The Pentateuch

The Pentateuch cover art
Instructor: Multiple Instructors
Lessons: 11
Forums: 11
Discipline: Old Testament
Course Group: Pentateuch

The first five books of the Old Testament are commonly called the Pentateuch. They tell the story of the nation of Israel from creation to preparation for the conquest of the Promised Land. But is the Pentateuch simply the historical account of God’s chosen people? Or is it something more?

This series explores the books of Genesis through Deuteronomy, examining why they were written, what they meant to their original audience, and how we should respond to them today.

Course Goals:

  • Summarize the structure, content, original meaning and modern application of the books of Genesis through Deuteronomy.
  • Explain how Moses' original audience would have understood the narratives contained in the first five books of the Bible and what these stories mean for modern believers.
  • Provide outlooks and information on a variety of issues associated with the Pentateuch.

74 min.

Lesson 1: Introduction to the Pentateuch

Introduces how the biblical books of Genesis to Deuteronomy served as the standard for Israel's faith.
65 min.

Forum 1: Introduction to the Pentateuch

A companion video to "Introduction to the Pentateuch" that asks the following questions:
  • Why is it important for evangelicals to become familiar with critical approaches to the Pentateuch?
  • Do critical methods for interpreting the Pentateuch have any value?
  • Critical scholarship often assumes that ancient religions were lower and less evolved. How should evangelicals evaluate this critical mindset?
  • How do you explain the variation in the names for God in the Pentateuch?
  • Why do so many scholars teach that there are contradictory theological viewpoints in the Pentateuch?
  • Why is belief in supernatural events so important for a proper understanding of the Bible?
  • Why should we interpret the Pentateuch as coming from the days of Moses?
  • What source materials did Moses have available to him when he wrote Genesis?
  • Did Moses use any written documents as sources for the content of the Pentateuch?
  • Should we be troubled by the fact that the Pentateuch reflects a form of Hebrew that is much later than the time of Moses?
65 min.

Forum 1: Introduction to the Pentateuch

A companion video to "Introduction to the Pentateuch" that asks the following questions:
  • Why is it important for evangelicals to become familiar with critical approaches to the Pentateuch?
  • Do critical methods for interpreting the Pentateuch have any value?
  • Critical scholarship often assumes that ancient religions were lower and less evolved. How should evangelicals evaluate this critical mindset?
  • How do you explain the variation in the names for God in the Pentateuch?
  • Why do so many scholars teach that there are contradictory theological viewpoints in the Pentateuch?
  • Why is belief in supernatural events so important for a proper understanding of the Bible?
  • Why should we interpret the Pentateuch as coming from the days of Moses?
  • What source materials did Moses have available to him when he wrote Genesis?
  • Did Moses use any written documents as sources for the content of the Pentateuch?
  • Should we be troubled by the fact that the Pentateuch reflects a form of Hebrew that is much later than the time of Moses?
62 min.

Lesson 2: A Perfect World

(Lesson 1 of The Primeval History) Gives an overview of the primeval history, the literary structure, original meaning and modern application of Genesis 1-11.
62 min.

Lesson 3: Paradise Lost and Found

(Lesson 2 of The Primeval History) Examines Genesis 2:4-3:24, the story of Adam and Eve's sin in the garden.
62 min.

Lesson 4: A World of Violence

(Lesson 3 of The Primeval History) Examines Genesis 4:1-6:8, describing how human beings began to fill the world with violence, and how God reacted to those troubles.
61 min.

Lesson 5: The Right Direction

(Lesson 4 of The Primeval History) Examines Genesis 6:9-11:9, describing the direction God established for his people to follow after the great flood in the days of Noah.
48 min.

Lesson 6: The Life of Abraham: Structure and Content

(Lesson 1 of Father Abraham) Explores the stories that ancient Israelites told about Abraham, their great patriarch.
65 min.

Lesson 7: The Life of Abraham: Original Meaning

(Lesson 2 of Father Abraham) Explores the original impact these stories were intended to have on the nation of Israel as they followed Moses toward the Promised Land.
58 min.

Lesson 8: The Life of Abraham: Modern Application

(Lesson 3 of Father Abraham) Concentrates on responsible ways to draw modern applications from the chapters in Genesis that speak of Abraham.
72 min.

Lesson 9: The Patriarch Jacob

Investigates how God humbled and shaped Jacob into one of the most admired patriarchs of Israel.
56 min.

Forum 9: The Patriarch Jacob

A companion video to "The Patriarch Jacob" that asks the following questions:
  • What is the broad literary structure of Jacob's story in Genesis 25:19-37:1?
  • What were the causes of the conflict between Jacob and Esau?
  • What lessons might Israel have learned about their relationship with Edom from the stories of Jacob and Esau?
  • Why did God change Jacob's name to Israel?
  • How would the Jacob stories reinforce God's promise that Israel would one day inhabit the Promised Land?
  • What did God's words to Jacob in Genesis 28:14 teach Israel about its role as a blessing to the nations?
  • What are some major themes that can be found within the Jacob stories?
  • How do the Jacob stories illustrate God's grace?
  • What are some practical ways we can apply the Jacob stories to our own lives today?
56 min.

Forum 9: The Patriarch Jacob

A companion video to "The Patriarch Jacob" that asks the following questions:
  • What is the broad literary structure of Jacob's story in Genesis 25:19-37:1?
  • What were the causes of the conflict between Jacob and Esau?
  • What lessons might Israel have learned about their relationship with Edom from the stories of Jacob and Esau?
  • Why did God change Jacob's name to Israel?
  • How would the Jacob stories reinforce God's promise that Israel would one day inhabit the Promised Land?
  • What did God's words to Jacob in Genesis 28:14 teach Israel about its role as a blessing to the nations?
  • What are some major themes that can be found within the Jacob stories?
  • How do the Jacob stories illustrate God's grace?
  • What are some practical ways we can apply the Jacob stories to our own lives today?
70 min.

Lesson 10: Joseph and His Brothers

Examines the portion of Genesis that deals with Joseph and his troubled relationship with his brothers.
68 min.

Forum 10: Joseph and His Brothers

A companion video to "Joseph and His Brothers" that asks the following questions:
  • How is the story of Joseph organized in Genesis 37-50?
  • Why did Moses interrupt the Joseph story with the story of Judah and Tamar in Genesis 38?
  • What were the causes of disharmony between Joseph and his brothers?
  • What should the tribes of Israel have learned from the story of reconciliation between Joseph and his brothers?
  • How would Joseph's last words have motivated the Israelites to enter the Promised Land and possess it?
  • How would the Joseph stories have encouraged national unity among the tribes of Israel?
  • In what ways would the Joseph stories have fostered diversity among the tribes of Israel in Moses' day?
  • What are some major themes that can be found within the Joseph stories?
  • What are some practical ways we can apply the Joseph stories to our lives today?
  • How does the story of Joseph encourage us to remain faithful to God even in the midst of trials?
68 min.

Forum 10: Joseph and His Brothers

A companion video to "Joseph and His Brothers" that asks the following questions:
  • How is the story of Joseph organized in Genesis 37-50?
  • Why did Moses interrupt the Joseph story with the story of Judah and Tamar in Genesis 38?
  • What were the causes of disharmony between Joseph and his brothers?
  • What should the tribes of Israel have learned from the story of reconciliation between Joseph and his brothers?
  • How would Joseph's last words have motivated the Israelites to enter the Promised Land and possess it?
  • How would the Joseph stories have encouraged national unity among the tribes of Israel?
  • In what ways would the Joseph stories have fostered diversity among the tribes of Israel in Moses' day?
  • What are some major themes that can be found within the Joseph stories?
  • What are some practical ways we can apply the Joseph stories to our lives today?
  • How does the story of Joseph encourage us to remain faithful to God even in the midst of trials?
111 min.

Lesson 11: An Overview of Exodus

Explores a number of basic issues related to what Exodus meant when it was first written and how we should apply it to our lives today.
74 min.

Forum 11: An Overview of Exodus

A companion video to "An Overview of Exodus" that asks the following questions:
  • When was the book of Exodus written?
  • What is the literary purpose of the book of Exodus?
  • What are some practical ways we can apply the stories in Exodus to our lives today?
  • What is the literary structure of the book of Exodus?
  • How does Moses employ chiasm in his storytelling in the book of Exodus?
  • How is the book of the covenant similar to and different from other legal codes of the ancient Near East, like the Code of Hammurabi?
  • What significance did Old Testament festivals, Sabbaths, prayers, sacrifices, and other ceremonies have in the lives of Old Testament believers?
  • How does the book of Exodus demonstrate that God is always faithful to his covenant?
  • What does the word Yahweh mean?
  • How does the book of Exodus present God as a warrior-king who fights on behalf of his people?
  • In what ways do the Ten Commandments reveal the grace of God?
  • How would the description of the tabernacle in the book of Exodus have comforted its readers that God's kingly presence is with his people?
74 min.

Forum 11: An Overview of Exodus

A companion video to "An Overview of Exodus" that asks the following questions:
  • When was the book of Exodus written?
  • What is the literary purpose of the book of Exodus?
  • What are some practical ways we can apply the stories in Exodus to our lives today?
  • What is the literary structure of the book of Exodus?
  • How does Moses employ chiasm in his storytelling in the book of Exodus?
  • How is the book of the covenant similar to and different from other legal codes of the ancient Near East, like the Code of Hammurabi?
  • What significance did Old Testament festivals, Sabbaths, prayers, sacrifices, and other ceremonies have in the lives of Old Testament believers?
  • How does the book of Exodus demonstrate that God is always faithful to his covenant?
  • What does the word Yahweh mean?
  • How does the book of Exodus present God as a warrior-king who fights on behalf of his people?
  • In what ways do the Ten Commandments reveal the grace of God?
  • How would the description of the tabernacle in the book of Exodus have comforted its readers that God's kingly presence is with his people?