Bible 1

Bible 1: The Old Testament Syllabus

Course Introduction

Throughout history, the Bible continues to hold its position as the best-selling book in the world.  Nearly every household in the United States owns a Bible and though it is difficult for statisticians to agree on exact numbers, it seems that more than half or even up to three-quarters of the world have access to a Bible in some capacity….But how many people are actually reading it?  

Very few.

This presents a really odd situation for the world to be in—where many people find it important to own a Bible but for whatever reason cannot or do not read the Bible.  So much of the ideas that people have about the Bible do not necessarily come from actually reading it.

Perhaps the most unread portion of the Bible is the Old Testament.  Even think about what we call it: the OLD Testament.  Even for Christians who value reading the Bible, there is an idea that the Bible is old news, out dated, irrelevant, and has nothing to do with real life today.  …I mean, for goodness sakes, someone gets eaten by a whale and someone else splits an ocean in half…how much does that relate to real life today?

In actuality, however, many biblical scholars, faithful pastors, and all other honest readers of the Bible who have taken the time to study and investigate this book have found that the First Testament is actually very important on its own, and for what it helps us understand about the Second (or New) Testament about Jesus.  It explores who God is. It presents situations where we get to see how God feels, how God acts, and what God believes about truth, love, justice, faith, and compassion.  The Old Testament asks important questions like: what is human nature? What does it mean to believe in God? What does it mean to live as God intended?

Perhaps right now those questions interest you; perhaps they do not.  Whichever the case, please do not feel like this course has nothing for you.  Whatever beliefs you may or may not hold about the Bible, and even about God, the reality is that this book has shaped history for thousands of years and has impacted culture, religion, anthropology, sociology, psychology, art, science, literature, and philosophy.  Taking the time to really read this book will at least give you a worthwhile background for investigating whatever you study for the rest of your life.

So, let’s partner together as teacher and student and take the time to actually read this book and try to figure out what it’s talking about and what it really means.

Course Description

This course will provide an overview of the story of God as relayed in the Old Testament.  Through reading large sections of the first part of the Bible, you will encounter the people, places, themes, and ideas that shape biblical views of God.  This course will also offer you a very small glimpse into the Hebrew world and culture in order to shape your understanding of certain passages. Finally, since this course is taught from a Christian perspective, you will also discuss the authority and inspiration of the Bible as sacred Scripture, or the Word of God.

This is a 1 semester course consisting of 7 units.  Upon successful completion students will receive 0.5 credit towards high school graduation.

Course Overview

  • The Story
  • Genesis
  • The Exodus
  • A People of the Law
  • Major People in the Bible
  • The Prophets
  • Reflecting on God and His Story

Course Outcomes

As a result of this course, the student should:

  1. Know what the majority of the Old Testament says
  2. Identify key people, themes, and happenings in the Old Testament
  3. Understand the biblical view of God’s character
  4. Become a more critical thinker through a serious investigation of this complex and rich text
  5. Establish a background for the succeeding Bible courses at Oaks
  6. See the relevance of the Old Testament in contemporary thought
  7. Meaningfully converse with others about God and the early parts of the Bible
  8. Appreciate basic approaches and resources used for studying the Bible
  9. Grasp the narrative pattern of the Bible

Required Course Materials

Please access the list of course materials from the OC Online book ordering system and order your materials as soon as possible. Oftentimes, course materials are on back order and you may experience a delay in receiving them, causing students to fall behind in their online coursework. When ordering used or rented materials, be careful that online access codes are also current.



Since each assignment has different criteria and various point values, the teacher will score the essays and responses based on the following percentages:



Total Points Possible

Questions Answered thoroughly, thoughtfully, analytically, meaningfully, and creatively


Response is well-constructed, grammatically correct, and uses proper English


Total Points


* Semester-long Course and ** Eight-week Course

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