Old Testament Orientation I – OBST 515

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 07/28/2020

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.




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 s/he 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

Textbook readings, Bible readings and lecture presentations which include audio and visual lectures. Supports Learning Outcomes A, C, D.

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1 on Monday.

Discussion Board Forums (2)

Discussion boards are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student will read articles associated with each Discussion Board Forum and answer the questions found in the corresponding instructions for his or her thread. The student will post a thread interacting in a critical, but collegial manner with the associated article. In addition to the thread, the student must reply to one classmate’s thread by engaging specific issues, questions, or passages related to the thread. The reply must be a minimum of 200 words. The reply is a collegial analysis of what the other student has written and not about the viewpoint of the student who is writing the reply. The student must use current Turabian format to cite any outside sources that are referenced, but there is no minimum number of citations required. Supports Learning Outcomes A, B, D, E.

Reading Reports (8)

The student will complete the required reading each week and report the completion of reading each week in Blackboard. Supports Learning Outcomes A and C.

Presentation Reports (8)

The student will complete the required visual presentation(s) each week and report the completion each week in Blackboard. Supports Learning Outcomes A and C.

Old Testament Interpretive Commentary: Ruth

The student will write a minimum 2500 word interpretive commentary on the Old Testament (OT) book of Ruth, in current Turabian format, that will include the following major components: 1) an introduction to the historical setting (approximately 200 - 300 words); 2) an exegetical outline of the book (that provides structure for the commentary with content oriented subheadings); 3) an interpretive commentary on Ruth for chapters 1-4 (approximately 500 words per chapter); as well as 4) a conclusion that supports at least 3 applications to the Christian life drawn from the interpretive analysis performed in the commentary (approximately 300 – 500 words). The student will submit a title page and bibliography in module week 2 containing a minimum of 5 scholarly sources (that will provide a basis for research in the interpretive commentary), and the completed commentary will be submitted in module week 7. Supports Learning Outcomes A, B, C, D, E.

Exams (4)

The student will take 4 exams throughout the duration of this course. Each exam will cover the reading and study material from the 2 most recent modules/weeks preceding it and are not otherwise cumulative. Each exam will be made up of 2 objective parts: 30 multiple-choice and 30 true/false. Each exam will be open-book/open-notes and have a 1-hour and 30-minute time limit. Supports Learning Outcomes A, B, C, D, E.