Old Testament Orientation I – OBST 515

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 07/27/2021

Course Description

An examination of the current status of research in studies relative to the Pentateuch and Historical Books. Special attention will be given to biblical introduction, hermeneutics, and the acquiring of a strategic grasp of the historical setting, literary genres, and structure of each book, as well as areas of particular critical concern.

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.


OBST 515 (along with OBST 520) is foundational for graduate-level study in the Old Testament under Liberty University School of Divinity. This course helps the student understand the Old Testament and related issues so that he/she can effectively minister to the Church and local community.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Identify the major themes and general contents of the Pentateuch and the Historical Books.
  2. Analyze the literary features of Hebrew narratives and their significance for the study of Old Testament historical texts.
  3. Identify major critical issues related to the authorship and historicity of the Pentateuch and the Historical Books and defend an evangelical view of Scripture in the context of these issues.
  4. Explain how the theological message of the Pentateuch and the Historical Books contributes to the larger theological message of the Bible as a whole.
  5. Apply Old Testament legal and narrative materials with literary and theological sensitivity.

Course Assignment

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in the Course Overview.

Discussions (2)

Discussions are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student will post one thread of at least 600 words by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Thursday of the assigned Module: Week. The student must then post 2 replies of at least 250 words by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Sunday of the assigned Module: Week. For each thread, students must support their assertions with at least 3 scholarly citations in current Turabian format. (MLO's: B, C, D)

Content Essay Assignments (2)

The student will write an essay answering specific question prompts that require research and inductive analysis of the historical, literary, and theological elements of the biblical text. The essay must be at least 1000 words, and follow current Turabian format. At least three academic sources (beyond course textbooks) must be cited. (MLO's: B, C)

Interpretive Commentary: Title Page and Bibliography Assignment

Following current Turabian format, the student should submit his/her title page and bibliography for the Interpretive Commentary Assignment on 2 Kings 17 - 20. At least 5 academic sources are necessary for the bibliography. (MLO's: A, C, E)

Interpretive Commentary: Final Assignment

The student will write a commentary on 2 Kings 17 - 20 that is at least 2500 words excluding title page and bibliography. The paper should include an introduction that emphasizes introductory matters pertaining to author, audience, historical setting, literary genre, and theological motifs. The paper should also include a conclusion that emphasizes application in areas of practice and theology.

The main body of the paper is an interpretive commentary on 2 Kings 17 - 20. The student will provide interpretive commentary that discusses, analyzes, and interprets the content within the text of 2 Kings 17 - 20. 

The Interpretive Commentary Assignment must follow current Turabian format. At least 5 sources are necessary for the assignment. (MLO's: A, B, C, D, E)

Quizzes: Reading Reports (8)

The student will complete the required reading each module: week and report the completion of reading through a simple quiz. (MLO's: A, C)

Quizzes: Presentation Reports (8)

The student will view the required presentation(s) each module: week and report the completion of that activity through a simple quiz. (MLO's: A, C)