The Christian and Old Testament Theology

OT509 The Christian & Old Testament Theology

The Christian and Old Testament theology, Internet Bible CollegeOld Testament Theology is the branch of Biblical Theology that deals with the history, progress, and Christian interpretation of divine revelation in the Old Testament. It explores past and present theological concepts as they pertain to God and God's relationship with creation. It examines what is revealed in the Old Testament narratives and seeks to unravel God’s divine plan for mankind. This theology focuses particularly on the relationship between God and the nation of Israel. An important central theme is God's mission for Israel in the world.

This course examines the foundational theology of the Old Testament as applied to the New Testament and the church. It also identifies the focal point for the Old and New Testaments and discusses the continuity and discontinuity between the Testaments concerning: saving faith, the people of God, the Law, worship, atonement, the kingdom of God, the Messiah, and the new covenant. Throughout the course we explore how Old Testament theology is vital to contemporary Christian living.

I. Course Rationale

The Old Testament may be the central problem of theology. The problem is this: How do the people of God today relate to the people and teaching of the Old Testament, and how do they apply that teaching to life and ministry? While wrestling with this issue we must ask other important questions, such as, How does the Old Testament relate to the New? or What is the main purpose of the Old Testament? Stated practically, What principles of the Old Testament should I be actively obeying?

II. Course Overview

This course considers such important questions by examining the foundational theology of the Old Testament as applied to the New Testament and the Church. The course identifies the focal point for the Old and New Testaments, and includes discussions on continuity and discontinuity between the Testaments, saving faith, the people of God, law, worship, atonement, the Kingdom of God, the Messiah, the inclusion of the Gentiles, and the New Covenant. Throughout the course, Dr. Kaiser shows how Old Testament theology is vital to contemporary Christian living.

III. Course Objectives

Given active participation, upon completion of this course you will be able to:

1. Articulate Old Testament theological themes.

2. Understand the problematic issues of Old Testament theology.

3. Appreciate the significance of the Old Testament for the Church.

4. Apply Old Testament theology to life and ministry.

IV. Course Texts

1. Required Reading:

Dyrness, William. Themes in Old Testament Theology. Downer's Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1979.

2. Collateral Reading:

The learner will read 1,000 pages from the following list of supplemental textbooks. At least one book must be read in its entirety. The reading will be assessed by an annotated bibliography. (See below.)

Hasel, Gerhard. Old Testament Theology: Basic Issues in the Current Debate. 4th rev. ed. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1991.

Hubbard, Robert L. Jr., et al. Studies in Old Testament Theology. Dallas: Word, 1992.

Kaiser, Walter C. Jr. Toward an Old Testament Theology. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1978.

Martens, Elmer A. God's Design: A Focus on Old Testament Theology. 2nd rev. ed. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1994.

Sailhammer, John H. Introduction to Old Testament Theology: A Canonical Approach. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1995.

Wright, Christopher J. H. Knowing Jesus Through the Old Testament. Downer's Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1995.

Zuck, Roy B., ed. A Biblical Theology of the Old Testament. Chicago: Moody Press, 1991.

V. Course Learning Activities

Learning Activity #1 Lectures

Listen carefully to each of the twenty-four lectures, utilizing the lecture outline as a guide and the note-taking page for recording thoughts. You should find a quiet environment that limits unnecessary distractions. Objective: to accumulate course content through active and careful listening.

Learning Activity #2 Required reading/reports, Annotated Bibliography

All reading will be stipulated and summarized in an annotated bibliography to be turned in upon completion of the course. For each reading, you will list the number of pages and a one-paragraph annotation. Remember, at least one complete book must be read. (See course texts above.) Objective: to acquire a deeper, broader knowledge of course content and to demonstrate that knowledge through brief written assignments.

Learning Activity #3 Study Questions

Answer the study questions provided after each lecture outline. The answers to these questions will be turned into your proctor before the final examination. Participating in these questions will better prepare you for the exam and assignments. Objective: to foster immediate and cognitive interaction with the lecture content and to encourage evaluation of where you stand in relation to that content.

Learning Activity #4 Ministry Research Paper

Write a paper (approximately ten pages) on the significance of the Old Testament for ministry in a particular area of your choice. Choose from one of the subjects below, or secure approval from your proctor for an alternative.

Objective: to apply the principles of Old Testament theology to life and ministry.


  • Read the assigned book for the given topic area, and do other reading and research as needed.
  • Evaluate the required book's contribution in this area.
  • Formulate your personal contribution to the topic based upon further reading, reflection, etc.
  • Detail some specific ministry plans in this area as a result of your study.

Potential Subjects: Worship

  • David Peterson, Engaging with God OR
  • Andrew Hill, Enter His Courts with Praise Ethics:
  • Christopher Wright, Walking in the Ways of the Lord Prayer:
  • Patrick Miller, They Cried to the Lord OR
  • Samuel Balentine, Prayer in the Hebrew Bible Holiness:
  • John Gammie, Holiness in Israel Election:
  • David Novak, The Election of Israel Justice:
  • Moshe Weinfeld, Social Justice in Ancient Israel OR
  • Walter Brueggemann, Interpretation and Obedience Anthropology:
  • Hans Walter Wolff, Anthropology in the Old Testament Theodicy/suffering:
  • Walter Brueggemann, The Psalms and the Life of Faith OR
  • Robert Davidson, The Courage to Doubt OR
  • Terence Fretheim, The Suffering of God Environmental stewardship:
  • Wesley Granberg-Michaelson, Tending the Garden OR
  • Fred Van Dyke, Redeeming Creation General:
  • Christopher Wright, Knowing Jesus Through the Old Testament

Learning Activity #5 Evaluation Paper

Write a brief paper (three to five pages) evaluating Dr. Kaiser's proposal of promise theology in light of all your research in the course. You should suggest strengths and/or weaknesses of Dr. Kaiser's approach, and if you differ with it significantly, you should provide a tentative alternative proposal.

Objective: to articulate Dr. Kaiser's approach in your own words, and to critique that approach in light of the Scriptures.

Learning Activity #6 Final Exam

At the end of the course, you will participate in a final exam. The exam will primarily cover Dr. Kaiser's lecture material.

Objective: to reinforce and assess knowledge of lecture content.

Click here to download the course outline (PDF)

Order Subject