Getting to Know the Bible
Lesson 6.1   Survey of the Old Testament.
Monday May 13, 2024

I.            Review and Introduction – Questions – How to Study The Bible

A.      Survey – 1

1.       A survey is an overview. It is intended to give us a feel for the times of the writings and letters. Where they fit in the history of God’s People. It is intended to give us a taste for each writing. It I intended to give us an understanding of the purpose of the writing in order to give us wisdom in our modern world and reading of these treasures in God’s written Word. We are reading someone else’s mail. We are reading 66 love letters from ABBA!

2.       There are two sections: The Old Testament

       The New Testament

B.      Old Testament Survey and Historical Overview (See handout)


II.            Law and History – Genesis - Deuteronomy

A.      Overview – The Five Books – Pentateuch (five scrolls)… Torah

1.       Creation … Adam and Eve (Creation and climax. Reaching from Mickelsen on back)

2.       Story of God’s People. Adam. Call of Abraham. Death of Moses. Over 600 years.

3.       About 2000 to 1250 BC

4.       The Patriarchs – Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph

5.       The Great Leaders – Moses. Joshua…

6.       Anonymous work. No one knows who wrote these. Attributed to Moses.


B.      Genesis – Beginning – “By ways of Beginning.”

1.       Creation – Genesis 1 and 2

a.       World (Gen 1:1-26

b.      Humanity (Gen 1:27 – 30) Very Good! (Gen 1:31)

2.       Fall of Humanity (Gen 3)…(Gen 3-11)

3.       Call of Abraham (Gen 12) (Gen 12:1-3), Abraham (12-23). Sodom and Gomorrah (18)

4.       Jacob (27—36)

5.       Joseph (37-50)


C.      Exodus

1.       Joseph and Egypt. People in Egypt (10)

2.       Moses (2-4)

a.       Birth (2)

b.      Encounters with YHWH (3:13-14) (3-4:17)

c.       Back to Egypt (4:18 – 7:13)

d.      The Ten Plagues (7:14 – 11:10)

e.      Passover (12)

f.        Exodus (12:31-51)…Ten Commandments. Decalogue (Ex. 20) at Mt. Sinai

g.       Into the Wilderness (13-50)

D.      Leviticus (the Priests, the Levites, Levi (Gen 46:11) )

1.       Laws of Sacrifices and Offerings (1-7)

2.       Consecration of Priests (8-10)

3.       Clean and Unclean (11-15)

4.       Day of Atonement (16)

5.       Ritual Laws (17-25)

6.       Promises and Warnings (26-27)


E.       Numbers – Like Exodus – History and legal enactments. In the Wilderness (40 years). Wilderness Wanderings

1.       Leaving to Sinai (1-10:10). Census. Numbers…

2.       Sinai to Plains of Moab (10:11 – 22:35)…Twelve Spies (13:1 – 14:45)

3.       Events on the Moabite Plain (22-36)

4.       Census … Numbers


F.       Deuteronomy (Deutero – Second, Nomos - Law

1.       Act of God (1-4:43)

2.       The Law of God (4:44 – 26:19) – Ten Commandments (5:11-21)

a.       Shema (6:4)

b.      Great Commandment of Love (6:5ff)

c.       Own Good (10:12-13)

3.       Covenant with God (27-30)

4.       Additions (31-34)


A. Berkeley Mickelsen, Interpreting the Bible, p. 322, (1983)

The realities described in the figurative language of creation and climax are crucial for people to understand.

We should interpret figurative language so as to make its full impact fall upon our contemporaries.

Creation and climax speak to men about their destiny.

The urgent language of creation and climax must be heard at all costs and nothing should be allowed to obfuscate it.





Resources used:

A. Berkeley Mickelsen, Interpreting the Bible

Eerdman’s Handbook to the Bible

R. K. Harrison, Introduction to the Old Testament




I.            Period of the Patriarchs: Adam – Joseph (Gen)

A.      Genesis and (Job)


II.            Period of the Great Leaders: Moses – Saul (Ex. – I Sam.)

A.      Exodus – Deuteronomy (Moses – Joshua)

B.      Joshua, Judges, Ruth, I Sam 1-8 (Joshua – Samuel)


III.            Period of the Kings: Saul – Babylonian Captivity
(I Samuel, Prophets, II Chronicles)


A.      United Kingdom – Saul, David, Solomon

1.       I Samuel, II Samuel, I Kings 12, I Chronicles, II Chronicles 10


B.      Divided Kingdom – North (Israel); South (Judah)

1.       Division – Death of King Uzziah.

a.       I Kings 12 – end; II Chronicles 10-26; II Kings 1:15:7; Amos, Johan and Hosea

2.       Death of King Uzziah – Assyrians besiege Jerusalem

a.       II Kings 15:7 – 18:37; II Chronicles 26-32; Hosea, Isaiah, Micah

Fall of Northern Kingdom, Israel, to Assyria (721 BC)

3.       Assyrians besiege Jerusalem – Fall of Jerusalem to Babylon (in 587 BC)

a.       II Kings 18:37 – end; II Chronicles 32 – end; Nahum, Zephaniah, Habakkuk, Jeremiah


IV.            Period of the Foreign Kings: Captivity – Christ (Ezra, Nehemiah, Ezekiel, Daniel)

A.      Fall of Jerusalem – return under Zerubbabel.

1.       Jeremiah, Lamentations, Daniel, Ezekiel, Obadiah, Ezra 1-2


B.      Return under Zerubbabel – Nehemiah

1.       Ezra 3 – end, Haggai, Zechariah, Esther, Malachi, Nehemiah, (Joel)




Resources used:

The New Bible Commentary: Revised

R. K. Harrison, Introduction to the Old Testament

Eerdman’s Handbook to the Bible