Index/Table of Contents
Old Testament and New Testament  
Credits and Copyright


Students will be able to 

Christianity did not emerge out of a vacuum. God began moving among the Israelites long before the New Testament time. "The Old Testament is promise and expectation The New Testament is fulfillment and completion . . . our knowing the Old Testament is knowing the religious social, geographical and in part the political setting of the New." (Jensen, 1981 40)


1. Period of Beginnings - Genesis 1-11 covers the period from the beginnings through the Tower of Babel (up to time of Abraham). The period tells of creation of the world climaxed by the creation of man. Following creation is the temptation and fall the story of Cain and Abel and the flood. This period is climaxed by the Tower of Babel and the scattering of the nations.

2. Patriarchs - Genesis 12-50 covers this period of history. It begins with Abraham and his call and continues through Isaac Jacob and his twelve sons. The sons end Jacob are taken to Egypt by Joseph who becomes a leader during the femme. Genesis closes with the death of Joseph.

3. Slavery in Egypt and Deliverance - These events are recorded in exodus Leviticus Numbers end Deuteronomy. The chief figure of the period is Moses. He was born in Egypt to Hebrew parents and reared in the Pharoah's household. He organized the Hebrews and led them from Egypt to Palestine a trip taking forty years. They were first led to Sinai where Moses was given the Ten Commandments. When they arrived at Kadesh-Barnea eighteen months later they failed to exercise faith necessary to enter the promised land thus resulting in their punishment of wandering the desert. Moses led them to east of the Jordan and died without entering the promised land He relinquished leadership to Joshua.

IV. Conquest and Settlement of Canaan -Joshua led the children of Israel across the Jordan to conquer the promised land. After the conquest, the land was divided among the twelve tribes. The conclusion of this section is the period of the Judges, charismatic leaders led during a time of apostasy and decline. One of the last Judges, Samuel, led to the establishment of the Hebrew Kingdom.

V. Hebrew Monarchy - Saul became the first anointed king over Israel although Samuel was greatly concerned about the event. As he suspected, Saul's leadership created serious problems. me Hebrews were in a weakened state and harassed by their enemies.

After Saul's death, David assumed leadership, having been anointed as a youth, and became the best king of Israel. He captured the ancient city of Jebus and set up his kingdom. The city was renamed Zion and later Jerusalem. He rapidly built his forces and became very popular. At the height of his career he committed sexual sin with Bathsheba and when confronted by the prophet Nathan responded with the contents of Psalm 51. He died as an old man after a forty-year reign.

Solomon's reign marked the end of Israel's golden age. Solomon's son, Reheboam, was made king over Israel. As a result, rebellion took place and the kingdom split, creating a Northern Kingdom (Israel) and Southern Kingdom (Judah). The Northern Kingdom eventually established Sam aria as its capitol and fell in 722 B.C. to the Assyrians. The Southern Kingdom had Jerusalem as its capitol and fell in 587 B.C. to the Babylonians.

VI. Captivity and Return - This period closes the Old Testament record It includes the Babylonian captivity and the return of the Jews to their homeland to rebuild the city and reinstitute the law. Many prophets worked during this time. Ezra was the reformer who restored the Law. Under the leadership of Nehemiah, the walls of Jerusalem were rebuilt.

In about 400 B.C. the Old Testament closes with the Hebrews back home but not free. (Hester 1963, 17-20)


Use a Bible encyclopedia or text to identify the following:



Andochus IV

Judas Macabees


Herod the Great. 6



TN One way to involve students in this class discussion would be to place Old Testament names or events on the board and ask students to place them in chronological order by numbering 1... (i.e., In what order do you place Moses, Abel, Noah, Sarah, Jacob, David, Elijah, Esther, Joseph, Ezekiel?).



1. In what ways is the New Testament related to the Old?

2. Why are people such as Abraham and David so important to an understanding of the New Testament?

3. How does Old Testament history contribute to the "fullness of time" (Galatians 4:4, NRSV) as understood by Paul?



Updated Thursday, February 24, 2000

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