Law – OBST 815

CG • Section 8WK • 07/01/2018 to 12/31/2199 • Modified 09/05/2023

Course Description

A study of select portions of the Pentateuch, including a treatment of introductory issues, hermeneutical principles regarding the narrative and legal genres, and a functional analysis of key interpretive issues in the study of Genesis through Deuteronomy. The course engages with current evangelical scholarship on critical issues that relate to the study of the Pentateuch. Special emphasis is placed on biblical theological motifs within the Pentateuch, and expositional strategies to integrate standard exegesis with biblical theological awareness.  

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


The Old Testament Pentateuch (Law) is foundational to the Old Testament and sets the theological trajectory for redemption realized in the New Testament. Students pursuing the PhD in Bible Exposition must be conversant with issues in the study of the Pentateuch and should demonstrate an ability to integrate pentateuchal studies into the whole counsel of Scripture.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

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

Discussions (6)

The student will complete 6 discussions in this course. The student will post one thread of at least 1000 words by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Thursday of the assigned Module: Week. The student must then post 3 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 Turabian format. Each reply should also incorporate scholarly citations if appropriate to the context.
(CLO: A, B, E, F)

In a single document, students will submit a title page, general outline, and bibliography. The assignment length should be 500 to 1,000 words. In the development of the bibliography, as determined by the topic, students should include at least 7 academic sources (beyond the textbooks by Sailhamer and Gane), including but not limited to academic commentaries, journal articles, and monographs. Turabian format is required for this assignment, and is especially relevant to the title page and bibliography.

(CLO: A, C, D, E, F)

Research Paper: Final Assignment

Building primarily on the reading of Sailhamer and Gane, along with at least 7 academic sources, students will write a 13 to 18 page research paper exploring the following questions: 1) How did the Old Testament Law function within the event space of ancient Israel; 2) How does the Old Testament Law function within the current theological and experiential life of the church; and 3) What is the meaning of the Pentateuch within the canon of Scripture, and how is that “meaning” determined? 

Although short of a biblical theology of the law, this paper should demonstrate biblical theological awareness and an ability to navigate interpretive issues related to the historical, literary, and theological functions of the law (as a part of the Pentateuch, as the Pentateuch, and as a part of the whole revelation of God).

Standard Turabian/SBL format is required for the paper.

(CLO: A, C, D, E, F)