For those of you who don’t know, I have the wonderful privilege of teaching two introductory survey of the Old Testament courses to junior and senior high school students (18 in total) this Fall. Throughout the semester, I anticipate sharing various helpful things from these classes as I prepare for each week’s sessions and discuss with students the meaning of the OT. Stay tuned for helpful goodies here on my blog including book overviews, insights into key events and themes, questions, resources, quotes, and probably more.

For my senior high students, they will be reading Paul Benware’s Survey of the Old Testament (Moody Publishers, 2003), a highly readable book with full-color pictures, charts, and maps. I chose this particular book as their textbook because it is fairly succinct (without being too simple), but also looks inviting through its helpful images and appealing design. I hope this proves to be a good choice.

In his book, Benware is fairly clear about the purpose of his writing, which happens to fit very well with one of my main goals for the classes. Here it is:

The purpose of this study to to assist the Bible student in seeing the pattern, progression, and unity of the Old Testament Scriptures and to be able to think through the entire Old Testament. A person must see the ‘big picture,’ and then he can begin to relate the various parts to this comprehensive view (13-14).

In addition to this, I also want to stress seeing Christ in the Old Testament (something not addressed enough in the textbooks my students will read). Far too many Christians (both young and old) would say that Jesus comes on the scene at Bethlehem in Matthew, while either forgetting or not realizing that He is present all the way back in Genesis 1 and throughout the OT. I have been blessed to come across two great resources that are helping me learn about this grand topic.

Will you join my students and I in a quest to see the “big picture” of the Old Testament and then follow with us as we relate parts of the OT to the whole, stopping occasionally to see Jesus along the way?