Department of Old Testament

Virginia Christian University / Academics  / Master of Divinity / Department of Old Testament

In order to understand the unity of Gods revelation fully, both biblical theology and systematic theology are important. While biblical theology examines the roles and relations of passages in the unfolding plan of salvation, systematic theology approaches the themes of the Scriptures as a completed whole.

Exegetical Studies of OT, NT:  The Bible is the inspired record of Gods revelation; a thorough knowledge of the original languages as well as the historical and cultural context of the writings is, therefore, essential to proper interpretation and communication of its message. Biblical Theology courses are offered in the Old and New Testament departments.

The Old and New Testament departments at VACU emphasize skill in careful exegesis, literary analysis and awareness of archaeological and historical insights as methods of exploring not only the meaning of a specific text, but also its role and contribution in the unity of the Scriptures. By preparing sound biblical scholars, these departments give students the foundation for other aspects of their education and ministry.

Course Description

HE 501. Hebrew Grammar (3 credits)
An Intensive study of the grammar, syntax, and vocabulary of Bible Hebrew, including the study of selected OT passage.

HE 502. Advanced Hebrew (3 credits)
Orthography, essentials of morph-phonemics, syntax, translation and analysis of selected OT passage.

HE 503. Hebrew Discourse Analysis (3 credits)
A study of Hebrew syntax and Hebrew discourse structure. Exegesis of selected Hebrew texts will be included. Extensive use of computerized Hebrew data base.

OT 504. Introduction of OT (3 credits)
A Canon- doctrine, history of collection, classification, and attestation. Text- language, transmission, versions. Higher criticism- history, types, and current directions.

OT 505. The Pentateuch (3 credits)
Introduction to biblical-theology and biblical history writing. Exegesis of significant passages of the Pentateuch with particular attention to their relationship to ancient Near Eastern literature and culture, the history of redemption, and the literary structure of the Pentateuch

OT 506. Genesis (3 credits)
An optional credit course which provides a thorough survey of the content of OT Genesis and which seeks to equip future church leaders with skills for teaching OT Genesis in the local church. Assigned reading of the entire OT Genesis, written exercises, class discussions and laboratory experience in study methods.

OT 507. Exodus (3 credits)
Exegesis focused on the interplay of theology and overall discourse structure. Special attention will be given to biblical-theological themes from Exodus which are developed throughout the rest of Scripture.

OT 508. Exegesis of Leviticus (3 credits)
An Exegetical study of the Book of Leviticus in its cultural historical setting, with attention to its critical problems, theological content, literary features, and modern exposition.

OT 510. Old Testament History I (3 credits)
A biblical -theological analysis of Old Testament history developed in terms of the covenantal structure of the history of the kingdom of God, giving consideration to the Near Eastern historical and cultural setting of the biblical events, and dealing with the pre-redemptive and redemptive eras.

OT 511. Old Testament History II (3 credits)
This course deals with the period from the conquest of the land to the restoration period: theology, literature, and history in Joshua-Ezra/Nehemiah. Discussion of the synoptic issues surrounding the relation of Samuel/ Kings to Chronicles.

OT 512. Major Prophetic Books (3 credits)
This course is an exegetical study of one the Prophetic Books giving attention to their literary types, historical settings and relevance for contemporary society.

OT 513. The Book of Isaiah (3 credits)
An exegetical and biblical-theological approach to the Hebrew text of this major prophet. The focus of the course will be on the close reading of the books themselves, but a broader outline.

OT 514. The Book of Ezekiel, Daniel (3 credits)
An exegetical and biblical-theological approach to the text. The focus of the course will be on the close reading of the book, but broader issues concerning the principles and methods of interpretation of apocalyptic and wisdom literature will be discussed.

OT 515. Jeremiah-Lamentations (3 credits)
The nature and history of prophetic institution and the canonical contribution of the prophets. Hermeneutics of the prophetic literature. Exegesis of selected passages; the Prophets in the history of scholarship.

OT 516. The Minor prophet Books I (3 credits)
The nature and history of the prophetic institution and the canonical contribution of the prophets. Hermeneutics of the prophetic literature. Exegesis of selected passages from Hosea to Micah.

OT 517. The Minor prophet Books II (3 credits)
The nature and history of the prophetic institution and the canonical contribution of the prophets. Hermeneutics of the prophetic literature. Exegesis of selected passages from Nahum to Malachi.

OT 618. Holy Land Studies (3 credits)
Students may elect to take a course for credit during the winter term at the Institute of Holy Land Studies in Jerusalem.

OT 619. Worship in Ancient Israel (3 credits)
An exegetical and biblical-theological study of Old Testament forms of worship. Function and significance of priesthood, cleanliness, laws, tabernacle/temple, sacrifices. The place of the Psalms in cult.

OT 720. Christ in the Old Testament (3 credits)
The course examines the structure of the Old Testament to discover the dimension of promise that unifies the Scriptures. The broader context of the Old Testament is the history of redemption which points to the coming of Jesus Christ. The New Testament interpretation of the Old Testament Scriptures is true to the predictive and typological structure inherent in them.

OT 721. Old Testament Theology (3 credits)
A consideration of the basis, task, and method of biblical theology with an application of these to salvation history from creation to the United Kingdom. Students are expected to develop their own biblical theology and to apply it to an assigned block writing.

OT 722. Bible and Archaeology (3 credits)
This course is a survey of the topography, climate, historical times and archaeology of the Bible lands designed to provide background for Bible Study.

OT 823. Old Testament Wisdom (3 credits)
Wisdom literature in the Old Testament and the literature of the surrounding cultures. History of research. Introduction to Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Songs. Theology and motifs.

OT 824. Old Testament Poetics (3 credits)
An in-depth study of the nature of Hebrew poetry. The question of what distinguishes Hebrew poetry from prose. Critical study of traditional concepts of parallelism, meter, and other rhetorical devices leading to a method of research which will enable the student to analyze the form of Hebrew.

OT 825. OT Textual Criticism (3 credits)
A study of the history of the Hebrew text and versions of the OT with a view to establishing an accredited method of textual criticism for selected portions of the Old Testament.