BTH4000EN - Old Testament Theology

Course description

Students gain insight into the rich scope and depth of subjects addressed across the Old Testament canon, identifying key themes and learning to appreciate the various angles from which they are illuminated. Students also engage with questions of proper method and how to see unity within the diversity of the Hebrew Scriptures.

How this course benefits students

This course strives to benefit those seeking to broaden and deepen their understanding of the revelation of God contained the first portion of the Christian Canon, the Old Testament. It also equips independent thinkers with foundational Biblical categories for tackling bigger questions concerning the identity and will of the Triune God.

Why this course is important

Believers are called to grow in the knowledge of the one God through the manifold witness of the Scriptures. Old Testament theology as a discipline seeks to facilitate this growth by moving beyond the exegesis of individual passages to ask, “How does this all hang together?” This course is important for those wishing to see the bigger picture as it is mediated through the Old Testament texts.

Credit hours
3 hours
Subject area
Biblical Theology
Educational level
Learning type
Upcoming terms
* Schedule subject to change. Please contact the Registrar's office with schedule questions.
Dr. Philip Sumpter, Professor of Hebrew Language & Literature

How this course relates to missional core values

Biblically based

Old Testament theology is not only Biblical in that it has part of the Bible as its subject matter, its mandate to seek the unity of God through the diversity of Scripture is itself given by Scripture. As such, Old Testament theology as a mode of inquiry is Biblical warranted.

Missionally driven

True motivation to engage in Old Testament theology is missional, namely the desire to encounter and be shaped by the God witnessed to by the Hebrew Scriptures. And the outcome of good Old Testament theology is missional, in that we become equipped to testify to and obey the God of mission.

Contextually informed

The Old Testament was written in its own various contexts and is interpreted in our own various historical contexts. Furthermore, its message is to be proclaimed in all human contexts. In order to effectively understand the message and meaning of Scripture, it is important to learn to respect these different contexts and create a dialogue between them. Old Testament theology is integral to that process.

Interculturally focused

Comparing and synthesizing the various witnesses in the Old Testament is itself an cross-cultural experience, for these witnesses have been articulated in a variety of changing historical and cultural situations. In doing so, we learn to appreciate the richness of diversity and yet the unity of God’s revelation in and through it. This skill is transferrable to missional living in a multi-cultural world.

Practically minded

The insights and approaches acquired in this course provide students with a foundation for ongoing theological reflection and interpretation as they continue to turn to Scriptures and ask, “Lord, who are You? What is Your will?”

Experientially transformed

Encounter with God through reading Scripture is a key motor of personal transformation, which in turn makes us better interpreters of His Word. This course aims to facilitate such encounter. In particular, students formulate their own questions that they wish to ask the Old Testament and work through an answer in Biblical-theological essays.