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Online · School of Divinity · Biblical Studies

Apologetics and the Old Testament
OBST-640

  • CG
  • Section 8WK
  • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020
  • Modified 01/13/2020

Course Description

An investigation of key issues in the study of the Old Testament with a focus upon defending the truthfulness of the Old Testament. Focused attention will be given to the historicity of Old Testament narratives, issues in archaeology, and the compatibility of the God of the Old Testament with the God of the New Testament.

Requisites

Prerequisites: APOL 500 and NBST 610

Rationale

Since the Enlightenment, there have been a multitude of critics of the Bible and of the Old Testament especially. OBST 640 will provide a foundation for defending and trusting the God and history revealed within the pages of the Old Testament. Furthermore, OBST 640 will provide the opportunity for students to develop an effective understanding of the issues of an Old Testament apologetic.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Identify apologetic issues in current scholarship that pertain to the Old Testament.
  2. Analyze the validity of criticism aimed at the historicity of the Old Testament.
  3. Defend the historicity of the Old Testament.
  4. Discuss exegetically and apologetically pertinent Old Testament texts in their literary and cultural contexts.
  5. Outline the primary characteristics of God which are found in both the Old Testament and New Testament.
  6. Generate a theological polemic for the God of the Old Testament being the same as the God of the New Testament.

Course Resources

Required Resources

The resources below are provided in the course at no cost to the student.

Block, Daniel. Israel: Ancient Kingdom of Late Invention? Nashville: Broadman & Holman Academic, 2008.

Charles, J. Daryl. Reading Genesis 1–2: An Evangelical Conversation. Peabody: Hendricks Press, 2013.

Copan, Paul. Is God a Moral Monster? Making Sense of the Old Testament God. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2011.

Cowan, Steven B., and Terry L. Wilder. In Defense of the Bible: A Comprehensive Apologetic for the Authority of Scripture. Nashville: Broadman & Holman Academic, 2013.

Kitchen, K. A. On the Reliability of the Old Testament. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2003.

Seibert, Eric A. Disturbing Divine Behavior: Troubling Old Testament Images of God. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2009.

Wright, Christopher J. H. The God I Don’t Understand: Reflections on Tough Questions of Faith. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2016.

Disclaimer: The above resources provide information consistent with the latest research regarding the subject area. Liberty University does not necessarily endorse specific personal, religious, philosophical, or political positions found in these resources.

Additional Materials for Learning

  1. Computer with basic audio/video output equipment
  2. Internet access (broadband recommended)
  3. Blackboard recommended browsers
  4. Microsoft Word
  5. School of Divinity Writing Guide: https://www.liberty.edu/divinity/index.cfm?PID=28160

Course Assignments

Textbook readings and lecture presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

Discussion Board Forums (5)

Discussion boards are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to create a thread in response to the provided prompt for each forum. Each thread must be 400–500 words and demonstrate course-related knowledge. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to 2 other classmates’ threads. Each reply must be 150–250 words. The student’s thread must reference at least 1 source from the module/week’s reading.

God of the OT Paper

The student will write a 10–12-page research-based paper in current Turabian format that focuses on the God of the Old Testament being the same as the God of the New Testament. The paper must use at least 5 references, including 2 journal articles, 2 commentaries, and an exegetical analysis of at least 1 key passage.

Step 1

The student will produce an annotated bibliography of at least 10 sources, including at least 2 journal articles and 2 commentaries.

Step 2

The student will develop an outline for his or her research paper that includes major and minor subheadings. Each heading must include an estimated page length and a few bullet points. The student must clearly indicate which section includes his or her exegetical analysis.

Step 3

The student will submit the completed 10–12-page research-based paper in current Turabian formatting.

Outline of the Attributes of God

The student will write a 5-page research-based paper in current Turabian format that focuses on the primary characteristics of God found in both the Old and the New Testament. The student will select 6 attributes, including the justice of God, and provide references from both the Old and the New Testament for each attribute. The paper must include at least 2 references in addition to the course textbooks and the Bible, and at least 1 systematic theology.

Quizzes (4)

Each quiz will cover the Reading & Study material for the module/week in which it is assigned. Each quiz will be open-book/open-notes, contain 10 true/false questions, and have a 20-minute time limit.

Exams (2)

Each exam will cover the Reading & Study material for the module/week in which it is assigned. Each exam will be open-book/open-notes, contain 2 essay questions, and have a 60-minute time limit.

Course Grading

Course Requirements Checklist

10

Discussion Board Forums (5 at 80 pts ea)

400

God of the OT Paper: Step 1

20

God of the OT Paper: Step 2

20

God of the OT Paper: Step 3

200

Outline of the Attributes of God

100

Quizzes (1 at 30 pts, 3 at 10 pts ea)

60

Exams (2 at 100 pts ea)

200

Total

1010

Policies

Late Assignment Policy

Course Assignments, including discussion boards, exams, and other graded assignments, should be submitted on time.

If the student is unable to complete an assignment on time, then he or she must contact the instructor immediately by email.

Assignments that are submitted after the due date without prior approval from the instructor will receive the following deductions:

  1. Late assignments submitted within one week after the due date will receive up to a 10% deduction.
  2. Assignments submitted more than one week and less than 2 weeks late will receive up to a 20% deduction.
  3. Assignments submitted two weeks late or after the final date of the course will not be accepted outside of special circumstances (e.g. death in the family, significant personal health issues), which will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the instructor.
  4. Group projects, including group discussion board threads and/or replies, and assignments will not be accepted after the due date outside of special circumstances (e.g. death in the family, significant personal health issues), which will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the instructor.

Disability Assistance

Students with a disability and those with medical conditions associated with pregnancy may contact Liberty University’s Online Office of Disability Accommodation Support (ODAS) at [email protected] for accommodations.  Such accommodations require appropriate documentation of your condition.   For more information about ODAS and the accommodations process, including how to request an accommodation, please visit https://www.liberty.edu/online/online-disability-accommodation-support/. Requests for accommodations not related to disabilities or pregnancy must be directed to the Registrar’s Office, which generally handles medical needs support.

If you have a complaint related to disability discrimination or an accommodation that was not provided, you may contact ODAS or the Office of Equity and Compliance by phone at (434) 592-4999 or by email at [email protected].  Click to see a full copy of Liberty’s Discrimination, Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct Policy or the Student Disability Grievance Policy and Procedures.

Course Attendance

In an effort to comply with U.S. Department of Education policies, attendance is measured by physical class attendance or any submission of a required assignment within the enrollment dates of the course (such as examinations, written papers or projects, any discussion board posts, etc.) or initiating any communication with one’s professor regarding an academic subject. More information regarding the attendance policy can be found in the Academic Course Catalogs. Regular attendance in online courses is expected throughout the length of the term. Students who do not attend within the first week of a sub-term by submitting a required academic assignment (such as the Course Requirements Checklist, an examination, written paper or project, discussion board post, or other academic activity) will be dropped from the course. Students who wish to re-engage in the course are encouraged to contact Academic Advising to discuss their enrollment options. Students who begin an online course, but at some point in the semester cease attending, and do not provide official notification to withdraw, will be assigned a grade of “FN” (Failure for Non-Attendance). Students wishing to withdraw from courses after the official start date should familiarize themselves with the withdrawal policy.

Grading Scale

A- B+ B B- C+ C C- D+ D D- F
940-1010 920-939 900-919 860-899 840-859 820-839 780-819 760-779 740-759 700-739 680-699 679 and below

For courses with a Pass/NP final grade, please refer to the Course Grading section of this syllabus for the assignment requirements and/or point value required to earn a Passing final grade.

Add/Drop Policy

The full policy statement and procedures are published in the Policy Directory.

Honor Code

Liberty University comprises a network of students, Alumni, faculty, staff and supporters that together form a Christian community based upon the truth of the Bible. This truth defines our foundational principles, from our Doctrinal Statement to the Code of Honor. These principles irrevocably align Liberty University’s operational procedures with the long tradition of university culture, which remains distinctively Christian, designed to preserve and advance truth. Our desire is to create a safe, comfortable environment within our community of learning, and we extend our academic and spiritual resources to all of our students with the goal of fostering academic maturity, spiritual growth and character development.

Communities are predicated on shared values and goals. The Code of Honor, an expression of the values from which our Doctrinal Statement was born, defines the fundamental principles by which our community exists. At the core of this code lie two essential concepts: a belief in the significance of all individuals, and a reliance on the existence of objective truth.

While we acknowledge that some may disagree with various elements of the Code of Honor, we maintain the expectation that our students will commit to respect and uphold the Code while enrolled at Liberty University.

Adherence to the principles and concepts established within facilitates the success of our students and strengthens the Liberty community.

The Code of Honor can be viewed in its entirety at http://www.liberty.edu/index.cfm?PID=19155.

Schedule

OBST 640

Textbooks: Block, Israel (2008).

Charles, Reading Genesis 12 (2013).

Copan, Is God a Moral Monster? (2011).

Cowan & Wilder, In Defense of the Bible (2013).

Kitchen, On the Reliability of the Old Testament (2003).

Seibert, Disturbing Divine Behavior (2009).

Wright, The God I Don’t Understand (2016).

Module/Week

Reading & Study

Assignments

Points

1

Block: Selected Readings

Copan: chs. 1–2

Cowan & Wilder: chs. 2–5

Seibert: ch. 1

Bible Readings

4 presentations

3 websites

Course Requirements Checklist

Class Introductions

DB Forum 1

Quiz 1

10

0

80

30

2

Block: Selected Readings

Cowan & Wilder: ch. 9

Seibert: chs. 3–5, 9–10

Bible Readings

3 presentations

God of the OT Paper: Step 1

Exam 1

20

100

3

Charles: chs. 1–3, 5, 7

Bible Readings

2 presentations

2 websites

DB Forum 2

God of the OT Paper: Step 2

80

20

4

Kitchen: ch. 6

Bible Readings

1 presentation

1 website

Outline of the Attributes of God

Quiz 2

100

10

5

Block: Selected Readings

Kitchen: ch. 5

Seibert: ch. 7

Bible Readings

1 presentation

DB Forum 3

Quiz 3

80

10

6

Copan: chs. 15–18

Cowan & Wilder: ch. 13

Seibert: ch. 11

Wright: chs. 4–5

Bible Readings

1 presentation

1 website

DB Forum 4

Quiz 4

80

10

7

Kitchen: ch. 4

Bible Readings

1 website

God of the OT Paper: Step 3

200

8

Block: Selected Readings

Copan: chs. 7–9, 12–13

Cowan & Wilder: ch. 13

Bible Readings

1 presentation

DB Forum 5

Exam 2

80

100

Total

1010

DB = Discussion Board

NOTE: Each course module/week begins on Monday morning at 12:00 a.m. (ET) and ends on Sunday night at 11:59 p.m. (ET). The final module/week ends at 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Friday.