The Old Testament course examines the character of Yahweh God as displayed throughout the history of Israel, and compares and contrasts it with human character qualities. In an ancient world full of angry, spiteful, and deceitful gods, what kind of god is Yahweh? Is he also vindictive and impatient? Is he compassionate and gracious?
In order to ascertain the character qualities which most define God, students will observe his actions toward the Jewish people throughout their history; in particular, students will study God’s behavior toward the earliest ancestors of the Israelites, toward the enslaved Hebrews in Egypt, toward the judges who led the Israelites, toward the kings who ruled Israel and Judah, and toward the Jews who heard the preaching of the pre- and post-exilic prophets. Students will also witness the character qualities of many humans on display, some of whom reflect God’s good character qualities as they are called to do, but many who demonstrate less honorable character qualities. The behaviors, hopes, and prayers of these individuals will be examined. This course ultimately seeks to introduce students to the God of the Old Testament.
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