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Understand the Old Testament World

Course description

Do modern Christians still regard the Old Testament applicable today? Did God nullify the Law and Old Testament writings by replacing it with Jesus' teachings and the New Testament writings?

Understanding the Old Testament World brings true meaning and significance to our faith, the New Testament writings, and the words of Jesus.

The Old Testament or Hebrew Scriptures were Jesus', his disciples' and Paul's Bible. Jesus taught his disciples from these scriptures. Paul and the other New Testament authors wrote what we call 'The New Testament' from their knowledge and understanding of the 'Old Testament'. The New Testament describes  Jesus' life and message in light of the Old Testament or Hebrew Scriptures.

Jesus did not start a new religion but gave true meaning to the Old Testament scriptures, message, and practices. He announced his mission to earth with some of the following statements:

Matthew 4:17 (NIV) 17  From that time on Jesus began to preach, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near."

Mark 1:14-15 (NIV) 14  After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. 15  "The time has come," he said. "The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!" 

Matthew 4:23 (NIV) 23  Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people.

From these few references, we can deduce that 'The Kingdom of God' was central to Jesus' thinking and ministry.

Jesus came to teach and explain the true meaning and significance of God's Kingdom, an idea his audience was familiar with. The meaning and implications of a 'Kingdom' were not new to them but originated and developed with human civilization and history.

'Kingdom' in the ancient and Biblical Worlds, had direct connections with institutions like; idolatry, gods, temples, cities, priests, and kings. 

This course aims at uncovering these 'Kingdom' institution, implications, developments and their connection with Israel and their God.

This course is a broad introductory survey of the Old Testament World, its cultures, and world view, uncovering the meaning of the 'gods' kingdom', shedding light on the Kingdom of Israel's God . 

We do not look at the Old Testament World cultures and literature through magnifying glasses, dissecting every culture in detail, but through wide- angle lenses, trying to see the 'Big Picture' of the ancient and Biblical worlds. This course lays the foundation for all other in- depth  Bible studies concerning God and His Kingdom.

In this course, we pay attention to:

  • The Old Testament World geography
  • Ancient and Old Testament  Worldviews
  • The gods of the Old Testament World
  • Idolatry
  • Temples
  • Ancient cities and their connection to the 'god's kingdom'
  • Temple rituals, sacrifices, and functions
  • Priests, High Priests and Kings' leadership roles

Israel did not live in their own separate world but engaged with other cultures surrounding them. Understanding these cultures, their religion and World Views, will help us to understand the Old Testament history and writings.

This course consists of 3, 5 hours video, including many maps, diagrams, illustrations, and images of the Old Testament World and its cultures.

At the end of this course students will:

  • Know more about the Biblical World geography
  • Have met some ancient gods
  • Understand idolatry better
  • Recognize temples' significant role
  • Know more about ancient cities and their function
  • Understand temple rituals and sacrifices better
  • Know more about  the Priests and Kings' roles 
  •  Recognize the value of reading the Bible in its historical and cultural context
  • Identify connections between the Old and New Testament writings
  • Understand Jesus' teachings better.

This course is for students who:

  • Wish to understand the Old Testament better
  • Want to see the 'Big Picture' of the Bible better
  • Enjoy learning about Bible history and cultures

This course is not for students who:

  • Regard the Old Testament redundant
  • Are not interested in history
  • Need an in-depth knowledge of ancient cultures
  • Do not regard it important reading the Bible in its historical context


Please join us for a rich learning experience!


What are the requirements?

  • Students do not need any specific academic qualifications or knowledge before doing this course

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Recognize the importance of reading the Bible in its historical and cultural background
  • Identify the geographical area of the Old Testament and Biblical World
  • Grasp the meaning, implications, and practices of Idolatry
  • Understand the function of Temples, Cities, Priests, Sacrifices and Kings
  • Make better connections between The Old and The New Testament writings
  • Recognize the uniqueness of Israel's religion and World View in the surrounding cultural context
  • Evaluate the importance and power of a World View directing human existence

What is the target audience?

  • Students who want to learn more about the historical and cultural background of the Bible
  • Students who are eager to explore the different cultural perspectives and practices of the Biblical world.
  • Students who enjoy doing independent research wider than Biblical writings

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