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Online · School of Divinity · Biblical Studies


  • CG
  • Section 8WK
  • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020
  • Modified 07/28/2020

Course Description

An examination of Genesis with particular emphasis on the major themes and events: creation, flood, patriarchal narratives, and the Abrahamic Covenant. Attention will be given to significant historical and archaeological details relative to the cultural milieu as well as to crucial theological concepts found in key chapters in the book.





This course provides the student with the knowledge and tools to understand and apply this foundational Old Testament book of beginnings. The ministerial student should be able to properly understand and interpret this Old Testament book for preaching, teaching, and/or counseling.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Describe the general themes and contents of Genesis.
  2. Describe the major critical issues and interpretive problems in Genesis with due attention to literary genre.
  3. Discuss the general cultural, geographical, historical, and religious background for Genesis in its ancient Near East context.
  4. Use the book of Genesis as an aid in understanding Christian theology and devotionally in his/her personal walk with Christ.

Course Resources

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

Oswalt, John N. The Bible Among the Myths: Unique Revelation or Just Ancient Literature? Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2009.

Ross, Allen P. Creation & Blessing: A Guide to the Study and Exposition of Genesis. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1997.

Wenham, Gordon J., et al. Genesis: Hisory, Fiction, or Neither?: Three Views on the Bible’s Earliest Chapters. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2015.

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:

Course Assignments

Textbook readings and 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 (4)

Discussion boards are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student will complete 4 Discussion Board Forums throughout the course. The student is required to post a thread of at least 500 words. For each thread, assertions must be supported with primary evidence from the Bible and with at least 2 secondary sources from the course materials or presentations. The student must then post 2 replies of at least 225 words each. (MLO: A, B, C, D)

Critical Analyses (2)

Students will complete a critical analysis of both Genesis: History, Fiction, or Neither? and The Bible Among the Myths. Both of these analyses must completely satisfy the two-part prompt below. 

Part 1

In part one of each critical analysis, the student will summarize the major highlights of the book he or she is delineating, pointing out how the author(s) is(are) making his(their) case. The student must identify the style/organization of the author’s(s’) argument and how the argument unfolds. This portion of the analysis must take up at least 2 pages (double-spaced using Times New Roman 12-pt font with 1-inch margins) and include proper, current Turabian format for any references used.

Part 2

In part two of each critical analysis, the student must critically engage the contents of the book being investigated. Strengths and weaknesses of the author’s(s’) presentation need to be identified, along with counterarguments and possible areas of further study. This portion of the analysis must take up at least 2 pages (double-spaced using Times New Roman 12-pt font with 1-inch margins) and include proper, current Turabian format for any references used.

Quizzes (4)

The student will complete 4 quizzes throughout the course. Questions are drawn from the presentations and readings throughout the course. Each quiz consists of 50 true/false and multiple-choice questions. The quizzes are open-book and open-note but must be completed within 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Course Grading

Course Requirements Checklist


Discussion Board Forums (4 at 100 pts ea)


Critical Analyses (2 at 100 pts ea)


Quizzes (4 at 100 pts ea)





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 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


OBST 650

Textbooks: Oswalt, The Bible among the Myths (2009).

Ross, Creation & Blessing: A Guide to the Study and Exposition of Genesis (1997).

Wenham et al., Genesis: History, Fiction, or Neither? (2015).


Reading & Study




Ross: chs. 1–3

Wenham et al.: chs. 1–2

1 presentation

Course Requirements Checklist

Class Introductions

Quiz 1





Ross: chs. 5–11

Wenham et al.: chs. 3–Conclusion

Genesis 1–5

1 presentation

DB Forum 1

Critical Analysis 1




Ross: chs. 12–18

Bible Readings

1 presentation

Quiz 2



Ross: chs. 19–27

Bible Readings

1 presentation

DB Forum 2



Oswalt: chs. 1–5

Ross: chs. 28–36

Bible Readings

1 presentation

Quiz 3



Oswalt: chs. 6–10

Ross: chs. 37–45

Bible Readings

1 presentation

DB Forum 3

Critical Analysis 2




Ross: chs. 46–53

Bible Readings

1 presentation

Quiz 4



Ross: chs. 54–68

Bible Readings

1 presentation

DB Forum 4




DB=Discussion Board

NOTE: Each course week (except Module/Week 1) begins on Monday morning at 12:00 a.m. (ET) and ends on Sunday night at 11:59 p.m. (ET). The final week ends at 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Friday.