Encountering the Old Testament, 3rd Edition

A Christian Survey

series: Encountering Biblical Studies

Materials available for professors by request only


3. Introduction to the Pentateuch: The Birth of God’s People

Discussion Questions

  1. How would you explain exactly what the Pentateuch is?
  2. Of what importance is the Pentateuch to the contemporary study of the Old Testament?
  3. What are the significant themes found in the Pentateuch?
  4. How do evangelical scholars differ from critical scholars in their position on the authorship of the Pentateuch?

Class Activities

  1. Divide the class into five groups. Assign each group one of the following types of criticism:
    form criticism
    canonical criticism
    redaction criticism
    tradition criticism
    literary criticism
    Have each group define one type of criticism for the class. As they do this, make a chart on the board illustrating what they have said.
  2. Select media that will explain higher criticism. Present it in class and then ask the students to react to it.
  3. Identify the works of evangelical scholars and explain how their views on authorship of the Pentateuch vary from the positions of critical scholars.