Detail from the Sistine Chapel ceiling, "The Creation of Adam," by Michelangelo (ca. 1511-1512).

Johnson University

BIBL 1101

Orientation to the Old Testament 1


Course description

Orientation to the Old Testament 1 introduces learners to the text of Torah (Genesis-Deuteronomy). Focus is given to its historical, literary, and theological contribution to the biblical canon. A Christian reading is demonstrated.


key documents

Syllabus for Fall, 2017  

Schedule for Fall, 2017 (adjusted 10/22/17)

Bible Facts to Know (Mastery of this list of names, places, events, and dates is expected of all graduates of Johnson University. A portion of this list will be tested by BIBL 1101. See exam study guides when posted.)

Select Bibliography

Outline of Sessions

The following outline presents the general shape of the semester's study. Consult the schedule above (under "Key Documents") to align this shape with your classroom experience. While the outline below is fixed, the schedule may be adjusted as the semester unrolls. 

Two links appear under each session. The first ("Preview") offers thumbnail sketches, goals, assignments and resources that correspond with classroom presentations. The second ("Worksheet") represents a page to be printed, completed, and brought to the classroom on the day it is due. Again, consult the schedule for due dates. 

A. Introductory matters

1. Course, Texts, and Perspectives

Preview to Session 1

         Worksheet for Session 1

2. Discerning Divine Intentions

Preview to Session 2

Worksheet for Session 2

Memory work: Hebrew 10:1-4

3. Scripture and Canon

Preview to Session 3

Worksheet for Session 3

YouTube: How the Biblical Canon was Formed

Memory work: Luke 24:25-27

4. Locating the Old Testament Story in Space

Preview to Session 4

Worksheet for Session 4

Handout: 50 Places You Oughta Know

Handout: Heartland Map (Print blank and bring for in-class work)

Handout: OT World Map (Print blank and bring for in-class work)

5. Locating the Old Testament Story in Time

Preview to Session 5

Worksheet for Session 5 (Complete and bring to class)

Handout: Who's Doing Time? (Print blank and bring for in-class work)

Memory work: 2 Timothy 3:16-17

6. Torah of the Bible and of the Imagination

Preview to Session 6

Worksheet for Session 6

Study Guide for Exam 1

B. Genesis: Israel's backstory

7. The Creation Story as the Rèsumè of God

Preview to Session 7

Worksheet for Session 7

Memory work: Genesis 1:26-17

8. The Fall

Preview to Session 8 

Worksheet for Session 8

Memory work: Genesis 3:15

9. Noah’s Flood: An Un-creation and Re-creation Story

Preview to Session 9 

Worksheet for Session 9

10. The Deal with Abraham

Preview to Session 10

Worksheet for Session 10

Memory work: Genesis 12:1-3

11. Where Israel Comes From and how He (and They) got There

Preview to Session 11

Worksheet for Session 11

12. The Perfect Patriarch in a Pinch

Preview to Session 12

Worksheet for Session 12

Memory work: Genesis 50:19-21

Study Guide for Exam 2

C. Exodus & Leviticus: The Sinai Core encountered

13. In the Beginning . . . there was Moses

Preview to Session 13

Worksheet for Session 13

14. Why the Exodus Event is REALLY BIG!

Preview to Session 14

Worksheet for Session 14

Memory work: Exodus 12:12-14

15. The Covenant Code: Investigating the Sinai Core

Preview to Session 15

Session 15 Lecture

Worksheet for Session 15

Chart: Covenant Code in Context

Memory work: Exodus 19:3-6

16. The Priestly Code: Sacred God, Space, and People

Preview to Session 16

Session 16 Lecture

Worksheet for Session 16

Chart: Priestly Code in Context

Handout: The Tabernacle Footprint

17. The Priestly Code: Blood, Guts, and Smoke

Preview to Session 17 

Session 17 Lecture

Worksheet for Session 17

Chart: Holiness Code in Context

Memory work: Leviticus 17:11

18. The Holiness Code: Why Leviticus Matters

Session 18 Lecture

Preview to Session 18

Worksheet for Session 18

Chart: Sinai Core Dynamics

Memory work: Ephesians 2:14-18

Study Guide for Exam 3

D.  Numbers: The sinai core Challenged

19. The People of God on the March

Preview to Session 19 

Worksheet for Session 19

Memory work: Numbers 6:22-27

20. The People of God Still Marching

Preview to Session 20 

Worksheet for Session 20

Memory work: 1 Corinthians 10:1-5, 11

E. Deuteronomy: Israel's frontstory

21. Deuteronomic Traditions and Theories

Preview to Session 21

Worksheet for Session 21

Memory work: Deuteronomy 6:4-9

22. Let Me Say it Again . . .

Preview to Session 22

Worksheet for Session 22

23. So What's it Gonna Be? Blessings or Curses?

Preview to Session 23

Worksheet for Session 23

Memory work: Deut 30:19-20

F. Conclusion

24. Torah in the Rear View Mirror

Preview to Session 24

Worksheet for Session 24

Study Guide for Exam 4