A survey of the first five books of the Old Testament, with attention to their history, the type of literature, and what they tell us about God and humanity.
The student will explain the broad challenges of interpreting these old texts and will be exposed to and study other similar writings from other cultures in the same time frame as the Pentateuch. The detailed study of the Pentateuch will establish a foundation for the study of other OT books. It will also develop the skills needed to interpret this part of Scripture for teaching and preaching.
This foundational section of Scripture has many stories of faith that illustrate the way salvation works. Most of our foundational theology comes from these books. Helping beginning pastors teach and handle these inspired stories with integrity so they can make proper application to a congregation is a goal of this course.
CN-1 Ability to describe the basic story of the Bible.
CN-2 Ability to describe the content, genre, major characters, historical context, main events, and theological themes of the Old Testament.
CN-4 Ability to explain the basic principles of biblical interpretation.
CN-7 Ability to explain scriptural holiness from the Wesleyan-Armenian holiness perspective.
CP-2 Ability to prepare biblical messages for effective and sound preaching and teaching. CP-2
CED-1 Develop the mind of Christ through growing closer to God, studying God’s Word, the needs of the cultural context, and ways to help others grow spiritually.
Dealing Biblically with the Spirit World
DBS-4 Explain contrasts between ancient pagan views of the spirit world (idolatry, worship practices and worldviews) and the presentation of God in the Old and New Testaments. (Note to teacher, insert background information about the idols, and Egyptian worship, and worldviews of surrounding nations).
DIS-4 Use the reading of God’s Word to foster spiritual growth and for personal devotions.
DIS-11 Identify the major themes found within the Pentateuch and apply it to the needs of a local community.
DIS-13 Explain how sin affects humanity, i.e., the condition of humanity since falling into sin, and how God’s grace in Christ brings new life. Explain what effects of sin are cured through entire sanctification. Demonstrate how to lead a person to the experience of entire sanctification.
DIS-14 Prepare, organize, and deliver a biblically sound lesson or sermon using culturally sensitive techniques and skills.
ICO-4 Tell several Biblical stories where the people of God made a positive or negative impact in the community. Identify vocational training opportunities the church can initiate in a given context in partnership with the community leaders. Explain the process and steps of organizing a culturally appropriate evangelistic outreach.
MIN-7 Compare and contrast the cultural background and the understanding of the universe presented in the Old Testament with the local culture, in the context of ministry and evangelism. Compare and contrast different ministry practices used by local congregations in different cultural contexts.
PRA-1 Model the prayers of Christ and His relationship to the Father through a strong passion for a life of prayer shown by devoting time to prayer and keeping a prayer journal, including a list of lost people for whom God has made them responsible.
PRE-2 Interpret the Bible within its historical and cultural contexts, recognize different literary genres in the Bible and how to interpret them in appropriate ways, identify the message and key theological concepts for the original audience, and apply the message through a sermon to contemporary audiences in contextually relevant ways.
PRE-3 Tell the story of the Bible including important dates, people, and events, in order to show the human problem and God’s answer in Jesus Christ.
PRE-4 Compare and contrast the teaching of the book of Genesis regarding the nature of God, humanity, sin, and creation, with local beliefs and interpretation of these stories.
PRE-9 Identify several terms used to express experiential holiness, know their historical or Biblical context, and express their individual strengths and weaknesses in reference to the cultural context in which the students will most often find themselves.
PRE-11 Identify how holiness was experienced in the Bible and how this applies in the cultural context in which the student will most often find themselves.
SAB-2 Explain the biblical foundations and benefits of Sabbath. Explain the difference between a legalistic understanding of Sabbath and the grace that is available to us in a Sabbath time. Colossians.
The Pentateuch. Nazarene Theological Institute Africa Region.
Blenkinsopp, Joseph. The Pentateuch: An Introduction to the First Five Books of the Bible. Doubleday, 1992.
Fretheim, Terence E. The Pentateuch: Interpreting Biblical Texts Series. Abingdon Press, 1996.
Hamilton, Victor P. Handbook on the Pentateuch: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy. Baker Academic, 2015.
- The local school’s attendance policy should be placed here.
- Bible Reading and Prayer Journal: Students should read through the Bible as designated in the Master Plan for Bible Reading in the Course of Study. For this course, students will read Ruth 1 – Job 36 and Romans 1 – 8. The focus of the Scripture reading for this course will be on encountering the Holy Spirit through prayer. In addition to reading the Scripture noted above, students will spend at least one hour per week in prayer. Each week, students should choose one different issue in which God is changing them and choose one different person for whom to intercede before God and makes these two things the focus of the prayer time. At the close of the week, students should write an entry into their journal at least one paragraph of 200 words about their experience.
(Outcomes CN-1, CED-1, DIS-4, PRA-1)
- Inductive Bible Study: Within the first few weeks of class, students will complete an inductive study of Genesis 12-50. This study will be done by completing the following steps:
- Step 1: Read through the entire book of Genesis without stopping to analyze or take notes. The purpose is to get an overview of the book. Look for the major events and people involved in the book. Notice the difference of topics/themes between chapters 1-11 & chapters 12-50.
- Step 2: Read through the entire book of Genesis again. During this second reading, read chapters 12-50 more carefully. Write down observations as you read, asking yourself these questions – Who? When? Where? What? Why? How? Create a short title of no more than three words for each chapter. The title should capture the main idea of the chapter. Do NOT use titles already written in your Bible but determine your own chapter titles.
- Step 3: Review Gen 12-50 again in order to note the major divisions of this section. Develop 3-6 major book division titles of less than 6 words each. Be sure to indicate which chapters each division title is covering. Develop one overall theme or title for chapters 12-50. This should be related to the major divisions, but as an overview of the book. Again, both the division titles and overall theme should be your own work, not that of some other author or editor.
- Step 4: Read/review the book one more time to evaluate your titles, then construct a chart or outline of chapters 12-50 Include the overall theme or title, the major book divisions, and the chapter titles under each major division.
(Outcomes CN-4, DBS-4, PRE-2, PRE-3)
- Small Group Skit: Students will form a group of at least two and no more than eight and develop a skit that reflects a story from Genesis or Exodus as if set in modern times. The skit will promote one of the key themes of the Pentateuch. The skit will be performed in a public setting (church, community, youth group, or if none of these are possible, then in the class). One way to evaluate this would include asking the audience if it understood the key theme(s) of the story.
(Outcomes DIS-11, ICO-4, DBS-4, DIS-11, MIN-7, PRE-4)
- Bible Study Lesson or Sermon: Create a 2 to 3 page lesson for a small group or Sunday School (preferably for one’s ministry context) that develops a story and a theme of the Pentateuch, or, prepare a sermon on a topic from the Pentateuch that shows the need for salvation in Jesus Christ. This lesson or sermon should state the intended audience, lesson objectives or sermon in a sentence, background material needed for teaching or preaching, any learning activity or illustration, and discussion questions for the group. This assignment may be adjusted for different age or educational levels and should be structured to communicate to the intended audience.
(Outcomes CP-2, DIS-11, DIS-13, DIS-14, ICO-4, PRE-3)
- Preaching or Teaching: Students will choose either the Bible Study Lesson or Sermon from above and present it in a live ministry context (church, home, community, youth group, prison, mission, rest home, etc.). At least one leader from this ministry will need to complete an evaluation form to offer helpful feedback to the student and instructor.
(Outcomes CP-2, PRE-3)
- Theology Paper: Write a 1500 word paper evaluating a theology of holiness found in the Pentateuch and explain how it is important for today. Support the ideas of the paper with citations from the Pentateuch. The first part of the paper will address the situation “back then” in the Pentateuch, and the last part of the paper should show how this topic is important to the student’s ministry context, both church and community. An oral class presentation may be substituted in some learning situations.
(Objectives CN-2, CN-7, DIS-11, DIS-13, PRE-4, PRE-9, PRE-11, SAB-2)
Journal 10 %
Inductive Bible Study 10 %
Small Group Skit 10 %
Bible Study Lesson or Sermon 20 %
Preaching or Teaching 15 %
Theology Paper 25 %
45-59% (Passable for the certificate level and toward the requirements for being ordained in the Church of the Nazarene)
If a student marks a final grade lower than 45% he or she must take the course again for credit at the diploma level
- Overview of the Old Testament
- Overview of Pentateuchal Studies
- Creation and Fall
- Recreation and the Flood
- Isaac and Jacob
- Slavery in Egypt and Exodus
- Covenant on Mt. Sinai
- Tabernacle and Worship
- God’s Self-Revelation
- Holiness in the Pentateuch
- Failure to Believe and Wilderness Wandering
- Preparation for the Conquest
- Covenant Renewal
- Preaching and Teaching from the Pentateuch