet had been prophesying for about twenty years, God instructed him to record his prophecies; in obedience to this command Jeremiah employed Baruch to write down his dictations. After the first record was destroyed, a second was made. The biographical sections of the book were probably added later by Baruch.

Jeremiah's call came soon after the religious reform of Josiah and was quickly followed by the emergence of the Babylonian Empire. The destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadrezzar in 586 BC was followed by two deportations of the people to Babylon. Jeremiah was commissioned to warn the people of the consequences of their actions and to bring them back to covenant faithfulness. The book consists of poetic prophetic oracles (indictment, judgment, instruction, and aftermath), historical narratives, and prose speeches. Jeremiah explains God's policy for dealing with the nations: their evil and good deeds are measured on a scale, and when the evil outweighs the good by a certain amount, God sends judgment. Also notable in Jeremiah's writings is the proclamation of the new covenant. This covenant would be distinct from the other covenants in that it would contain only a document clause. People would not have to be taught the law, because it would be written on their hearts. The terms of the covenant, however, would be the same as that made with Abraham. The new covenant would thus be an extension of the previous covenants. Another prominent theme in Jeremiah is the difficulty caused by false prophets, who proclaimed a positive message to the people and accused Jeremiah of being a false prophet because of his negative message.

Pedagogical Suggestions

• The students can consider the youth of Jeremiah and the sacrifices and hardships it takes to be used by God.

Suggested Essay Questions

• What is the social, political, and religious situation in Jerusalem and Judea like in Jeremiah’s day?

• Describe the differences between LXX and MT versions of Jeremiah.

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Chapter 22 – Lamentations

Key Terms

Nebi’im, acrostic, city lament, Mischgattung, qinah, persona

Key Points

• Lamentations is a profound lament and a thoughtful collection of poems.

• Even despite horrific tragedy, Yahweh has hope for his covenant people.

Chapter Summary

The LXX and Jewish tradition ascribe this book to Jeremiah, but, given the lack of evidence, it is better to see it as an anonymous composition by an eyewitness of the fall of Jerusalem. Lamentations was probably written between the fall of Jerusalem and the release of Jehoiachin from prison in Babylon. The book is a response to the destruction of Jerusalem and its aftermath. Lamentations is less concerned with recording the historical data surrounding the fall and more with capturing the pathos of the judgment against Israel, who had brought upon herself the covenant curses. The poet acknowledges the justice of God's actions against his people and finds hope even in God's anger, which indicates his ongoing concern for Israel.

Lamentations is composed of five poems: three funeral dirges and two "complaints": individual and communal. The book explores the themes of human suffering––inevitable because of the fall––and divine abandonment. The latter is caused, not by God's impotence, but by Israel's sin and disobedience. The poet urges Yahweh to return to dwell among his people.

Pedagogical Suggestions

• Similar to the other poetry writing exercises, have students write out a poem over a personal or known tragedy.

Suggested Essay Questions

• What is a “city lament”, and how does this fit the style and content of Lamentations?

• What are elements of deep poetical reflection and emotional responses to Yahweh?

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Chapter 23 – Ezekiel

Key Terms

Kebar (Chebar) River, Pharaoh Neco, Zedekiah, Son of Man

Key Points

• Ezekiel witnesses the departure or exile of Yahweh’s presence and then receives a vision of that presence over a restored land, temple and city.

• Before restoration can occur, Judeans and foreign nations have to be punished for their rebellion.

Chapter Summary

The autobiographical style of Ezekiel, together with its internal uniformity and consistency, suggest that the book was written by the prophet himself. Ezekiel most likely ministered from Babylon, addressing his audience indirectly and becoming aware of the situation in Jerusalem through his ecstatic-transport visions. Ezekiel's ministry stems from the political and religious policies of Manasseh, which brought the decree of disaster upon Jerusalem. The revival and reform under Josiah averted judgment, but only temporarily, and Jerusalem eventually fell to the Babylonians under Nebuchadrezzar. Ezekiel was among the exiles deported to Babylon.

Ezekiel is essentially a theodicy; its three-part message corresponds to the three phases of Ezekiel's ministry among the Hebrews. Ezekiel first warns the people of impending judgment; after the destruction of the city, Ezekiel warns the surrounding nations of God's impending judgment for their sin; finally, Ezekiel inspires the captives with hope of future restoration and the coming of a messianic, Davidic king. Ezekiel's message centers on the sovereignty of God over both his people and the Gentile nations, as well as the responsibility of each individual generation for its own sin.

The address "Son of man" is used by God of Ezekiel approximately ninety times, emphasizing the divinity of the message, in contrast to the humanity of the recipient. The phrase also emphasizes the symbolic nature of Ezekiel's life, in that he served as an object lesson for the captive Israelites.

Pedagogical Suggestions

• Ezekiel exhibits a number of odd behaviors like cooking food over animal dung and lying for multiple months on one side and then the other. How can we relate God’s truth and revelation to abnormal activity?

Suggested Essay Questions

• Describe the judgment vision in Ezekiel 8-11.

• How is the temple and land described in chapters 40-48?

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Chapter 24 – Daniel

Key Terms

abomination of desolation, court narrative, apocalyptic prophecy, telescoping, Antiochus Epiphanes IV, Darius the Mede, Greek additions

Key Points

• Daniel is an interesting book mixed in language, genre, style, and content.

• The book and its characters begin during the Babylonian and Persian contexts but find culmination and significance during the Hellenistic period and the NT era.

Chapter Summary

Though the events of Daniel are set during the 6th Century BC, many scholars believe that the book was written during the 2nd century BC. Those supporting this view argue that Daniel should be classified as apocalyptic literature. However, both internal and external evidence could support an earlier date.

King Nabopolassar oversaw the overthrow of the Assyrian empire; his son Nebuchadrezzar oversaw the establishment of the Babylonians as the dominant world power. The kingdom of Judah experienced constant conflict with the Babylonians, escalating in the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in 586 BC. Daniel was part of the first deportation of the Jews in 605 BC. After Nebuchadrezzar’s death, the Babylonian Empire declined until it was finally taken over by Cyrus in 539 BC. Cyrus allowed many of the deported peoples, including the Jews, to return to their homes and sanctuaries.

The first six chapters of Daniel address events, while the remainder of the book contains visions. Each half of the book is ordered chronologically. Viewed differently, the book could be divided between chapters five and six, with the first section illustrating a deteriorating opinion of Jewish worship, and the latter section an increasing persecution of Jewish worship. Whichever scheme we adopt, God’s sovereign control over the spiritual and political aspects of life stands as one of Daniel’s key themes. The book demonstrates that the climax of God’s agenda for Israel is the kingdom of God, a kingdom that would never be destroyed. Human empires, in contrast, are only temporary and exercise limited dominion. The downfall of the earthly kings is their pride, while the downfall of Israel was her rebellion against God.

Pedagogical Suggestions

• Read the three additional stories to Daniel, and discuss their usefulness in biblical history.

Suggested Essay Questions

• Evaluate the differences in style from the court narrative in chapters 1-6 and apocalyptic vision in 7-12.

• What are the alleged historical challenges with the book of Daniel?

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Chapter 25 – Hosea

Key Terms

Gomer, Ahaz, Pekah, Rezin, Jezreel, Lo-ruhama, Lo-ammi, Syro-Ephraimite War

Key Points

• Hosea has three chapters of prologue to the rest of the book and then the following Minor Prophets or Book of the Twelve.

• Hosea is the only Israelite prophet that delivers oracles against northern Israel filled with flora and fauna imagery and metaphor.

Chapter Summary

This book is attributed to the prophet Hosea. His prophetic message to the northern kingdom of Israel was prompted both by Israel's unfaithfulness to Yahweh and the threat of Assyrian aggression. Hosea probably began to prophesy soon before the death of Jeroboam II. Under Jeroboam's leadership, the kingdom experienced a political and economic resurgence, leading to the development of a wealthy merchant class in Israel. God commissioned Amos to prophesy against the corruption and decay of Israel's leadership some years earlier, but his message went unheeded. Yahweh then prepared a lawsuit against his people, which was delivered by Hosea. After Jeroboam's death, Hosea's threats become reality with the rapid decline of the northern kingdom.

The covenant relationship between Yahweh and Israel was graphically depicted in Hosea's relationship with his harlot wife, Gomer. Hosea was charged to call the rebellious people back to faithful devotion to Yahweh. Though he prophesied immediate, impending judgment, he also spoke a message of hope, that Yahweh was both willing and able to restore his adulterous people.

The first three chapters recount Hosea's marriage relationship with Gomer and preface the following prophecies, which depict the covenant "marriage" between Israel and Yahweh. Scholars have differed on their interpretation of the marriage between Hosea and Gomer, but the authors of this text favor the view of one literal marriage. In this view, Gomer is unchaste both before and during the marriage.

At the heart of God's controversy with Israel was the latter's conflicted loyalty between Canaanite Baalism and Hebrew Yahwism. Orthodox Yahwism demanded exclusive worship of Yahweh alone, but the people repeatedly fell into religious syncretism with the cultic practices of their neighbors. The people were not only figuratively committing spiritual adultery against Yahweh, but also literally prostituting themselves with sexual acts associated with the fertility cult. Ironically, God's judgment against the people targeted the areas of life which were deemed most sacred to the Baal cult: agricultural abundance; material prosperity; sexual vitality and fertility; shrines, altars, and idols; and military might.

Pedagogical Suggestions

• Have students consider following God’s instructions, even if they do not make sense or appear contradictory. Is Hosea’s situation descriptive or prescriptive?

Suggested Essay Questions

• How does the Hosea 1-3 prologue prepare the reader for the judgment in 4-14?

• Reflect on the morality of Hosea taking a promiscuous woman in light of the Torah and Israelite law.

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Chapter 26 – Joel

Key Terms

Spirit of Yahweh, Pentecost

Key Points

• The locusts and possible army invasions are not simply a terror on the land but also on the center of temple life.

• For an OT context, Joel is important in showing the expectation that all people will have the Spirit of Yahweh. For a NT context, this is realized at Pentecost in Acts.

Chapter Summary

One difficult issue for Joel concerns the date. While the overall message of the book does not depend on our knowledge of date, the historical context could shed light on Joel's message. The authors of this text favor a postexilic date based primarily on the similarities between Joel and classical prophecy. The background of the book is difficult to reconstruct, given the uncertainties of Joel's date; the authors of this text favor the period after the construction of the temple by Zerubbabel and before the destruction of Edom.

Joel is primarily concerned to address "the day of the Lord," correlating the locust plague with the judgment that would characterize that period. He calls the people to repent, and when the people respond positively, he announces a coming period of prosperity.

Pedagogical Suggestions

• Although we do not think of the relationship of the temple cult and land as integrally connected like in Joel, how are everyday activities and ideas religiously motivated and significant?

Suggested Essay Questions

• What is the historical context and authorship of Joel?

• What is the relationship between the temple cult and the sacrificial foods that are threatened from the coming locust invasion?

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Chapter 27 – Amos

Key Terms

Tekoa, judgment speeches, vision reports, the day of the Lord

Key Points

• Amos begins by giving Oracles against the Nations, including his area of Judah, and then speaks to the destruction of northern Israel.

• Amos expects a restored Jerusalem Temple, and NT writers use Amos to speak about Jewish and Gentile inclusion into God’s kingdom.

Chapter Summary

We do not know how Amos' prophecies were recorded, but is seems most likely that he wrote down his revelations after his return from Tekoa, two years after his prophetic ministry in Bethel. Amos probably ministered to the northern kingdom just before the death of Jeroboam II. This king brought material prosperity and political stability to the people, but also social and moral decay. Amos denounces the sin of the Gentile nations and of Israel, foretelling their future destruction. He corrects the people's faulty conception of "the day of the Lord," then relates his five vision experiences. The prophet concludes with the promise of messianic restoration and blessing. The major theme of Amos is the importance of social justice as the ethical imperative of a covenant relationship with Yahweh.

Pedagogical Suggestions

• Have students examine the issues regarding social justice today in their personal sphere, school, city, nation, and world.

Suggested Essay Questions

• Reflect on Amos’ opening Oracles against the Nations in chapters 1-2.

• Why is it significant that a Judean non-prophet like Amos has a platform in Bethel in northern Israel?

Other Media Sources/Websites

See suggested websites above.





Chapter 28 – Obadiah

Key Terms

Edom, Divine Warrior

Key Points

• Regrettably, Judah’s ancient relation, Edom, takes part in the destruction and pillaging of Jerusalem.

• Obadiah emphasis Yahweh’s ultimate supremacy over the nations.

Chapter Summary

Obadiah is the shortest book of the OT; it contains no information concerning the time or place of its origin. Scholars have dated Obadiah between 850 and 400 BC, based on the assumption that vv. 11–14 refer to a specific event in Israelite history relating to Edom. The authors of this text prefer to interpret the event as the destruction of Jerusalem. Edom was descended from Esau, son of Isaac; Edom and Israel became enemies during the reigns of Saul and David. Obadiah condemns the Edomites' mistreatment of Judah and foretells their doom; he moves from Edom specifically to the universal judgment which will accompany the "day of the Lord." The prophet also addresses the godly remnant of Israel, promising deliverance and restoration of the people at the consummation of God's kingdom. Throughout the book, the prophet emphasizes the sovereignty of God over the nations.

Pedagogical Suggestions

• Families often have tension and conflict. The ancient problems between Jacob and Esau were realized between Judah and Edom. Have the students consider broken familial relations and how to restore them.

Suggested Essay Questions

• How is Edom portrayed as the enemy and kin of Israel?

• Discuss the blending of immediate historical contexts and later apocalyptic expectation in the short book.

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Chapter 29 – Jonah

Key Terms

Nineveh

Key Points

• Jonah is a story of how God can have mercy on whom he has mercy and judgment on whom he has judgment.

• The Israelite prophet cannot understand how the Assyrian enemies are not destroyed.

Chapter Summary

Though Jonah lived in the 8th century BC, we are not certain of the date of the book, which is anonymous. Because of the strange events related in the book, some have identified Jonah as allegory, parable, or midrash. Others affirm the historical nature of the book. The authors of this text assert that the text is authentic and factual.

The book is set during the reign of Jeroboam II, who was able to regain much of the territory won by David and Solomon. Israel at this time also enjoyed economic prosperity and relative political autonomy.

Careful reading of this book suggests that we ought to equate Jonah with Nineveh: both are faced with impending calamity, both seek to avert the calamity by taking action; the action taken by both is insufficient, but is made sufficient by divine grace. However, Nineveh experiences nothing like Jonah's loss of his shade plant through the parasite. Jonah is not spared his calamity, but receives the treatment he desired God to deal to Nineveh. The message of the book concerns God's sovereign right to bestow grace and compassion on whomever he will. Nineveh's attempt at self-preservation was insufficient, but it did delay the inevitable judgment.

Jonah is organized into two parallel halves, both of which start with a call from God and a response from Jonah, who then encounters pagans who are forced to reckon with Jonah's God. Jonah's attitude forces him to confront God, whose compassion and deliverance bring the sections to a close. The theme of theodicy receives an ironic twist as Jonah questions God's leniency toward the wicked. The book answers the question by affirming God's right to be "slow to anger."

Pedagogical Suggestions

• Exodus 34:6-7 is the Israelite Creed of Yahweh’s character. Have students think about this creed as it applies to them, people they love, and people they dislike.

Suggested Essay Questions

• Evaluate the literary devices and overall tone of Jonah.

• What is the effect on the reader when the last line is a rhetorical question posed by Yahweh?

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Chapter 30 – Micah

Key Terms

dispute oracle, Samaria

Key Points

• Micah proclaims that the same judgment that occurred to Samaria and Israel will also happen to Jerusalem and Judah.

Chapter Summary

The superscription of this book indicates that Micah prophesied in the last half of the 8th century––probably also the time when the prophecies were recorded. Most scholars assume that Sennacherib's campaign against Jerusalem provides the historical backdrop for Micah's prophecy. The success of King Uzziah had brought economic prosperity for some, resulting in the development of a merchant class. The agrarian segment of society was thus at the mercy of the merchants, who were characterized by injustice and false religiosity. Micah declares his purpose as denouncing these sins, which would result in destruction and exile. Micah also offers hope of deliverance to a remnant of the people and foretells a day when Israel will be purged from all elements that caused her to stray from Yahweh. Micah speaks of a royal, kingly deliverer from the line of David who would come after Israel's judgment was complete.

Pedagogical Suggestions

• Often prophetic writings seem harsh and pessimistic. Have students find wisdom in heeding divine guidance instead of having to be punished or disciplined for not heeding it.

Suggested Essay Questions

• How does the book of Micah compare with the other 8th century contemporary Isaiah?

• Describe how texts from Micah are taken up in the NT.

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Chapter 31 – Nahum

Key Terms

theophany hymn, vision, oracle, Thebes

Key Points

• Although Nahum means “compassion,” the idea holds true for those who keep covenant with Yahweh.

• Nahum signals the end of the Neo-Assyrian Empire.

Chapter Summary

With the exception of the opening psalm in Nahum 1:2–8, the unity of this book has been widely accepted. The book contains no chronological information, but the internal evidence points to a date prior to the fall of Nineveh. This event marked the end of the empire, though its decline began much earlier. The purpose of Nahum was to pronounce the doom of the city; the oracles of judgment, however, were probably addressed as a word of encouragement to the people of Judah.

The book begins with a psalm that provides perspective for the following addresses to Nineveh and Judah, and concludes with details of the siege and sack of Nineveh. Nahum contains no formal indictment, for the audience is already well aware of the nature of Assyria's crimes.

Pedagogical Suggestions

• Have the students consider whether Yahweh as a Divine Warrior is a positive or negative characteristic.

Suggested Essay Questions

• Reflect on the Divine Warrior theophany that opens the book of Nahum.

• Compare the oracle against Nineveh and the response in both Jonah and Nahum.

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Chapter 32 – Habakkuk

Key Terms

Chaldeans, Shigionoth

Key Points

• Habakkuk mirrors Nahum in style and content, but now the Divine Warrior is against the Neo-Babylonian Empire.

Chapter Summary

The unity and integrity of Habakkuk are generally accepted; more uncertain is the date of the book. Based on internal evidence, the authors of this text favor a date between 640 and 626 BC.

The background for Habakkuk is the decline of the Assyrian Empire and the rise of the Babylonians. At the same time, free from the threat of Assyrian aggression, King Josiah of Judah began to institute his religious reforms. The decline of the Assyrians caused confusion for the prophets, who recognized that the appointed instrument of God's punishment was passing away before the judgment of Judah was complete. God answers their concerns by revealing Babylon as the next appointed instrument of punishment. The book is organized around the prayers of the prophet and God's responses, which occur in three cycles. Habakkuk is concerned that, if God gives victory to the Babylonians against Judah, God will be showing approval of the Babylonians.

God responds with a theophany and with answers to Habakkuk's questions. God emphasizes the responsibility of the individual to act with integrity and gives assurance of his own justice: the Babylonians will likewise receive punishment for their wickedness. This book reveals God's policies for dealing with the nations: God keeps accounts of good and evil deeds, which are weighed in opposing balances of a scale; when evil deeds outweigh good, the nation incurs God's judgment. Good conduct carries more weight than bad, the scale is reset only when God judges the accumulated wickedness, and God expects more from those who have received more.

Pedagogical Suggestions

• Talk with the students about the importance of honest conversation with God. Habakkuk has two complaints, but he receives God’s two responses.

Suggested Essay Questions

• Describe the interaction between Habakkuk and Yahweh.

• As Nahum opens with a theophany hymn, consider the concluding theophany hymn of Habakkuk.

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Chapter 33 – Zephaniah

Key Terms

Josianic Reform, Daughter Zion

Key Points

• Zephaniah declares the Day of Yahweh because idolatry is rampant, and neglect of the oppressed is everywhere.

• After judgment, Daughter Zion, that is Jerusalem, will be restored.

Chapter Summary

The superscription of Zephaniah dates the prophecies contained in the book to the reign of Josiah; however, we are not certain whether the prophecies came before or after Josiah's reform. The authors of this text favor a date of 627/626 BC, before the reform and during the time of Babylon's emergence as Assyria’s rival.

The reign of King Manasseh was characterized by widespread religious syncretism; Josiah's reforms succeeded in correcting Israelite religious practices, but failed to change the people's hearts. Freedom from Assyria would only be a transitional reprieve until the rise of the Babylonians. Against this backdrop, Zephaniah pronounced his message concerning the day of the Lord, when God would judge wickedness (of Israel and of the nations) and restore the fortunes of his people. The prophets use "the day of the Lord" to speak of a time when the current state of affairs will be replaced by God's intended order. The prophets explain that this day will come as a gradual process of dealing with the inequities that threaten the desired end. Thus, numerous "days of the Lord" will precede the final day. The prophets warn Israel and Judah that they will not be immune to the judgment of this day; all of God's enemies, whether Gentile or Jew, will receive judgment.

Pedagogical Suggestions

• Like other prophetic works, social justice and concern for the marginalized is paramount for Zephaniah. Have students reflect on social justice as integral to God’s kingdom.

Suggested Essay Questions

• How might Zephaniah in the late 7th century be related to the Josiah reforms?

• Describe what the restoration of Daughter Zion looks like in Zephaniah.

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Chapter 34 – Haggai

Key Terms

Branch, Zechariah, Joshua

Key Points

• Haggai emphasizes that a rebuilding of Yahweh’s temple will provide for a restored land.

Chapter Summary

Haggai was a contemporary of Zechariah; their combined ministry led to the reconstruction of the temple in Jerusalem. Haggai delivered his four messages to the restoration community in Jerusalem during the second year of King Darius. The book does not specify its author, but scholars assume that Haggai recorded his own prophecies sometime after they were delivered.

The background for this book is the reign of Darius of Persia, and the outcome of his decree allowing conquered people to return to their native lands. The first group of emigrants to Jerusalem was led by Sheshbazzar; under his leadership, the foundation of the temple was laid. The project, however, was soon abandoned. The second wave of emigrants, under the leadership of Zerubbabel and Jeshua and the encouragement of Haggai and Zechariah, began a second reconstruction effort, and the temple was finally complete in 520 BC. The reconstruction of the temple was Haggai's sole mission; to accomplish this, the prophet sought to awaken the people to the responsibilities, obligations, privileges, and promises of their covenant heritage. He rebukes the people for their preoccupation with personal comfort, calls the people to repentance and challenges them to rebuild the temple, reveals God's intention to overthrow the nations and restore Israel, and rekindles the messianic expectations of the people through God's promise to establish Zerubbabel as "a signet ring" in Zion. Through the rebuilding of the temple, Haggai called the people back to proper worship of Yahweh, rather than to blind faith in a building. The temple would symbolize the covenant presence of Yahweh among his people and mark the Hebrews as God's elect people among the nations.

Pedagogical Suggestions

• Have students consider whether we truly put God’s concerns ahead of our own concerns and comforts.

Suggested Essay Questions

• Why is the restoration of Yahweh’s temple so important?

• Who is and what is the significance of the “Branch” figure?

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Chapter 35 – Zechariah

Key Terms

Zerubbabel, night visions, apocalyptic imagery

Key Points

• Although Zechariah 1-8 provides a night visionary sequence for a restored Jerusalem, chapters 9-14 provide a two-part oracular complex for judgment against Syria-Palestine and then the nations.

• Zechariah gives important messianic material that is taken up by NT writers.

Chapter Summary

Scholars differ on their interpretation of the unity of this work. Most agree that chapters 1–8 were pronounced by the prophet, but scholars are sharply divided concerning the remainder of the book. Those supporting a multiple-author hypothesis cite as evidence the differences in style, tone, theology, and historical situation between the two parts of the book, as well the apocalyptic flavor of chapters 12–14.

The background for Zechariah's prophecy is the reign of Darius and the return of the exiles to Jerusalem. In spite of their return, the people were discouraged by the perceived lack of promised restoration. God responded to this distress by raising up two prophets to initiate the physical rebuilding of the temple and the spiritual renewal of the city. Zechariah's message was one of rebuke, exhortation, and encouragement: the solution to the people's sin and rebellion could only come through repentance. Zechariah's vision of the "day of the Lord" was concerned with social justice for the present, not simply for future restoration.

Zechariah divides into two parts, arranged chiastically. This deliberate structuring argues for the unity of the work, with Zechariah as the composer, arranger, and editor of his own visions and oracles. The book is written in a combination of prose and poetry, typical of prophetic literature. Zechariah features some characteristics of apocalyptic writing, but many features are absent, leading some to classify the book as "proto-apocalyptic."

Zechariah speaks of the messianic shepherd-king more than any other OT book except Isaiah. Though Zechariah does not use the terms "day of the Lord" or "the kingdom of God," his work greatly contributes to our knowledge of the Hebrew understanding of these concepts. Zechariah emphasizes the salvation, re-gathering, and restoration of Israel, which would culminate in a new world order.

Pedagogical Suggestions

• Have students relate any dreams or visions they have had and whether God still communicates his kingdom through this medium.

Suggested Essay Questions

• Describe the dream vision in Zech 1-6.

• Evaluate the literary and historical settings between Zech 1-8 and 9-14.

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Chapter 36 – Malachi

Key Terms

Elijah, devourer

Key Points

• Like Zechariah 9-14, Malachi is also an “oracle” against a particular audience describing gross offenses regarding temple sacrifices and offerings and mixed marriages.

• Yahweh will keep the land prosperous only if the people abide by the Mosaic Torah and look for the Elijah figure.

Chapter Summary

Scholars differ on the dating and authorship of this work. Some view the book as an offshoot of Zechariah, while others, interpreting "malachi" as a proper name, view the work as independent of Zechariah. The book's placement at the end of the Hebrew canon is not related to its place in the chronological history of the Hebrews; it was probably written in Jerusalem prior to the time of Ezra the scribe.

The backdrop of Malachi's ministry was the completion of the second temple and the apathy and disillusionment which followed among the community of returned exiles. Malachi's message emphasizes the covenant relationship between Yahweh and Israel and its ramifications. Yahweh was both the maker and keeper of the covenant; Israel, in contrast, was a covenant-breaker.

Malachi has been interpreted as either poetic prophecy or prose. Recent studies have supported the second view, with the language being labeled as "prophetic/oracular prose." The majority of the verses are addressed to Israel in the first person. Malachi's six oracles are punctuated with ten rhetorical questions and answers.

The prophet's teaching of marriage reminds one of OT wisdom literature, presenting marriage as a covenant for fellowship and procreation. Malachi makes clear that the provisions for divorce were provided because of sin, but that God hates divorce. Malachi also condemns the intermarriage between Jews and foreign people. Malachi speaks of an Elijah-like messenger of the covenant, proclaiming the time of Yahweh's wrath and the inauguration of the messianic age.

Pedagogical Suggestions

• Malachi offers six disputes to his audience. How should we engage in conflict with God’s people?

Suggested Essay Questions

• As Hosea began with an interest in land and Yahweh’s relationship to it, so Malachi concludes with the marriage motif and Yahweh’s interest in proper temple sacrifice and land fertility. Consider these observations.

• What are the particular transgressions of the Jerusalem priests?

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Student Learning Objectives

Chapter 1 – Introduction

The students will be able to:

➢ Identify the perspective of the IOT authors.

➢ Define the orientation of IOT.

➢ Trace the question of OT introductions in recent years.

➢ Describe the three-fold scope of IOT.

➢ Explain what makes up the historical background to the OT.

➢ Explain the minimalist scholarly perspective.

➢ Identify the hermeneutical cautions when reading the OT.

➢ Describe the elements of biblical historiography.

➢ List the aspects of OT poetry.

➢ Identify the characteristics of genre and story.

➢ Describe how passages or books might have a theological message.

➢ Note what OT elements might be taken up in the NT.

Chapter 2 – Genesis

The students will be able to:

➢ Evaluate the various historical-critical approaches to Genesis and the Pentateuch.

➢ Note the lexical, literary, and theological differences that give rise to source-critical questions.

➢ Explain the importance of ancient Near Eastern background and context to the Genesis and the Pentateuch.

➢ Describe why literary and theological perspectives are essential to understanding Genesis and the Pentateuch.

➢ Identify the different authorial emphases in Genesis 1-11, 12-38, and 39-50.

➢ Consider how Genesis is taken up in the New Testament.

Chapter 3 – Exodus

The students will be able to:

➢ Explain the question of authorship and any evidence related to Moses.

➢ Describe the two main proposals for the historical exodus.

➢ Note the historical (archaeological), textual, literary, or theological challenges to identifying the exodus event.

➢ Consider the literary divisions and themes set forth in Exodus 1-18, 19-24, and 25-40.

➢ Note the general layout of the wilderness tabernacle and surrounding Israelite camp.

Chapter 4 – Leviticus

The students will be able to:

➢ Explain the similarities and differences of the five offerings.

➢ Describe the content of the Holiness Code in Leviticus 17-27.

➢ Note the relationship of the priesthood to the people.

➢ Consider how priestly and sacrificial expectations are applied to the messiah in the NT.

Chapter 5 – Numbers

The students will be able to:

➢ Consider the three literary structures (chronological, topographical, and topical) that Longman and Dillard set forth.

➢ Describe how the censuses in Numbers 1 and 26 provide a thematic emphasis to the book.

➢ Note the instances of rebellion and obedience in the book.

➢ Describe how the wilderness topos is taken up later in the OT and NT.

Chapter 6 – Deuteronomy

The students will be able to:

➢ Note why Deuteronomy receives so much attention from historical-critical scholars.

➢ Reflect on Deuteronomy as a treaty in comparison to Hittite and Assyrian treaties.

➢ Consider how the book serves as a bridge between the Pentateuch and the Historical Books (Former Prophets).

➢ Describe the figure and expectation of Moses for ancient Israel and later NT writers.

Chapter 7 – Joshua

The students will be able to:

➢ Evaluate the question of a Deuteronomistic History.

➢ Reflect on the various origins and conquest theories for Israel.

➢ Consider the conquest narrative in light of the Joshua-Judges literary complex

➢ Explain the ethical implications of holy war, land, and the Canaanites.

➢ Identify how the themes of conquest and rest are taken up in the NT writings.

Chapter 8 – Judges

The students will be able to:

➢ Note the differences between the major and minor judges.

➢ Describe the “cyclical” or “spiral” decline of the Israelite people.

➢ Reflect on the question of kingship and tribal relationships.

➢ Consider how figures such as Samson and Jephthah are portrayed in the NT.

Chapter 9 – Ruth

The students will be able to:

➢ Consider how God is an implicit/explicit character in Ruth.

➢ Note how the names of the figures foreshadow the characters’ role in the book.

➢ Describe the various legal and social practices evinced in Ruth.

➢ Reflect on why Ruth is important in the OT and NT contexts.

Chapter 10 – Samuel

The students will be able to:

➢ Describe how 1 and 2 Samuel is best read as one book.

➢ Note how the author sets forth the idea of kingship.

➢ Identify the various literary elements in Samuel.

➢ Consider the differences between the MT and LXX versions of Samuel.

Chapter 11 – Kings

The students will be able to:

➢ Note the literary relationship of the former prophets Joshua-Judges-Samuel-Kings.

➢ Evaluate the question of sources and authors.

➢ Explain the vexing issue of chronology.

➢ Describe the potential literary and theological relationship between Deuteronomy and Kings.

Chapter 12 – Chronicles

The students will be able to:

➢ Reflect on how Chronicles is a synoptic or parallel version of Samuel-Kings.

➢ Note the theological particulars of the chronicler.

➢ Describe how genealogy and priesthood play an integral role to postexilic contexts.

➢ Explain how Israel and Judah are portrayed in Chronicles.

Chapter 13 – Ezra-Nehemiah

The students will be able to:

➢ Consider the post-exilic milieu of Ezra-Nehemiah.

➢ Describe the historical questions of dating and authorship.

➢ Note the various shifts in the literary complex of these books.

➢ Explain the importance of temple and wall restoration for Second Temple Judaism.

Chapter 14 – Esther

The students will be able to:

➢ Identify some of the ethical and historical challenges to Esther.

➢ Note the genre and style of the book.

➢ Consider how the Esther story relates back to the Saul-Agag saga.

Chapter 15 – Job

The students will be able to:

➢ Evaluate the question of historical context and identity of the Job character.

➢ Note the intricate literary relationship among the prose prologue and epilogue and the poetic core of speeches.

➢ Consider the changes from one speech cycle to the second and third.

➢ Explain how Job is a universal wisdom story of suffering and theodicy.

Chapter 16 – Psalms

The students will be able to:

➢ Evaluate the question of authorship and psalm titles.

➢ Note the five-book literary arrangement and the theological implications.

➢ Consider the various psalm genres.

➢ Describe the endearing quality of the Psalter for Judaism and Christianity.

➢ Identify how the Psalter is used by NT writers.

Chapter 17 – Proverbs

The students will be able to:

➢ Note the literary and authorial differentiation between Proverbs 1-9 and 11-31.

➢ Consider how Proverbs serves both the familial and social wisdom contexts.

➢ Explain the types of wisdom genres and expressions.

➢ Describe the nature of wisdom literature, Lady Wisdom, and Lady Folly as a theological foil.

Chapter 18 – Ecclesiastes

The students will be able to:

➢ Explain the observation of the editorial frame narrative.

➢ Note the wisdom perspectives between Qoheleth and the narrator.

➢ Identify the nature of retribution both in this life and the hereafter.

➢ Consider wisdom in Ecclesiastes with Job and Proverbs.

Chapter 19 – Song of Songs

The students will be able to:

➢ Evaluate the genre and literary structure of Songs.

➢ Consider the role of Solomon in the book.

➢ Note how ANE love poetry is taken up in the OT and NT.

➢ Describe the way Jewish and Christian interpreters take up Songs.

Chapter 20 – Isaiah

The students will be able to:

➢ Evaluate the question of authorship for Isaiah.

➢ Note the literary and theological complements in Isaiah 1-39 and 40-66.

➢ Consider the historical and social context of Isaiah ben Amoz.

➢ Reflect on the Suffering Servant Songs.

➢ Describe how Isaiah is taken up in the NT.

Chapter 21 – Jeremiah

The students will be able to:

➢ Note the call narrative for Jeremiah.

➢ Consider the political situation in the late 7th century BC.

➢ Reflect on the idea of a New Covenant.

➢ Describe the differences between LXX and MT Jeremiah.

➢ Explain how Moses and Jeremiah might be associated.

Chapter 22 – Lamentations

The students will be able to:

➢ Identify the possible historical context for Lamentations.

➢ Note the poetic and literary aspects of the book.

➢ Consider the genre type.

➢ Describe the writer’s view of Yahweh.

Chapter 23 – Ezekiel

The students will be able to:

➢ Reflect on the dating scheme in Ezekiel.

➢ Note the Davidic expectations set forth by the author.

➢ Describe the Oracles against the Nations section in chapters 25-32.

➢ Explain how the prophet engages in performative-prophetic activity.

➢ Consider the notions of a restored land and temple.

Chapter 24 – Daniel

The students will be able to:

➢ Note the genre types of the court narrative in 1-6 and apocalyptic prophecy in 7-12.

➢ Consider the historical challenges in Daniel.

➢ Reflect on Daniel and Jewish ethics in the Diaspora.

➢ Describe how the empires vision relate to Jewish history as an eschatological event.

➢ Explain how Daniel and the “son of man” imagery is taken up in the NT.

Chapter 25 – Hosea

The students will be able to:

➢ Describe how Hosea 1-3 relates to 4-14.

➢ Identify possible historical associations with the oracles.

➢ Note how Hosea is the only Israelite prophet to Israel.

➢ Relate the relationship between the first and second prophetic cycles in 4-11:11 and 11:12-14:8.

Chapter 26 – Joel

The students will be able to:

➢ Identify the historical setting for Joel.

➢ Note the relationship between locust judgment and temple sacrifices.

➢ Reflect on the literary genre of Joel.

➢ Consider the Day of Yahweh topos.

➢ Describe how Joel is set forth in the NT.

Chapter 27 – Amos

The students will be able to:

➢ Note how the Judean prophet is received in northern Israel.

➢ Reflect on aspects of the Oracles against the Nations.

➢ Consider the various visions in the book.

➢ Describe expectations for Davidic monarchy and temple restorations.

Chapter 28 – Obadiah

The students will be able to:

➢ Note the literary genres and style in the book.

➢ Identify the historical context of Obadiah.

➢ Assess the role of Edom and the nations in the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple.

Chapter 29 – Jonah

The students will be able to:

➢ Assess the attitude and tone of Jonah.

➢ Consider the poetic hymn of chapter 2.

➢ Note the relationship between Jonah and Nahum.

➢ Identify how Jonah is taken up in the Gospels.

Chapter 30 – Micah

The students will be able to:

➢ Reflect on the historical context of Micah.

➢ Note the divine theophany that begins the book.

➢ Describe the literary style of the book.

➢ Consider how Micah is used in the NT.

Chapter 31 – Nahum

The students will be able to:

➢ Note the divine theophany that begins Nahum.

➢ Consider the style and tone directed against Nineveh.

➢ Reflect on the historical setting for Nineveh’s destruction.

Chapter 32 – Habakkuk

The students will be able to:

➢ Note the prophetic complaints toward Yahweh.

➢ Reflect on the way Habakkuk concludes with a divine theophany.

➢ Consider the historical background of the late 7th century and the oracle.

Chapter 33 – Zephaniah

The students will be able to:

➢ Note the relationship between Zephaniah and the Josianic reform.

➢ Reflect on the Oracles against the Nations in chapter 2.

➢ Consider the Day of Yahweh theme.

➢ Describe the expectation of restoration in Zephaniah 3.

Chapter 34 – Haggai

The students will be able to:

➢ Assess the relationship between temple building and land fertility.

➢ Note the political and social milieu of Haggai.

➢ Reflect on the “Branch” figure in Haggai.

Chapter 35 – Zechariah

The students will be able to:

➢ Describe the literary sections of Zechariah 1-8 and 9-14.

➢ Consider the visionary sequence in chapters 1-6.

➢ Identify the shepherd imagery in 9-14.

➢ Note on Zechariah is used in the NT.

Chapter 36 – Malachi

The students will be able to:

➢ Consider the identity of “malachi”.

➢ Note the temple and priestly issues related to the oracles.

➢ Assess the expectations for Moses and Elijah.

Chapter Quizzes

Chapter Quiz

Chapter 1 – Introduction

True/False

1. An Introduction to the Old Testament by Longman and Dillard represents a Protestant and evangelical approach to the OT. True

2. Historical background, literary analysis, and the theological message are all integral to the study of the OT. True

3. One caution set forth is that the biblical texts must be read in their historical and literary contexts. True

4. Another caution is that modern readers must impose their Western ideas and values on the biblical texts. False

5. The authors suggest that the biblical writers often set forth a “theological history” or a “historicized theology” of the events and persons. True

6. Theology is more important than history with respect to the biblical narrative and its claims. False

7. Historical and supernatural claims in the biblical texts are in tension or at odds. False

Fill in the blank

8. ___Minimalism____ is the perspective of some scholars that the biblical texts reflect little to no useful evidence for Israelite history.

9. ____Biblical history___ may be characterized as “covenantal history” or “theological history”.

10. The events and figures in the Books of Samuel and Kings have parallel or “synoptic” material with the ___Book of Chronicles____.

11. Biblical history includes the two artifacts of ____texts______ and ___material remains___.

Multiple choice

12. Biblical historiography has all of the following aspects except:

A) Objectivity

B) Selectivity

C) Emphasis

D) Order

E) Application

13. The term “biblical archaeology” has been largely replaced with:

A) Levant archaeology

B) Canaanite archaeology

C) Israelite archaeology

D) Syro-Palestinian archaeology

14. Biblical texts are composed in two of the following:

A) imagery

B) prose

C) allusions

D) poetry

15. Which of the following is an important characteristic of Hebrew poetry?

A) terseness

B) parallelism

C) meter

D) imagery

E) All of the above

Chapter Quiz

Chapter 2 – Genesis

True/False

1. Genesis can be divided into chapters 1-11 and the beginnings of various peoples and chapters 12-50 and the focus on a particular family. True

2. The question of sources and authorship in Genesis has not had much attention among scholars. False

3. Genesis and the larger Pentateuch do evince some dependence on literary sources and editing. True

4. Strictly speaking, the composition of the Torah or Pentateuch is clearly Mosaic and not anonymous. False

5. Some scholars suggest that the Pentateuchal sources can be attributed to the JEDP literary strands or layers. True

6. Recent angst or skepticism of the Documentary Hypothesis has led way to other literary theories for how the Pentateuch came to have its final literary form. True

7. Although the OT and NT texts support some degree of Mosaic authorship, the final composition of the Pentateuch is still unresolved. True

Fill in the blank

8. The ___priestly source____ is the latest of the supposed literary layers of the Pentateuch and exhibits postexilic cultic concerns.

9. ____Gunkel___ focused more on form criticism than documentary or source criticism.

10. The book of Genesis is illuminated when read in the ancient Near Eastern context of other ___creation____ and __flood stories__.

11. The __Toledoth__ formula occurs eleven times and provides an important structuring device for reading Genesis.

Multiple choice

12. Which of the following is not part of the literary pattern in Genesis 1-11?

A) sin

B) speech

C) mitigation

D) punishment

E) exile

13. ______________ was the sign given to Abraham to signify his covenant with God.

A) Long hair

B) A beard

C) Circumcision

D) White garments

14. Who is the chief character in Genesis 37-50?

A) Jacob

B) Joseph

C) Abraham

D) Isaac

15. The book of Genesis ends with Joseph in ________________.

A) Egypt

B) Syria

C) Babylon

D) Assyria

Chapter Quiz

Chapter 3 – Exodus

True/False

1. The ninth and final plague which God sent on Egypt was the death of the first born. False

2. One of the major themes of the book of Exodus is the presence of God. True

3. We know the exact route taken by Israel during the exodus. False

4. Many conservative or evangelical OT scholars align themselves with both early and late dates for the exodus event. True

5. Longman and Dillard offer two distinct literary structuring of Exodus based on the Israelite locations and thematic contents. True

6. Once the Israelites have crossed the Red (Reed) Sea and experienced some obstacles, the first significant event is the giving of the Law at Sinai or Horeb. True

7. Exodus concludes with the building and completing of the wilderness tabernacle. True

Fill in the blank

8. The personal name of God, I AM or Yahweh was revealed to Moses when he was appointed as the deliverer of Israel

9. In commemoration of the final plague and freedom from bondage in Egypt, Israel celebrated a festival known as the Passover .

10. The Ten Commandments are also known as the Decalogue .

11. Regarding textual and archaeological evidence for the exodus, Longman and Dillard lean toward the ____early or 15th century date__.

Multiple choice

12. The name "Exodus" is derived from the Greek Old Testament name for the book, which means ___________.

A) Sadness

B) Slavery

C) Departure

D) Wilderness

13. Which of the following was not a plague experienced by Egypt?

A) Locusts

B) Hail

C) Darkness

D) Fire

14. At what mountain did God make a covenant with Israel?

A) Nebo

B) Hermon

C) Sinai

D) Harnath

15. The biggest archaeological challenge to either early or late exodus dates is:

A) Bethel

B) Ai

C) Hazor

D) Jericho

Chapter Quiz

Chapter 4 – Leviticus

True/False

1. Every ten years Israel was to have a Sabbatical year, where fields were left unplowed. False

2. One of the major themes of Leviticus is the holiness of God. True

3. Leviticus records five types of offerings. True

4. Nadab and Abihu are Aaron’s sons who are killed by a divine fire for their rebellion. True

5. Since birth defects and skin diseases cannot be helped, these are not important to ritual laws. False

Fill in the blank

6. Leviticus 16 describes the ritual of the Day of Atonement known today as Yom Kippur.

7. The Sabbath was instituted as a day of rest in the life of Israel.

8. Life was understood to be in the __blood__ of a person.

9. The book concludes with a list of __blessings__ for obedience and __curses__ for sin.

10. The __sacrificial__ system allows people to become ritually clean after having been unclean and outside the camp.

Multiple choice

11. The book of Leviticus contains instructions for all of the following except:

A) Priestly regulations

B) Parceling out of tribal land

C) Priestly duties

D) Practical “holy living”

12. Which of the following was not typically offered as a sacrifice in the ancient world?

A) Animals

B) Grain

C) Drinks

D) Clothing

13. The English name “Leviticus” is derived from the Greek title for the book meaning:

A) Pertaining to the Levites

B) Sacrifices

C) Priests

D) By the Levites

14. All of the following were offerings instituted for Israel in Leviticus except:

A) Abundance offerings

B) Cereal offerings

C) Peace offerings

D) Sin offerings

15. The fellowship offering is also called:

A) blood offering

B) peace offering

C) restoration offering

D) firstborn offering

Chapter Quiz

Chapter 5 – Numbers

True/False

1. Every ten years Israel was to have a Sabbatical year, where fields were left unplowed. False

2. One of the major themes of Numbers is the presence of God. True

3. The book of Numbers records events of Israel's wanderings for over fifty years. False

4. One of the major themes in the book of Numbers is testing by God. True

5. The Israelites do their best to obey Moses during their sojourn. False

Fill in the blank

6. The book of Numbers covers events that took place in the wilderness/desert .

7. God’s presence was confirmed to Israel by a cloud that covered the tabernacle and led them through the wilderness.

8. The introductory formula "and the Lord said to Moses" appears in every chapter of Numbers, as it did in Leviticus.

9. Related to the name of the book, the Aaronic __priesthood__ is an important theme.

10. The __literary structure__ set forth by Milgrom and Budd can be understood as chronological, topographical, or topical.

Multiple choice

11. The Hebrew title of the book of Numbers means_______________.

A) In the wilderness

B) Counting the people

C) During the census

D) Wandering

12. The Greek title Arithmoi is where we get our English book title:

A) Numbers

B) Pentateuch

C) Torah

D) Tanakh

13. Which of the following is not a major theme in the book of Numbers?

A) The census numbers

B) The revelation of God in human culture

C) Social justice

D) The testing by Yahweh

14. How many censuses were recorded in the book of Numbers?

A) 1

B) 2

C) 3

D) 4

15. Who was the pagan prophet who was sent to curse Israel but ended up blessing them instead?

A) Zophar

B) Bildad

C) Tobit

D) Balaam

Chapter Quiz

Chapter 6 – Deuteronomy

True/False

1. One of the main purposes of Deuteronomy is to summarize and renew the law. True

2. The stipulations of the covenant between God and Israel in Deuteronomy are completely unique in the ancient Near East. False

3. The opening line of Deuteronomy suggests that the book is composed in the land and reflecting on Moses’ exhortation to the people. True

4. The content of Deuteronomy is largely about the speeches of Moses on the plains of Moab. True

5. The covenant structure more resembles the first millennium Assyrian covenant structures than the second millennium Hittite covenant structures. False

Fill in the blank

6. Deuteronomy 28 contains the Curses and Blessings as a description of the results of covenant faithfulness or unfaithfulness.

7. __Noth__ suggest that Deuteronomy introduces the literary and thematic unity of Joshua-Kings or the Deuteronomistic History.

8. The __suzerain-vassal__ treaty was a covenant of unequal parties.

9. The __centralization__ of worship is a dominant theme in Deuteronomy.

10. The New Testament writers draw on and expect a __Moses__ figure who will lead rescued people to a restored land.

Multiple choice

11. The name “Deuteronomy,” from the Greek title for the book, means _________________.

A) Second law

B) New law

C) Great law

D) Lawgiver

12. Which of the following is not a major theme in the book of Deuteronomy?

A) Priestly functions

B) Central sanctuary

C) Law

D) Retribution principle

13. Which of the following is not one of the Ten Commandments?

A) You shall not murder

B) Honor your father and your mother

C) You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor

D) You shall not trespass

14. ________________ is an ancient collection of Mesopotamian laws.

A) Hammurabi’s Stele

B) The Annals of Ashurbanipal

C) The Eliphaz Codex

D) Shammai’s Tablet

15. The Ten Commandments emphasize all of the following except:

E) Divine authority

F) Human superiority

G) Divine dignity

H) Human dignity

Chapter Quiz

Chapter 7 – Joshua

True/False

1. The renewal of the rite of circumcision in Joshua 5 serves as a rededication to the covenant. True

2. Possessing land was central to Israel’s covenant with God. True

3. In the book of Joshua God is pictured as engaging in combat on Israel’s behalf. True

4. The book is almost split between conquest narratives and land allotments narratives. True

5. Israel leaves many Canaanites and other peoples alive and often lives in their midst. True

Fill in the blank

6. The issue of the ban or Canaanite genocide is one of the most controversial ethical issues in the book of Joshua, and the whole Bible.

7. The killing of Achan and his family for his sin, which resulted in the deaths of many Israelites during the battle with Ai, is an example of corporate solidarity.

8. In the book of Joshua God’s presence is confirmed by his deliverance of the land to Israel.

9. Alt suggested that Israel entered Canaan through peaceful infiltration according to his __immigration__ model.

10. Dever suggests that Israel emerged from within the land at the end of the Bronze Age collapse according to his __collapse__ model.

Multiple choice

11. Joshua was all of the following except ________________.

A) An assistant to Moses

B) A general

C) A priest

D) One of the twelve spies who went into Canaan

12. Which of these is not a major theme in the book of Joshua?

A) Covenant and land

B) Sovereign involvement

C) The ban

D) Need for a king

13. Which of the following is not one of the Ten Commandments?

A) You shall not murder

B) Honor your father and your mother

C) You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor

D) You shall not trespass

14. ________________ is an ancient collection of Mesopotamian laws.

A) Hammurabi’s Stele

B) The Annals of Ashurbanipal

C) The Eliphaz Codex

D) Shammai’s Tablet

15. The Ten Commandments emphasize all of the following except:

A) Divine authority

B) Human superiority

C) Divine dignity

D) Human dignity

Chapter Quiz

Chapter 8 – Judges

True/False

1. The “captivity of the land” is an ambiguous reference to some type of exile or foreign oppression and the only real historical referent regarding composition. True

2. There is more than one Greek version to the book of Judges. True

3. The prologue and epilogue serve as a literary frame to foreshadow the activities of the tribes. True

4. Judah is set as the rebellious tribe in Judges. False

5. The sin-oppression-deliverance cycle is a recurring motif in the book. True

Fill in the blank

6. The most prominent tasks undertaken by judges were military in nature.

7. Failure to adhere to monotheism was one of the biggest contributing factors to Israel’s apostasy during the judges period.

8. It is _Jephthah_ who keeps at oath to Yahweh at the expense of his daughter’s life.

9. In the epilogue, the tribe of _Benjamin_ is cast in a bad light and foreshadows someone who will be the first king of Israel.

10. Contrary to popular, modern opinion, _Gideon_ putting out the fleece was a rebellious act and not an honorable one.

Multiple choice

11. Which of these is not a major theme of the book of Judges?

A) The nature of charismatic leadership

B) The Spirit of the Lord

C) Israel’s apostasy

D) The blessings of the covenant

12. Who of the following people listed was not a judge?

A) Deborah

B) Samson

C) Jephthah

D) Bildad

13. The task of a judge was to be a _______________.

A) Deliverer

B) Monitor

C) Civil authority

D) Spiritual leader

14. Which judge was endowed with the Spirit of the Lord on a number of occasions to accomplish deliverance for God’s people?

A) Ehud

B) Deborah

C) Samson

D) Barak

15. Which figure attempted to act as a king over Israel at Shechem?

A) Abimelech

B) Othniel

C) Ehud

D) Shamgar

Chapter Quiz

Chapter 9 – Ruth

True/False

1. In the Jewish ordering of the Old Testament Ruth is in the Writings, not in the Latter Prophets where most of the other “historical books” are located. True

2. Ruth was the grandmother of King Saul. False

3. The author of the book is identified as Samuel. False

4. The primary antagonist in the book of Ruth is Haman the Agagite. False

5. The meanings of Naomi (“pleasantness”) and Ruth (“companion”) suggest how they will ultimately act in the book. True

Multiple choice

6. ______________ is a major theme in the book of Ruth.

A) The need to seek wisdom

B) Hesed

C) The need to renew temple worship

D) Boquer

7. Ruth was a member of the nation of _____________.

A) Ammon

B) Damascus

C) Edom

D) Moab

8. Which feature of the book of Ruth suggests it is a product of the monarchy period at the earliest?

A) The use of the term "kinsman-redeemer"

B) The closing genealogy

C) Several Aramaic words

D) It says that it was written during the monarchy period

9. The Hebrew word hesed can be translated by all of the following words except:

A) Kindness

B) Love

C) Pity

D) Loyalty

10. The legal tradition of __________ signified an oath or an exchange of property.

A) Kissing one’s cheek

B) Having tea

C) Exchanging a shoe

D) Exchanging an animal

Chapter Quiz

Chapter 10 – Samuel

True/False

1. In 1 and 2 Samuel one can observe both successes and failures by David. True

2. Saul was generally viewed as a positive king. False

3. The books of 1 and 2 Samuel originally constituted a single book. True

4. The ark of the covenant was the most important religious artifact in Israel. True

5. Though the Davidic covenant is significant in the books of 1 and 2 Samuel, it plays a fairly unimportant role in the rest of the Old Testament. False

Fill in the blank

6. First Samuel 1–4:12 introduces the reader to Samuel who played a very important role in the rest of 1 and 2 Samuel.

7. Evidence of David’s nonaggression toward Saul can be seen in David’s friendship and covenant with Jonathan , Saul’s son.

8. The book of Samuel seems to provide a positive and negative portrayal of kingship.

9. The accounts in the book of Samuel closely resembles expectations of kingship, rest, and temple building set forth in Deuteronomy .

10. The messiah or kingship motif in Samuel serves well the figure of Jesus in the NT writings.

Multiple choice

11. Which of the following is not a major theme of 1 and 2 Samuel?

A) The Davidic covenant

B) Kingship

C) The ark of the covenant

D) Reforming temple worship

12. In the books of 1 and 2 Samuel, Samuel functions as a ______________________.

A) Prophet, king, and priest

B) Servant, judge, and priest

C) King, warrior, and prophet

D) Prophet, priest, and judge

13. Which of these men was not one of Israel’s kings?

A) David

B) Samuel

C) Solomon

D) Saul

14. Where did Samuel sleep at night as a young boy under Eli’s care?

A) In Hannah’s home

B) In Eli’s home

C) In the Holy of Holies

D) In his tent outside the sanctuary

15. Where is the sanctuary set up during Samuel’s tenure?

A) Shiloh

B) Shechem

C) Jerusalem

D) Hebron

Chapter Quiz

Chapter 11 – Kings

True/False

1. The northern kingdom fell to Assyria in 722 BC. True

2. The primary purpose of the books of 1 and 2 Kings was to record Israel’s continued covenant faithfulness. False

3. In early Greek manuscripts 1 and 2 Kings were combined in one volume with 1 and 2 Samuel to form a book called “Kingdoms,” evidencing perceived unity of content and purpose. True

4. In the Babylonian Talmud, Jeremiah is named as the author of the book of Kings. True

5. Kings is the last of the four “Former Prophets” books. True

Fill in the blank

6. From the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls we can see some variance and fluidity between the proto-MT and LXX editions of Kings.

7. Antedating was done in Egypt where the king’s first year of rule was reckoned from the month of his ascension to the new year.

8. Postdating was done in Mesopotamia where the king’s first year of rule actually occurred from the new year.

9. It seems the royal new year begin in the month Nisan , while the civic new year began in the month Tishri.

10. In Kings, a schism occurs where Jeroboam rules northern Israel and Rehoboam rules southern Judah.

Multiple choice

11. Which of the following was not a major theme in 1 and 2 Kings?

A) Assessment of King Solomon

B) Dynastic succession and charismatic leadership

C) The ark of the covenant

D) The golden calf cult

12. The city of Jerusalem fell in _____________.

A) 587/586 BC

B) 722 BC

C) 971/970 BC

D) 612 BC

13. Which two prophets functioned in the northern kingdom during the divided monarchy?

A) Elijah and Elisha

B) Nathan and Zechariah

C) Isaiah and Jeremiah

D) Samuel and Balaam

14. The shrines of the golden calf cult were located at __________________.

A) Dan and Bethel

B) Shechem and Gilgal

C) Samaria and Tizrah

D) Beersheba and Gaza

15. King Solomon was known for all of the following except ________________.

A) Ushering in a “golden age”

B) Immense wealth

C) Fighting the Philistines and recovering land that was lost

D) Failure due to seductions of foreign wives

Chapter Quiz

Chapter 12 – Chronicles

True/False

1. In 1 Chronicles, Ezra the Scribe identifies himself as the author of 1 and 2 Chronicles. False

2. Chronicles concentrates on the legitimization of the priestly and Levitical authority. True

3. Chronicles shows no concern for the temple or worship. False

4. The chronicler uses very simple language and syntax leading many scholars to believe he is from humble origins and likely uneducated. False

5. The Greek title for Chronicles means “things omitted” or “things left over”. True

Fill in the Blank

6. Using typology the chronicler portrays David as a second Moses .

7. The genealogies of 1 Chronicles trace the heritage of David all the way back to Adam .

8. The actual history addressed in Chronicles spans the Hebrew united monarchy from the close of Saul’s reign to the Babylonian captivity of Judah.

9. The only tribes that are not listed in the Chronicler genealogy are Zebulun and Dan .

10. In Chronicles, David has a role in handing the plans of the temple to Solomon.

Multiple Choice

11. Which of the following is not a major theme in Chronicles?

A) Worship in the Old Testament

B) Typology

C) The conquering of the land

D) The chronicler’s vocabulary

12. ________________ is portrayed by the chronicler as a “good” king.

A) Hezekiah

B) Ahaz

C) Jehu

D) Manasseh

13. The chronicler idealized which two kings as the “type figures” of a “good” king?

A) Saul and Jeroboam

B) David and Solomon

C) Hezekiah and Josiah

D) Ahaziah and David

14. The Persian coin is called:

A) shekel

B) mina

C) daric

D) ephah

15. The Chronicler sets forth a theology of immediate:

A) retribution

B) pleasure

C) holiness

D) prosperity

Chapter Quiz

Chapter 13 – Ezra-Nehemiah

True/False

1. One of the dominant theological themes in Ezra-Nehemiah is covenant renewal in the postexilic community. True

2. Nehemiah was a priest and a scribe. False

3. Ezra and Nehemiah form a single book in the Hebrew Bible. True

4. The ministry of Ezra and Nehemiah take place in the mid to late 5th century BC. True

5. The genre of Ezra-Nehemiah can be partly understood as a memoir. True

Fill in the Blank

6. Many of the reforms instituted under Ezra and Nehemiah are seen as the seeds of pharisaism which was in full effect during the time of Jesus.

7. The time period in which Ezra-Nehemiah was written is generally classified as postexilic.

8. Ezra is one of two Old Testament books which contain substantial sections of text written in the Aramaic language and not in Hebrew.

9. The Persian or Achaemenid Empire exercised hegemony over Judah (Yehud) during the time of Ezra-Nehemiah.

10. Both figures call the Judeans to put away foreign wives and children.

Multiple Choice

11. Ezra and Nehemiah came from the Persian city of ______________.

A) Ecbatana

B) Susa

C) Persepolis

D) Babylon

12. Ezra and Nehemiah came to Jerusalem during the reign of King ________________.

A) Darius

B) Artaxerxes I

C) Nabopolassar

D) Ashurbanipal

13. Nehemiah undertook an initiative to do what in Jerusalem?

A) Build aqueducts to secure a source of water

B) Reestablish a market for commercial trade

C) Rebuild the walls around Jerusalem

D) Exterminate rats who were causing diseases

14. Reforms instituted by Ezra and Nehemiah addressed all of the following except ____________.

A) Intermarriage with foreign women

B) Social injustice

C) Improper worship

D) Failure to circumcise

15. There seems to be a shift in Ezra-Nehemiah with each concept except:

A) leaders to community

B) holiness can occur in various places

C) oral to written authority

D) idolatry to monotheism

Chapter Quiz

Chapter 14 – Esther

True/False

1. The book of Esther was intended to be performed as a play. False

2. The author of the book of Esther demonstrates an extensive knowledge of the operation of the Persian court. True

3. Esther is the only book in the Bible which does not mention the name of God. False

4. Because of internal evidence scholars have determined that Mordecai was the author of Esther. False

5. The prophetic theme of God’s protection of his people can be seen in the plot of Esther. True

Fill in the Blank

6. The method of reversal, where the current state of affairs are turned around drastically, is used in Esther to build the plot and convey the message of the story.

7. The setting of the book of Esther is the Persian Empire in the mid-fifth century BC.

8. According to the book of Esther, Xerxes was the king who was in power during the events described in Esther.

9. One ethical challenge with the Esther story is that she was a part of the king’s harem.

10. The feast of Purim or pur means “lot”.

Multiple Choice

11. The book of Esther is read annually at the Jewish festival of ________________.

A) Purim

B) Yom Kippur

C) Passover

D) Hanukkah

12. _________ is the antagonist in the book of Esther who plots to have all of the Jews in Persia killed.

A) Mordecai

B) Korah

C) Haman

D) Abner

13. The Mordecai and Haman conflict appear to conclude the even earlier conflict between:

A) Saul and Agag

B) David and Goliath

C) Samuel and Eli

D) Elijah and Ahab

14. The Greek version of Esther has:

A) More references to Esther

B) A different ending than the Hebrew version

C) Six extra accounts

D) A more abridged account

15. Esther has not been found:

A) Among early church writings

B) Among the Dead Sea Scrolls

C) Among early Jewish writings

D) In the LXX

Chapter Quiz

Chapter 15 – Job

True/False

1. Job’s friends give him sound advice and Job follows their suggestions. False

2. There were other works within the world of the ancient Near East which discussed the suffering of the righteous. True

3. After Job is vindicated God explains to Job that he had to suffer to bring God glory. False

4. Ascertaining the historical background of Job is vital for understanding the meaning of the book. False

5. Job is so pious and humble that he even makes sacrifices for his sons and daughters. True

Fill in the Blank

6. The purpose of the book of Job is to explore God’s policies concerning justice, especially in relation to the suffering of the righteous.

7. Yahweh eventually responds to Job from a whirlwind.

8. Although the authorship of Job is textually anonymous, early Jewish tradition suggests it was written by Moses.

9. Poetry takes the Job story from a historical context and gives it a universal application.

10. The term theodicy is the grappling of God’s justice and goodness in light of the reality of sin and suffering.

Multiple Choice

11. The “place names” in the book of Job suggest that he may have been a(n) ______________.

A) Israelite

B) Moabite

C) Edomite

D) Ammonite

12. Which of these men is not one of the three friends mentioned at the beginning of the book of Job?

A) Eliphaz

B) Elihu

C) Bildad

D) Zophar

13. Job’s lament in chapter 3 introduces __________ cycles of dialogue which occupy chapters 4–27.

A) 3

B) 4

C) 2

D) 7

14. Most simply stated, the retribution principle is that: If a person is righteous, he will ________ and if a person is wicked, he will _________.

A) Tell the truth; lie

B) Prosper; suffer

C) Treat others well; treat others poorly

D) Work; steal

15. Which of these is not a major theme in the book of Job?

A) Retribution principle

B) Mediator

C) Wisdom, justice, and sovereignty

D) Proper temple worship

Chapter Quiz

Chapter 16 – Psalms

True/False

1. Several psalms focus on God’s relationship to nature. True

2. Each category of psalm has typical characteristics and a fairly consistent format by which it can be identified. True

3. Of the 150 individual psalms about one-quarter are attributed to David. False

4. Longman and Dillard suggest the psalm titles are early and reliable but not necessarily original or canonical. True

5. Praise, lament, and thanksgiving are the three major genres in the Psalter. True

Fill in the Blank

6. Books 4 and 5 focus on the kingship of God.

7. The biblical scholar Wilson suggests that the Psalter thematically moves from Davidic covenant, to its failure, and then to the assertion of Yahweh’s rule.

8. Psalm 29 is similar to the description of a Ugaritic poem for the worship of Baal.

9. Luke 24 records Jesus’ mention of the Law, Prophets, and Psalms with reference to his death and resurrection.

10. It was the Reformer Luther who called the Psalter “a little Bible and the summary of the Old Testament”.

Multiple Choice

11. The book of Psalms is divided into ___________ “books”.

A) 3

B) 4

C) 5

D) 7

12. Book 1 contains mostly ___________.

A) Praises

B) Laments

C) Wisdom psalms

D) Coronation psalms

13. All of the following people are an author of one or more psalms except ________________.

A) Asaph

B) The sons of Korah

C) Moses

D) Nathan

14. The Hebrew Psalter has a strong __________ expectation:

A) Messianic

B) Temple building

C) Restoration of land

D) Military conquest

15. The scholar _____________ suggested that the Psalter was the “hymnbook of ancient Israel.”

A) Childs

B) Von Rad

C) Mowinckel

D) Wellhausen

Chapter Quiz

Chapter 17 – Proverbs

True/False

1. The book of Proverbs encourages its hearers to embrace integrity, justice, righteousness, and life. True

2. Proverbs asserts that there is great power in human speech, both for good and evil. True

3. The message of the Proverbs hinges on the belief that wisdom cannot be taught but must be intuited naturally. False

4. Because of its taboo nature Proverbs avoids the issue of sexuality. False

5. The book of Proverbs can be considered an anthology of wisdom poetry. True

Fill in the Blank

6. In Proverbs fear of the Lord is equated with knowledge of God, and thus the covenant relationship.

7. The scribes of King Hezekiah are credited with compiling at least one of the wisdom collections in Proverbs.

8. Proverbs 1:1-7 serves as an extended introduction to the entire book.

9. According to Longman and Dillard, King Solomon probably composed no more than 10:1-22:16 and 25:1-29:27.

10. Proverbs 1-9 seems to be the instruction from a father to his son.

Multiple Choice

11. Which of the following is not a major theme of the book of Proverbs

A) Human sexuality

B) The fear of the Lord

C) Possessing the land

D) Human speech

12. The book of Proverbs contains ________ collections of wise sayings.

A) 3

B) 5

C) 8

D) 11

13. All of the following were contributors to the book of Proverbs except ________________.

A) Agur

B) Lemuel of Massa

C) Amenemope

D) Solomon

14. A reader of the New Testament would likely identify the wisdom and creation activity of Jesus with:

A) Lady Wisdom

B) Lady Folly

C) the teacher

D) the king

15. Proverbs 31:10–31 is an acrostic poem extolling the virtues of the ideal____________.

A) Son

B) Brother

C) Wife

D) King

Chapter Quiz

Chapter 18 – Ecclesiastes

True/False

1. The book of Ecclesiastes is wholly pessimistic. False

2. The Qoheleth is traditionally identified with Hezekiah. False

3. The Qoheleth promotes an “eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we die” view of the world. False

4. Longman and Dillard suggest that the second voice or frame narrator actually wrote the book. True

5. It seems that the Qoheleth figure is the skeptic while the unnamed wisdom teacher and editor of the book is the more positive sage. True

Fill in the Blank

6. The Qoheleth does not appeal to divine revelation to make his point; instead his approach was philosophical and based on experience and wisdom.

7. The message of Ecclesiastes is that the course of life to be pursued is a God-centered life.

8. The most repeated refrain in the book is “Meaningless! Meaningless! Everything is meaningless!” or “Vanity!..”.

9. The genre of Ecclesiastes is a framed autobiography.

10. The fear of Yahweh and the keeping of his commands is the overall message of the book.

Multiple Choice

11. All of the following are key ideas from the book of Ecclesiastes except:

A) Frustrations in life are unavoidable

B) The seasons of life must be accepted

C) Life should not be expected to be self-fulfilling

D) Enjoyment in life will never come

12. The wisdom of Ecclesiastes comes from the “Qoheleth” which means ____________.

A) Judge

B) Sage/wise man

C) Teacher/preacher

D) Servant

13. The school of the rabbi_________, like many through history, questioned the authority of Ecclesiastes and its canonical status.

A) Hillel

B) Shammai

C) Akiva

D) Judah ben Tabbai

14. Literarily Ecclesiastes makes use of all of the following except for ______________.

A) Allegories

B) Metaphors

C) Proverbs

D) Sonnets

15. The Qoheleth repeatedly uses the phrase ___________ to speak of life and experience in the world.

A) "On the earth"

B) "In the land"

C) "Under the sun"

D) "Beneath the heavens"

Chapter Quiz

Chapter 19 – Song of Songs

True/False

1. Because of its theme and explicit, erotic language of the Song of Songs, rabbis and early church fathers endorsed its contents as an affirmation of God’s design for married love. False

2. All of Song of Songs is poetic in form except for verses in chapter 3, which feature narrative prose. False

3. Some of the metaphors in the book of Song of Songs appear to be taken from the experience of a husbandman working in a vineyard or a shepherd in the fields. True

4. The author of Songs of Songs makes use of reference to many objects in nature, including flora and fauna, to describe his lover. True

5. Songs may be read as an anthology of erotic poetry or even a multi-actor drama. True

Fill in the Blank

6. The major theme of Song of Songs is the positive dimensions of human love.

7. Although biblical ethics would naturally endorse this covenant, there is no explicit marriage between the lover and the beloved.

8. Most Jewish and Christian interpreters read the book as an allegory between God and his people.

9. The name of God does not appear in the book.

10. The NT writers build on the theme of Songs by setting forth the relationship that Jesus has with his church.

Multiple Choice

11. In the Hebrew Scripture Song of Songs is in the ______________ .

A) Torah

B) Latter Prophets

C) Writings

D) The Twelve

12. Authorship of Songs of Songs is traditionally attributed to ________________.

A) David

B) Nathan

C) Jeremiah

D) Solomon

13. In later Judaism Songs of Songs was designated to be read as a part of which feast, since it was understood to represent God’s love for Israel?

A) Passover

B) Purim

C) Yom Kippur

D) Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles)

14. Which of these represents an interpretative approach that has been taken with Song of Songs?

A) Wedding Cycle

B) Allegorical

C) Literal

D) All of the above

15. Which of the following people is not featured in Song of Songs?

A) Solomon

B) A Shulammite maiden

C) A village priest

D) A shepherd lover

Chapter Quiz

Chapter 20 – Isaiah

True/False

1. The background of Isaiah is the invasion of Israel by the Neo-Babylonian Empire. False

2. The material of the book is arranged to highlight the trustworthiness of the covenant God. True

3. The title "Redeemer" is used for God more than a dozen times in Isaiah. True

4. Isaiah chapters 36–39 feature four sons whose names were given prophetic significance. False

5. The Suffering Servant Songs are taken up by NT writers and applied to Christ. True

Fill in the Blank

6. The Holy One of Israel is a title used for God almost exclusively by Isaiah in the Old Testament.

7. The expectation that Yahweh will preserve a people after the exile is remnant theology.

8. The literary division between chapters 1-33 and 34-66 reflect parallel themes and imagery.

9. Isaiah 24-27 is also known as the Isaiah apocalypse.

10. The section dealing with judgment against the foreign nations is also known as the Oracles against the Nations.

Multiple Choice

11. The prophet Isaiah lived in the _________ century BC.

A) fourth

B) sixth

C) seventh

D) eighth

12. One of the biggest controversies surrounding the book of Isaiah is in relation to its __________.

A) Syntax

B) Vocabulary

C) Unity

D) Themes

13. How many major sections/scenarios is the book of Isaiah divided into?

A) 2

B) 4

C) 5

D) 6

14. Which two kings of Judah feature prominently in the book of Isaiah?

A) Ahaz and Hezekiah

B) Jotham and Manasseh

C) Josiah and Jehoiakim

D) Uzziah and Amaziah

15. All of the following are major themes in the book of Isaiah except…

A) Redeemer

B) The Servant

C) Hesed

D) The Holy One of Israel

Chapter Quiz

Chapter 21 – Jeremiah

True/False

1. Jeremiah deals with the issue of God’s judgment of nations due to generations of compounded sin. True

2. The book of Jeremiah occupies more space in the Bible than any other book. True

3. The ministry of the prophet Jeremiah spanned more than fifty years. False

4. Though Jeremiah is called to deliver a difficult message he seems to have been able to carry out his duty as a prophet without any substantial personal struggles. False

5. By Jeremiah’s time all of the false prophets had been expelled from Judah. False

Fill in the Blank

6. In the New Covenant of Jeremiah 31 God’s law will be written on the heart, not etched on stone tablets.

7. Jeremiah is also known as the weeping prophet.

8. Jeremiah’s priestly lineage goes back to Eli the priest.

9. The Greek edition of Jeremiah is shorter than the Hebrew edition and arranged differently.

10. Chapters 30-33 is called the Book of Consolation.

Multiple Choice

11. Jeremiah functioned as a prophet during which crisis in Israel’s history?

A) The Assyrian invasion

B) The fall of Jerusalem

C) The great locust plague

D) The split of the northern and southern kingdoms

12. Jeremiah’s scribe was _____________.

A) Baruch

B) Ezra

C) Eliezer

D) Accroupi

13. Jeremiah contains ___________ major books/sections.

A) 2

B) 3

C) 5

D) 7

14. All of the following are major themes in the book of Jeremiah except _______________.

A) The New Covenant

B) God’s policy with the nations

C) False prophets

D) The new temple

15. Jeremiah, against his petitions, was taken to:

A) Egypt

B) Jerusalem

C) Babylon

D) Assyria

Chapter Quiz

Chapter 22 – Lamentations

True/False

1. Lamentations illustrates the retributive aspect of human suffering; at least some suffering is brought on as punishment. True

2. Two of the poems of Lamentations 3 and 5 are cast in the form of a “lament” or “complaint”. True

3. The book of Lamentations pictures God as abandoning Judah to punishment. True

4. Lamentations is one of the Megilloth, or “Festival Scrolls” and is read annually at the Passover, the commemoration of God’s delivering of Israel from slavery in Egypt. False

5. Although Jeremiah is listed in the Hebrew Prophets section, Lamentations is listed among the Writings. True

Fill in the Blank

6. Lamentations records the day of the Lord for Judah, an event of God’s judgment and suffering.

7. The reason given for the fall of Jerusalem is the violation of the covenant between God and Israel/Judah.

8. Historically, there were two Babylonian deportations in 605 and 597 before the destruction of Jerusalem in 586 BC.

9. King Zedekiah rebelled against Babylon, which caused the exile and destruction.

10. The first four chapters are set as a literary acrostic.

Multiple Choice

11. Both the Septuagint and Jewish tradition ascribe authorship of Lamentations to ______________.

A) Jeremiah

B) Isaiah

C) Habakkuk

D) Solomon

12. The book of Lamentations mourns the fall of Jerusalem in ______________.

A) 722/721 BC

B) 682/681 BC

C) 587/586 BC

D) 528/527 BC

13. The book of Lamentations is comprised of five poems, three of which are ____________ , opening with the customary wail “how?”

A) Prayers

B) Funeral dirges

C) Acrostics

D) Imprecatory appeals

14. The lament of Jerusalem’s destruction is remembered on:

A) The 9th of Ab

B) The 15th of Nisan

C) The 1st of Chislev

D) The 8th of Tisrei

15. Who was the king of Babylon when Jerusalem fell?

A) Nabopolassar

B) Nabonidus

C) Nebuchadrezzar

D) Darius

Chapter Quiz

Chapter 23 – Ezekiel

True/False

1. The book of Ezekiel is autobiographical in style, often utilizing the personal and possessive pronouns “I,” “me,” and “my”. True

2. Several elements of apocalyptic literature reside in the writings of Ezekiel. True

3. The ministry of Ezekiel took place in Jerusalem after the return from exile. False

4. The purpose of the book of Ezekiel was to promote the rebuilding of the temple. False

5. Ezekiel is known for using bold and provocative language. True

Fill in the Blank

6. Ezekiel highlighted the individual responsibility of each generation to live according to God’s commands, and in doing so refuted the unwarranted displacement of blame for God’s punishment solely on the sinful behavior of previous generations.

7. Ezekiel is told not to mourn for the death of his wife.

8. According to the table in Longman and Dillard, the entire visionary sequence occurs over the course of twenty years.

9. Most likely due to the lack of the Jerusalem Temple, the role of Ezekiel transitions from that of a priest to a prophet.

10. The Greek edition of Ezekiel is about 4 or 5 percent shorter than the Hebrew edition.

Multiple Choice

11. Ezekiel was a ______________ by training.

A) Magistrate

B) Priest

C) Scribe

D) Farmer

12. The canonical value of Ezekiel was called into question because of _________________.

A) The prophet’s understanding of temple ritual

B) The lack of the use of the name of God in the book

C) Several sections containing erotic poetry portraying human love

D) Ezekiel’s questioning of the Davidic line of kings

13. How many times does Ezekiel’s chariot vision appear in the text?

A) 1

B) 2

C) 3

D) 4

14. Ezekiel 40-48 is primarily about:

A) A restored temple

B) A destroyed temple

C) A restored heaven and earth

D) A destroyed heaven and earth

15. The Lord addresses Ezekiel by the title _____________ some ninety times in the book.

A) Prophet

B) Son of Man

C) Mighty Man

D) Son of Buzi

Chapter Quiz

Chapter 24 – Daniel

True/False

1. The sovereignty of God is one of the core messages of Daniel. True

2. The authorship of the book of Daniel is virtually undisputed in scholarly study. False

3. The identity of Darius the Mede causes questions for scholars. True

4. Though Daniel and his friends reside in a pagan nation the surrounding culture appears to be amiable toward Israelite religion. False

5. Daniel has both court narrative and apocalyptic prophecy genres. True

Fill in the Blank

6. One major theme in Daniel is the pride of kings that leads to the eventual downfall.

7. The Kingdom of God, a concept introduced in chapter 2 as that which will never be destroyed, is one of the major themes of the book of Daniel.

8. The Greek edition of Daniel has three extra stories that are not present in the Hebrew edition.

9. The “abomination of desolation” event is often associated with the temple defilement by Antiochus Epiphanes.

10. Jesus applies Son of Man language to himself as the fulfillment of the apocalyptic figure in Daniel 7.

Multiple Choice

11. Daniel was trained in diplomatic service and served in the ____________ government.

A) Assyrian

B) Egyptian

C) Hittite

D) Babylonian

12. The book of Daniel is written in Hebrew and has a large section written in ________.

A) Akkadian

B) Aramaic

C) Ugaritic

D) Syriac

13. How many kingdoms are featured in the visions of Daniel chapters 2 and 7?

A) 3

B) 4

C) 6

D) 7

14. The device by which prophetic events in Daniel are “compressed” is known as:

A) Telescoping

B) Redacted

C) Recontextualized

D) Allegorized

15. Some scholars attribute the writing of the book of Daniel to an author in the second century BC due to very precise predictions in chapter 11 relating to what world empire?

A) Persian

B) Roman

C) Greek

D) Egyptian

Chapter Quiz

Chapter 25 – Hosea

True/False

1. One of the purposes of the book of Hosea was to highlight the physical and spiritual harlotry of Israel. True

2. Though Hosea delivered his message to the northern kingdom, he was actually from Judah. False

3. Hosea’s message was delivered prior to Babylon’s destruction of the northern kingdom in 722 BC. False

4. Legal terminology abounds in Hosea as God brings a “lawsuit” against Israel. True

5. Hosea’s prophecy is solely focused on the northern kingdom. False

Fill in the Blank

6. God’s controversy with Israel was rooted in the conflicting religious ideologies of Canaanite Baalism and Hebrew Yahwism.

7. Chapters 1-3 are set more as literary prose, while chapters 4-14 are literary poetry.

8. The Syro-Ephraimite War pitted Judah against Israel and Syria.

9. Figurative devices such as metaphor and simile are rife in Hosea to compare Israel with a variety of flora and fauna.

10. Its seems that Hosea depicts a divine divorce between Yahweh and Israel, much like what is described in Jeremiah 3 and Ezekiel 23.

Multiple Choice

11. Hosea the prophet operated during the northern kingdom’s “golden age” under King __________.

A) Jehu

B) Jeroboam II

C) Omri

D) Pekah

12. God commanded Hosea to marry a ______________ named Gomer.

A) Prostitute

B) Handmaiden

C) Servant girl

D) Baroness

13. The Canaanite god Baal was a god of ______________ .

A) The sea

B) The sun

C) Warfare

D) Fertility

14. Which is not one of Hosea’s offspring?

A) Jezreel

B) Amoz

C) Lo-Ruhammah

D) Lo-Ammi

15. Chapters 1–3 of Hosea are arranged in a literary pattern known as _____________.

A) Palistrophe

B) Acrostic

C) Dirge

D) Epigram

Chapter Quiz

Chapter 26 – Joel

True/False

1. Joel prophetically identified a current crisis as God’s judgment on the community. True

2. The historical background of Joel’s prophecy is difficult to ascertain. True

3. The book of Joel is quoted by Peter in his message on the day of Pentecost. True

4. One of Joel’s major indictments of Israel is in relation to the worship of Baal. False

5. Due to the mention of the reign of King Uzziah the book of Joel can be dated to 750 BC. False

Fill in the Blank

6. Joel’s main concern throughout the book was to address the day of the Lord, a time of destruction and judgment.

7. The sequence of Hosea-Joel is different in the Greek edition of the Book of the Twelve.

8. The Jerusalem Temple is present and maintained in Joel, so the historical context is probably in the postexilic period.

9. The locust plague seems to be a portent of a human army coming against Jerusalem.

10. Joel is important for Paul in Romans and the book of Acts and Peter’s Pentecost speech.

Multiple Choice

11. The book of Joel abundantly uses words, phrases, and motifs from which prophetic books?

A) Malachi, Habakkuk, and Zechariah

B) Isaiah, Amos, and Ezekiel

C) Amos, Malachi, and Obadiah

D) Isaiah, Habakkuk, and Zephaniah

12. Joel uses the image of ______________ to speak of impending invasion and devastation.

A) Malnourished cows

B) Withering crops

C) A locust plague

D) An epidemic of bubonic plague

13. Prior to becoming a prophet Joel was a _________________.

A) Farmer

B) Merchant

C) Priest

D) None of the above

14. Joel 2 expects the Spirit of Yahweh to be poured out on:

A) All men and women

B) Only men

C) Only Hebrew people

D) All Gentiles

15. The lament in Joel is that the locusts will destroy crops and livestock so that:

A) The people will not be able to eat

B) The priests cannot provide sacrifice at the temple

C) The invaders will not be able to eat from the land

D) The land will not be good for agriculture

Chapter Quiz

Chapter 27 – Amos

True/False

1. Amos is the oldest of the writing prophets. True

2. Amos says mistreatment of the poor is a symptom of spiritual sickness. True

3. Amos was the only writing prophet who lived and ministered in the northern kingdom. False

4. Amos opens his prophecy with ten oracles against the nations. False

5. The only nation which does not receive an oracle of condemnation is Judah. False

Fill in the Blank

6. Although the book of Amos is less than 150 verses, there are over 60 commentaries on the book from the 1960s to 1980s.

7. Amos was a Judean from the village of Tekoa.

8. Although he has this sort of ministry, he does not identify himself as a prophet.

9. The book begins with a set of Oracles against the Nations in chapters 1-2.

10. After the judgment speeches in chapters 3-6, a series of five visionary reports take up chapters 7-9.

Multiple Choice

11. Prior to becoming a prophet Amos was a _______________.

A) Priest

B) Magistrate

C) Shepherd

D) Soldier

12. Amos’ prophecies were delivered to Israel at _____________, a site of syncretistic worship.

A) Samaria

B) Bethel

C) Dan

D) Hazor

13. What natural phenomena/event is referenced in Amos 1:1?

A) An earthquake

B) A whirlwind

C) A famine

D) A tidal wave

14. A major theme in the book of Amos is ________________.

A) Temple worship

B) Intermarriage with surrounding pagan peoples

C) The day of the Lord

D) Social justice

15. Amos dated his prophecy by reference to which two kings?

A) Uzziah and Jeroboam II

B) Hezekiah and Hoshea

C) Jehoash and Amaziah

D) Pekah and Jotham

Chapter Quiz

Chapter 28 – Obadiah

True/False

1. One of the major reasons for which Obadiah proclaims judgment on this pagan nation is because of its pride. True

2. Obadiah is one of the most detailed books in the Old Testament in terms of background, giving the time, setting, and information about the prophet at the beginning of the book. False

3. Obadiah’s name means “the Lord will triumph”. False

4. Obadiah touches on the theme of the day of the Lord for the nations. True

5. Obadiah is concerned with social justice and the spiritual sickness which is at the root of people’s mistreatment of the poor. False

Fill in the Blank

6. Obadiah’s oracle concludes with the promise of restoration for the remnant of Israel.

Multiple Choice

7. The book of Obadiah pronounces divine judgment on what nation?

A) Babylon

B) Edom

C) Assyria

D) Damascus

8. Obadiah is the ____________ book in the Old Testament.

A) Oldest

B) Shortest

C) Longest

D) Last

9. The most likely background for the book of Obadiah is ________________.

A) The fall of Samaria

B) The death of King Hezekiah

C) The fall of Jerusalem

D) The Edict of Cyrus

10. The book of Obadiah espouses the idea of Lex Talionis which means _____________.

A) "To the victor go the spoils"

B) "An eye for an eye"

C) "Seize the day"

D) "Never give up"

Chapter Quiz

Chapter 29 – Jonah

True/False

1. Jonah claims to be the author the book of Jonah. False

2. In interpreting the book, Jonah should be equated with the city of Nineveh. True

3. The king of Nineveh in the book of Jonah has been identified as Tiglath Pileser III. False

4. The message of the book of Jonah is directed toward Israel, encouraging her to move beyond her borders to evangelize other nations and to love and forgive her enemies. False

5. The book of Jonah is unique among the Prophets in that it relates episodes from the life of Jonah instead of being a collection of oracles. True

Fill in the Blank

6. The message of the book concerns God’s sovereign right to bestow compassion on whomever he will, even to the point of relenting from threatened destruction.

7. Another major theme of the book is theodicy, or justifying the ways of God, which in the story of Jonah takes the form of being justified to act as he pleases whether that is in mercy or judgment.

8. Chapter 2 relates a poetic psalm describing the prophet’s rescue from a watery death.

9. Jonah is the only prophet portrayed as taking his message to foreigners outside the land of Israel.

10. The Jonah story is taken up by Jesus in the NT to describe his death and resurrection.

Multiple Choice

11. The book of Jonah concerns the judgment of the city of Nineveh, the capital of ____________.

A) Babylon

B) Damascus

C) Assyria

D) Persia

12. When Jonah sees that God has relented from destroying Nineveh because of their repentance he is _____________.

A) Excited

B) Confused

C) Relieved

D) Angry

13. The book of Jonah is structured with __________ roughly even sections.

A) 2

B) 3

C) 4

D) 5

14. Ironically, the characters who show repentance are two of the following:

A) Animals

B) Judeans

C) Gentile sailors

D) Israelites

15. The book of Jonah ends with:

A) Destruction of the city

B) Jonah’s repentance

C) A question from God

D) Restoration of the city

Chapter Quiz

Chapter 30 – Micah

True/False

1. Micah’s prophecy ends with an oracle of hope. True

2. Within its context, Micah 6:8 should be understood as a comprehensive statement of God’s demands on humanity. False

3. Micah’s ministry was set against the backdrop of the impending Babylonian invasion. False

4. Micah’s message was that the people were guilty of injustice. True

5. One of Micah’s primary concerns centers around maintaining the Davidic line of kings. False

Fill in the Blank

6. The historical context is before the fall of Samaria in 722 BC.

7. The Hebrew style is hard, and the oracles are not chronological.

8. Chapter 4 may be seen as the highpoint of Micah with the restoration of Mount Zion.

9. Micah is not an urban prophet but probably a rural figure who has witnessed Assyria’s aggression.

10. Micah begins with a theophany hymn where Yahweh is the divine warrior against Israel.

Multiple Choice

11. Micah was a contemporary of the prophet _______________.

A) Jeremiah

B) Isaiah

C) Ezekiel

D) Zephaniah

12. The prophet Micah is specifically referred to in the prophetic book of ________________.

A) Jeremiah

B) Isaiah

C) Ezekiel

D) Zephaniah

13. How many judgment oracles did Micah give?

A) 3

B) 4

C) 5

D) 7

14. Each of Micah’s ____________ major divisions opens with the call to “listen.”

A) 3

B) 4

C) 5

D) 7

15. Micah 5:2 gives the expectation of a messianic ruler from:

A) Bethlehem

B) Shiloh

C) Jerusalem

D) Bethel

Chapter Quiz

Chapter 31 – Nahum

True/False

1. The Assyrians had a reputation in the Old Testament for incredible cruelty. True

2. The purpose of the book of Nahum was to pronounce the possibility of Nineveh avoiding destruction through repentance. False

3. Because of internal evidence, namely the known date of the destruction of the city of Nineveh, it is logical to date the book of Nahum prior to 712 BC. False

4. The mention of the fall of the Egyptian city of Memphis is another factor which helps to the date the book of Nahum. False

5. The final section of Nahum contains a dirge suggesting the reasons for God’s action against Nineveh. True

6. It is likely that Manasseh or Josiah was in power when Nahum delivered his oracle. True

Fill in the Blank

7. Nahum’s name means “compassion”.

8. Nahum and Habakkuk are similar where the former begins with a theophany hymn and foreign judgment, while the latter concludes with a theophany hymn and foreign judgment.

9. The prophetic book is also called a vision and oracle in the superscription.

10. Nineveh is depicted as a lion, which is the animal that they were represented by.

11. The Divine Warrior theme in often used in the OT and NT to portray Yahweh as

fighting on behalf of his people.

Multiple Choice

12. The book of Nahum opens with an introductory _____________.

A) Lament

B) Prayer

C) Psalm

D) Dirge

13. The book of Nahum contains many parallels to the book of ________ including vocabulary, phrasing, theme, and motif.

E) Isaiah

F) Amos

G) Jonah

H) Hosea

14. The second section of the book of Nahum contains alternating addresses to Nineveh and ________.

I) Thebes

J) Judah

K) Babylon

L) Damascus

15. Which other prophet’s ministry also involved the city of Nineveh?

M) Hosea

N) Amos

O) Micah

P) Jonah

Chapter Quiz

Chapter 32 – Habakkuk

True/False

1. The book of Habakkuk appears to have been written during a period of time when Assyrian power was on the decline. True

2. Habakkuk was concerned with the justice of God at a time when a wicked nation was prospering. True

3. There is a “wisdom” tone to the prophecy of Habakkuk. True

4. Habakkuk identifies himself as a priest in the line of Zadok. False

5. The major event which looms in the background of Habakkuk is the recent destruction of Jerusalem. False

6. Habakkuk, like Job, receives no answers to his questions about God’s justice. False

Fill in the Blank

7. Habakkuk 2:4b, “But the righteous will live by faith,” is quoted by Paul in the New Testament.

8. Habakkuk 1-2 was important for the theological exegesis for the Essenes at Qumran.

9. Chapters 1-2 record two prophetic complaints and two divine responses.

10. Another name for the Babylonians is Chaldeans.

11. Habakkuk concludes with material similar to the beginning of the prophetic book Nahum.

Multiple Choice

12. The book of Habakkuk is organized around several __________ by the prophet.

A) Psalms

B) Dirges

C) Inquiries

D) Monologues

13. The main question of the book of Habakkuk is, ____________________?

A) How could God let Jerusalem fall

B) How can those who are wicked go unpunished

C) How can Israel survive without a temple

D) How could God allow King Josiah to die

14. Habakkuk has elements of wisdom and hymnic material like the following two books:

A) Job

B) Psalms

C) Genesis

D) Micah

15. In the book of Habakkuk the main instrument of God’s judgment will be ______________.

A) Plagues

B) The Babylonians

C) Drought

D) The Assyrians

Chapter Quiz

Chapter 33 – Zephaniah

True/False

1. The purpose of the prophecies by Zephaniah was to initiate change in Judah by pronouncing God’s judgment on wickedness. True

2. Zephaniah was possibly a member of the royal household. True

3. Zephaniah was specific that judgment for Judah would include destruction of the temple. False

4. Zephaniah’s oracles of judgment were focused solely on Judah. False

5. Zephaniah’s message of judgment for Judah also included a message of eventual restoration. True

Fill in the Blank

6. A major theme of Zephaniah was the day of the Lord, a time when the current state of affairs would be replaced by the Lord’s intended order of things.

7. The extended genealogy in Zephaniah 1:1 is unique among the prophets.

8. The Daughter Zion oracles reflect expectations for the restoration of Jerusalem.

9. Zephaniah is appropriated by NT writers for the restoration of the nations and Yahwistic worship.

10. Zephaniah probably means “Yahweh treasures”.

Multiple Choice

11. The prophet Zephaniah was a contemporary of the prophet ________________.

A) Jeremiah

B) Isaiah

C) Nahum

D) Amos

12. Who was the pagan nation threatening Judah during the time of Zephaniah’s ministry?

A) Assyria

B) Babylon

C) Persia

D) Aram

13. According the superscription of the book (1:1) the prophecies of Zephaniah are dated to the reign of _________________.

A) Hezekiah

B) Josiah

C) Manasseh

D) Ahaz

14. In the sequence of the Book of the Twelve, Zephaniah is the last prophetic book before the:

A) Babylonian exile

B) Assyrian exile

C) Egyptian exile

D) Persian exile

15. The apostasy of King _______________ for the five decades prior to the ministry of Zephaniah exacted a heavy spiritual toll on Judah.

A) Hezekiah

B) Josiah

C) Manasseh

D) Ahaz

Chapter Quiz

Chapter 34 – Haggai

True/False

1. Though Haggai gives the name of the king reigning in Judah during the time of his prophecies, we cannot pinpoint the exact time of his prophetic activity. False

2. Haggai was possibly a member of the royal household. False

3. One of Haggai’s concerns was the reinstitution of the liturgical calendar. True

4. One of Haggai’s concerns was the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem. False

5. The fourth address by Haggai promised to establish Zerubbabel as “a signet ring” in Zion, thus rekindling the messianic expectation among the Israelites. True

Fill in the Blank

6. The major theme of the book of Haggai is the rebuilding of the Jerusalem Temple.

7. Haggai is referenced in the book of Ezra and the restoration of Jerusalem.

8. Haggai means “my feast” in Hebrew.

9. The expectation is that if the temple is restored then the land will also be restored.

10. The prophet exhorts Joshua the high priest and Zerubbabel the governor of Judah to lead the people in rebuilding.

Multiple Choice

11. Haggai was a contemporary of the other postexilic prophet, ___________________.

A) Isaiah

B) Jeremiah

C) Obadiah

D) Zechariah

12. The backdrop for Haggai’s prophecy was the reign of ____________, king of Persia

A) Nebuchedrezzar

B) Darius I

C) Xerxes II

D) Cyrus

13. How many “messages” comprise the book of Haggai?

A) 3

B) 4

C) 5

D) 6

14. The “Branch” figure likely refers to:

A) Zerubbabel

B) Josiah

C) Zechariah

D) Zephaniah

15. Along with the prophet in the answer to question #1, which other three books comprise the corpus of Old Testament Prophetic literature dating to the Persian period of Hebrew history (ca. 550–330 BC)?

A) Daniel, Joel, and Malachi

B) Daniel, Amos, and Joel

C) Habakkuk, Nahum, and Amos

D) Nahum, Malachi, and Habakkuk

Chapter Quiz

Chapter 35 – Zechariah

True/False

1. Critical scholarship divides Zechariah into five parts on the basis of perceived differences in style, vocabulary, theme, and genre. False

2. Sections 1 and 2 of Zechariah are arranged in an acrostic structure. False

3. Zechariah summoned the community to repentance and spiritual renewal. True

4. Zechariah’s message was laced with concern for social justice in the present. True

5. Zechariah 1-8 narrates a visionary dream sequence regarding the restoration of Jerusalem. True

Fill in the Blank

6. Though Zechariah does not use the phrases “the day of the Lord” or “the kingdom of God” the book contributes greatly to our knowledge of the Hebrew understanding of eschatology.

7. Zechariah has more to say about the Messiah than any other Old Testament book except Isaiah.

8. Concerning length, Zechariah is the longest of the Minor Prophets.

9. Chapters 9-11 and 12-14 are often divided due to the “oracle of the word of Yahweh” references.

10. The high priest Joshua is clothed and prepared for service in Zechariah 4.

Multiple Choice

11. Along with being a prophet, Zechariah was also a ________________ .

A) Governmental official

B) Scribe

C) Priest

D) Farmer

12. Zechariah means ___________________.

A) Yahweh is strong

B) Yahweh has remembered

C) Yahweh will return

D) Yahweh is here

13. The first section of Zechariah contains ___________ “night visions.”

A) 3

B) 5

C) 7

D) 9

14. Like Haggai, the dating scheme in Zechariah is based on the reign of:

A) Cyrus

D) Darius I

C) Darius II

D) Xerxes

15. The reign of ___________ , king of Persia is the background for Zechariah’s prophecies.

A) Cyrus

D) Darius I

C) Xerxes II

D) Nabonidus

Chapter Quiz

Chapter 36 – Malachi

True/False

1. Malachi is the last book of the Old Testament both in terms of position in the canon and chronology. False

2. Malachi speaks out against idolatry, social injustice, and easy divorce. True

3. The predominant theme of Malachi is Israel’s covenant relationship with God and its ramifications. True

4. Malachi identifies himself as a part of the priestly family of Iddo. False

5. The message of Malachi reflects conditions associated with pre-Ezra decline. True

6. In the book of Malachi, the oracles are interspersed with twenty rhetorical questions designed to leave the opponent devoid of further argumentation. False

Fill in the Blank

7. One of the major themes in the book of Malachi was the promise of an Elijah-like figure as a messenger of the covenant.

8. If the people do not obey, Yahweh promises to strike the land with a curse.

9. Malachi can mean “my messenger”.

10. The prophetic figure seems to be a priest with a complaint against other priests.

11. The opening oracle refers to Yahweh’s love of Jacob and hatred of Esau.

Multiple Choice

12. One of the major themes identified in Malachi is _________________.

A) Temple and liturgy

B) Marriage and divorce

C) King and land

D) Judgment of the nations

13. Forty-seven of the fifty-five verses of the book of Malachi address Israel in the ________ person.

A) first

B) second

C) third

D) None of the above

14. The NT Gospel of _________ opens with an allusion to Malachi 3:1 and Isaiah 40:3.

A) Matthew

B) Mark

C) Luke

D) John

15. Malachi is composed of a series of _______ oracles.

A) 4

B) 5

C) 6

D) 7

Midterm and Final Exams

Name: _____________________

Introduction to the Old Testament

Midterm Exam – With Answers

Material on the midterm exam: the exam covers the first part of IOT (introduction plus chapters 1-19). Know the time period and themes of each biblical book in addition to the information in IOT.

Content of the final exam: objective questions: true/false, short answer, fill in the blank, and multiple choice. The fifty questions will be two points each.

1. What is the only perspective that the authors do not cover in each chapter?

a. historical background

b. literary analysis

c. theological message

d. pastoral view

2. What is minimalism? The historical perspective that most of the OT does not preserve actual historical events but only a theological rendering and fictitious fabrication of the Israelite monarchy and story.

3. The Old Testament stories and books have two contexts: the OT context and the NT context.

a. True

b. False

4. What is the P source? This is the so-called 5th or 4th century BC source for portions of Genesis to Numbers. The source has an emphasis on the cultic law, genealogy, priesthood, and concerns of a postexilic setting.

5. The usual literary division in Genesis is:

a. Gen 1-11 and 12-50

b. Gen 1-2 and 3-50

c. Gen 1-38 and 39-50

d. Gen 1-25 and 26-50

6. Who are the three offspring after Abraham by which the privileged seed belongs?

Isaac, Jacob, Judah

7. How many years were the Israelites said to have lived in Egypt?

a. 400

b. 430

c. 480

d. 500

8. Longman and Dillard lean toward a 15th century exodus proposal.

a. True

b. False

9. What city is an archaeological problem for either the 15th or 12th century exodus options?

a. Jericho

b. Hazor

c. Ai

d. Dan

10. How many types of sacrifices are described in Leviticus 1-6?

a. 4

b. 5

c. 6

d. 7

11. In what part of the Israelite camp is Yahweh’s tabernacle placed?

In the middle

12. What were the inside and outside areas of the Israelite camp designated?

Clean and unclean; holy and defiled

13. How does the book of Numbers begin?

a. call to repentance

b. oracle of Yahweh

c. rebellion against Moses

d. census of the people

14. What does Moses lift up among the camp of Israel for their healing after being bitten by fiery serpents?

A bronze serpent

15. Who is named as Moses’ successor?

a. Aaron

b. Eliezar

c. Joshua

d. Caleb

16. What is the alleged event that is the background for the discovery of Deuteronomy?

The book of the law found in the temple during King Josiah’s reign

17. Parts of Deuteronomy appear similar to second millennium Hittite treaties.

a. True

b. False

18. Moses, the law-giver of Israel, enters into the promised land right before his death.

a. True

b. False

19. The Babylonian Talmud suggests that _Joshua__ wrote the book of Joshua.

20. The historical, archaeological, and literary challenge with Joshua is the _conquest__ narrative.

21. Only one of these is not a proposed model for the origins of ancient Israel.

a. peasant revolt

b. collapse

c. immigration

d. patriarchal

22. What is the Deuteronomistic History?

Martin Noth’s theory that Deuteronomy through 2 Kings formed a single theological and literary report from exodus to exile.

23. “Everyone did what was right in his own eyes”__ is the cyclical refrain that demonstrates the downward spiral of Israel’s rebellion.

24. Which is not a major judge?

a. Ehud

b. Deborah

c. Jael

d. Gideon

25. Ruth is a Moabite gentile woman.

a. True

b. False

26. The expectation of a _kinsman redeemer__ is a theme related to Ruth finding a husband and provider.

27. Ruth’s name probably means “friend” or “companion”.

a. True

b. False

28. The final literary form of Samuel has positive and negative remarks about what institution?

monarchy

29. Who is the person whom the prophet/priest Samuel anoints as the first king of Israel?

a. Saul

b. David

c. Solomon

d. Rehoboam

30. The book of Samuel has parallel passages in the book of _Chronicles__.

31. The book of Kings is part of the Former Prophets section.

a. True

b. False

32. What is antedating and postdating?

Egyptian antedating was counted as the first year starting from the accession month. Mesopotamian postdating was counted as beginning in the new year after the accession month.

33. What king breaks off and rules the ten tribes in the north?

a. Omri

b. Ahab

c. Jeroboam

d. Jeroboam II

34. Chronicles is parallel to Samuel and Kings, but it represents David and Solomon differently. How?

Many of the sins of David and Solomon are not mentioned

35. How does Chronicles being?

a. with a list of Israel’s sins

b. with a genealogy

c. with Solomon’s temple building

d. with a Neo-Assyrian invasion

36. Retribution for sin and rebellion is understood as immediate by the author of Chronicles.

a.True

b. False

37. During what foreign rule does Ezra-Nehemiah occur?

a. Greek

b. Persian

c. Babylonian

d. Assyrian

38. What is Nehemiah’s role in the court of Artaxerxes I?

cupbearer

39. What is the genre of Ezra-Nehemiah?

a. poetry

b. oracles

c. memoirs

d. wisdom

40. Esther was always easily accepted into the Hebrew and Christian OT canon.

a. True

b. False

41. Although Mordecai and Haman are the chief protagonist and antagonist, what earlier Israelite and foreign kings is the story also about?

Saul and Agag

42. Job was an early Israelite man who sacrificed for his family.

a. True

b. False

43. Ultimately __Yahweh__ answers Job in storm clouds and defends him among his friends.

44. The collection of Psalms is divided into __five__ books.

45. What is not a genre type for the Psalms?

a. lament

b. thanksgiving

c. petition

d. repentance

46. With what emphasis does Proverbs end?

Poem to a virtuous woman

47. Does Proverbs seem to be written by one author or multiple?

Multiple

48. What is the given name of the author of the core section in Ecclesiastes?

Qoheleth

49. Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Songs are __wisdom__ literature.

50. How have church interpreters through the centuries often read Song of Songs?

a. historical narrative

b. love poetry

c. divine allegory

d. Solomon’s story

Name: _____________________

Introduction to the Old Testament

Final Exam – With Answers

Material on the final exam: the exam only covers the Prophetic Books (chapters 20-36). Know the time period, themes, and region of each prophetic character and his respective biblical book in addition to the information in IOT.

Content of the final exam: objective questions: true/false, short answer, fill in the blank, and multiple choice. The fifty questions will be two points each.

1. Although many scholars divide Isaiah into three parts, the book has a remarkable unity.

a. True

b. False

2. What is the historical period for Isaiah ben Amoz?

During the Neo-Assyrian Empire or 8th century BC

3. The four __Servant of Yahweh__ Songs are found in Isaiah 40-66.

4. What is the sad event that Jeremiah witnesses?

a. killing of priests

b. death of his on

c. deportation and exile

d. his sickness

5. What is the noticeable difference between the MT and LXX versions of Jeremiah?

The MT version is longer, and Oracles against the Nations section is in different places (middle in LXX and end of MT).

6. Jeremiah is particularly important for the NT writers with the __New Covenant__ theme.

7. Lamentations is unusual lament poetry because it has five acrostic poems.

a. True

b. False

8. Lamentations is a _city_ lament that grieves the fall of Jerusalem.

9. Ezekiel is the only prophetic book set in the Babylonian exile.

a. True

b. False

10. What is the focus of Ezekiel 40-48?

a. restored priesthood

b. a new Davidic king

c. restored temple and land

d. more years of exile

11. What does Yahweh tell the prophet he must not publicly grieve over?

a. the loss of his wife

b. the death of the people

c. the destruction of the temple

d. his parents’ death

12. Daniel is written in what two languages?

Aramaic and Hebrew

13. The book of Daniel is a challenge because there seem to be historical errors.

a. True

b. False

14. Daniel is both __court narrative__ and __apocalyptic prophecy__ genres.

15. Hosea is the only Israelite prophet to Israel in the Book of the Twelve.

a. True

b. False

16. Most of Hosea is about the fall of the __northern Israelite__ kingdom.

17. One of the major themes in Hosea is that the land and people have been adulterous against Yahweh.

a. True

b. False

18. The divine portent for Yahweh’s judgment in Joel is depicted as:

a. pestilence

b. storms and whirlwinds

c. locusts

d. famine

19. Joel is easy to place historically because it has content by which to date the book.

a. True

b. False

20. Joel is important for the book of Acts and the event of __Pentecost__.

21. Amos is the only Judean prophet to minister in northern Israel in the Book of the Twelve.

a. True

b. False

22. How does the book of Amos start off?

Oracles against the Nations

23. The __Day__ of Yahweh (or the Lord) is an important theme in Amos.

24. The chief antagonist and enemy of Yahweh’s people and Jerusalem given in Obadiah is __Edom__.

25. Obadiah relates Yahweh as what for Israel?

a. strong rock

b. good shepherd

c. good creator

d. divine warrior

26. In chapter two the book of Jonah depicts the prophet’s watery episode as:

A poetic psalm

27. Jonah is interesting because the book ends with a __question__ from Yahweh to the prophet.

28. Micah is a an 8th century Judean prophet in the context of Isaiah and Amos.

a. True

b. False

29. Micah appears to witness the terrible invasion of:

Sennacherib and the Neo-Assyrian army

30. The book of Micah is important concerning the birth of whom in the NT?

Jesus

31. Nahum is a taunt against Nineveh and Assyria.

a. True

b. False

32. The poetry of Nahum starts off with Yahweh portrayed as a Divine Warrior.

a. True

b. False

33. If Jonah shows the repentance of the Ninevites, then Nahum shows their

a. destruction

b. reconciliation

c. mercy

d. deportation

34. Habakkuk cannot understand Yahweh’s mercy to Israel.

a. True

b. False

35. The prophet is concerned with:

a. famine over the land

b. the destruction of the temple

c. idolatry

d. Babylonian invasion

36. As Nahum begins with the divine warrior theme, Habakkuk ends with it.

a. True

b. False

37. A theme important to Zephaniah is:

a. the coming Davidic king

b. the Day of Yahweh

c. Persian presence in Jerusalem

d. rebuilding of Jerusalem

38. Yahweh values whom in Zephaniah?

a. lame and outcast

b. rich and powerful

c. priests and prophets

d. kings and queens

39. Zephaniah is set around King __Josiah’s__ reforms.

40. The twin themes of __land__ and __temple__ occupy the prophet’s ministry.

41. Who might the ‘Branch’ be for Haggai?

Zerubbabel

42. If the Jerusalem __temple__ is rebuilt, then Yahweh will again dwell with His people.

43. Zechariah the prophet has a series of what in chapters 1-6?

Night visions of a restored Jerusalem

44. Scholars often divide Zechariah up into how many literary sections?

a. 1

b. 2

c. 3

d. 4

45. What genre is often given to Zechariah 9-14?

apocalyptic

46. How is Zechariah appropriated in the NT?

Prophecies of Jesus’ Passion Week

47. What does “malachi” mean?

My messenger

48. It seems that Malachi is a priestly complaint against __priests__.

49. At the book’s conclusion, what will Yahweh do if the people do not heed Moses and Elijah?

He will strike the land with a curse.

50. How do you now read the OT differently than before this course?

Suggested Chapter Essay Questions

Chapter 1 – Introduction

• How does the historical, literary, and theological perspectives come together when studying the OT?

• In light of scholars from the minimalistic perspective, why is it essential for history and theology to be two sides of the same coin?

Chapter 2 – Genesis

• What are the advantages and disadvantages of the Documentary Hypothesis and source-critical studies?

• What are some possible reasons why Genesis 39-50 is about Joseph and not about someone from the tribe of Judah?

Chapter 3 – Exodus

• Based on the biblical and historical evidence does one exodus date have more appeal? Is it possible that the question of the exodus date is too narrow and that there may have been more than one?

• Describe the configuration of the wilderness tabernacle and the Israelite camp.

Chapter 4 – Leviticus

• Describe the reason and benefit of the five offerings.

• Why is diet, circumcision, and ritual purity so essential to covenant relationship to Yahweh?

Chapter 5 – Numbers

• Longman and Dillard give three ways to look at the structure of Numbers. Evaluate each.

• How is the wilderness theme appropriated in the Pentateuch, the rest of the OT, and then in the NT?

Chapter 6 – Deuteronomy

• How is the book of Deuteronomy a significant study for scholars, especially with respect to cultic reforms and the exilic period?

• Does Deuteronomy have more affinity with first millennium Assyrian treaties or second millennium Hittite treaties? Explain.

Chapter 7 – Joshua

• There are internal, textual difficulties with the Joshua conquest narrative. Evaluate the historically and theologically the conquest of Canaan.

• There are modern ethical sensibilities that question the idea of a “holy war” prescribed by God. How should this idea be understood in light of biblical and modern morality?

Chapter 8 – Judges

• How does the writer portray the idea of kingship, and how does this prepare the reader for the Samuel narrative?

• Samson is given positive and negative qualities. Describe these characteristics and how the writer wants us to understand this enigmatic figure.

Chapter 9 – Ruth

• Even though God is rarely given mention, how does he figure in the Ruth story?

• Describe the social idea of a kinsman redeemer.

Chapter 10 – Samuel

• How do scholars understand the composition of Samuel?

• Compare some of the aspects of Samuel in the MT and Qumran manuscripts.

Chapter 11 – Kings

• How does the book of Kings begin and end, and what does this tell us about the author(’s, s’) emphases?

• Reflect on the similarities and differences between the royal Jerusalem cult and the popular countryside and village cult.

Chapter 12 – Chronicles

• How does the book of Chronicles begin and end, and what does this tell us about the author(’s, s’) emphases?

• How are David and Solomon portrayed by the chronicler?

Chapter 13 – Ezra-Nehemiah

• Evaluate the supposed dates for when Ezra and then Nehemiah (or Nehemiah and then Ezra) were in Jerusalem.

• What does this Ezra-Nehemiah literary complex tell us about Jewish schisms and tension in the Persian Yehud?

Chapter 14 – Esther

• What are some reasons why Esther had some difficulty being accepted in the Hebrew canon?

• Compare the Mordecai and Haman story with that of Saul and Agag.

Chapter 15 – Job

• Evaluate the context and time frame of the Job figure in relation to the patriarchs and Israelite history.

• How does wisdom, creation, and suffering all tie in to this ANE theodicy?

Chapter 16 – Psalms

• What is thematically significant about each of the five books of the Psalter and the greater Psalter narrative?

• Reflect on the lament and thanksgiving genre. What are specific psalms of this genre type, and how do they function?

Chapter 17 – Proverbs

• Compare and contrast Proverbs 1-9 and 10-31.

• In what way, if at all, can Lady Wisdom be associated with Jesus and his divine status?

Chapter 18 – Ecclesiastes

• There seems to be a frame narrative that begins and concludes the book. Evaluate how we should understand the material from Qoheleth and that of the frame narrator.

• Describe whether the view of wisdom complements or contradicts or corrects the wisdom set forth in Proverbs and Job.

Chapter 19 – Song of Songs

• What are the various ways in which Song of Songs was interpreted in Judaism and Christianity?

• What does the text of Songs actually say about sexuality, and how does this align or deviate from other texts of sexuality in the Bible?

Chapter 20 – Isaiah

• Evaluate the issue of authorship in the book of Isaiah.

• Consider the Suffering Servant Song and how they both point to a singular and plural messianic servant of Yahweh.

Chapter 21 – Jeremiah

• What is the social, political, and religious situation in Jerusalem and Judea like in Jeremiah’s day?

• Describe the differences between LXX and MT versions of Jeremiah.

Chapter 22 – Lamentations

• What is a “city lament”, and how does this fit the style and content of Lamentations ?

• What are elements of deep poetical reflection and emotional responses to Yahweh?

Chapter 23 – Ezekiel

• Describe the judgment vision in Ezekiel 8-11.

• How is the temple and land described in chapters 40-48?

Chapter 24 – Daniel

• Evaluate the differences in style from the court narrative in chapters 1-6 and apocalyptic vision in 7-12.

• What are the alleged historical challenges with the book of Daniel?

Chapter 25 – Hosea

• How does the Hosea 1-3 prologue prepare the reader for the judgment in 4-14?

• Reflect on the morality of Hosea taking a promiscuous women in light of the Torah and Israelite law.

Chapter 26 – Joel

• What is the historical context and authorship of Joel?

• What is the relationship between the temple cult and the sacrificial foods that are threatened from the coming locust invasion?

Chapter 27 – Amos

• Reflect on Amos’ opening Oracles against the Nations in chapters 1-2.

• Why is it significant that a Judean non-prophet like Amos has a platform in Bethel in northern Israel?

Chapter 28 – Obadiah

• How is Edom portrayed as the enemy and kin of Israel?

• Discuss the blending of immediate historical contexts and later apocalyptic expectation in the short book.

Chapter 29 – Jonah

• Evaluate the literary devices and overall tone of Jonah.

• What is the effect on the reader when the last line is a rhetoric question posed by Yahweh?

Chapter 30 – Micah

• How does the book of Micah compare with the other 8th century contemporary Isaiah?

• Describe how texts from Micah are taken up in the NT.

Chapter 31 – Nahum

• Reflect on the Divine Warrior theophany that opens the book of Nahum.

• Compare the oracle against Nineveh and the response in both Jonah and Nahum.

Chapter 32 – Habakkuk

• Describe the interaction between Habakkuk and Yahweh.

• As Nahum opens with a theophany hymn, consider the concluding theophany hymn of Habakkuk.

Chapter 33 – Zephaniah

• How might Zephaniah in the late 7th century be related to the Josianic reforms?

• Describe what the restoration of Daughter Zion looks like in Zephaniah.

Chapter 34 – Haggai

• Why is the restoration of Yahweh’s temple so important?

• Who is and what is the significance of the ‘Branch’ figure?

Chapter 35 – Zechariah

• Describe the dream vision in Zech 1-6.

• Evaluate the literary and historical settings between Zech 1-8 and 9-14.

Chapter 36 – Malachi

• As Hosea began with an interest in land and Yahweh’s relationship to it, so Malachi concludes with the marriage motif and Yahweh’s interest in proper temple sacrifice and land fertility. Consider these observations.

• What are the particular transgressions of the Jerusalem priests?

Sample Syllabi

Example Syllabus 1

OLD TESTAMENT LITERATURE AND INTERPRETATION

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BIB 222 Old Testament Literature and Interpretation

COURSE DESCRIPTION

This course provides an analysis of the Old Testament within the literary and theological context of the whole Bible. It focuses on the theological, literary, and historical dimensions of the Old Testament text and story; draws theological connections to major themes and figures of the Old Testament and its biblical theological emphases; and makes application to modern Christianity, both corporate (church) and personal (spiritual growth).

AIMS FOR BIBLICAL STUDIES

1. The successful student will demonstrate a general knowledge of the content of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament and its developed themes in the biblical canons.

2. This course relates to outcomes whereby the successful student will demonstrate knowledge and skills for accurate biblical interpretation, application to life situations and communication of the biblical message to others.

3. This course relates to the outcomes since it is required both as General Education and is specific to the Biblical Studies degree and helps students to meet credit requirements in Old Testament studies and to contribute to a thorough knowledge of the content, themes, and application of selected books of the Bible and thus provides a solid foundation for various responsibilities related to full-time Christian ministry.

LEARNING OUTCOMES

Through the course of the semester, the student should learn:

A. Knowledge and understanding

1. To enhance the capacity of students as readers to appreciate the various OT books and the treatment of their themes throughout the biblical canons

2. To gain appreciation for the appropriation of biblical ideas and norms for a contemporary life setting

B. Discipline-specific skills

1. To read biblical texts with perception and insight

2. To reflect critically on the nature of the literature with some awareness of different methodological perspectives

C. Transferable skills

1. To foster the ability to communicate effectively in oral and written media by participation in class

2. To promote regular habits of study through the setting of a program of work with fixed deadlines

3. To encourage informed independent thinking

ASSESSMENT

1 midterm examination (30%)

1 final examination (30%)

quizzes/colloquia (10%)

book review (20%)

group project (10%)

*Complete reading of the Old Testament and participation and attendance in all aspects of the class, which will influence the final grade.

1. The midterm exam will cover all material (lectures, readings, etc.) up to the midterm. The final exam will cover material after the midterm.

2. Quizzes will be weekly and cover the assigned readings.

3. Book review on How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth.

The review will be 3-4 pages (double-spaced) and in a format that will be given out in class. The critical reviewer should carefully and insightfully engage the book. The book review will entail both a summary and critical response to the author’s overall work and thesis. A sample review will be given out so students can follow the form and content.

4. Colloquia will foster class discussion and engagement on assigned reading and

topic. A one page reflection from the questions is due after each colloquium.

There will be three colloquia during the semester (Is the God of the OT different than the God of the NT?; Dealing with sin, suffering, and evil; Issues of social justice: then and now). These discussions will involve student interaction on topics that relate to the Old Testament and contemporary issues of faith and practice. The lecturer will provide discussion questions before the colloquia.

5. Group Project – This will be a group paper and presentation of any topic related to the OT.

The paper and presentation must be academic and practical. The paper must be 3-4 pages with footnotes. Ten sources are required. Any style (e.g, Turabian, Chicago, MLA, APA, SBL) can be used as long the style, form, and footnotes are consistent. The presentation must be a visual representation of the topic (i.e., powerpoint, video, etc.). All group members must participate in the project, and members will anonymously grade each other with a rubric evaluation sheet that the instructor will post on Estudent. The groups will present at the end of the semester. Attendance is required from all students during group presentations.

CLASS PREPARATION AND ATTENDANCE

1. The student is encouraged to prepare for class by reading the assigned material

(both biblical and secondary) for quizzes and class discussion. Preparation and

attendance are influential for the final grade.

2. To the degree that the student reads and critically examines the biblical texts is the

degree that he/she will acquire a better understanding of Scripture and specifically

that of the Old Testament and its appropriation with the New Testament.

3. Preparation and attendance on the part of the student will conform to

expectation , and absences shall not exceed 20% of total classes.

RESEARCH AND WRITING

All students are to abide by an honor code included in your Student Handbook or College Catalog. All assignments, quizzes and exams will be so pledged.

Given the Honor Code above, students are expected to submit their own work. All cheating is absolutely prohibited. Students caught cheating will be reported to the Academic Vice President, resulting in disciplinary action up to and including failing the course and academic dismissal. The Chicago Manual of Style (2003) states “with all reuse of others’ materials, it is important to identify the original as the source.” (p. 136). Even when you use other people’s thoughts or concepts without crediting them as the source then you have stolen their intellectual work. It is not plagiarism to quote material from a book, article, or website as long as the author or source of the material is properly cited. Similarly, it is not plagiarism to copy a chart or a diagram from such a source, as long as the source is clearly credited. It is plagiarism to copy verbatim or closely paraphrase a chart or illustration, or material from any book, article, or website without clearly identifying the source from which it was obtained.

CLASSROOM PROFESSIONALISM

Lively discussion, including open debate, is encouraged in this course. Students and the professor, however, are to show appropriate respect for each other even when divergent viewpoints are expressed in the classroom. Such respect does not require agreement with or acceptance of divergent viewpoints.

Classroom Dress

Students are expected to observe classroom dress and grooming standards when attending class by dressing neatly and modestly and adhering to the standards in the Student Handbook. Reminder: Baseball hats, hoods, bandannas, shorts, pajama/lounge pants are not permitted.

Technology Requirement

Students will be expected to exhibit skills in electronic communication, word processing, document development, internet use, A/V presentation, and electronic library research and will receive access to training through peer tutoring, classroom demonstration, on-line tutorial, IT workshops, library bibliographic instruction, and the Academic Support Center.

COURSE TEXTS

The most important text for class is the Bible. Students should bring a translation that seeks to render accurately and responsibly the Hebrew and Greek texts. NASB, ESV, and NRSV will suffice.

Tremper Longman III and Raymond B. Dillard. An Introduction to the Old Testament. 2nd ed. Zondervan, 2006.

ISBN 0310263417

(hereafter LD)

Gordon D. Fee and Douglas Stuart. How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth. 3rd ed. Zondervan, 2003.

ISBN 0310246040

(hereafter FS)

*texts can be purchased from the respective publishers or alternatively from

TENTATIVE SCHEDULE

Week 1 (week of 8/27/12)

W Syllabus

Lecture: The Bible and Christendom

F Lecture: Overview to the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament

Week 2 (9/3/12)

M OT Geography and Pentateuch

W Genesis

F Genesis

Quiz HW chapters 1-4

Week 3 (9/10/12)

M Exodus

W Leviticus-Numbers

F Deuteronomy

Quiz HW chapters 5-8

Week 4 (9/17/12)

M Historical Books

W Joshua-Judges

F Colloquium: Is the God of the OT different than the God of the NT?

Quiz HW chapters 9-12

Week 5 (9/24/12)

M Ruth-1 and 2 Samuel

W 1-2 Kings

F 1-2 Chronicles

Quiz HW chapters 13-16

Week 6 (10/1/12)

M Ezra-Nehemiah

W Esther

F Archaeology

Quiz HW chapters 17-19

Week 7 (10/8/12)

M Wisdom Books

W Job-Psalms

F Colloquium: Dealing with sin, suffering, and evil

Quiz HW chapters 20-22

Week 8 (10/15/12)

M Proverbs-Ecclesiastes

W Songs and OT Formation

Quiz HW chapters 23-26

F Fall Break

Week 9 (10/22/12)

M Prophetic Books

W Isaiah

F Jeremiah-Lamentations

Quiz HW chapters 27-29

Week 10 (10/29/12)

M Ezekiel-Daniel

W Day of Prayer

F Midterm and Quiz HW chapters 30-32 (appendix A extra credit)

BI Symposium

Week 11 (11/5/12)

M Hosea

W Joel-Amos

F Colloquium: Issues of social justice both then and now

Quiz HW chapters 33-35

Week 12 (11/12/12)

M Obadiah-Jonah

W Micah

Quiz HW chapters 36-38

F SBL

Book review due

Week 13 (11/19/12)

M SBL

W Thanksgiving Break

F Thanksgiving Break

Week 14 (11/26/12)

M Nahum-Habakkuk

W Zephaniah-Haggai

F Zechariah-Malachi

Quiz HW chapters 39-41

Week 15 (12/3/12)

M Group presentations

W Group presentations

F Group presentations

Quiz HW chapters 42-44

Week 16 (12/10/12)

M Final Exam study

W Final Exam and Quiz HW chapters 45-47 (appendix B extra credit)

F Commencement

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Old Testament Introduction

Bill Arnold and Bryan Beyer. Encountering the Old Testament: A Christian Survey. Encountering Biblical Studies. Baker Academic, 2008.

Brevard S. Childs. Introduction to Old Testament as Scripture. Augsburg Fortress, 1979.

Robert Chisholm. Handbook on the Prophets. Baker Academic, 2009.

John J. Collins. Introduction to the Hebrew Bible. Augsburg Fortress, 2004.

Michael D. Coogan. The Old Testament: A Historical and Literary Introduction to the Hebrew Scriptures. Oxford University Press, 2005.

John W. Drane. Introducing the Old Testament. Fortress Press, 2001.

Otto Eissfeldt. The Old Testament: An Introduction. Blackwell, 1978.

Daniel Estes. Handbook on the Wisdom Books and Psalms. Baker Academic, 2010.

Gordon D. Fee and Douglas Stuart. How to Read the Bible Book by Book: A Guided Tour. Zondervan, 2002.

_________. How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth. 3rd ed. Zondervan, 2003.

Victor P. Hamilton. Handbook on the Historical Books. Baker Academic, 2008.

_________. Handbook on the Pentateuch. Baker Academic, 2005.

Roland K. Harrison. Introduction to the Old Testament. Hendrickson, 2004.

Paul R. House and Eric Mitchell. Old Testament Survey. 2nd ed. B & H, 2007.

William Sanford La Sor et al. Old Testament Survey: The Message, Form, and Background of the Old Testament. Eerdmans, 1996.

Tremper Longman III and Raymond B. Dillard. An Introduction to the Old Testament. 2nd ed. Zondervan, 2006.

Ernest C. Lucas. Exploring the Old Testament: A Guide to the Psalms & Wisdom Literature. IVP, 2004.

J. Gordon McConville. Exploring the Old Testament: A Guide to the Prophets. IVP, 2008.

Rolf Rendtorff and John Bowden. The Old Testament: An Introduction. Augsburg Fortress, 1991.

Philip Satterthwaite and J. Gordon McConville. Exploring the Old Testament: A Guide to the Historical Books. 2 volumes. IVP, 2007.

Gordon J. Wenham. Exploring the Old Testament: A Guide to the Pentateuch. IVP, 2008.

Old Testament Theology

Bill T. Arnold and David W. Baker. Face of Old Testament Studies: A Survey of Contemporary Approaches. Baker, 2004.

Bruce C. Birch et al. A Theological Introduction to the Old Testament. 2nd edition. Abingdon, 2005.

Walter Brueggemann. Old Testament Theology: An Introduction (Library of Biblical Theology). Abingdon, 2008.

_________. Old Testament Theology: The Theology of Israel’s Traditions. WJK, 2001.

_________. Theology of the Old Testament: Testimony, Dispute, Advocacy. Fortress, 2005.

Brevard S. Childs. Old Testament Theology in a Canonical Context. Fortress, 1989.

Walter Eichrodt. Theology of the Old Testament. 2 volumes. WJK, 1967.

John Goldingay. Old Testament Theology: Israel’s Gospel. Vol. 1. IVP, 2003.

_________. Old Testament Theology: Israel’s Faith. Vol. 2. IVP, 2006.

_________. Old Testament Theology: Israel’s Life. Vol. 3. IVP, 2009.

Paul R. House. Old Testament Theology. IVP, 1998.

Eugene H. Merrill. Everlasting Dominion: A Theology of the Old Testament. B&H, 2006.

C. Marvin Pate et al. The Story of Israel: A Biblical Theology. IVP, 2004.

John H. Sailhamer. Introduction to Old Testament Theology: A Canonical Approach. Zondervan, 1995.

Charles H.H. Scobie. The Ways of Our God: An Approach to Biblical Theology. Eerdmans, 2003.

Gerhard Von Rad. Old Testament Theology. 2 volumes. Harper & Row, 1962.

Bruce K. Waltke and Charles Yu. An Old Testament Theology: An Exegetical, Canonical, and Thematic Approach. Zondervan, 2007.

Zuck, Roy B. et al. A Biblical Theology of the Old Testament. Moody, 1991.

Old Testament Background

Bill Arnold and Bryan Beyer. Readings from the Ancient Near East: Primary Sources for Old Testament Study. Encountering Biblical Studies. Baker Academic, 2002.

John Bright. A History of Israel. 4th ed. WJK Press, 2000.

Thomas V. Brisco. Holman Bible Atlas: A Complete Guide to the Expansive Geography of Biblical History. B&H, 1999.

Peter C. Craigie. The Old Testament: Its Background, Growth, and Content. Abingdon Press, 1986.

John D. Currid and David P. Barnett. ESV Bible Atlas. Crossway, 2010.

Roland K. Harrison. Old Testament Times: A Social, Political, and Cultural Context. Baker Books, 2005.

Richard Hess. Israelite Religions: An Archaeological and Biblical Survey. Baker Academic, 2007.

Alfred Hoerth. Archaeology and the Old Testament. Baker Academic, 2009.

James K. Hoffmeier. The Archaeology of the Bible. Lion Publishers, 2008.

Kenneth A. Kitchen. On the Reliability of the Old Testament. Eerdmans, 2006.

Victor H. Matthews. Manners & Customs in the Bible: An Illustrated Guide to Daily Life in Bible Times. Hendrickson, 2006.

_________. Old Testament Parallels: Laws and Stories from the Ancient Near East. Paulist Press, 2007.

_________. The Old Testament: Text and Context. Hendrickson, 2005.

Eugene Merrill. Kingdom of Priests: A History of Old Testament Israel. Baker Academic, 2008.

James M. Miller and John H. Hayes. A History of Ancient Israel and Judah. 2nd ed. WJK Press, 2006.

James B. Pritchard. Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament with Supplement. Princeton University Press, 1969.

Iain W. Provan et al. A Biblical History of Israel. WJK Press, 2003.

Jack M. Sasson. Civilizations of the Ancient Near East. 2 volumes. Hendrickson, 2001.

Kenton L. Sparks. Ancient Texts for the Study of the Hebrew Bible: A Guide to the Background Literature. Hendrickson, 2005.

John H. Walton. Ancient Israelite Literature in Its Cultural Context: A Survey of Parallels between Biblical and Ancient Near Eastern Texts. Library of Biblical Interpretation. Zondervan, 1994.

_________. Ancient Near Eastern Thought and the Old Testament: Introducing the Conceptual World of the Hebrew Bible. Baker Academic, 2006.

Old Testament Reference

James H. Charlesworth. The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha. 2 volumes. Yale University Press, 1985.

David Noel Freedman, ed. Anchor Bible Dictionary. 6 volumes. Doubleday, 1992.

Bill T. Arnold and H.G.M. Williamson. Dictionary of the Old Testament: Historical Books. IVP, 2005.

David W. Baker and T. Desmond Alexander. Dictionary of the Old Testament: Pentateuch. IVP, 2003.

Tremper Longman III and Peter Enns. Dictionary of the Old Testament: Wisdom, Poetry & Writings. IVP, 2008.

J. Gordon McConville and Mark J. Boda. Dictionary of the Old Testament: Prophets. IVP, forthcoming.

Brian S. Rosner et al. New Dictionary of Biblical Theology. IVP, 2000.

Leland Ryken et al. Dictionary of Biblical Imagery. IVP, 1998.

Kenton Sparks. Ancient Texts for the Study of the Hebrew Bible. Hendrickson, 2005.

John H. Walton. The IVP Bible Background Commentary: Old Testament. IVP, 2000.

_________. Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary: Old Testament. Zondervan, 2009.

Example Syllabus 2

OLD TESTAMENT INTRODUCTION AND LITERATURE

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BIB 222 Old Testament Literature and Introduction

COURSE DESCRIPTION

This course provides an analysis of the Old Testament within the literary and theological context of the whole Bible. It focuses on the theological, literary, and historical dimensions of the Old Testament text and story; draws theological connections to major themes and figures of the Old Testament and its biblical theological emphases; and makes application to modern Christianity, both corporate (church) and personal (spiritual growth).

AIMS FOR BIBLICAL STUDIES

1. The successful student will demonstrate a general knowledge of the content of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament and its developed themes in the biblical canons.

2. This course relates to outcomes whereby the successful student will demonstrate knowledge and skills for accurate biblical interpretation, application to life situations and communication of the biblical message to others.

3. This course relates to the outcomes since it is required both as General Education and is specific to the Biblical Studies degree and helps students to meet credit requirements in Old Testament studies and to contribute to a thorough knowledge of the content, themes, and application of selected books of the Bible and thus provides a solid foundation for various responsibilities related to full-time Christian ministry.

LEARNING OUTCOMES

Through the course of the semester, the student should learn:

A. Knowledge and understanding

1. To enhance the capacity of students as readers to appreciate the various OT books and the treatment of their themes throughout the biblical canons

2. To gain appreciation for the appropriation of biblical ideas and norms for a contemporary life setting

B. Discipline-specific skills

1. To read biblical texts with perception and insight

2. To reflect critically on the nature of the literature with some awareness of different methodological perspectives

C. Transferable skills

1. To foster the ability to communicate effectively in oral and written media by participation in class

2. To promote regular habits of study through the setting of a program of work with fixed deadlines

3. To encourage informed independent thinking

ASSESSMENT

1 midterm examination (30%)

1 final examination (30%)

quizzes (10%)

1 essay (20%)

1 book review (10%)

*Complete reading of the Old Testament and participation and attendance in all aspects of the class, which will influence the final grade.

1. The midterm exam will cover all material (lectures, readings, etc.) up to the midterm. The final exam will cover material after the midterm.

2. Quizzes will be weekly and cover the assigned readings.

3. Book review on How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth or According to Plan: The Unfolding Revelation of God in the Bible.

The review will be 3-4 pages (double-spaced) and in a format that will be given out in class. The critical reviewer should carefully and insightfully engage the book. The book review will entail both a summary and critical response to the author’s overall work and thesis. A sample review will be given out so students can follow the form and content.

4. Essay will be from a list of pre-assigned topics.

The essay will be between 10-12 pages, double-spaced, and foot-noted. The student will thoughtfully engage the biblical text concerning the selected topic. Further, the bibliography should contain at least fifteen secondary sources (commentaries, dictionaries, monographs, articles, etc.). Grammar should reflect the level and competency of a 200 level class. Also, style and format should be of a high quality and consistent throughout the paper.

• Topics: differences and similarities among the OT canons (Hebrew MT, Greek LXX, and Latin Vulgate); themes from Genesis to Chronicles; development of the Hebrew canon; evaluation of Covenant (or New Covenant) and Dispensational hermeneutical systems; patterns in redemptive history; possibility and identification of an OT theology; the Hebrew Bible in its ANE context; the Hebrew Bible and ancient historiography; the Hebrew Bible and archaeology

5. Colloquia will foster class discussion and engagement on assigned reading and

topic.

There will be four colloquia during the semester (Is the God of the OT different than the God of the NT?; Dealing with sin, suffering, and evil; The OT and missions; Issues of social justice: then and now). These discussions will involve student interaction on topics that relate to the Old Testament and contemporary issues of faith and practice. The lecturer will provide discussion questions before the colloquia.

CLASS PREPARATION AND ATTENDANCE

1. The student is encouraged to prepare for class by reading the assigned material

(both biblical and secondary) for quizzes and class discussion. Preparation and

attendance are influential for the final grade.

2. The degree that the student reads and critically examines the biblical texts is the

degree that he/she will acquire a better understanding of Scripture and specifically

that of the Old Testament and its appropriation with the New Testament.

3. Preparation and attendance on the part of the student will conform to

expectation, and absences shall not exceed 20% of total classes

RESEARCH AND WRITING

Students should make sure to cite any and all sources used in their writing. Your responsibility, when you put your name on a piece of work, is simply to distinguish between what is yours and what is not, and to credit those who have in any way contributed. Failure to do so is plagiarism and may result in failure of the course. Students caught cheating will be reported to the Academic Vice President, resulting in disciplinary action up to and including failing the course and academic dismissal.

Students are expected to submit their own work.  The College Catalog is very specific in regard to plagiarism.  It states “The Christian Life Standards apply directly to the academic area through the Honor Code.  The Honor Code is simply stated: ‘Every student shall be honor bound to refrain from cheating (including plagiarism).’” 

CLASSROOM PROFESSIONALISM

Lively discussion, including open debate, is encouraged in this course. Students and the professor, however, are to show appropriate respect for each other even when divergent viewpoints are expressed in the classroom. Such respect does not require agreement with or acceptance of divergent viewpoints.

SPECIAL NEEDS

All requests for accommodation for this course or any school event are welcome from both students and parents. Kauri Tallant is the ADA Coordinator.

COURSE TEXTS

The most important text for class is the Bible. Students should bring a translation that seeks to render accurately and responsibly the Hebrew and Greek texts. NASB, ESV, and NRSV will suffice.

Tremper Longman III and Raymond B. Dillard. An Introduction to the Old Testament. 2nd ed. Zondervan, 2006.

ISBN 0310263417

(hereafter LD)

Gordon D. Fee and Douglas Stuart. How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth. 3rd ed. Zondervan, 2003.

ISBN 0310246040

(hereafter FS)

Graeme Goldsworthy. According to Plan: The Unfolding Revelation of God in the Bible. InterVarsity Press, 2002.

ISBN 0830826963

(hereafter GG)

*texts can be purchased from the respective publishers or alternatively from

TENTATIVE SCHEDULE

Week 1 (week of 8/23/10)

W Syllabus

Lecture: The Bible and Christendom

F Lecture: Overview to the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament

Week 2 (8/30/10)

M Quiz: LD chapters 1-2

Lecture: Genesis

W Lecture: Genesis

F Quiz: LD chapter 3

Lecture: Exodus

Week 3 (9/6/10)

M Quiz: LD chapters 4-5

Lecture: Leviticus

W Lecture: Numbers

F Quiz: FS chapters 1-2

Lecture: Deuteronomy

Week 4 (9/13/10)

M Quiz: FS chapter 3 and LD chapter 6

Lecture: Deuteronomy and the Pentateuch

W Lecture: Joshua and the Deuteronomistic History

F Colloquium: Is the God of the OT different than the God of the NT?

Week 5 (9/20/10)

M Quiz: FS chapter 4 and LD chapter 7

Lecture: Judges

W Lecture: Ruth

F Quiz: LD chapters 8-9

Lecture: 1 and 2 Samuel

Week 6 (9/27/10)

M Quiz: FS chapter 5 and LD chapter 10

Lecture: 1 and 2 Kings

W Lecture: 1 and 2 Chronicles

F Quiz: LD chapters 11-12

Lecture: The Question of Ancient, Historical, and Biblical Israel

Week 7 (10/4/10)

M Quiz: FS chapter 6 and LD chapters 13-14

Lecture: Ezra-Nehemiah

W Lecture: Esther

F Observation assignment: Genesis 1:1-2

Week 8 (10/11/10)

M Fall break

W Fall break

F Fall break

Week 9 (10/18/10)

M Quiz: FS chapter 7 and LD chapters 15-16

Lecture: Job

W Lecture: Psalms

F Colloquium: Dealing with sin, suffering, and evil

Week 10 (10/25/10)

M Quiz: FS chapter 8 and LD chapters 17-18

Lecture: Proverbs

W Day of Prayer

Lecture: Ecclesiastes

F Midterm

Week 11 (11/1/10)

M Quiz: FS chapter 9 and LD chapter 19

Lecture: Song of Songs

W Lecture: Isaiah

F Quiz: LD chapters 20-21

Lecture: Jeremiah

Week 12 (11/8/10)

M Quiz: FS chapter 10 and LD chapters 22-23

Book review due

Lecture: Lamentations

W Lecture: Ezekiel

F Colloquium: Issues of social justice both then and now

Week 13 (11/15/10)

M Quiz: FS chapter 11 and LD chapter 24

Lecture: Daniel

W Quiz: LD chapters 25-26

Lecture: Hosea and Joel

F Quiz: LD chapters 27-28

Lecture: Amos and Obadiah

Week 14 (11/22/10)

M Quiz: FS chapter 12 and LD chapters 29-30

Lecture: Jonah and Micah

W Thanksgiving

F Thanksgiving

Week 15 (11/29/10)

M Quiz: FS chapter 13 and LD chapters 31-32

Essay due

Lecture: Nahum and Habakkuk

W Quiz: LD chapters 33-34

Lecture: Zephaniah and Haggai

F Quiz: LD chapters 35-36

Lecture: Zechariah and Malachi

Week 16 (12/6/10)

M Quiz: GG parts 1 and 2

Lecture: Biblical Theology and the OT canon

W Quiz: GG parts 3 and 4

Lecture: Biblical Theology and the NT canon

F Colloquium: The OT and missions

Week 17 (12/13/10)

M Final Exams

W Final Exams

F Final Exams / Commencement

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Old Testament Introduction

Bill Arnold and Bryan Beyer. Encountering the Old Testament: A Christian Survey. Encountering Biblical Studies. Baker Academic, 2008.

Brevard S. Childs. Introduction to Old Testament as Scripture. Augsburg Fortress, 1979.

Robert Chisholm. Handbook on the Prophets. Baker Academic, 2009.

John J. Collins. Introduction to the Hebrew Bible. Augsburg Fortress, 2004.

Michael D. Coogan. The Old Testament: A Historical and Literary Introduction to the Hebrew Scriptures. Oxford University Press, 2005.

Daniel Estes. Handbook on the Wisdom Books and Psalms. Baker Academic, 2010.

Gordon D. Fee and Douglas Stuart. How to Read the Bible Book by Book: A Guided Tour. Zondervan, 2002.

_________. How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth. 3rd ed. Zondervan, 2003.

Victor P. Hamilton. Handbook on the Historical Books. Baker Academic, 2008.

_________. Handbook on the Pentateuch. Baker Academic, 2005.

Roland K. Harrison. Introduction to the Old Testament. Hendrickson, 2004.

Andrew E. Hill and John H. Walton. A Survey of the Old Testament. Zondervan, 2009.

Paul R. House and Eric Mitchell. Old Testament Survey. 2nd ed. B & H, 2007.

William Sanford La Sor et al. Old Testament Survey: The Message, Form, and Background of the Old Testament. Eerdmans, 1996.

Ernest C. Lucas. Exploring the Old Testament: A Guide to the Psalms & Wisdom Literature. InterVarsity Press, 2004.

J. Gordon McConville. Exploring the Old Testament: A Guide to the Prophets. IVP Academic, 2008.

Rolf Rendtorff and John Bowden. The Old Testament: An Introduction. Augsburg Fortress, 1991.

Philip Satterthwaite and J. Gordon McConville. Exploring the Old Testament: A Guide to the Historical Books. 2 volumes. InterVarsity Press, 2007.

Gordon J. Wenham. Exploring the Old Testament: A Guide to the Pentateuch. IVP Academic, 2008.

Old Testament Background

Bill Arnold and Bryan Beyer. Readings from the Ancient Near East: Primary Sources for Old Testament Study. Encountering Biblical Studies. Baker Academic, 2002.

John Bright. A History of Israel. 4th ed. WJK Press, 2000.

Thomas V. Brisco. Holman Bible Atlas: A Complete Guide to the Expansive Geography of Biblical History. B & H, 1999.

Roland K. Harrison. Old Testament Times: A Social, Political, and Cultural Context. Baker Books, 2005.

Richard Hess. Israelite Religions: An Archaeological and Biblical Survey. Baker Academic, 2007.

Alfred Hoerth. Archaeology and the Old Testament. Baker Academic, 2009.

James K. Hoffmeier. The Archaeology of the Bible. Lion Publishers, 2008.

Kenneth A. Kitchen. On the Reliability of the Old Testament. Eerdmans, 2006.

Victor H. Matthews. Manners & Customs in the Bible: An Illustrated Guide to Daily Life in Bible Times. Hendrickson, 2006.

_________. Old Testament Parallels: Laws and Stories from the Ancient Near East. Paulist Press, 2007.

_________. The Old Testament: Text and Context. Hendrickson, 2005.

Eugene Merrill. Kingdom of Priests: A History of Old Testament Israel. Baker Academic, 2008.

James M. Miller and John H. Hayes. A History of Ancient Israel and Judah. 2nd ed. WJK Press, 2006.

James B. Pritchard. Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament with Supplement. Princeton University Press, 1969.

Iain W. Provan et al. A Biblical History of Israel. WJK Press, 2003.

Jack M. Sasson. Civilizations of the Ancient Near East. 2 volumes. Hendrickson, 2001.

Kenton L. Sparks. Ancient Texts for the Study of the Hebrew Bible: A Guide to the Background Literature. Hendrickson, 2005.

John H. Walton. Ancient Israelite Literature in Its Cultural Context: A Survey of Parallels between Biblical and Ancient Near Eastern Texts. Library of Biblical Interpretation. Zondervan, 1994.

_________. Ancient Near Eastern Thought and the Old Testament: Introducing the Conceptual World of the Hebrew Bible. Baker Academic, 2006.

Old Testament Reference

David Noel Freedman, ed. Anchor Bible Dictionary. 6 volumes. Doubleday, 1992.

Bill T. Arnold and H.G.M. Williamson. Dictionary of the Old Testament: Historical Books. IVP, 2005.

David W. Baker and T. Desmond Alexander. Dictionary of the Old Testament: Pentateuch. IVP, 2003.

Tremper Longman III and Peter Enns. Dictionary of the Old Testament: Wisdom, Poetry & Writings. IVP, 2008.

J. Gordon McConville and Mark J. Boda. Dictionary of the Old Testament: Prophets. IVP, forthcoming.

Leland Ryken et al. Dictionary of Biblical Imagery. IVP, 1998.

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