Bible Survey Course Descriptions
Old Testament Survey I: Creation to David's Fall
Matthew divides the Hebrew Bible into two narrative parts, one moving from Abraham to David and then one moving from David to the Babylonian captivity (Matt 1:17). This is the first of two courses that together constitute a survey of the Old Testament canon after the method suggested by the first evangelist. Beginning with the creation account in Genesis, we trace the story of God’s redemptive program from Abraham to the sin of David (Genesis 1 to 2 Samuel 12). Throughout the course, we emphasize a literary approach to Scripture that highlights the narrative beauty and theological coherence of the biblical record. We also draw attention to the ways in which this first main section of the Hebrew Bible is designed to point us toward Christ.
Old Testament Survey II: David's Fall to the Babylonian Captivity
This course completes our survey of the Old Testament canon and of Scripture up to the time of Christ. We cover the time period from the sin of David to the Babylonian captivity (Matt 1:17). Much attention is given to developing the literary skills necessary for understanding the Hebrew psalmody and for reading wisdom literature. We also focus on the prophetic oracles that established the contours of the history of Israel, in terms of foreseeing the coming of Israel’s Messiah (2 Samuel 13 to Malachi 4). The emphasis throughout is on Christ as the fulfillment of all of Israel’s redemptive hopes.
New Testament Survey I: Synoptic Gospels & Acts
This course consists of a focused reading of the Synoptic Gospels and Acts. While Matthew and Mark are stand-alone works, Luke and Acts are a literary diptych; they are intended to be read together as a pair and to interpret one another. The goal of this course is to understand the perfect symmetry of the life of Jesus as it is so powerfully and beautifully told by the evangelists (Matthew, Mark, Luke) and to see how that same divine life and resurrection power is being multiplied throughout the world through the church (Acts).
New Testament Survey II: John & Revelation
This course is devoted to a careful reading of John’s Gospel and Revelation. Like Luke and Acts, these two great works by John constitute a literary diptych. They are written to reveal Jesus in a way that can only be completely seen when they are read together. The majority of this course is therefore a focused reading of these books in unison. Because the “revelation” of Jesus in the Apocalypse is structured as a narrative retelling of Joshua’s battle against Jericho, we will also give special attention to the extent of Revelation’s borrowing from the Jericho account, including the themes of the two witnesses (spies), the sounding of seven trumpets, the fall of a great city, and the rescue of a remnant from the whorish city.
New Testament Survey III: Pauline & General Epistles
This course completes our survey of the New Testament with a focused reading of the Pauline and General Epistles as well as the Book of Hebrews. The emphasis is once again on a literary reading of the epistles that reveals the mind and heart of Jesus toward his people and that displays the magnificence of the redemption we have in the Savior’s death as well as the hope we have of his resurrection power at work in us. The theme of the epistles is the centrality of Jesus, whose person unifies all things and whose work is the building of a spiritual temple through his church.