"...We have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and also the prophets wrote- Jesus of Nazereth..." Jn. 1:45
This is the second edition of this study guide. It has been updated and made clearer for those wishing to study it independently. Its purpose is to provide the reader with enough general information about each book of the Old Testament to be able to understand its major themes and apply its truths into the Christian walk. For the Bible student contemplating further study this should serve as an excellent introduction into more serious study.
The Old Testament is an often neglected pulpit theme. While some may refer to it to support a point they are making, few take the time to show their audience how the united plan of God's salvation unfolds to focus on God's effectuation of His one Testament. By taking the time to study the Old Testament systematically, the student will discover that God is the Sovereign Lord, from Genesis, to Revelation. There has been no "plan B". Perhaps the term Testaments is a bit of hindrance to fully understanding God's intention for mankind's redemption. A better understanding might come from a more accurate word- Covenants. While the first thirty nine Books deal with the Older Covenant, the last twenty seven deal with the Newer Covenant. But together, they both form the one and only Testament of God. The nature of any testament is that there must be a) a Testator (Heb. 9:16), b) a Will (Heb. 5:9), and c) an Heir (Eph. 1:11). Here we find that the Bible is indeed revealing that God has one will for His people, and He Himself is the Testator (while animal sacrifices served as symbols of faith and obedience in the Old Covenant, pointing to the Real Sacrifice), while we (those who render faith and obedience to God according to the conditions of the covenant) are the heirs of the Testament. Each Book of the Old Covenant is a uniquely shaped building block that perfectly complements the others. There really are no boring bits when you know what its saying about the overall picture of God's plan.
Originally this was designed as a week by week course. Students were required to complete the assignment pages that precede every lesson, before they came to study that lesson. I have tried to leave out technical arguments such as authorship and editorialship, to more advanced study. Scholars of the last century began to seriously question the traditional view of Moses' authorship by suggesting that there were probably about three sources of the Pentateuch ("J", "E", and "P"), with a much later compilation date than was traditionally accepted. For the sake of this study I have assumed Moses' authorship, except for the last portion of Deuteronomy, which was probably written by Joshua.
The Old Testament was the basis for the teaching of Jesus. The student might be surprised to find such concepts as Love thy neighbour as thyself... (Lev. 19:18) in the Old Testament. Yet it was Christ who said that came to endorse the Law (Old Testament), not make it obsolete (Matt. 5:17-19). He drew upon it to illustrate the truthfulness of His teaching. If the stories of the Pentateuch are but fable or myth, then Christ's teaching has no credibility. This is part one of the studies on the Old Testament, which was originally presented as one volume. But for convenience, this section of the 'Survey has been grouped together and enlarged upon. If you have any difficulties with any aspect of this study please contact me at the below address.
This volume is dedicated to Kim, my wife, who has allowed me the time to research, write, and revise my findings. Without her love and support, this would never have been possible.
© Andrew Corbett 1991-2003