Introduction to the Old Testament
If you're looking for biblical courses in the Old Testament, contact Lords Christian Bible College. We provide in-depth introductory classes on the Old Testament in Birmingham.
This course will assist students in developing professional knowledge and understanding of the various ways God spoke to His people. Thousands of years ago, God chose certain men such as Moses, David, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel to receive His words and write them down. What they wrote became books of the Old Testament (OT). God gave His words to these men in many different ways. Certain writers of the Old Testament received messages directly from God. Moses was given the Ten Commandments inscribed on a stone when he was in God’s presence on Mount Sinai. When David was composing his Psalms to God, he received divine inspiration to foretell certain events that would occur a thousand years later in the life of Jesus Christ. God told His prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah, and others exactly what to say. Therefore, when these men gave a message, it was God’s word, not their own. This is why many prophets often said, “Thus says the Lord”.
Most of the Old Testament was written in Hebrew. It was one of several Canaanite dialects, which included Phoenician, and Moabite. Hebrew belongs to the Semitic family of languages. These languages were used from the Mediterranean Sea to the mountains east of the Euphrates River. A few sections of the Old Testament were written in Aramaic: Daniel 2:4b-7:28 and Ezra 4:8-6:18, 7:12-36. The OT canon designates those books in the Jewish and Christian Bible that are considered to be Scripture and therefore authoritative in matters of faith and doctrine. The authorship of the Pentateuch has been ascribed to Moses. The book of Judges is thought to have been written by Samuel on the basis that he was the last of the Judges. The term “criticism” comes from the Greek 'krinein', which means to separate, distinguish hence judge. This is the sense of the term “criticism”. The task of the textual critic and philologist can be divided into a number of general stages: the collection of existing manuscripts, translations and quotations; the development of theory and methodology; the reconstruction of the history of the transmission of the text and the evaluation of specific variant readings.
The purpose of the Old Testament introduction is to set out the information needed to identify the authors of a text, its literary genre, and the milieu from which it derives. In the course of the study the students will identify the authors of individual books. They shall consider the literary genres of each book; study those, which preceded them in the tradition and attempt to discover the setting in everyday life: the cult, religious polemic, politic, invective against social situations which were considered unacceptable. The students will then see the message that the author, whether or not they know his name, sought to hand on to his own contemporaries and to posterity and how later generations reread it and applied it to their own situation, even misunderstanding the original intention.
- To conduct textual criticism
- To analyse poetic language and literary structures
- To solve textual problems
- To do biblical theology
- To develop accurate and meaningful expositions of the text
- To become men and women of the Word