Christ in the Old Testament

Gordon P. Hugenberger
Instructor: Gordon P. Hugenberger
Code: OT505
Section: HA
Location: Digital Live (online only)
Schedule: Wed, 6:00–9:00pm
Dates: Jan 25–May 7

Course Description

Many Old Testament messianic prophecies, like Isaiah’s promise of the virgin birth of Immanuel, are well known to Christians and even to the general public, whether through New Testament allusions to these promises, or great oratorios like Handel’s Messiah, or hymns, works of art, literary references, etc. When these prophesies are studied more carefully in their original context, however, whether by critical scholars or thoughtful honest readers, suddenly many of them seem disturbingly unconvincing! For example, why would God bother to inform king Ahaz about a birth, whether by a virginal mother or not, that would not take place for another 700 years? How could this be of any relevance to a man who was one of the worst and least spiritual of all Judah’s kings?

When these prophesies are studied more carefully in their original context … suddenly many of them seem disturbingly unconvincing…”

In this course, which is open to all students and has no prerequisites, we intend to show that, while these initially disappointing impressions seem justified, if we are willing to study those prophesies with even greater care, they invariably become more relevant in their original contexts and intelligible by their original readers. They also become far more compelling as prophesies of Christ than we ever thought possible! In fact, they are so convincing that, in the end, the only explanation that we are driven to is a recognition that these Old Testament texts truly must be the divinely inspired Word of God, and that Jesus is truly the prophesied Lord and Savior of the world.

Selected Reading List

(Please consult the in-class syllabus for a final reading list.)

  1. W.C. Kaiser, Jr., The Messiah in the Old Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1995 ISBN 978-0310200307) pp. 13-235.
  2. Vern Sheridan Poythress, The Shadow of Christ in the Law of Moses (Phillipsburg, N.J.: P&R Publishers, 1995. ISBN 978-0875523750) pp. 1-153. NOTE: the second half of Poythress’ book (pages after 153) is NOT relevant to this course.
  3. Philip E. Satterthwaite, Richard S. Hess, and Gordon J. Wenham, eds. The Lord’s Anointed: Interpretation of Old Testament Messianic Texts (Carlisle: Paternoster; Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1995 ISBN 978-0801020872; REPRINT Wipf & Stock, 2012 ISBN 978-1610979740), especially pp. 105-140.

“One of my fondest memories of seminary is a few cold weeks in the January term taking Christ in the Old Testament with Gordon Hugenberger. Day after day, I found my eyes opened and heart warmed to the beauties and riches of God’s Word as Dr. Hugenberger passionately showed us the treasures therein. His humble and heartfelt prayers, pastoral wisdom, and theological insights deeply influenced the way I read the Bible and think about ministry today.”

Jordan Yeo (MDiv ‘20)

You don’t need to be enrolled in a degree program…

You are free to participate for personal enrichment (audit the course) or to take the course for credit to apply toward a future degree.

Apply by January 15th

Accepting applications for Spring 2021 degree programs through December 15, 2020. Applications for individual courses accepted through January 15, 2021.
Detailed Application Dates & Deadlines


The following tuition rates are for new students enrolling (without a declared degree) in one of our online courses.

*Tuition rates for students enrolled in a declared degree program may vary by campus. See tuition & fees for more information.


$ 350

No Additional Student Service Fees

Best for: Personal Enrichment

Participation: Auditors are restricted to non-participating member status in classes. In other words, auditors may not:

  • Participate in class discussion (except as authorized by the instructor according to the terms included in the course syllabus)
  • Submit written work
  • Sit for exams for the purpose of receiving an evaluation.

Credit/Grading: Auditors do not receive graduate credit nor a grade. Your Gordon-Conwell transcripts will note "AU" in place of a grade reflecting that you audited a course.

Application Requirements:

  • Online application.
  • No additional materials required.

Special Non-Degree Student

$ 1650

24% Discount off standard tuition; Student service fees apply.

Best for: Students who desire structured feedback or anticipate enrolling in a future degree program.

Participation: Special Non-Degree Students are fully enrolled students expected to participate in all elements of a course as outlined in the course syllabus.

Credit/Grading: Your Gordon-Conwell transcript will reflect a letter grade, and course credit may be applied toward a future degree program. If you are new to graduate-level coursework and nervous about grading, you may elect to take the course for Pass/Fail. Rather than receive a grade, your transcript will only reflect whether or not you received a passing grade. Degree programs allow a limited number of pass/fail courses.

Application Requirements:

  • Online application.
  • Undergraduate transcript(s).
  • Reference required if undergradute GPA is under 3.0.

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