Lesson OverviewWe are going to explore five aspects of theOT by of introduction: 1. The preparation of the Old Testament 2. The preservation of the Old Testament 3. The parts of the Old Testament 4. The themes of the Old Testament 5. The periods of the Old Testament
The PreparationHow did the OT come The five stages:into existence, and how 1) Revelationdid get into our hands ina difference language 2) Inspirationsome 2500 years later? 3) CollectionHow can we be surethat what we have is still 4) TransmissionGod’s word? 5) Translation
The PreparationRevelation God revealed himself and his will to chosen people through his words and deeds.Inspiration The Spirit inspired chosen prophets to record and interpret God’s revelation.Collection The Lord enabled the believing community to recognise and collect the inspired writings.Transmission Jewish scribes copied the OT scriptures by hand with great care for 2000 years.Translation Today we have many accurate translations of the OT into English and other languages.
The PreservationThroughout the ages, the devil and the worldhas done its best to destroy the word ofGod, Old and New Testaments. Yet yearafter year the Bible remains the best sellingbook worldwide. Broadly speaking, therehave been three major attacks against theBible in the Christian era. God has defendedhis word each time.
The PreservationThree attacks • The Romans tried to destroy the word of God 1) Persecution by burning all copies and killing Christians caught with the scriptures. • God preserved his word through the courage and suffering of his people, who faithfully copied and concealed the scriptures.
The PreservationThree attacks • During the Middle Ages the Roman Catholic 1) Persecution Church ruled that ordinary people could not 2) Ignorance read the scriptures. • Believers who tried to translate and spread the Bible were killed, until the invention of the printing press.
The PreservationThree attacks • The third attack came in the name of ‘science’ and 1) Persecution ‘reason’. Unbelieving scholars tried to discredit 2) Ignorance the Bible as being 3) Science unreliable. • The Lord has vindicated his word through godly scholars and new Archaeology: Jericho scientific discoveries.
People do not reject the Word of God because it contradictsitself. They reject it because it contradicts them.
The PreservationSatan’s Attack God’s DefenceRoman persecution Passion of ChristiansReligious proscription Printing PressRational polemic Proofs (archaeology)
The PartsBasic facts about the organisation of the OldTestament: 1) The Old Testament is a collection of 39 separate books. 2) The 39 books were written over a period of some 1000 years, from 1400 BC to 400 BC. 3) In our English Bibles, the 39 books are divided into four major collections.
The Parts Here is a simple way to rememberBooks = how many books there are in the Old Testament.
The ThemesFrom a human perspective, the Old Testament is acollection of 39 different books covering a timespan of 1000 years, but from a divineperspective, it is a unified work written by a singleAuthor (the Holy Spirit) with a single purpose—toreveal God to man and reconcile man to God.Therefore, the Old Testament has unity of themeand purpose. Four interrelated themes provide asense of unity to the message of the Bible.
The ThemesFour Major Themes The entire message of the Bible finds ultimate 1. The Son of God fulfilment in Christ. ‘Jesus claimed five times that he is the theme of the entire OT’ (Geisler). The OT looked forward to the coming of Christ as the anointed servant of God who would provide salvation for all mankind and establish the kingdom of God on earth.
The ThemesFour Major Themes God’s mission to reconcile all mankind to himself—the 1. The Son of God scarlet thread of 2. The Mission of redemption—is the second God unifying theme of the Bible. The Old Testament is salvation history. In it God reveals his saving mission through his mighty acts and prophetic words, as he carries out his plan to redeem all nations.
The ThemesFour Major Themes The kingdom of God is the rule of God. The Bible is the 1. The Son of God story of God’s plan to 2. The Mission of establish his righteous and God benevolent rule over all 3. The Kingdom of nations and all mankind. It is the story of his glory! God
The ThemesFour Major Themes Throughout the Old Testament God relates to 1. The Son of God man on the basis of 2. The Mission of covenants that he God establishes with man. These 3. The Kingdom of covenants are always initiated by God and spell God out for man the terms, 4. The Covenants of blessings, and duties of God knowing Yahweh.
The CovenantsCovenant Recipient Nature Promise SignEdenic Adam Works Rule creation ChildbirthNoachian Noah Mercy No more floods RainbowAbrahamic Abraham Promise Bless all nations OathMosaic Israel Law Be their God ExodusDavidic David Kingdom Eternal dynasty DynastyNew Church Grace Eternal life Resurrection
The ThemesThe four themes are closely connected. Themission of God to reconcile all mankind tohimself and bring all nations under his rule isbrought to fruition through the Son of God whois both Saviour and King. These purposes areput into effect through the covenants of Godwhich stipulate the terms of man’s restoredrelationship with God as his Saviour and hisKing.
The Periods• One way to study the Old Testament is divide it into time periods, noting how the mission of God unfolds over time. This is known as the diachronic method, meaning ‘across time’.• We are going to adopt this approach, dividing the OT into eight major time periods. The three tables that follow show the approximate dates for each period, the OT books that cover the period, and one or two major character for each period.
The Periods1. The Origin of the Nations up to 2000 BC2. The Election of One Nation 2000-1500 BC3. The Formation of the Nation 1500-1400 BC4. The Possession of the Nation 1400-1000 BC5. The Expansion of the Nation 1000-900 BC6. The Decline of the Nation 900-600 BC7. The Judgement of the Nation 600-500 BC8. The Restoration of the Nation 500-400 BC
The Periods1. The Origin of the Nations Genesis 1-112. The Election of One Nation Genesis 12-503. The Formation of the Nation Exodus-Deut.4. The Possession of the Nation Joshua-Judges5. The Expansion of the Nation 1-2 Samuel6. The Decline of the Nation 1-2 Kings7. The Judgement of the Nation (Some Prophets)8. The Restoration of the Nation Ezra-Nehemiah
The Periods1. The Origin of the Nations Adam, Noah2. The Election of One Nation Abraham3. The Formation of the Nation Moses4. The Possession of the Nation Joshua5. The Expansion of the Nation David6. The Decline of the Nation Elijah, Isaiah7. The Judgement of the Nation Daniel8. The Restoration of the Nation Ezra, Nehemiah
Conclusion1. God gave us the OT. He inspired prophets to record what he revealed about himself, and then worked with scribes to collect, transmit and translate it for us. We have the word of God in our hands.2. Satan has tried several times to destroy the word of God, but the Lord has preserved his word through the sacrifices and scholarship of his people.3. The OT consists of 39 books, divided into four sub- collections: law, history, wisdom, and prophecy.
Conclusion4. The OT is a single ‘book’ by a single ‘Author’ with a unified message. Four themes carry the message: the Son of God, the mission of God, the kingdom of God, and the covenants of God.5. We have chosen to study the OT using the diachronic method. We have divided into eight major periods, and intend to trace the unfolding of God’s mission and message across those periods.