First Testament Survey

This class is a survey of the books of the First Testament that I teach at my high school and is meant for homeschoolers. If you want a verse-by-verse study of the different books of the Bible then go to my Bible Studies page.

The goals of the class are, first, to give the student a deeper cultural and theological understanding of the Bible. The second is to help the student understand the narrative themes of these books and how they fit into the greater metanarratives of the Bible as one story of Yahweh’s redemption of humanity and creation.

Unit 1: Genesis 1-2

This unit covers Yahweh’s speaking creation into existence and the placing of the image of God (humanity) in the Garden of Eden (land) to rule and subdue creation.

Unit 2: Genesis 3-11

This unit covers humanity's rejection of being the image of God and desire for autonomy. As a result of gaining autonomy humanity continually rebelled against Yahweh and His will for His image and creation.

Unit 3: Genesis 12-25

This unit covers Yahweh’s choosing of Abraham in order to make him into a great nation that He would use to redeem and be a blessing to the world.

Unit 4: Genesis 25-50

This unit covers the life and family of Jacob and how Yahweh continued to use them as His chosen people even though they constantly failed to be obedient to Yahweh and be His image.

Unit 5: Exodus

This unit covers Yahweh’s deliverance of Israel from their bondage in Egypt in order to give to adopt them as His covenant people. Yahweh then gave them the Law and tabernacle so that they could know Him and dwell with Him.

Unit 6: Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy

This unit covers Yahweh’s instructions to Israel on how to cleanse themselves of their sins through the sacrificial system (Leviticus). And then Israel’s failure to trust Yahweh and enter the Promised Land (Numbers). Afterward, Moses gave three speeches encouraging Israel to pursue and love Yahweh with all their heart, life, and everything (Deuteronomy).

Unit 7: Joshua, Judges, and Ruth

This unit covers Yahweh’s faithfulness to give Israel the Promised Land (Joshua) and Israel’s failure to ultimately finish the conquest of the Promised Land (Joshua). Yet, despite Israel’s failure, there were a few who remained faithful to Yahweh and received His blessing (Ruth).

Unit 8: 1 & 2 Samuel

This unit covers Yahweh’s establishment of the monarchy of Israel through king Saul who failed to acknowledge Yahweh as the ultimate king and thus his resulting judgment. Then the establishment of king David and Yahweh’s promise to maintain the Davidic dynasty as Israel’s hope for the future redemption of Israel.

Unit 9: 1 & 2 Kings

This unit covers the failure of Solomon as king, which lead to the split of the kingdom of Israel and the continued downfall of the kings of Israel and Judah. The sin of Israel and Judah lead to Yahweh’s judgment of sending them into exile because of their continued idolatry and rebellion against Yahweh.

Unit 10: The Pre-exilic Prophets, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Job, and Psalms

This unit covers the prophet’s proclamation of the coming judgment of Yahweh sending Israel into exile because of their idolatry and injustice (pre-exilic prophets). It also covers Yahweh’s instructions to Israel on what a life of wisdom looks like (Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Job) and how they could come to Him in true relational devotion (Psalms).

Unit 11: Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Post-exilic Prophets, and Intertestamental Period

This unit covers Yahweh’s faithfulness to Israel while in exile (Daniel and Esther) to fulfill His promise to return them to their land (Ezra and Nehemiah). Afterward, the prophets continued to proclaim the message of Israel’s continued lack of obedience to Yahweh, which demonstrates Israel’s need for a messiah who would bring them a new heart. Then it covers the period of time of Israel under the rule of the Greeks and Romans between the First and Second Testaments.

Unit 12: The Gospels and Revelation

This unit briefly looks at the coming of Jesus as the fulfillment of the First Testament covenant promises (the Gospels). And then Yahweh’s encouragement to His covenant people to remain faithful to Jesus, their redeeming king during the coming tribulation. This period ends with the coming of Jesus, Israel’s king, who would deliver them from their sin and “exile,” give them a new heart and make them into a new nation.