Old Testament study is the disciplined examination of the Hebrew Bible, using tools such as Hebrew language, historical background, archaeological data, and cultural insight. Academic Bible study is not just an end in itself, but leads to other goals: giving fuel to spiritual life and guidance for transformational ministry.

Objectives for students

  • Develop skills of disciplined Bible study, especially in the Old Testament;
  • Understand the geographical, historical, and cultural contexts that form the background of the Old Testament and its books;
  • Acquire a sequential knowledge of the major themes of the Hebrew Bible;
  • Understand how Old Testament wisdom shapes Christian living and ministry; and
  • Find inspiration and clear direction for passionate devotion to Christ and transformational service to His church and to the world.

The sequence of core courses is designed to give students a general understanding of:

  • The nature of the Old Testament literature;
  • The content of the Old Testament;
  • Contemporary approaches to the Old Testament; and
  • The relevance of the message of the Old Testament for today.

Students enrolled in the Greek/Hebrew language track will normally begin the sequence of Old Testament language courses in the fall semester of their second year. Students will then begin the Old Testament courses after they have completed one year of Hebrew.

Basic Studies

BT510 • Hermeneutics. 3 Credits.

An introduction to biblical interpretation. The course will survey the relationship of author, text, and reader in the interpretative process with the goal of determining the nature and context of divine revelation. Students will gain practical skill in interpreting the primary literary genres of Scripture. This course should be taken as soon as possible after entering seminary and is a prerequisite for all advanced courses in biblical studies.

OT508 • Introduction to the Old Testament: Scripture and Story. 1.5 Credits.

A study of Old Testament books, focusing on themes, theology, and interpretivve methodologies, coupled with consideration of role of the interpreter.
Campus: San Diego. Special Notes: Enrollment limited to M.A.M.F.T. students.

OT516 • Old Testament Survey: Law, Prophets and Writings. 3 Credits.

An introduction to the Old Testament focused on the message and proper interpretation of OT books, their ancient Near Eastern historical and literary contexts, and theological purposes, with the goal of recontextualizing their messages in ministry contexts today.
Prerequisites:BT510/BI510 (may be concurrent).

OT518 • Old Testament: Exegetical Explorations. 3 Credits.

A study of selected texts, themes, and theology of the Old Testament with the goal of developing greater skills in genre analysis, contextual study, and theological reflection and engagement.
Prerequisites: BT510/BI510 and OT516.

OT541 • Hebrew I: Beginning Hebrew. 3 Credits.

A study of the fundamentals of biblical Hebrew with respect to forms (morphology) and simple relationships (syntax). Special emphasis will be placed on preparing the student for the subsequent exegesis of the Old Testament.

OT542 • Hebrew II: Intermediate Hebrew. 3 Credits.

A review and expansion of Beginning Hebrew, including morphology, syntax, vocabulary building, and translation, with a goal toward developing a proper exegetical methodology. The course will also include an introduction to textual criticism.
Prerequisites: OT541.

OT652 • Hebrew Exegesis. 1.5 Credits.

Exegesis of select texts from the Hebrew Bible. The primary emphasis will be on translation and syntactical work, with some attention given to text-critical, lexical, and grammatical review.
Prerequisites: BT510/BI510 and OT542.

Advanced Studies

OT601 • Exposition of Genesis. 3 Credits.

An investigation into the book of Genesis, with special emphasis on the nature and theology of Israel's primeval history and the patriarchal narratives. Emphasis is also placed on the theological and homiletical value of selected texts.
Prerequisites: (St Paul) BT510.

OT602 • Exposition of Exodus. 3 Credits.

An investigation into Israel's literary traditions of the nation's exodus from Egypt. The focus is on the nature and theology of the deliverance narratives and on the Sinaitic revelation. Emphasis also is placed on the significance of this revelation in Israelite history and theology, as well as its relevance for today.
Prerequisites: (St. Paul) BT510.

OT603 • Exposition of Deuteronomy. 3 Credits.

An investigation into the literary form and theology of the book of Deuteronomy. Emphasis will be placed on the nature of covenant relationship and the significance of the book of Deuteronomy in Israelite and Christian tradition.
Prerequisites: (St. Paul) BT510.

OT605 • Exposition of the Book of Judges. 3 Credits.

An investigation into the book of Judges as a representative sample of Deuteronomistic historiography. Emphasis will be placed on the literary nature of the book, its distinctive message, and its relevance for the church today.
Prerequisites: (St. Paul) BT510.

OT609 • Exposition of Ezra and Nehemiah. 3 Credits.

The postexilic period contains a rich story of the struggles of a small community of believers against a loss of ethnic and religious identity, poiltical persectution, and economic failure. Through the stirring of God's Spirit, bold new steps were taken to preserve the faith and solidarity of the covenant people.
Prerequisites: (St. Paul) BT510.

OT610 • Exposition of the Book of Job. 1.5,3 Credits.

An investigation into the special literary qualities and message of the book of Job. Emphasis will be placed on the conrtibution made by this book to a biblical understanding of grief and suffering, and how God's sovereignty, justice, and wisdom are related to human behavior. The pastoral implications of its message for today is explored.
Prerequisites: (St. Paul) BT510.

OT611 • Exposition of the Book of Psalms. 1.5,3 Credits.

A study of the prayers for God’s help in times of trouble, hymns of praise to worship God the King, and the nation’s hopes for the coming of the Messianic Son of David.
Prerequisites: (St. Paul) BT510.

OT612 • Exposition of the Book of Proverbs. 3 Credits.

An introduction to the setting of the book of Proverbs in the wisdom milieu of the ancient Near East. Each section of the book is mined for the practical wisdom it provides. Application is made to our contemporary experience and ministry.
Prerequisites: (St. Paul) BT510.

OT613 • Exposition of Isaiah. 3 Credits.

A study of Isaiah's call for Judah to trust God, the great King and Savior of the nation. God will judge all proud nations, forgive the people's sin through the death of the suffering servant, and establish His eternal kingdom.
Prerequisites: (St. Paul) BT510.

OT614 • Exposition of Jeremiah. 3 Credits.

A seminar on Jeremiah's doubts about his call, his powerful preaching of judgment and hope, his agony and lamentations concerning repeated threats and persecutions, and his commitment to unveil the deceptive message of the religious leaders of his day.
Prerequisites: (St. Paul) BT510.

OT615 • Exposition of Ezekiel. 3 Credits.

A study of the ministry and message of Ezekiel, paying particular attention to his understanding of his audience, his response to the conditions of his audience, and his method of communicating his message.
Prerequisites: (St. Paul) BT510.

OT616 • Exposition of Daniel. 3 Credits.

An analysis of the visions and stories in Daniel to understand how the sovereign rule of God over the world brings hope to Babylonians as well as Israelite exiles who wait for His future kingdom amid persecution.
Prerequisites: (St. Paul) BT510.

OT617 • Exposition of Hosea. 3 Credits.

An exegetical study of Hosea with the goal of understanding its central message and theological themes addressed to his ancient audience as well as gaining insight into the ministry of prophetic leadership from Hosea’s perspective. Attention will be given to the significance of Hosea for life and ministry in the 21st century.
Prerequisites: (St. Paul) BT510.

OT618 • Exposition of Amos. 3 Credits.

A detailed study of the text, structure, and background of Amos' critique of social oppression against the poor, false expectations of blessing by the rich, and empty ritual at Israelite places of worship.
Prerequisites: (St. Paul) BT510.

OT620 • Exposition of Micah. 1.5,3 Credits.

An analysis of the message of the prophet Micah with special emphasis on the methods used to persuade his audience to transform their veiw of reality.
Prerequisites: (St. Paul) BT510.

OT700 • Exposition of Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Songs. 3 Credits.

An investigation into the role of wisdom in Israelite society and the distinctive nature of Israelite wisdom literature. Special emphasis is placed on the ancient Near Eastern cultural environment, from which this material arose, as well as the relevance of Israelite wisdom in developing a biblical ethic for today.
Prerequisites: (St. Paul) BT510.

OT710 • Historical Geography and Archaeology. 1.5,3 Credits.

A survey of the time, place and culture in which God's revelation was delivered. Topics include regional aspects of the land of the Bible, the relationship of humans to their environment, the concept of "place" and its effects, and the theological concept of "land." .
Prerequisites: (St. Paul) BT510.

OT716 • Old Testament Theology. 3 Credits.

A discussion of various theological perspectives on such prominent themes in the Old Testament revelation as creation, anthropology, sin, covenant, sacrifice, and law.
Prerequisites: (St. Paul) BT510. Special Notes: Crosslisted with BT716 and TS716.

OT751 • Seminar in Old Testament. 3 Credits.

Discussion of problems being raised by Old Testament research with extended reading in relevant contemporary literature. Topics of investigation are determined on the basis of student need and interest. Prerequisite: permission of the professor.
Prerequisites: (St. Paul) BT510.

OT670 • Independent Study in Old Testament. 0.5-9 Credits.

Research and study by arrangement with the professor.
Special Notes: Permission is required.

Advanced Courses in Biblical Theology

BT610 • Issues in Global Biblical Studies. 3 Credits.

This course combines two essential pieces for preparing students for serious engagement in biblical scholarship. The first is an introduction to the history of the interpretation of the Bible, particularly the last two centuries. The second component addresses current issues in biblical scholarship, such as the use of the Old Testament in the New Testament, historiography, theological hermeneutics, biblical theology, and global approaches to biblical studies.
Prerequisites: BT510.

BT631 • History of Interpretation. 3 Credits.

Minor attention will be given to the schools and movements from the Apostolic Age to the middle of the 19th century, with major concentration on the schools and movements from the middle of the late 19th century to the present.
Prerequisites: BT510. Special Notes: Offered according to demand.

BT655 • Integrative Hermeneutics. 3 Credits.

An in-depth look at the human experience of interpretation, through the grid of philosophical hermeneutics and its intersections to theology.
Prerequisites: BT510 Special Notes: Crosslisted with PH655.

BT716 • Old Testament Theology. 3 Credits.

A discussion of various theological perspectives on such prominent themes in the Old Testament revelation as creation, anthropology, sin, covenant, sacrifice, and law.
Prerequisites: BT510. Special Notes: Crosslisted with OT716 and TS716.

BT750 • Seminar in Biblical Theology: Old Testament. 3 Credits.

Discussion of major themes being debated as the result of recent resurgent interest in the biblical theology of the Old Testament.
Prerequisites: BT510.

BT770 • Bibilical Studies Thesis. 3 Credits.

This course gives students the experience of engaging in a concentrated research project in biblical studies (OT or NT; dependent on concentration). The project will be undertaken under the supervision of a thesis supervisor and will be expected to meet a set of criteria as established by the Bible faculty at BSSP similar to those employed by better peer-reviewed journals and will involve an internal and external examiner.
Prerequisites: BT510.

BT780 • Biblical Studies Seminar (Capstone course). 3 Credits.

This course is designed to equip students toward their vocational objectives by granting them experience in teaching a course in an academic or church context, presenting an academic paper, or designing an educational curriculum. The course emphasizes leadership in the classroom, the role of spiritual and personal formation in academic research and presentation, and other issues pertaining to professional development.
Prerequisites: BT510.

BT670 • Independent Study in Biblical Theology. 1-9 Credits.

Research and study by arrangement with the professor.
Prerequisites: BT510. Special Notes: Permission is required.