Encountering the Old Testament, 3rd Edition

A Christian Survey

series: Encountering Biblical Studies

Materials available for professors by request only


10. Introduction to the Historical Books: The History of Israel's Nationhood

Discussion Questions

  1. Why is it important that we believe in the historicity of the Bible?
  2. Why do so many scholars attack the historicity of the Bible?
  3. Should evangelical scholars be open-minded about the hypotheses of scholars like Frank Cross? Why?
  4. What approach to the historical books do you believe has the most credibility? Why?

Class Activities

  1. Divide the class into two teams. Using a spelling bee format, name the historical books and have the teams identify the themes and then read a sentence that expresses the theme of the book. Class time allowed: 10 minutes.
  2. Divide the class into three groups. Assign one of the following to each group: Tetrateuch, Hexateuch, Deuteronomistic History. Have the group identify the strengths and weaknesses of the approach and share it with the entire class in a concluding feedback session. Class time allowed: 20 minutes.
  3. Ask the class members to each select a partner. Have each pair look for Deuteronomic influences in the entire Old Testament. Have a feedback session for the class in which these influences are stated and supported with an appropriate reference. Class time allowed: 25 minutes.