The Old Testament Syllabus for 2021-2022
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Instructor Information

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Amarillo Bible Chair, 2501 S Jackson Street 

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RELG-1301-001 The Old Testament


Course Description

A survey of the Old Testament. An outline of Hebrew history including the books of poetry and prophecy in their proper historical settings.

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(3 sem hrs; 3 lec)

Class Type

On Campus Course

Syllabus Information


Your Personal Bible (A major translation produced by multiple scholars is recommended), The Old Testament Speaks, fifth edition, 2000, by Samuel J. Schultz (ISBN: 978-0-06-251674-9).


Your textbooks, syllabus, a dictionary, pens or pencils, notebook paper or a notebook, and access to a computer to complete assignments and review class materials.  Access to library materials is necessary for the successful completion of this course.  

Student Performance


Online communication will be achieved between students and the professor by using AC Connect.  It is the student's responsibility to check for email messages and announcements regarding this class by clicking on AC Connect at the top of the Amarillo College home page, and then clicking on the icon identifying this class.  You will be able to communicate with both your classmates and professor, check your syllabus, find required supplemental materials, review for the examinations, and find your grades posted there.

OBJECTIVES AND GOALS: The Old Testament can be considered a book, a part of a book, and a collection of books.  To Jews, it is the Tanakh. Thus, the very title of this course expresses a preference for Christianity.  It is however, the same book, part of a book, and collection of books to both Jews and Christians, and will be introduced and surveyed in as objective a manner as possible.  It is true that Catholics include additional documents in their Old Testament that are not in either the Tanakh or the Protestant Old Testament.  Those documents will be considered in as objective a manner as possible, too.  We will introduce the world that is described in the Hebrew Scriptures (a term acceptable to both Jews and Christians), introduce and survey the historical and literary contexts of each “book” of the Hebrew Scriptures, and compare them to both each other and other documents preserved from the same historical periods.  The successful student will demonstrate his/her knowledge of the contents and background of these books by obtaining a minimum of at least 70% competency in the stated student learning outcomes.


  1. To understand the appropriate methods, technologies, and data that Biblical scholars and comparative religionists use to investigate and understand the Hebrew Scriptures.
  2. To effectively summarize the contents of each book of the Old Testament, including the Apocrypha.
  3. To identify and effectively analyze the origins, and the historical, social, and cultural emphasis of each book of the Hebrew Scriptures.
  4. To identify and effectively analyze the various literary genres and styles found in the Hebrew Scriptures.
  5. To recognize and apply reasonable criteria for the understanding and explanation of the historical evidence for, and principle teachings of, the Hebrew Scriptures.
  6. To develop an awareness of the history of the Jews during the periods the Hebrew Scriptures covers, while at the same time considering their developing relationship with their God.
  7. To meet, understand and know the God of the Hebrew Scriptures.


  1. Regular attendance and classroom participation.
    • All absences may be excused if they are the result of illness, official Amarillo College business, or personal emergencies. As an adult, it is your responsibility to talk with the instructor about this. He will never bring it up to you. Unexcused absences may be made up by doing extra work as approved by your instructor.
  2. Always bring your Bible to class.
    • We will read significant portions of the Old Testament together in class, so you need a Bible in class.
  3. A careful reading of all the assigned sections of the textbook (see the class outline on this syllabus to find your specific reading assignments), and all class handouts. 
    • Reading the assigned portions of the textbook and all handouts before taking the corresponding examination is absolutely necessary for the successful completion of this course.
  4. The successful completion of weekly quizzes and a final exam.


Students Rights and Responsibilities

Student Rights and Responsibilities

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Expected Student Behavior


All matters of academic dishonesty including plagiarism, collusion, and fabrication and cheating will result in a failing grade for the assignment in question.  All violations will be reported to the proper college authorities for review. 


In order to not interrupt the class, students are asked to turn off or silence all cell phones prior to the beginning of each class session.  Personal computers are allowed for taking notes and/or looking up materials that will contribute to our class discussion.  However, the improper use of cell phones and/or computers will not be tolerated.


Your instructor wants this class to be both interesting and fun, but any form of disruptive classroom behavior will not be tolerated.


All students are required to follow the AC Student Rights/Responsibilities Statement (On the internet, go to  and look under the “campus bookmarks”).

Grading Criteria

COURSE GRADE BREAKDOWN:               COURSE GRADING SCALE:                 

Weekly Quizzes             60%                            90-100                A

           Participation                   20%                             80-89                 B

           Final Examination          20%                             70-79                 C      

                                                                                      60-69                 D

                                        100%                             0-59                   F



Regular attendance and classroom participation. Two unexcused absences will result in the loss of one letter grade for the semester unless at least one of those absences is made up.  Four unexcused absences will then result in the loss of two letter grades unless at least two of those absences are made up.  Absences may be excused if they are the result of illness, official Amarillo College business, or personal emergencies.   It is your responsibility to talk with the instructor about this, though.  He will never bring it up to you. Unexcused absences may be made up by doing extra work as approved by your instructor.



   Part I.  Introduction To The Academic Study Of The Old Testament

            A.  Why Study The Old Testament?  {Samuel J. Schultz, prefaces and introduction}

  1. The Old Testament as the Scriptures for Judaism
  2. The Old Testament as the Scriptures for Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant Christians
  3. The New Testament Use of the Old Testament
  4. The Muslim View of the Old Testament

            B.  The Significance of the Dead Sea Scrolls in Biblical Studies (a film)

 C.  Essential Definitions

  1.  Hermeneutics
  2.  Exegesis
  3.  Exposition
  4.  Inspiration
  5.  Revelation
  6.  Canon
  7.  History
    Part II.    A Survey of the Old Testament

            A.  The Period of Beginnings (Genesis 1-11)   {Schultz, chapter 1, pages 11-18}

  1.  The Creation (1:1-2:25)
  2.  The Temptation and Fall of Man/Woman (3:1-24)
  3.  Cain and Abel (4:1-26)
  4.  The Generations of Adam (4:24-5:32)
  5.  Noah and the Flood (6:1-10:32)
  6.  The Tower of Babel (11:1-9)
  7.   The Generations of Shem (11:10-32)

            B.  The Patriarchal Age (Genesis 12-50; Job)   {Schultz, chapter 2, pages 19-41}

  1.  Abraham (12:1-25:18)
  2.  Isaac and Jacob (25:19-36:43)
  3.  Joseph (37:1-50:26)
  4.  Job {Schultz, chapter 17, pages 279-286}

   C.  Israel Becomes a Nation (Exodus; Leviticus; Numbers; Deuteronomy)   {Schultz, chapter 3, pages 43-55, chapter 4, paying special attention to the charts on pages 56 and 58-59, the offerings described on pages 65-68, and the feasts and seasons described on pages 68-73}

                  1.  Exodus

  1. The Freeing of Israel (1:1-12:36)
  1. Israel in the Wilderness (12:37-18:27)
  2. Israel at Mt. Sinai (19:1-24:18)
  3. The Tabernacle (25:1-40:38)

                2.  Leviticus     

  1. The Sacrifices (1:1-7:38)
  1. The Priesthood (8:1-10:20)
  2. Laws of Purification (11:1-15:33)
  3. The Day of Atonement (16:1-34)
  4. Heathen Customs (17:1-18:30)
  5. Laws of Holiness (19:1-22:33)
  6. Feasts and Seasons (23:1-25:55)
  7. Conditions for God’s Blessing (26:1-27:34)

               3.  Numbers and Deuteronomy

                           a.  Leaving Mt. Sinai (Numbers 1:1-10:10)

                                       b. The Wilderness Wanderings (10:11-21:35)

                                       c.  Reviewing the Law at Moab (22:1-36:13; Deuteronomy)

   D. The Occupation of Canaan (Joshua; Judges; I Samuel 1-7; and Ruth) {Schultz, chapter 6, pages 89-114; and chapter 7, pages 115-122}

  1.  The Conquest of Canaan (Joshua)
  2. When Judges Ruled (Judges; Ruth; and I Samuel 1-7)  

 E.  The United Kingdom (I Samuel 8-31; II Samuel; I Kings 1-11; I Chronicles; II Chronicles 1-9; Psalms; Proverbs; Ecclesiastes; and The Song of Solomon)   {Schultz, chapter 7, pages 122-126; and chapter 8, pages 127-153}

  1.  Saul (I Samuel 8:1-31:13; I Chronicles 9:35 – 10:14)
  2. David (II Samuel 11-I Kings 1; I Chronicles 10:29)
  3. Solomon (I Kings 1:11; I Chronicles 29-II Chronicles 1-9)
  4. The Wisdom Literature of Israel (Psalms; Proverbs; Ecclesiastes; and The Song of Solomon)   {Schultz, chapter 17, pages 286-298}

   F.  The Divided Kingdom (I Kings 1-II Kings 25:30; II Chronicles 10:1-36:23; Jonah; Amos; Hosea; Micah; Isaiah; Nahum; Zephaniah; Jeremiah; Lamentations; and Habakkuk)   {Schultz, chapter 9, pages 154-162}

  1. The Kings and Prophets
  2. The Writing Prophets (Jonah; Amos; Hosea; Micah; Isaiah; Nahum; Zephaniah; Jeremiah; Lamentations; and Habakkuk)

  G.  Exile: The Jews among the Nations (Ezekiel and Daniel)   

  H.  Beyond the Exile (Ezra; Nehemiah; Esther; Haggai; Zechariah; and Malachi)

   I.  The Prophets We Cannot Date Precisely (Joel and Obadiah)

  J.  The Additional Books in the Catholic Bible (Tobit, Judith, I and II Maccabees, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, Baruch, plus the additions to Lamentations, Esther, and Daniel)

   Part III.

Week 1

a)  Christian use of and view of Old Testament

b) Importance of Genesis 1-11

Week 2

a)  Genesis 12 to the end of the Old Testament

b)  Role of Israel

c)  Place of genealogies

d)  Quiz 1

Week 3

a)  Israel in Egypt

b)  Exodus to Promise Land

c)  Quiz 2

Week 4

a)  Israel and united kingdom

b)  Israel and divided kingdom

c)  Quiz 3

Week 5

a)  Prophets and Israel

b)  Ezekiel 40-48

c)  Zechariah 13-14

d)  Quiz 4

Week 6

a)  OT prophets and Israel

b)  Do the apply to then or now?

c)  Quiz 5

Week 7

a)  Ancient and modern Israel

b)  Israel and the new covenant

c)  Quiz 6

Week 8

a) Final Exam week




The course outline above is subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances.  Students will be notified in class, at AC Connect, and/or by email if any changes have to be made to these course requirements or to the course outline.


Additional Information


If a student scores below 70% on an exam or writing assignment, he or she will be required to attend tutoring per the instructor’s directions before being allowed to complete the next assigned work. Free tutoring is available at Ware Tutoring Center, located at Ware Student Commons 1st Floor, 806-371-5458.

Syllabus Created on:

01/05/22 1:31 PM

Last Edited on:

05/04/23 10:07 PM