Old Testament Orientation I – OBST 515

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 11/03/2022

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 the 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.

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 read the assigned Scripture passage and corresponding textbook materials and then submit an academic response that demonstrates critical thinking with thoughtful analysis in a clear, organized discussion communicating their position on the specific elements of the assignment prompts with evidential support for their propositions. The student will read the posts of other students and reply to two peer posts with thoughtful analysis that affirms strengths and suggests ways for the peer to enhance their post. (CLO: B, C, D)

Content Essay Assignments (2)

The student will write an essay answering specific question prompts that require academic research and inductive analysis of the historical background, literary features, and the theological significance of an assigned Scripture passage. The content essay assignment provides the opportunity to take a “deep dive” into the content of a particular interpretive issue within an Old Testament book. The ability to engage with the historical, literary, and theological elements of interpretation is an essential skill to develop in biblical studies. Developing these skills through research and writing is a time-tested means toward becoming a more competent reader and interpreter of Scripture. The content essay assignment probes challenging issues by answering the interpretive questions that rise from the text of Scripture. (CLO: B, C, D)

Video Report: Joshua Assignment

Using a cell phone, tablet, or camera-equipped computer, the student will record a 3-minute video of himself/herself reporting on an assigned Old Testament character for a local television news program and upload the video to complete the assignment. The video will target a modern audience hearing about the OT character for the first time. The video should include what the student considers to be the irreducible minimum of information the television audience must know about the OT character to understand who this person was and the significance of their life. (CLO: A, B, D)

Reflective Essay Assignment

The student will read the assigned Scripture passage and corresponding textbook readings on an Old Testament character. Then the student will write their thoughtful reflections in response to the significance of time, place, and choice in the OT character’s life and conclude with a paragraph relating the lessons learned from the OT character’s life to the significance of time, place, and choice in their life today. (CLO: A, B, D)

Interpretive Commentary: Title Page and Annotated Bibliography Assignment

In this first phase of writing an Interpretive Commentary, the student will design the title page and develop an annotated bibliography of academic sources that directly address the assigned Scripture passage. The annotation of the sources will communicate how the source directly contributes to the proper interpretation of the assigned Scripture passage. (CLO: A, C, E)

Interpretive Commentary: Introduction and Interpretive Outline Assignment

In this second phase of writing the Interpretive Commentary, the student will develop an introduction and an interpretive outline of the assigned Scripture passage. The introduction will address specific critical topics essential for an accurate interpretation of Scripture and the interpretive outline will identify with statement headings the larger units of focus and the smaller units of focus within the larger units in the assigned Scripture passage. (CLO: A, B, C, D)

Interpretive Commentary: Final Assignment

In this final phase of writing the Interpretive Commentary, the student will write the exposition of the assigned Scripture passage and develop a conclusion that presents the continuing relevance of key theological principles identified within the assigned Scripture passage for life today. The final submission document will include the Title Page, Contents, Introduction, Interpretive Outline, Exposition of the assigned biblical text, Conclusion, and Bibliography in current Turabian format. (CLO: A, B, C, D, E)