Do modern Christians still regard the Old Testament applicable today? Did God nullify the Law and Old Testament writings by replacing it with Jesus' teachings and the New Testament writings?
Understanding the Old Testament World brings true meaning and significance to our faith, the New Testament writings, and the words of Jesus.
The Old Testament or Hebrew Scriptures were Jesus’, his disciples’ and Paul’s Bible. Jesus taught his disciples from these scriptures. Paul and the other New Testament authors wrote what we call ‘The New Testament’ from their knowledge and understanding of the ‘Old Testament’. The New Testament describes Jesus’ life and message in light of the Old Testament or Hebrew Scriptures.
Jesus did not start a new religion, but gave true meaning to the Old Testament scriptures, message and practices. He announced his mission to earth with some of the following statements:
Matthew 4:17 (NIV) 17 From that time on Jesus began to preach, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near."
Mark 1:14-15 (NIV) 14 After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. 15 "The time has come," he said. "The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!"
Matthew 4:23 (NIV) 23 Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people.
From these few references we can deduce that 'The Kingdom of God' was central to Jesus' thinking and ministry.
Jesus came to teach and explain the true meaning and significance of God’s Kingdom, an idea his audience was familiar with. The meaning and implications of a ‘Kingdom’ were not new to them but originated and developed with human civilization and history.
‘Kingdom’ in the ancient and Biblical Worlds, had direct connections with institutions like; idolatry, gods, temples, cities, priests, and kings.
This course aims at uncovering these 'Kingdom' institution, implications, developments and their connection with Israel and their God.
This course is a broad introductory survey of the Old Testament World, its cultures and world view, uncovering the meaning of the ‘gods' kingdom’, shedding light on the Kingdom of Israel's God .
We do not look at the Old Testament World cultures and literature through magnifying glasses, dissecting every culture in detail, but through wide- angle lenses, trying to see the 'Big Picture' of the ancient and Biblical worlds. This course lays the foundation for all other in- depth Bible studies concerning God and His Kingdom.
In this course we pay attention to:
Israel did not live in their own separate world but engaged with other cultures surrounding them. Understanding these cultures, their religion and World Views, will help us to understand the Old Testament history and writings.
This course consists of 3, 5 hours video, including many maps, diagrams, illustrations, and images of the Old Testament World and its cultures.
At the end of this course students will:
This course is for students who:
This course is not for students who:
Please join us for a rich learning experience!
This lecture introduces the course and explains the importance of understanding the Old Testament World's culture and history. Institutions such as temples, idols, sacrifices, cities and kings, have direct connections with the ancient World View, culture and history, directly impacting the Bible story.
This lecture introduces the region and geography where most Old Testament history plays out, the Fertile Crescent. The geography of any region plays an important role in the way we see reality and determines our culture and history. The geography of the Fertile Crescent played an important role in the history and culture of the Biblical world.
This lecture introduces students to the Fertile Crescent region called Mesopotamia. The civilization of Mesopotamia included nations such as the Assyrians, Babylonians and Persians who played an important role in Bible and Israel's history.
In this lecture students meet the Fertile Crescent civilization creators, the Sumerians. Israel was part of this civilization which the Bible story and message constantly addresses. Israel's God urges His people to live a different life compared to this civilization. This ancient Sumerian civilization is also the foundation for much of the Western World.
In this lecture we reflect on the Biblical perspective of the important role humanity plays in the physical world. We also comment on the connection between the physical world and human spirituality.
This lecture defines a World View, describes its importance , and introduces the different components of any World View. Understanding the World View of a group of people explains their culture and history. Understanding the Sumerian World View explains many of the Old Testament cultural practices.
In this lecture students learn how ancient civilizations described the universe's composition. Our perception of the universe's composition plays an important role in how we view our role and function in the universe.
The lecture describes how the cosmos functioned according to the ancient World View. Human life and religion are closely integrated with our understanding of the cosmos' working.
This lecture introduces students to Sumerian literature expressing their World View. This genre of literature is commonly known as 'Mythology'. Understanding ancient mythologies helps us to understand the Biblical world.
This lecture describes the Sumerian Creation Story. A creation account expresses our belief in a Creator God which in turn determines how we live our lives. Comparing the Biblical Creation story with ancient creation stories emphasizes Israel's unique World View, described in the Bible.
This lecture compares the Biblical Creation Story with the Sumerian Creation story. This challenges our belief in and view of the authority of a Creator God and the way we live our lives as Christians.
This lecture introduces us to the ancient worship of nature deities or gods. This ancient polytheistic worship had a powerful impact on Bible history. Understanding this ancient worship will clarify much of the Old Testament practices and writings.
This lecture describes the Sumerian's human creation story and the role humans play in the universe according to their view.
This lecture reflects and comments in particular on the Sumerians' view of human value and their role in the universe, comparing it to God's perspective of humanity's role and value, described in the Bible.
This lecture describes the origin and significance of idolatry. This explains why idolatry is seriously condemned by the Old Testament writers.
This lecture explains the meaning and function of ancient temples and their connection with idolatry. Understanding the symbolism of temples help us to understand the meaning and importance of Israel's Temple.
In this lecture we discuss the origin and significance of cities and their connection with idolatry and temples.
In this lecture we discuss two more important Sumerian cities and their significant role in human history and development.
In this lecture we briefly reflect on the Biblical perspective on idolatry, temples and cities.
This lecture explains the important role of the Temple- Priest in the ancient and Biblical worlds. This sheds light on our role acting as God's Priests in the world.
This lecture describes the working of the Sumerian economy. This explains the connection between Israel's agriculture, their God and Temple described in the Bible.
This lecture describes land- ownership in ancient civilizations and religious practices. The Bible describes similar practices in Israel.
This lecture describes the role of the High Priest and the King in Sumerian Civilization. Understanding these ancient temple-leadership roles help us to understand similar roles described in the Bible.
In this lecture we look at the contributions of taxes, tributes and gifts to the temple-economy. These concepts are also prominently present in the Old testament.
This lecture explains the importance of temple rituals and sacrifices in ancient religions.This help us to understand similar practices by Israel. However in Israel's religion these practices had different meaning, significance and implications.
In this lecture we discuss the Biblical perspective of temple rituals and sacrifices described in the Bible.
In this lecture we explore the meaning and implications of the concept: 'Son of the gods'. This title appears prominently in the Bible particularly in the New Testament. This title is embodied in Jesus and has great meaning and significance for Israel and Christians.
In this lecture students are briefly introduced to two important Mesopotamian kings who influenced Mesopotamian and human history significantly. The significance of kingship is an important theme in the Bible with significant implications for the life and ministry of Jesus.
In this lecture we paint a broad picture of God's overall plan revealed in the Bible connecting the different entities we discussed in the course. The apt student will be able to see how these entities culminate in Jesus and His followers.
I completed a Bachelor Degree of Science, majoring in Mathematics and Chemistry, at the University of Pretoria in 1984. At the same university, I completed a Postgraduate Higher Education Diploma in 1985.
I taught and lectured at Secondary School and College levels for 10 years. During this time I attended the Vineyard School of Ministry (Lancaster California) where after I acted as church planter and pastor of two small congregations. My passion for understanding and teaching the Bible in its historical and cultural context motivated me towards further studies.
At the end of 2010 I completed a Bachelors Degree in Christian Studies from St Stephen's University. Presently I am enrolled at UNISA preparing for a Masters Degree in Old Testament Theology.
I developed this teaching platform, Biynah, from where I wish to share my passion for God's Word with students who wish to learn to understand the Bible better. I believe getting to know God through His Word is a life long journey engaging with the Bible and many other historical texts.
The aim for studying the Bible is to uncover the true meaning of human life in God's Kingdom on earth here and now. The is the central message of the Bible and Jesus’ ministry.
I am married to Kobus, a true gift from God. We love spending time together and with our two young adult daughters. Besides studying, I enjoy different crafts, traveling, gardening, playing piano, keyboard, and entertaining friends. I believe everything we do is part of human life in God's kingdom, which can be enjoyed and should be done to the glory of God.