An introduction to the Hebrew Bible from the perspective of missions. With an eye on the mission motifs embedded in Scripture, this study explores the revealed mission purposes of God rooted in Yahweh’s covenant with Israel, and gives an historical overview of the call, election and positioning of Israel as Yahweh’s voice and light to the nations of the earth.
Modern scholarship on the Old Testament has often neglected the defining importance of missions in the writings, thoughts, and worldview of the Hebrew Bible. Departing from this approach, the course will introduce the student to the significant role of missions in the entire spectrum of the Hebrew Bible. This perspective will help the student in his/her study of the New Testament, pastoral work, and participation in the Great Commission because the course will provide the needed guidance to the understanding of God’s missionary activities in the Old Testament. It will also serve as an important foundation to God’s continuous involvement in the works of mission.
The Old Testament has made a significant impact on the emergence of the modern society in terms of its radical ideas of justice, dignity of the poor, care for the environment, great laws and legislations, liberation against tyranny, arts and creativity, politics and commerce, ethics and morality, transformation of the human society, and its vision of utopia. Due to this significant influence, the mission-centered approach to the study of the Old Testament will further reinvigorate these important themes of the Old Testament by placing them in their appropriate context of God’s mission to the world. Consequently, it is expected that the student of the Old Testament will help in the transformation of the human society and the salvation of the world by his/her participation in God’s continuous works of missions to the world as laid down in the Old Testament.
Different approaches to the Old Testament are common, but not all read the Old Testament from the perspective of mission. This course could help student to see, interpret and study the Old Testament from the perspective of mission. The importance of this mission-centered emphasis will greatly impact the reading, teaching and preaching of God’s word with the appropriate emphasis given to the missionary character of God and his activities in the Old Testament.
Appropriate understanding of mission in the Old Testament will directly impact the worldview of the student in order to participate in missions thereby helping the student to identify with the continuous mission of God in contemporary times.
The course draws the missiological implications of the Old Testament for contemporary life and ministry, thus helping the students to understand the character of Yahweh as a missionary God in the Old Testament and the contemporary implications of this knowledge in the context of ministry, workspace, home and other relevant areas of the human experience.
God’s message of salvation has an intercultural dimension particularly in Yahweh’s quest to reach out to the nations of the earth through ancient Israel. This intercultural dimension naturally brought to the frontline of Old Testament studies the need to encourage and stimulate intercultural discourse with the intention for missions.
The practice dimension of this course entails helping students to engage in the works of mission because of the character and activities of the God of the Old Testament as a God of mission.
The course contributes in developing synergy between the knowledge of God’s mission as laid out in the Old Testament and its continuous call for involvement in experiential encounter of God in one’s daily life.