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

BT 510 • 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.
Special Notes: This course should be taken as soon as possible after entering seminary and is a prerequisite for all advanced courses in biblical studies.

OT 508 • Introduction to the Old Testament: Scripture and Story. 1.5 Credits.

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

OT 516 • 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:BT 510/BI510 (may be concurrent).

OT 518 • 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: BT 510 and OT 516.

OT 541 • 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.

OT 542 • 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: OT 541.

OT 652 • 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: BT 510/BI510 and OT 542.

Advanced Studies

OT 601 • 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: BT 510.

OT 602 • 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: BT 510 (St. Paul).

OT 603 • 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: BT 510 (St. Paul).

OT 610 • 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: BT 510 (St. Paul).

OT 611 • 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: BT 510 (St. Paul).

OT 613 • 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: BT 510 (St. Paul).

OT 614 • 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: BT 510 (St. Paul).

OT 616 • 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: BT 510 (St. Paul).

OT 620 • 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: BT 510 (St. Paul).

OT 670 • Directed Study in Old Testament. 0.5-9 Credits.

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

OT 710 • 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: BT 510 (St. Paul).

OT 716 • 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: BT 510 (St. Paul). Special Notes: Crosslisted with BT 716 and TS716.

Advanced Courses in Biblical Theology

BT 610 • 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: BT 510.

BT 655 • 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: BT 510 Special Notes: Crosslisted with PH 655.

BT 670 • Directed Study in Biblical Theology. 1-9 Credits.

Research and study by arrangement with the professor.
Prerequisites: BT 510. Special Notes: Permission is required.

BT 716 • 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: BT 510. Special Notes: Crosslisted with OT 716 and TS716.