Old Testament Survey, by Dr. Douglas Stuart

About this Class

Did you know that the Old Testament contains more than 2/3 of the text of the Bible? Did you realize that the Old Testament timeline covers thousands of years of history and tells us the stories of people whose lives still affect world events today? Are you familiar with the Old Testament prophets that describe in detail the characteristics of the Messiah and the events that happen when he comes, hundreds of years before they take place? Have you ever read the Old Testament books of poetry and wisdom literature that contain inspirational and instructional passages that we still use today to inspire, comfort and inform our lives during life events, and are ubiquitous in both classic and contemporary literary works?

In Dr. Stuart’s Old Testament Survey class, he guides you through each of the Old Testament books by giving you the historical background, major themes and insight into the stories, characters and teaching of the book. In the historical books, you will become familiar with Old Testament Names like Adam, Noah, Abraham, Joseph and David. In the Old Testament prophets, Dr. Stuart will introduce you to the lives and messages of Isaiah, Ezekiel, Jeremiah and others. When you study the Old Testament books of wisdom literature, Dr. Stuart will give you insights into the teachings, structure and creativity in Proverbs, Psalms and other books in the Writings.

From the description of Creation in Genesis, to the last book of the Old Testament, the book of Malachi, the Old Testament contains stories and teachings that can inform, inspire and transform your life. Dr. Stuart’s years of training and his skill in communicating, provides you with this opportunity to study and learn from one of the best. Now it’s up to you!

You may download a syllabus for the class including the Course Outline by clicking on the link in the Downloads section. We do not have access to the notes or the 130 exam questions that he mentions in the lectures. The Syllabus is from the SemLink class that was originally offered online through Gordon-Conwell Seminary so you can see the class outline and suggested readings. The links are not active. If you want to participate in the assignments and tests and earn credit, you may contact Gordon-Conwell Seminary to find out if they still offer this class.

Thank you to Charles Campbell and Fellowship Bible Church for writing out the lecture notes. Note that they do not cover every lecture.


Class Transcriptions

Lecture 1:

The purpose of this overview of the Old Testament is to focus on the content of each of the Old Testament books, the historical events that give context to the books, and specific questions that help draw out the overarching principles contained in the Old Testament. There is also an emphasis on identifying ways to use this material that can help people in their daily lives.

Lecture 2:

Genesis tells ten stories that describe origins or beginnings. These include the origin of the "heavens and earth," and the origin of specific families that are significant in God's dealings with humans.

Lecture 3:
Themes in Genesis

Themes from selected passages in Genesis about which there are interpretations that differ greatly. These include Genesis 2 regarding creation of women and their roles, Genesis 6 about the "Sons of God," and Genesis 9 about the "curse of Ham." Other themes are the story of Abraham, and God as a punisher of evil.

Lecture 4:

The three major themes in Exodus are Israel's deliverance from Egypt, establishment of the Covenant and the Tabernacle. Other themes are how name repetition in a sentence is significant throughout Scripture, and how humility in the Jewish culture affects the actions and responses of many biblical characters.

Lecture 5:

Exodus contains both apodictic and casuistic laws. There are also paradigmatic laws which are designed to give broad guidance for specific situations that arise. The first part of Exodus is mostly stories, and the second part is mostly a record of the laws which are the basis for how they interact with God and other people.

Lecture 6:
The Law: Covenant Structure

Lecture 7:
The Law: Numerical Parallelisms

Lecture 8:
The Law: Leviticus

Lecture 9:
The Law: Numbers

Lecture 10:
The Law: Deuteronomy

Lecture 11:

Lecture 12:
Holy War

Lecture 13:

Lecture 14:
The Promised Land: Ruth

A brief overview of the content and themes in the book of Ruth.

Lecture 15:
1 & 2 Samuel

Lecture 16:
Three Kings

Lecture 17:
1 & 2 Samuel, 1 Kings

Lecture 18:

Lecture 19:

Lecture 20:

Lecture 21:

Lecture 22:
Song of Songs

Lecture 23:
Prophetical Books

Lecture 24:
Hosea, Amos, & Jonah

Lecture 25:
2 Kings

Lecture 26:
Historical Overview

Lecture 27:
Isaiah, Micah, & Nahum

Lecture 28:
2 Kings 22-25

Lecture 29:

Lecture 30:
Joel & Obadiah

Lecture 31:
Habakkuk & Zephaniah

Lecture 32:

Lecture 33:

Lecture 34:
Daniel, Esther, & Isaiah

Lecture 35:

Lecture 36:
Haggai & Zechariah

Lecture 37:
Malachi, Ezra, and Nehemiah

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