I’m teaching an 8 week overview of the Old Testament right now. It’s a class that provides a framework and helps my students understand the big narrative of scripture… plus they finally understand where all the kings, prophets, and covenants fit. I dare to say that many churches would profit from an Old Testament Overview type class, so here is what I recommend:
Our text is “Full of Promise” by Bryson Smith and Phil Campbell, Mattias Media, 2011. It hits all the highlights in 8 weeks and the homework load is 60-90 minutes/week. Students skim a lot of chapters, and I encourage those with time to just sit down and read the extra passages like a novel. It’s easy for me to add maps, charts, and teaching sidebars on everything from the implications of the fall to details on various characters and events.
Another GREAT find is “The Epic of Eden” by Dr. Sandra Richter, 2008. This is the single best background and teaching resource I’ve ever seen on the Old Testament. It’s extremely readable and quite valuable. It helped me bridge the gap from understanding the Old Testament, to being able to teach the Old Testament to newcomers in a comprehensible manner.
My favorite piece from Dr. Richter is her 5 Men, 5 Eras, 5 Covenants framework. If your students can just remember Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, and David… then they have already mastered the outline of the Old Testament timeline and covenantal framework.