Old Testament Survey                                                                                                                                   Reading Guide

This document is provided as a courtesy for a study aid. It is designed to help students review some of the essential points of the reading assignments. It is not intended as a substitute for a careful reading of the text. There is no guarantee that all test questions on the reading will be contained here, or that all of this material will be covered in tests.  If you are having problems viewing or printing this document, try the PDF version. (Last Revised: 8/19/2015)

NOAB, xiii-xxi (“The Editors’ Preface” and “To the Reader”, including abbreviations and symbols.)

1.     When there is not a consensus on the interpretation or approach to a passage, what course does the NRSV take?

2.     Distinguish between the NRSV footnotes and the NOAB annotations.

3.     What does it mean when a footnote says “Other ancient authorities read”?

4.     What do the designations bce and ce mean?

5.     List the earlier translations that the New Revised Standard Version is based upon.

6.     "The Revised Standard Version [RSV] gained the distinction of being" what?

7.     Why have (recent) renderings of the Bible proliferated?

8.     What "significant advances" followed the publication of the RSV Old Testament in 1952?

9.     What similar advances were made following the publication of the RSV New Testament?

10.  Who were the "Masoretes?"  In what centuries did they do their work?

11.  Why did the NRSV translators consider it justifiable to sometimes assume "different vowels" for the written Hebrew text? 

12.  When a footnote begins with the words "Another reading is," where did the translators find these other readings?

13.  Why does the NRSV sometimes depart from "the consonantal [Masoretic Hebrew] text"?

14.  What texts does the NRSV use for correcting the Masoretic text?  How does the reader know when corrections were made?

15.  What did the NRSV translators do when "none of the versions provides a satisfactory" reading due to damage to the text during transmission?

16.  Explain the meanings of the following (some are found under "Abbreviations" in the front section of the Bible).


 a. Ancient Heb Tradition

 b. Cn

 c. Other ancient authorities read

 d. Gk

 e. Ms(s)

 f. Q Ms

 g. Vg


17.  When choosing an English translation style, what "maxim" did the NRSV translators follow?

18.  “Periphrastic renderings” have been used in the NRSV "to compensate for" what "deficiency in the English language?"

19.  What "bias" does the English language have which tends it toward "linguistic sexism"?

20.  Linguistic sexism in Bible translations often does what to "the meaning of the original text"?  How does the NRSV address this problem?

21.  What is the significance of the words Lord in capital letters?

22.  What is the "Tetragrammaton"?

23.  How was God's name spelled in the Old Testament?  How did the spelling "Jehovah" originate?

24.  How is the Bible "the unique record of God's dealing with people" in the Old and New Testaments?

People of the Covenant, Chap. 1, pp. 3-47

1.     What is the primary concern of the Hebrew Scriptures?

2.     What does the Hebrew Bible (HB) center on?

3.     What is the arena of God’s activity?

4.     What is the relationship between history and faith (or event and religious interpretation?)

5.     What is the crucial moment?

6.     Through what did the knowledge of God come to Israel?

7.     Where did Israel become the people of God?

8.     In the early Israelite confederacy of tribes, what was the unifying factor of the separate tribes?

9.     What is meant by the “narrative traditions” behind the biblical books?

10.  What characterizes the tellers and organizers of these materials?

11.  What are the six major collections in which the narratives are preserved? What are the chief characteristics of each?

12.  How are the patriarchs representative figures?

13.  What are the two key events of the exodus?

14.  What is the significance of the Babylonian exile?

15.  What are the other collections (besides the Narratives) that are preserved in the HB? What is included in each of these collection, what are the chief characteristics of each collection?

16.  What did the prophets intend to do?

17.  What are the processes by which materials, or collections became part of the Hebrew scriptures? (pp. 11-12).

18.  How did the HB come into being (as contrasted with the writing of PC)?

19.  How does the description of biblical law as “Mosaic” compare to United States’ law being called “constitutional”?

20.  “Thus the literature of Israel took shape as _______ __ _____ brought together materials of ___________ __________ ________.”

21.  How did the collections of material come to be “regarded as scripture.

22.  What are the three reasons given for why some books (which became Scripture) were given preference over others?

23.  What are the three major canonical sections of the Hebrew Scriptures?

24.  What were the processes leading to each of their canonization, and what was the date by which they were probably canonized?

25.  What is the significance of Jamnia?

26.  What is the Apocrypha, and what has been its history of acceptance and rejection?

27.  What is the Pseudepigrapha?

28.  Familiarize yourself with the various texts and versions of the HB and the process of production of manuscripts.

29.  Who were the Masoretes and what did they do?

30.  What do the following terms, or abbreviations signify?

  a. MT

  b. LXX

  c. Targum

  d. Vulgate

31.  What is the technical meaning of “criticism” as it is employed in Biblical Studies.  

32.  What are the broad categories of biblical criticism? What do the following types of criticism do:

a. Textual


c. Source


e. Sociological / Anthropological

f. Redactional


h. Structural

i.  Reader Response

j.  Feminine hermeneutics

k. Canonical

People of the Covenant, Ch. 2, pp. 48-84

33.  Why is background information important for people who read the HB?

34.  What is the importance of geography, or physical environment for understanding the people in the HB?

35.  What is the Fertile Crescent, and what is its significance for ancient civilizations?

36.  What are the characteristics of Ancient Egypt?

37.  What was the significance of the Nile for ancient Egypt?

38.  The Egyptians had a sense that they lived in what type of world?

39.  What are the primary features of Mesopotamia?

40.  What is the significance of Mesopotamia for Israel?

41.  What is the geographical significance of the location of Palestine-Syria in the Near Eastern world?

42.  What conditions were necessary for Israel to gain international stature in the ancient world?

43.  What are the characteristics of the four geographical zones of Palestine?

44.  How complete and easy to interpret is the information provided about the HB by archeology?

45.  What are some of the major archeological findings that have opened up the biblical world to interpreters?

46.  What is Biblical Archeology, what are its concerns and how is it practiced?

47.  What is the New (Biblical) Archeology, what are its concerns and how is it practiced?

48.  What is a Tell, and what is its relationship to archaeology?

49.  What are the four categories of archeological evidence?

50.  What is greatest importance of written texts?

51.  What is the most common type of artifact, and how does it help the archeologist date strata?

52.  What are the central concerns and limits of Biblical archeology? Can Biblical Archeology prove that the faith claims in the Bible are true? (pp. 75, 77).

53.  Where does Israel’s own account of its history begin?

54.  What were the characteristics of the Fertile Crescent beginning in the third millennium b.c.e.

55.  Be able to briefly identify the significance of the following: Sumerians, Akkadians, Ebla, Egypt (end 3rd Millennium and First Intermediate Period).


People of the Covenant, Ch. 3, pp. 85-132

56.  Why is Law and inadequate translation of Torah? What is a better translation?

57.  Within the Torah itself, what claims are made for Mosaic authorship?

58.  Describe the major features of the Documentary Hypothesis with an explanation of the following terms:

a.     J

b.    E

c.     D

d.    P

59.  What does the term "Genesis" mean?

60.  What are the two major divisions of Genesis, and what issues or events do they cover?

61.  Who is the primary character in Genesis, and what is the primary concern of the material?

62.  Genesis 1-2 contain how many creation accounts?

63.  How is Gen 1:1-2:4a dependent and unique among ancient Near Eastern (ANE) creation traditions?

64.  How was this text used in worship?

65.  How is the Genesis understanding of the source of light different from the ANE understanding?

66.  In Gen 1, what does humankind include?

67.  What is the role of humankind in Gen 1?

68.  What does it mean for humans to be created in the image of God?

69.  How is the goodness of creation emphasized in Gen 1?

70.  The creation account in Gen 2 is a part of a larger story of what?

71.  How are the characters in Gen 2 and the following chapters representative?

72.  What is the significance of humans being made from the ground?

73.  What is the relationship between Eden and Jerusalem?

74.  What is the curse on work in Gen 3?

75.  What does "helper" imply about the woman in Gen 2?

76.  Compare and contrast the creation accounts in Gen 1-2.

77.  What was the purpose and setting of the proclamation of the Enuma Elish?

78.  Compare and contrast the Genesis creation accounts (esp. Gen 1) with the Enuma Elish.

79.  What universal concerns do creation accounts from all cultures express?

80.  What do the authors mean when they say that the fall in Gen 3 is about typical and not causative event?

81.  What irresponsibilities do Gen 3 and 4 tell illustrate?

82.  What are some interpretations of what the tree of life might represent?

83.  What does the serpent of Gen 3 represent?

84.  What are the three disruptions in creation that are a result of sin?

85.  “The creator who is _______ is also ___________.”

86.  What does Cain represent?

87.  Why did God mark Cain?

88.  In what sense are humans to image God?

89.  What is God’s “basic concern” in Gen 3-4?

90.  What does Seth represent in the biblical narrative?

91.  What is the narrative function of the genealogies of Gen 5?

92.  What is the narrative function of the account of the sons of God and the daughters of men which introduces the flood?

93.  Compare and contrast the flood account given in the Gilgamesh epic with the biblical account.

94.  After the flood, did Noah and his family demonstrate righteous actions?

95.  How is the flood story related to the creation account of Gen 1?

96.  What is the transitional function of Gen 10?

97.  How is the story of the tower of Babel etiological and polemical? 

98.  What are ziggurats, and how do they relate to the tower of Babel?

99.  What are the problems illustrated in the story of the tower of Babel?


People of the Covenant, Ch. 4, pp. 133-68

100.  What is the formative period in Israel’s history and faith?

101.  Israel’s ultimate origins belong to what time?

102.  What types of problems does one encounter when trying to reconstruct the history of Israel’s ancestral times?

103.  What problems are encountered when one uses biblical chronologies to reconstruct the dates of Abraham and the Exodus?

104.  What is the significance of the Merneptah inscription (stele)?

105.  Are many of the major events of Israel mentioned in extrabiblical sources?

106.  Where can one find some helpful information for reconstructing Israel’s patriarchal origins?

107.  Who were the Amorites, and what is their significance for biblical history?

108.  Who were the Habiru (or ‘Apiru), and what is their significance for biblical history?

109.  Be familiar with the views of the following scholars who attempted to reconstruct the history of the patriarchal era.

a. W. F. Albright

b. G. E. Wright

c. John Bright

d. Martin Noth

110.  How are the patriarchs and matriarchs (P & M) representative figures?

111.  What are two ways that the theme of the patriarchal story can be stated?

112.  What promise is given to Abraham throughout the Abraham narrative?

113.  How was Yahweh and the people’s role in the covenant represented in the covenant between the parts in Gen 15?

114.  What symbol and promise are found the second covenant story?

115.  What events threaten the promise?

116.  When God choose Isaac and his descendants, did that mean rejection for the rest of humankind?

117.  What does the narrative about the (near) sacrifice of Isaac affirm about God?

118.  What later situation in Isaac’s life poses a threat to the possibility of him continuing the patriarchal blessing?

119.  What does the name “Jacob” mean? What does it signify concerning later Israel?

120.  What is the significance of the struggle between Jacob and Esau?

121.  What does the narrative about the struggle of Jacob at the Jabbok teach about Israel and God?

122.  What does Jacob’s new name “Israel” mean and signify?

123.  How is Jacob’s confrontation with God related to his meeting with his brother Esau which follows?

124.  What happens to the partially resolved conflicts in Jacob’s life as the story of his family continues?

125.  What unifies the three parts of the Joseph story, what conflicts are narrated in each part?

126.  The Joseph narrative culminates in the “heroic ability of God” to do what?

127.  What symbol is used in the Joseph narrative to convey his various changes in fortune?

128.  In the speeches of Joseph at the end of Genesis, what question is answered that was raised by the fall in Gen 3, and what answer is given?

129.  Describe and explain how the following significant symbols of the P & M narratives complement their theme and structure and enrich their theological meaning:

a. Journeys

b. Pit / Prison

c. Name

d. Symbolic Place

130.  How are the human persons (male and female) and God characterized in the Genesis (11-50) narratives?

131.  What are key aspects of corporate solidarity in the traditional society of the P & M’s?

132.  What is meant by the conservatism of the P & M’s traditional society?

133.   What type of religion is characteristic of the worship of the “God of the father”?

People of the Covenant, Ch. 5, pp. 169-221

134.  What is the significance of the exodus event for later Hebrew faith?

135.  Who were the Hyksos, and what is their significance for reconstructing biblical history?

136.  After the exodus, what became the fundamental expression of Israel’s faith?

137.  What is the Hebrew name for the Book of Exodus?

138.  How does Exod 20:2 suggest two interrelated themes and the twofold structure of the Book of Exodus?

139.  What information regarding dates of the exodus events is given in the Book of Exodus?

140.  What information regarding the flight of Semitic slaves is found in Egyptian records?

141.  What details concerning the exodus narrative can be documented from Egyptian records?

142.  How does the time of Ramses II correspond with events of the exodus narrative?

143.  What was the corvée system used by Ramses II?

144.  How is the account of the ten plagues a judgment narrative on the Egyptian gods?

145.  What evidence supports a thirteenth century bce date for the exodus?

146.  Who were probably the two pharaohs of the Exodus narrative?

147.  What did the Israelites avoid on their way out of Egypt?

148.  What were the Israelites moving toward on their way out of Egypt?

149.  What is the Yam Suph?

150.  What problems exist for the traditional view that Mt. Sinai was located in the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula (at the mountain later named Jebel Musa)?

151.  With what religious festival was the exodus narrative probably associated?

152.  How is the exodus narrative a creation story?

153.  What is meant by the “cosmic significance” of the exodus story?

154.  What are the comic elements in the exodus story?

155.  What is the theme of the Exodus covenant story? What are the subthemes?

156.  What are the six episodes in the exodus and covenant narrative?

157.  How is the exodus story presented as a sequel to the creation story?

158.  How is Moses characterized in the exodus narrative?

159.  Who is the hero of the narrative?

160.  Why was it important for Moses to know God’s name?

161.  What was the “ultimate question” for Israel about the divine name? 

162.  How is Yahweh’s character, or nature revealed?

163.  The weight of evidence suggests that the name Yahweh came into common use during what time?

164.  Again: How is the exodus-covenant story presented as a cosmic struggle and creation story?

165.  What is the biblical understanding of what constitutes and is the purpose of a sign, or miracle?

166.  The crossing of the sea was a victory over what earthly and cosmic forces?

167.  How is the patriarchal promise made more explicit at Sinai?

168.  Describe the ceremonies and requirements of the covenant at Sinai.

169.  What symbols are found in the exodus and covenant story, and how are they employed?

170.  What was the norm by which Israel defined itself?

171.  What is the significance of the Suzerainty Treaty for the study of Old Testament law and covenant?

172.  What two human images describe the nature and character of Israel’s God?

173.  What responsibilities and privileges did Israel have under the Sinai Covenant?

174.    “Yahweh’s covenant with Israel included both what Yahweh had _______ and Israel’s appropriate _____________.”

175.    The decalogue contains basic statements of what?

176.    Explain the basic meaning of each of the ten commandments.

177.    Instead of constructing images, Israel was to comprehend God through what?

178.    What is the meaning of the commandment about the wrong use of Yahweh’s name?

179.    How has Israel’s law been summarized in later biblical tradition?

180.    Characterize the ratification ceremonies of the Sinai covenant.

181.    Describe the nature, location, and contents of the Covenant Code.

182.    What is meant by the statement that “Israel must have utilized a common legal heritage”?

183.    Define and give examples of Conditional (case) law.

184.    Define and give examples of Absolute (apodictic) law.

185.    How is biblical law rooted in the grace of God?

186.    Describe the nature, location, and contents of Levitical law.

187.  Describe the symbols of Yahweh’s sacred presence in the exodus – Sinai – wilderness narrative, including:

a. The Ark

b. The Tabernacle and Temples


c. The Three annual festivals


d. Fast Day (Day of Atonement)


e. The Sabbath

188.  For what reasons was Israel required to observe the Sabbath?

189.  In what ways was Israel’s observance of sacred times participation in sacred events?

190.  How was the sacred mediated to Israel through the priesthood?

191.  What were the four essential services of the priesthood?

192.  For what reasons did Israel offer sacrifices?

193.  Describe the four major types of sacrifices.

194.  What is the significance of holiness in Israel’s cultus (worship)?

195.  What is the “code of holiness”?

196.  Describe the motifs found in Israel’s worship.

197.  How is Yahweh portrayed as a God of the oppressed in the exodus and covenant narratives, and how does this surface in later biblical material?

198.  Explain the relationship between Israel being God’s chosen people, and its election to service.How

199.  What is the Hebrew name for the Book of Numbers, and why is it appropriate to its contents?

200.  How is Israel portrayed in Numbers?

201.  How is Moses depicted in Numbers?

202.  What do Israel’s struggle with the nations in Numbers reveal about Yahweh (especially in the Balaam story)?

203.  What were Moses’ influences on the history of humankind (including outside the Bible).

People of the Covenant, Ch. 6, pp. 222-56

204.  What are the five books in the deuteronomic historical narrative? (Note: some of them are two part books)

205.  What questions was the deuteronomic historian attempting to answer?

206.  According the deuteronomic history (DH), what was Israel’s sin?

207.  The DH is a comprehensive confession of what?

208.  The DH is a word of ___________ and a word of ______________.

209.  What were the names given to Deuteronomy in the Hebrew and Greek versions of the book?

210.  What type of ceremonies was Deuteronomy probably linked with?  Where were these ceremonies probably held?

211.  Deuteronomy is structured around what?

212.  What comprises the core (Deut 5-28) of Deuteronomy?

213.  Deuteronomy is an expanded commentary on what?

214.  Deuteronomy is a profound theology of what?

215.  What problematic concepts are found in Deuteronomy?

216.  How does Deuteronomy encourage the best in Israelite faith?

217.  How was Deuteronomy used by Jesus?

218.  What theological interpretation of Israel’s settlement is found in the DH?

219.  What are the major Canaanite cultural achievements? 

220.  How was the government organization of the Canaanites like that of the ancient Greeks?

221.  How does Josh 1-12 depict conquest of Canaan by the Israelites?

222.  The town of Ai was not defeated the first time because of Israel’s violation of what rules?

223.    What are the major differences between the way Joshua and Judges depicts Israel’s settlement in the land?

224.    How does the archeological evidence support the Judges account of the settlement?

225.    What two technologies enabled Israel to settle in previously mostly uninhabited mountainous areas?

226.  Be familiar with the major details of the three interpretations of the Israelite settlement, as expounded by Albright, Alt and Noth, and Mendenhall and Gottwald.

227.  How was Israelite “holy war” conducted?

228.  Explain the various meanings of cherem.

229.  What are the moral problems associated with the biblical depiction of holy war and cherem?

230.  The scriptural tradition emphasized that the land of Canaan belonged to whom?

231.  What did Israel need to do to remain worthy of dwelling in the land?

232.  How was Yahweh’s presence threatened in the land?

233.  How did the laws of agriculture “confess the holiness of the land”?

234.  The tithe was an instrument for what?

235.  What was the tribal confederation in Israel?

236.  What three groups were present in the covenant ceremony at Shechem (Josh 24)?

237.  What type of religious observances were celebrated under the tribal confederacy?

238.  Who were the chief gods in the Canaanite pantheon?

239.  How were Yahweh and El identified with one another in the Bible?

240.  How were Canaanite farming techniques a source of temptation to the early Israelites?

241.  Describe the “cycle” found in the Book of Judges.

242.  What are the various meanings of the term shophet in the Book of Judges?

243.  Describe the leadership roles of the shophetim.

244.  What is significant about the events depicted in Judges 4-5?

245.  How is Samson depicted?

246.  What are the purposes of the appendix of the Book of Judges?

247.  What is the theology of the Book of Judges?

248.  What shortcomings do the leaders in Judges exhibit?

249.  What persons participated in the abuse of the story of Jephthah?

250.  What persons are abused by the story of Jephthah? How is this story a “text of terror”?

251.  What is the religious value of the Book of Judges?

People of the Covenant, Ch. 7, pp. 257-93

252.  What type of crisis (plural) faced Israel at the end of the period of the Judges?

253.  What story is contained in the book(s) of Samuel? (Remember: in the Hebrew canon 1-2 Samuel are considered one book.)

254.  What ancient sources are discernable in the book of Samuel?

255.  What transition in types of leadership takes place in Samuel?

256.  How did the Deuteronomist use two opposing views (or sources) in 1 Samuel to express her view of the Israelite monarchy? (Note: I think there is evidence that the Deuteronomist was a woman!)

257.  Which nation (one of the Sea Peoples) posed such a threat to Israel that it called the effectiveness of the confederacy into question and paved the way for a popular demand for a king?

258.  This nation had a monopoly on what material and technology? How did this affect Israel?

259.  What was the function of the Ark of the covenant? What happened to it at the end of Eli’s rule?

260.  Why was Saul rejected by Yahweh as king?

261.  What two leaders stood between the old order (confederacy) and the new order (monarchy)?

262.  What were Samuel’s roles, and in what places did he serve?

263.  Against what ideal king are all kings in the Deuteronomistic History (DtrH) measured?

264.  Why is Samuel depicted as both supporting and rejecting kingship and the first king?

265.  How is the story of Saul told? Saul’s story is essentially an introduction to whose story?

266.  How did Saul’s living quarters compare to other ancient monarchs?

267.  What did Saul do best? List his successes.

268.  What incidents led to the rejection of Saul as king?

269.  What characterized Saul’s mental and emotional health in his later years as king?

270.  Compare and contrast the selection of David as king with the earlier selection of Saul.

271.  How did David enter the court of Saul?

272.  Why does Saul attempt to kill David?

273.  What type of group did David lead as he was fleeing Saul’s pursuit?

274.  How did Saul die?

275.  In what ways is Saul portrayed like earlier biblical characters?

276.  Why does PC state that David came to power at an opportune time?

277.  What are the three distinct periods of David’s reign? (Note also how the text describes these periods in the pages that follow.)

278.  Describe David’s changing relationship with the Philistines. (This is scattered throughout the discussion on David).

279.  What circumstances aided David’s rise to power?

280.  When (and why) was David able to consolidate the country and expand its borders?

281.  In what way was the conquest of the Promised Land not complete until the time of David?

282.   Describe the background of Jerusalem from early times until after David captured it.

283.  What are the ark narratives, and what is their significance?

284.  Why was the selection of Jerusalem a major factor in unifying the Israelite tribes under David?

285.  What major topic is covered in 2 Samuel?

286.  Identify and describe the “Court History of David” (or Succession Narrative).

287.  According to the Deuteronomist, what was at the heart of David’s sin in the Bathsheba incident?

288.  What were David’s other weaknesses?

289.  Describe David’s significance for Israel.

290.  Describe the Davidic covenant, and how it influenced later biblical history and literature.

291.  In what ways did the Davidic Covenant compete, or overshadow the Sinai Covenant?

292.  Why did Solomon get a mixed press by the Deuteronomist?

293.  What is the negative result of Solomon’s reign?

294.  Describe the circumstances surrounding Solomon’s accession to the throne.

295.  What international circumstances allowed Solomon to promote his dream of building an opulent empire?

296.  Describe the accomplishments of Solomon’s reign, including in the areas of:

        a. Trade

        b. Building

        c. Literature

297.  What architectural style did Solomon’s builders use for constructing the Temple?

298.  How was Solomon’s upbringing and life before he became king different from his father’s David?

299.  Describe the weaknesses of Solomon’s reign, including:

        a. Taxation

        b. The corvée

        c. His Harem

        d. Idolatry

300.  What is the deuteronomic warning concerning kingship, and how does Solomon compare to it?

301.  What enormous costs did Israel pay for Solomon’s achievements?


People of the Covenant, Ch.8, pp. 294-321

Pp 294-307

302.  What are the Deuteronomist’s criteria for what makes a good or bad king?

303.  What is the “pro-David” and ... prosouthern bias” of the Deuteronomist?

304.  How does the Chronicles picture of David differ from the one found in the Deuteronomist?

The next three questions are from pp. 432-33

305.  What did the Chronicler write?

306.  Who was the Chronicler’s hero, and for what deeds?

307.  What three concepts were important to the Chronicler?

                        * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

308.  What resentments and past histories brought about the schism between Ephraim (Israel) and Judah?

309.  Describe the role geography played in this schism.

310.  Identify the roles of the following in the schism (this covers several sections in the reading).:

      a. Ahijah

      b. Jeroboam

      c.  Shishak

      d. Rehoboam

311.  What was the purpose of the Shechem convocation, and what happened there?

312.  In what ways was Ahijah and Jeroboam’s group attempting a reform, or restoration? How did they view Solomon?

313.  Is there any indication that Jeroboam’s revolt was God’s will?

314.  Whom did Jeroboam worship?

315.  What was probably the purpose of the golden calves that Jeroboam placed in the Dan and Bethel temples?

316.  What did the Deuteronomic Historian refer to as “the sin of Jeroboam?”

317.  After the split, which kingdom was the strongest? Which was morally superior? Which progressed the most culturally and economically?

318.  What two features of the southern kingdom were attractive to the biblical writers?

319.  What headed off a civil war during the split?

Pp. 307-21

320.  Why was Omri’s house the first stable dynasty in Israel?  What were his accomplishments?

321.  Describe the purpose and nature of Omri’s alliance that he made for Israel with Phoenicia.

322.  How did Jezebel become married to Ahab?

323.  When and why was the capital of Israel moved to Samaria?

324.  What were Ahab’s political and military accomplishments? In what ways was he like Solomon?

325.  What did Jezebel try to do in Israel?

326.  Describe Elijah, and how he responded to Jezebel’s policies.

327.  Describe the contest on Mt. Carmel. Characterize the various actions of Elijah there.

328.  Describe the Naboth incident and how it reveals Jezebel’s conception of kingship.

329.  How was Elijah depicted as a second Moses?

330.  Describe Elisha and the group he belonged to.

331.  How did Jehu become king? What different evaluations did he get from 2 Kings and Hosea?

332.  How did Jehu’s reforms lead to political disaster for Israel?

333.  How was Athaliah’s rule different from other Judean rulers?

334.  Describe the rule of Jeroboam II.

335.  Describe the rule of Uzziah.  What prophets were active during the time of these two kings?

336.  Characterize the final years of Israel.

337.  What happened to the (ten) tribes of Israel after its fall in 722?

People of the Covenant, Ch. 9, pp. 322-38

338.  What functions did the office of the prophet fulfill as Israelite culture became more structured?

339.  What were the different types of connections between prophets, priests, and kings?

340.  What were their responsibilities toward God?

341.  What does the English word “Prophet” mean? Is this connected with prediction?

342.  What meanings are possible for the Hebrew term nabi(usually translated prophet)?

343.  What type of future did Israelite prophets usually speak of?

344.  What roles does the Spirit of God play in Israelite history?

345.  How was the prophet an extension of Yahweh’s personality?

346.  In what ways did Yahweh’s word extend God into history?

347.  In what ways could people distinguish between true and false prophets?

348.  During what period did prophecy come into prominence in Israel?

349.  What were nonIsraelite prophets like? How did they deliver their messages? etc.

350.  Describe ecstatic prophecy within and outside of Israel.

351.  Israelite prophets were distinguished from prophets from other cultures because they stood in the __________ of Yahweh. 

352.  Under what Israelite king did a new type of prophet emerge? How were they different?

353.  What is the significance of Micaiah ben Imlah’s encounter with the other prophets?

354.  Compare and contrast Elijah and Elisha.

355.  Describe the two types of prophets that Wilson discusses in his cross-cultural study of prophecy.

356.  What common features did Overholt suggest are typical of all prophecy?

People of the Covenant, Ch. 10, pp. 339-54

Pp. 339-47

357.  What distinguishes the “writing prophets” from the earlier prophets like Elijah and Elisha?

358.  What types of materials are found in the writing prophets? 

359.  List the types of persons who were responsible for recording the materials of the writing prophets.

360.  Name the “four prophetic scrolls” of the writing prophets.

361.  Who were the four prophets of the eighth century? Who were the earliest two?

362.  What evidence of Baal Worship is found in the Samaria Ostraca?

363.  In what ways had Israel ceased to be a covenant people?

364.  How did Amos earn a living?

365.  Summarize the content of Amos’s visions.

366.  What three words characterize the motto of the Book of Amos?

367.  In Amos, what nations stand under Yahweh’s judgment?

368.   Why does Amos denounce Israel’s religion?

369.  Over what did Amos believe that Yahweh was sovereign?

370.  How did Amos counter (oppose) the popular nationalistic theology of his day?

371.  How did Amos depict Israel as a nation already as good as dead?

372.  What was the “day of Yahweh” in popular theology? 

373.  How did Amos depict the day of Yahweh?

374.  What hope did Amos offer?

Pp. 347-54

375.  Describe the three major interpretations of the marriage of Hosea and Gomer.

376.  What were the names of Hosea’s children, and what did they symbolize?

377.  Describe PC’s interpretation of the marriage relationship between Hosea and Gomer.

378.  Hosea interpreted sin as a breach of Yahweh’s what?

379.  How did the priests of Hosea’s day profit from sin?

380.  What is wrong with the prayer for help in Hos 6:1-3?

381.  The Book of Hosea contains a combination of what two characteristics of Yahweh?

382.  How does Hosea end?

People of the Covenant, Ch. 11, pp. 355-79

383.  What were some of Uzziah’s accomplishments?

384.  To what earlier Israelite king is Uzziah compared?

385.  How did Judah survive the Assyrian crises of the eighth century under Ahaz?

386.  Why did Ahaz strip the Jerusalem Temple?

387.  What types of Assyrian paganism affected the faithful person on the streets of Judah?

388.  Describe Hezekiah’s reforms.

389.  How did Hezekiah improve Jerusalem’s military position?

390.  What action of Hezekiah brought the strong criticism of Isaiah upon him?

391.  Describe the significance of the cylinder of Sennacherib.

392.  In what section of the Book of Isaiah is the message of Isaiah of Jerusalem found?

393.  What are the three major crisis of history taking place during Isaiah’s ministry?

394.  Locate Isaiah’s call in the Book of Isaiah and explain its significance.

395.  What is Isaiah’s doctrine of the remnant?

396.  What does “Immanuel” mean? How did the name point to both judgment and promise?

397.  What did Isaiah commit to his disciples care when Ahaz refused to listen to his prophecies?

398.  What did Isaiah term Judah’s “covenant with death”?

399.  Instead of this, what was Judah’s hope for salvation”?

400.  What king did Isaiah probably have in mind in Isa 9:6-7; 11:1-3a, and the Immanuel prophecy?

401.  Describe the key concepts of Isaiah’s message.

402.  How was Micah’s social background different from Isaiah’s?

403.  When did Micah prophesy?

404.  How is Micah’s message similar to Amos’s?

405.  What oracle appears in both Isaiah and Micah?

406.  What words of hope are found in Micah?

People of the Covenant, Ch. 12, pp. 380-405

407.  What biblical sources supplement the history of Judah’s last days found in 1 Kngs 21-25?

408.  What Babylonian source supplements this history?

409.  What did Manasseh do as king?

410.  When Josiah became king, what was the condition of Assyria?

411.  What ignited Josiah’s reform? What happened during this reform?

412.  What were Josiah’s political (and religious) aspirations regarding the old northern kingdom?

413.  What is PC’s interpretation regarding the effectiveness of Josiah’s reform, particularly how it relates to Jer 7?)

414.  Identify the following: Nabopolassar, Necho, and Nebuchadnezzar.

415.  How did Josiah die?

416.  What happened at Carchemish?

417.  How did Judah become a vassal to Babylon?

418.  Describe Zedekiah and his dealings with Babylon.

419.  How did the Babylonian’s treat Judah in the early years of their vassalage?

420.  Why was Jeremiah considered a traitor and sellout to the enemy?

421.  What did Zephaniah attack (prophesy against) in Jerusalem?

422.  What is the purpose of Yahweh’s judgment according to Zephaniah?

423.  Who is the object of judgment in Nahum’s prophecy?

424.  With what group in Jerusalem was Habakkuk probably linked?

425.  What two questions did Habakkuk raise, and how were they answered?

426.  What is the significance of Jeremiah’s coming from Anathoth?

427.  When was the most significant period of Jeremiah’s work?

428.  What did Jehoiakim do to the scroll which Jeremiah produced?

429.  When did Jeremiah’s call take place?  His call was similar to the call of what other great biblical person?

430.  How does PC explain Jeremiah’s years of silence?

431.  What did Jeremiah accuse the Judeans of his temple sermon?

432.  Why did a mob attack Jeremiah and attempt to put him to death?

433.  According to Jeremiah, who was Yahweh’s appointed sovereign (ruler) in the Near East?

434.  What was Jeremiah’s advice to Zedekiah (and the other kings) regarding Judah’s stance before Babylon?

435.  Why did Jeremiah wear a yoke?

436.  What did Jeremiah do in Anathoth to symbolize hope for the future?

437.  What is the setting of the promises of hope found in Jer 30-33?

People of the Covenant, Ch. 13, pp. 406-429

438.  Describe the two major responses of the Judeans to the events surrounding 587.

439.  List the sources of information for this period of biblical history.

440.  What were the three results of these “days of rebuilding for the Jews”?

441.  How was Judah ruled during the Exile?

442.  Describe the general contents of Lamentations.

443.  What is the subject of the Prophecy of Obadiah?

444.  Describe the general mood among the Judeans left behind in the exile.

445.  Compare the Babylonian exile of the Judeans with the Assyrian exile of the Israelites.

446.  How was Jehoiachin treated by Babylon?

447.  What influences did Babylonian culture have on the Judean exiles?

448.  How did the Jews practice their religion in Babylon?

449.  What was Ezekiel’s vocational background and where did he practice his prophetic ministry?

450.  Describe Ezekiel’s message before and after 587.

451.  Describe Ezekiel’s call.

452.  List Ezekiel’s symbolic deeds.

453.  What abominations did Ezekiel “see” in the temple?

454.  How did Ezekiel allegorically depict Jerusalem?

455.  How did Ezekiel counter the fatalistic view among the Jews concerning sin and retribution?

456.  How did Ezekiel depict Judah’s restoration?

457.  How did Ezekiel describe the renewal of Jerusalem and the temple?

458.  Where are the oracles of “Second Isaiah” (SI) found?

459.  According to SI, what human ruler would deliver the Jews from exile?

460.  How did SI reinterpret the exodus?

461.  Would Yahweh harden the heart of a foreign leader when Judah returned from exile?

462.  What are the Servant Songs?

463.  What would this servant do?

464.  What are some likely candidates for the identity of the servant?

465.  What “radical new vision” is found in the Servant Songs?


People of the Covenant, Ch. 14, pp. 430-60

Pp. 430-450

466.  What Persian King revolted against Media and became ruler of the northern powers, and captured Babylon without a battle?

467.  What “order” marked the conclusion of exile for the Judeans?

468.  Who is the Chronicler, and what major works did he compose?  What were his sources?

469.  Who was the Chronicler’s chief hero?

470.  The Chronicler interpreted history through what doctrine?

471.  Briefly summarize the Chronicler’s three important concepts.

472.  List the three phases of the restoration of the post-exilic community (found in section headings).

473.  The restoration of what allowed for the restoration of all preexilic worship?

474.  When the first returnees came back, in what condition did they find the land?

475.  How did the Jews who stayed in Judah feel about the returning captives?

476.  When was the construction of the temple launched? What obstacles did the people face?

477.  What event in 522 led Haggai and Zechariah to prophesy to Judah? 

478.  What was the basic purpose of these two prophets?

479.  What actions did Haggai encourage?

480.  What did Haggai anticipate would happen in the new sanctuary?

481.  What are the two major sections of Zechariah’s prophecy? Which section belongs to the time of Haggai?

482.  What did Zechariah anticipate as a result of rebuilding the temple?

483.  According to Zechariah, who were the two messiahs who would serve in the new age?

484.  In the book of Joel, who are the destroyers sent by God to punish Yahweh’s priests and people?

485.  What was life like in the first half of the fifth century in Palestine?

486.  What does the name “Malachi” mean?

487.  How is Malachi’s means of communication different from earlier prophecies?

488.  Name Malachi’s exalted themes.

489.  What disappointments were the Jews experiencing during the time of Malachi?

490.  What was Ezra’s title?

491.  What was his commission? What did he bring with him to Jerusalem?

492.  What was the problem of the “mixed marriages,” and how was it resolved?

493.  Describe Ezra’s covenant renewal ceremony.

494.  Why is Ezra considered “the father of Judaism?”

495.  Why were the synagogues popular with the people?

496.   What was Nehemiah’s job in exile?  What was his title when he returned to Jerusalem?

497.  What was Nehemiah’s purpose for returning to Jerusalem?

498.  Who opposed Nehemiah’s work?

499.  How did Nehemiah protect Jerusalem from outside influences?

Pp. 450-460

500.    The Israelite psalms came from what historical era(s)?

501.  When were the psalms finally collected and arranged?

502.    Where were the psalms originally used?

503.  The psalms are divided into __ ___ sections corresponding to the _________ .

504.  How does each section of the psalms (except the last) end?

505.  Where are other psalms found in the Bible?

506.  Does the book of psalms itself support the idea that David wrote all the psalms? Explain.

507.  Some psalms have a title translated as “Psalm of David.” What are some other ways this title can be translated?

508.  What was David’s actual major role in the production of the Psalter?

509.  What is the “vital question” regarding the origin of individual psalms?

510.  What was Gunkel’s contribution to psalm studies?

511.  The psalms were used in connection with almost every aspect of temple __________.

512.  The psalms at times provide important information to accompany the actions in what biblical book?

513.  The theology of the Psalter centers on the character and __________ of Yahweh because for Israel Yahweh was known by what Yahweh ________.

People of the Covenant, Ch. 15, 461-506

Pp. 461-79

514.  What information do we have concerning Palestine at the close of the Persian period?

515.  Where was Elephantine, why were there Jews there?

516.  What was the nature of Jewish worship at Elephantine?

517.  When did the Jews and the Samaritans first split?

518.  What was included in the Samaritan scriptures? What was not included?

519.  Where did the Samaritans worship?

520.  What Macedonian leader conquered the Persian Empire?

521.  In what ways was the east unified around Greek culture?

522.  What events occurred while the Jews were ruled under the Ptolemies?

523.  How did Antiochus IV Epiphanes treat the Jews and Jerusalem?

524.  What sacrilege did he commit in the Temple? What did Daniel call this sacrilege?

525.  How did the revolt against Alexander begin?

526.  Who was Judas Maccabeus, and what did he accomplish?

527.  What is the origin of the feast of Hanukkah?

528.  How did Jonathan and Simon become high priests?

529.  When and how did Hasmonean rule in Jerusalem end?

530.  How did “particularism” replace the vision of Israel as a kingdom of priests?

531.  What is the message of Esther regarding other nations (or “gentiles”)?

532.  What is the point of Ruth? What does it teach regarding the nations?

533.  What is the message of Jonah?

Pp. 479-92

534.  From where did the sages derive their wise and pithy sayings?

535.  What are the goals and concerns of wisdom?

536.  What is the mainspring and motive of wisdom?

537.  One aim of wisdom is to produce the good ______.

538.  To what age group was wisdom teaching primarily aimed?

539.  In what places was wisdom taught in the various times of Israelite history?

540.  What other countries produced wisdom literature?

541.  What evidence shows that Israel borrowed wisdom material from others?

542.  How did Israel “baptize” this wisdom literature?

543.  Who was the patron saint of Israelite wisdom?

544.  In the book of Proverbs, wisdom is personified as what?

545.  Proverbs is a distillation of the teaching of whom?

546.  List the various interpretations of the Song of Songs.

547.  No matter which interpretation is accepted, the Song of Songs is a celebration of what?

548.  What are some examples of reflective wisdom?

549.  What does reflective wisdom emphasize?                           

550.  What is reflective wisdom skeptical of?

551.  Reflective wisdom taught that “No merely human formula guaranteed ________ or __________.”

552.  According to reflective wisdom, do people always get what they deserve, whether innocent or evil?

553.  Who was increasingly blamed for evil during the postexilic age?

554.  Where does Qoheleth find answers to the questions raised by evil and suffering?

555.  What meaning does Qoheleth find in life?

556.  How does Ecclesiastes close?

557.  What is meant by the statement that Job is a theodicy?

558.  What is the traditional deuteronomic doctrine which the book of Job rejects?

559.  Which sections of Job are prose, and which poetic?

560.  How does the prologue set the stage for the argument in Job?

561.  What is cited as evidence for a Persian date of Job?

562.  What do Job’s comforters try to convince Job of?

563.  Was Job’s appeal to God for an answer to his suffering an act of defiance or faith?

564.  In the divine speeches at the end of the book, what explanation does Yahweh give to Job for his suffering?

565.  What finally brings consolation to the inquiring Job (or sufferer)?

566.  Why does Job repent?

567.  How is the book of Job a prophetic word to exilic Israel?

568.  What does the book of Job assert about finding God?

Pp. 492-506

569.  While waiting for the coming of the Prince of Peace, what did Judaism teach that persons should do?

570.  What is the diaspora?

571.  What does the word torah mean?                             What did in gradually come to mean?

572.  Since the prophets taught that the exile came due to disobedience, what was it natural to conclude regarding the reestablishment of Judah after the exile?

573.  Besides the annual feasts commanded in the Pentateuch, what nationalistic feasts were celebrated by the Jews?

574.  What role did the High Priest take on besides being the spiritual head of the postexilic community?

575.  What tasks were performed by the Scribes?

576.  How does oral tradition function in the interpretation of the scriptures?

577.  What were the primary concerns of the Pharisees?

578.  Where did the Pharisees teach?

579.  What are the Mishnah and the Talmud?

580.  What did the Pharisees teach concerning politics?

581.  According to the Pharisees, what needed to happen before the coming of the kingdom of God?

582.  Were the Sadducees politically and religiously conservative or liberal?

583.  What books were found in the Sadducees’ Bible?

584.  Briefly describe the Essenes.

585.  What did a group of Essenes produce at Qumran?

586.  What does apocalypse mean?

587.  Note the characteristics of apocalyptic literature.

588.  Apocalyptic literature should be interpreted according to the meaning of what?

589.  Apocalyptic literature was written during what type of times?

590.  Why were apocalypses pseudonymous?

591.  How does the apocalyptist differ from the prophet?

592.  For the apocalyptist, the final victory would take place in the ____ of Yahweh.

593.  What are the apocalyptic precursors of Daniel?

594.  What apocalyptic books were written after Daniel?

595.  What section of the canon is Daniel found in?

596.  What arguments are used to support a late (168-165 bce) date for Daniel?

597.  What possible clues does the author give to let the reader known that the book was written at a late date?

598.  What is the theme of Daniel?

599.  What was necessary for God’s people to share in Yahweh’s final triumph?

600.  What four empires are represented by the visions of Daniel 7-12?

601.  What did the ten horns of the beast symbolize?  Who was the little horn?

602.  What doctrine of life beyond death is taught in OT times only in the Book of Daniel?

603.  What are the different figures (or names) given to the person who would one day usher in the kingdom of God?

604.  In what differing ways were these hopes filled in Judaism and Christianity?