Exploring the Old Testament

Douglas K. Stuart
Instructor: Douglas K. Stuart
Code: OT500-I
Section: SEML
Location: Online
Schedule: Online
Dates: Jan 25–May 7

Course Description

Exploring the Old Testament (OT500) surveys the entire Old Testament, touching on each of the 39 Old Testament books via lectures, assigned textbook readings, illustrative visual aids, and assigned Bible reading. This is not a simplistic or remedial course. It is an exploration of significant topics, unique features and the value for Christian belief and practice of the various parts of the Old Testament. The course lessons move through the Old Testament in a generally chronological fashion, bringing out historical and cultural information intended to help students appreciate the meaning of the inspired text.

Course Learning Objectives

Upon successful completion of this course, students will:

  1. Establish a foundation for further study of the Old Testament and the New Testament through learning its main figures, events, and themes
  2. Show an understanding of the Old Testament as Christian Scripture
  3. Appreciate the great themes and unique features of the individual OT books
  4. Reflect on the usefulness of the Old Testament for Christian life and ministry
  5. Explore a variety of factors that help make the Old Testament more comprehensible to its readers

Weekly Lessons

Over 15 weeks, you will cover the following topics and lessons:

  • Week 1: Background, Overview, Introductory Considerations
  • Week 2: Israel’s Law and Order
  • Week 3: The Promised Land and Survival
  • Week 4: Israel’s Empire Years
  • Week 5: Royal Poetry and Wisdom, Part 1
  • Week 6: Royal Poetry and Wisdom, Part 2
  • Week 7: Study Week
  • Week 8: The Divided Kingdom to the Fall of Samaria
  • Week 9: Judah: A Brief Respite
  • Week 10: Western Holy Week, no course requirements
  • Week 11: The Last Days of Judah and the Fall of Jerusalem, Part 1
  • Week 12: The Last Days of Judah and the Fall of Jerusalem, Part 2
  • Week 13: The Captivity of the People
  • Week 14: Return and Rebuilding
  • Week 15: Study Week

Reading List

  1. Fee, Gordon and Douglas Stuart. How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth, 4th ed. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2014 (ISBN# 978-0310517825, E-book: 978-0310517832), as assigned.
  2. D. A. Carson, et al., ed., New Bible Commentary: 21st Century Edition, Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1994). Read in connection with each book listed in the class outline. Always read at least the introduction to each biblical book. It is assumed that you will have read all the Old Testament book introductions for the exam. (ISBN-13: 978-0830814428)
  3. A Bible. Read/skim through the Old Testament, in conjunction with the assignments. Use a modern translation of your choice (e.g., NIV, ESV, NRSV, ASV). Please do not use a paraphrase. (e.g., The Message, Amplified)

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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