I. Ancient World History and the Old Testament (Creation-Christ)

A Survey of Ancient History and the Old Testament: This is the first of our four-part course work in History. We begin our study of history with a thorough examination of the Old Testament in the context of the ancient world beginning with a Biblical and theological overview of the Book of Genesis, a defense of six-day Creation, God’s sovereignty, the Biblical doctrine of the Covenants, and a Reformed and Puritan view of the study of history. The study of ancient history in conjunction with the Old Testament should be an essential part of every level of Christian education from childhood to Seminary. It is a great tragedy of modern educational curriculum to study ancient history separated from the infallible testimony of Scripture recorded in the Old Testament and God’s own judgments on the rise and fall of ancient civilizations. This kind of thinking is essentially pagan and derived from the secularism of the 18th century Enlightenment. It is vital for the godly education of Christian youth, as well as for pastors and Christian leaders, to know and understand the major events of world history as they relate to Scripture. The Bible is the divine standard, not only for sound doctrine and a godly Christian life but also interpreting the events of history. It is, therefore, a great spiritual blessing to discern God’s judgments in ancient history with the rise and fall of ancient pagan kingdoms (Sumeria, Egypt, the Hittites, Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome) and to be able to discern from Scripture their evil and ungodly influence upon the world. It also greatly helps in understanding God’s saving purposes revealed in the Old Testament, the history of God’s covenanted people Israel, and the historical preparations made for the coming of Jesus Christ into the world, with the preaching of the Gospel and the formation of the New Testament.

Studying ancient history in this way lays a godly and Biblical foundation for understanding the essential truths of Scripture beginning with Biblical creation, the fall of man in sin, the work of the Devil in spreading idolatry and false religion throughout the world, along with the the history of redemption and God’s covenants in history, the table of nations, the rise of ancient kingdoms, the relationship between the patriarchs and prophets with the ancient world, and even the subversive evils of ancient pagan religion and its influence upon contemporary culture. Christians get a better understanding of the Old Testament in its historical context as well as a thorough and Biblical knowledge of ancient history without any of the propaganda of Evolutionary paganism and their revisions and perversions of ancient historiography. The university system in America along with Hollywood and the Liberal media glorify the abominations of Babylon, Egypt, Greece, and Rome which God condemns. And even Christian schools have an evil tendency to unwittingly promote paganism by having students read Homer, Cicero, Plato, and other pagans to the neglect of the infallible Word of God. What a curse on the church and families this is!

By following the pattern that I have set here, you will learn sound Biblical doctrine, true Biblical chronology, the timing of the dispersion of the nations, the evil influence of paganism and false religion in the world, and also many important lessons on interpreting God’s judgments in history. You will learn how the Tower of Babel was the model of Sumerian pagan temples as well the Egyptian pyramids. You will learn about the role of Abraham, Joseph, and Moses in Egypt. You will learn of the invention of writing in Moses and Proto-Sinaitic script. You will learn of the conquest of Canaan, the evil and tragedy of the days of the Judges, the rise of the kingdom of Israel, the lives of Israel’s first three kings (Saul, David, and Solomon). You will learn of the division of the kingdom of Israel and God’s judgments on Israel and Judah. You will learn how God’s laws given for the kingdom of Israel under the OT was to be a standard of civil justice and righteousness for all nations and the political implications for today. You will learn of the times of revival and reformation during the reigns of the godly kings Jehoshaphat, Hezekiah, and Josiah. You will learn of the lives and ministries of the great prophets of Israel and their preaching the word of God. You will learn of God’s judgment on His people and their captivity and bondage in Babylon, as well as God’s mercy in their restoration alone with Ezra and Nehemiah. And most importantly, you will learn the identity, the contents, the structure, and the major themes and importance of every book of Old Testament Scripture and how they reveal the glory of Jesus Christ and fit into the Biblical Canon and the history of redemption.

One of the greatest evils in the church today is the gross ignorance of pastors, Christian leaders, and Christians alike of the Old Testament, its place and purpose in the Bible as well as the historical context in which it was written. The study of Old Testament history in the context of the rise and fall of ancient pagan kingdoms will not only advance your knowledge of God and His word but also inspire you to greater faith, virtue, godliness, and spiritual greatness. as it will also provide greater spiritual blessing when studied properly.

It is a great tragedy of the modern church and contemporary Christian education that most curriculum do not have a proper reverence and appreciation for the Old Testament and the great works of Christ in Old Testament history and the many valuable lessons that are to be learned from its study. Here is a brief overview with suggestions on how to study or to teach a course in Ancient History and the Old Testament. This material and approach is readily adaptable to Christian schools as well as Home schools, and also to every grade level from elementary education to Seminary level education.

To be clear, we study the Old Testament every other year. But we study ancient world history along with out study of the Old Testament every 4 years.

A Suggested Schedule for Studying Ancient History and the Old Testament:

                                                                          WORLD HISTORY                                                        THE OLD TESTAMENT

  • Week 1: Sept                      Biblical Foundations of Ancient History               Biblical History and Theology: An Intro
  • Week 2: Sept                      Sumeria & The Table of Nations                           The Pentateuch: An Introduction
  • Week 3: Sept                      Sumeria & Ancient Mesopotamia                         The Pentateuch: Genesis 1-11 Primeval History
  • Week 4: Sept                      Sumeria & Ancient Babylon                                   The Pentateuch: Genesis 12-50 Patriarchal History
  • Week 5: Oct                        Egypt: The Old Kingdom                                         The Pentateuch: Exodus
  • Week 6: Oct                        Egypt: The Old Kingdom                                         The Pentateuch: Leviticus
  • Week 7: Oct                        Egypt: The Exodus                                                   The Pentateuch: Numbers
  • Week 8: Oct                        Egypt: The Exodus                                                   The Pentateuch: Deuteronomy
  • Week 9: Oct                       The Canaanites                                                         The Historical Books: An Introduction
  • Week 10: Nov                    The Philistines                                                           The Historical Books: Age of the Judges
  • Week 11: Nov                    The Philistines                                                           The Historical Books: Judges/Ruth
  • Week 12: Nov                    The Babylonians                                                       The Historical Books: 1-2 Samuel
  • Week 13: Nov                    The Babylonians                                                       The Historical Books: 1-2 Samuel
  • Week 14: Dec                    The Assyrians                                                             The Historical Books:1-2 Kings
  • Week 15: Dec                    The Assyrians                                                             The Historical Books:1-2 Kings
  • 2 WEEK BREAK: DECEMBER 17- JANUARY 1                                                              The Historical Books
  • Week 16: Jan                     The Persian Empire                                                   The Historical Books: 1-2 Chronicles
  • Week 17: Jan                     The Persian Empire                                                   The Historical Books: 1-2 Chronicles
  • Week 18: Jan                     The Persian Empire                                                   The Historical Books: Ezra/Neh./Esther
  • Week 19: Jan                     The Persian Empire                                                   The Historical Books: Ezra/Neh./Esther
  • Week 20: Jan                     Greece: Mycenae and Minoan                                The Wisdom Books: An Introduction
  • Week 21: Feb                    Greece: The Rise of Greece                                     The Wisdom Books: Job
  • Week 22: Feb                    Greece: The Age of Pericles                                     The Wisdom Books: The Psalms
  • Week 23: Feb                    Greece: The Age of Alexander                                 The Wisdom Books: The Psalms
  • Week 24: Feb                    Greece: The Age of Alexander                                 The Wisdom Books: The Psalms
  • Week 25: Mar                   Greece: The Division of the Empire                        The Wisdom Books: Proverbs
  • Week 26: Mar                   Greece: The Hellenistic Age                                     The Wisdom Books: Ecclesiastes
  • Week 27: Mar                   Greece: The Hellenistic Age                                     The Wisdom Books: The Song of Solomon
  • Week 28: Mar                   Rome: The Aeneid of Virgil                                      The Prophets: An Introduction
  • Week 29: Apr                    Rome: The Etruscans                                               The Major Prophets: Prophets: Isaiah
  • 2 WEEK BREAK: APRIL 9-22                                                                                                  The Prophets
  • Week 30: Apr                   Rome: The Early Kings                                              The Major Prophets: Jeremiah
  • Week 31: May                  Rome: The Republic                                                  The Major Prophets: Ezekiel
  • Week 32: May                  Rome: The Punic Wars                                             The Major Prophets: Daniel
  • Week 31: May                  Rome: The Fall of the Republic                               The Minor Prophets
  • Week 32: May                  Rome: Julius Caesar                                                  The Minor Prophets
  • Week 33: June                  Rome: Caesar Augustus                                           The Minor Prophets

SUMMER CLASS: The Inter-Testamental Period and the OT Foundations of NT History

  • Week 34: June                    The Inter-Testamental Period: Rome and Hellenistic Culture
  • Week 35: June                    The Inter-Testamental Period: Rome and Hellenistic Culture
  • Week 36: June                    The Inter-Testamental Period: Rome and Hellenistic Religion
  • Week 37: June                    The Inter-Testamental Period: Rome and Hellenistic Religion
  • Week 38: July                     The Inter-Testamantal Period as Background to the New Testament: The Apocrypha
  • Week 39: July                     The Inter-Testamantal Period as Background to the New Testament: The Apocrypha
  • Week 40: July                     The Political and Historical Preparation for Christ and the Gospel
  • Week 41: July                     The Biblical and Canonical Preparation for Christ and the Gospel

A Suggested Book-list for Studying Ancient History:

  • Biblical and Historical Books for Children and Youth
  • World History for Christian Schools – Bob Jones
  • Wikipedia Articles on Historical Subjects
  • Talk Thru the Bible – Wilkinson and Boa
  • History of the Work of Redemption – Jonathan Edwards
  • Biblical History Catechism – Brett Woody
  • Lectures on the Old Testament – Brett Woody
  • The Essence of the Old Testament – Hindson
  • Christ in All the Scriptures – A.M. Hodgkin
  • Biblical and Historical Books for Students
  • World History for Christian Schools – Bob Jones
  • Old Testament History – Charles Pfeiffer
  • European Civilization – Ferguson and Braun
  • Wikipedia Articles on Historical Subjects
  • Numerous Articles on Subjects of Old Testament History and Theology
  • Matthew Henry – Commentary on the Bible in 6 Volumes
  • John Calvin – Commentaries on the OT
  • The Old Testament Explained – Gareth Crossley
  • Biblical- Theological Introduction to the Old Testament – Miles van Pelt
  • History of the Work of Redemption – Jonathan Edwards
  • Biblical History Catechism – Brett Woody
  • Lectures on the Old Testament – Brett Woody
  • The Pentateuch – Herbert Wolf
  • The Historical Books – David Howard
  • The Poetic Books – Hassell Bullock
  • The Prophetic Books – Hassell Bullock
  • The Christ of the Prophets – Palmer Robertson
  • The Essence of the Old Testament – Hindson
  • Popular Survey of the Old Testament – Norman Geisler
  • John Owen – Biblical Theology
  • Herman Witsius – Economy of the Covenants
  • Edward Taylor – Upon the Types of the Old Testament
  • The Progress of Redemption – VanGemeren
  • Biblical Theology – Vos
  • Christ of the Covenants – Palmer Robertson
  • Against the Gods – John Currid
  • The Evils and Influence of Ancient Pagan Religion – 4 Sermons by Brett Woody
  • Many other essays and monographs obtainable from the internet

Brett Woody, Pastor-Teacher