Old Testament Essentials

Connecting the Themes and Stories of the Old Testament

Course Overview

This course will help the learner gain a solid grasp of the major themes and stories of the Old Testament by exploring God’s original design for humanity, tracking the major themes in the Old Testament, tracing God’s story of redemption, and more. 

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Course Outline

Introduction to the OT
1 & 2 Samuel
1 & 2 Kings
1 & 2 Chronicles
Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther
Song of Songs
Jonah, Amos, Hosea, Micah
Joel, Nahum, Habakkuk, Obadiah
Jeremiah, Lamentations
Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi

Recommended Textbook

Journey through the Old Testament

Understanding the Purpose, Themes, and Practical Implications of Each Old Testament Book of the Bible

by Justin Gatlin

Gain a solid grasp of the major themes and stories of the Old Testament.

Journey through the Old Testament helps you:

  • explore God’s original design for humanity;
  • track the major themes of the Old Testament’s prophetic and poetic books;
  • trace the story of redemption through the Old Testament books of the law, prophets, and writings;
  • discover the parts of the Old Testament that foretell and foreshadow the developments that occur in the New Testament; and
  • summarize the grand story of the Bible in the Old Testament in a way that people can understand and apply to their lives.

This book is a solid foundation of essential biblical knowledge of the Old Testament for your personal study of the Scriptures. Start your journey through the Old Testament today.

Course Professor

T. J. Betts

T. J. Betts serves as professor of Old Testament interpretation at Southern Seminary. He is a native of Ohio, and before joining Southern’s faculty, he pastored churches in Ohio and Indiana for over fourteen years altogether. Today he is a frequent preacher and teacher. He has authored Ezekiel the Priest: A Custodian of Tora, Amos: An Ordinary Man with an Extraordinary Message, Nehemiah: A Pastoral & Exegetical Commentary, and 40 Days in Psalms 1-50. Along with other publications, he writes for Lifeway’s Explore the Bible and is a regular contributor to the men’s devotional, Stand Firm. He received his B.S from Wright State University and his M.Div. and Ph.D. from Southern Seminary. Dr. Betts and his wife Ann enjoy their children and grandchildren as they reside in southern Indiana.

Online Learning

You can access your course at any time on any device. You do not need to install an app or download software.


This course is part of a full certification track offered by Church Answers University. See available certifications here.

5 hours

This course contains five hours of on-demand video that can be started and resumed at any time.

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Course available individually or with certification

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