Course Description

The Bible opens with a remarkable claim: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen. 1:1). Everything begins with God, including the Bible. Often known simply as “the law,” the opening five books of Scripture cover many of the most important teachings of the Christian faith. By surveying these books, this course will give you a foundation for knowing the entire storyline of the Bible.

About the Instructor

Dr. Benjamin Shaw serves as professor of Old Testament. He is also a teaching elder in the Presbyterian Church in America. He earned his M.Div. from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, Th.M. from Princeton Theological Seminary, and Ph.D. from Bob Jones University. He previously served as academic dean and professor of Hebrew and Old Testament at Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. He is author of several academic articles on Old Testament biblical studies, contributor to several anthologies on matters pertaining to Old Testament and applied theology, and author of Ecclesiastes: Life in a Fallen World.

A Letter From the Instructor

Dear Student,

The English word “law” in the Bible usually translates to the Hebrew word torah. Torah is also used as shorthand to refer to the first five books of the Bible: Genesis through Deuteronomy. That is the sense in which the word is used here. What we discover in this course is that “law,” while it includes legal directions, is much more than that. It is, instead, instruction on the holy life. Some of that instruction is fulfilled in Jesus Christ, and the course will look into those fulfillments. Some of the instruction is moral and remains in effect for the modern Christian. And some of the law opens to us the ways of God, giving us a clearer picture of who He is. I hope you’ll join me for this course.

In Christ, Dr. Shaw