Old Testament theologies

Tonight’s post might be cheating just a tad, but I thought I’d kill two birds with one stone.  Over the last day and a half of classes at George Fox Seminary, we’ve been studying “Authoritative Traditions or Themes” found throughout the Old Testament.  When you keep these in mind, and read the OT through these lenses, the text really comes alive!  We have a quiz on these traditions tomorrow, so I’m combining my daily blog post with a little studying.  Besides, all of you might find this just as fascinating as I do, and I don’t want to keep it all to myself!

Listed below are 17 of the major authoritative traditions/themes found in the OT.  There are more, but these are some of the main ones.  After each theme, I’ve listed key places in the text where you can find each of these themes (although they all are scattered throughout the OT), as well as the main idea or keywords you will often see utilized.  How many of these can you find in your OT reading today?!

1.  Creation (Genesis 1)
God made…God formed…

2. Abrahamic Covenant (Genesis 12)
I will give you descendants and land; I will bless you to be a blessing

3. Exodus/Conquest (Exodus-Joshua)
God brought you up out of the land of Egypt and gave you this land

4. Sinai/Mosaic Covenant (Exodus 24)
I will be your God and you will be My people

5. Davidic Covenant (2 Samuel 7)
One of your descendants will be on the throne; I will be to him a father, he will be to me a son

6. Election (all over)
God knew, God called, God chose

7. Presence (all over)
God is with us; Immanuel

8. Jerusalem (Deuteronomy; all over)
God’s holy city; that city upon which I will cause My Name to dwell

9. Zion (all over esp Psalms)
Zion is God’s holy hill

10. Temple (all over)
The temple is God’s dwelling place

11. Holy War (all over esp Numbers & Joshua)
God is Israel’s Savior, Rock, Shield, Deliverer

12. Name Theology I (throughout the prophets)
The Name of the Lord is powerful, strong tower; God revealed His name to us and it is never to be pronounced.

13. Name Theology II (throughout the prophets)
The Name of the Lord is invested in His people. I am your God; He is our God. For thy name’s sake.

14. Character of the Lord (all over esp Exodus 34:6-7)
“The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for the 1000th generation, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, yet by no means clearing the guilty, but visiting the iniquity of the parents upon the children and the children’s children, to the 3rd and 4th generation.”

15. Torah of the Lord (e.g. Psalm 119)
The Torah is a covenant gift that brings wisdom and life.

16. God’s Core Values (all over)
Justice and righteousness are God’s core values

17. Holiness (Leviticus)
Be sanctified, set apart. Be holy as I am holy.


Material taken from handout prepared by Dr. Stephen Delamarter.