Old Testament Survey

Dr. Christopher Gornold-Smith

Dr. Christopher Gornold-Smith

Explore the Old Testament that deepens your Christian faith.

10 Video Lessons

Watch, listen, and learn as Christopher Gornold-Smith shows you the Old Testament in a way that will deeper your Christian faith.

Course Guide

A FREE workbook that guides you through the course.

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Old Testament Survey

Brad Andrews sits down with Dr. Berin Gifillan to discuss this in-depth topic of of the Old Testament. 

Course Overview

Explore the rich tapestry of the Old Testament through this comprehensive survey. From the foundational narratives of creation to the complexities of Israel’s monarchy, each session unveils key themes, characters, and divine covenants. Dive into the historical, cultural, and theological nuances that connect the Old Testament to Christian faith, understanding its relevance for contemporary believers.

Course Description

Delve into the Old Testament Survey, an insightful exploration spanning from the creation narrative to the Babylonian exile. Uncover the theological significance of pivotal events, characters, and divine covenants. Sessions address the intricate arrangement of Old Testament books, the fall of man, the covenant with Abraham, the Tabernacle’s symbolism, the conquest of Canaan, the era of judges, and the transition to monarchy. Engage with wisdom literature, the division of Israel, and the profound narratives of individuals like Job, Solomon, and the prophets. Gain a profound understanding of the Old Testament’s impact on Christian theology.

What You’ll Learn

  • Gain a holistic understanding of the Old Testament’s arrangement, highlighting its relevance for interpreting the New Testament.
  • Explore the theological significance of key events, characters, and divine covenants.
  • Comprehend the intricacies of creation, the fall of man, and the covenant with Abraham.
  • Uncover the symbolic significance of the Tabernacle and its role in Israel’s journey.
  • Navigate through the conquest of Canaan, the era of judges, and the transition to monarchy.
  • Engage with wisdom literature, the division of Israel, and the prophetic messages during times of turmoil and exile.
  • Acquire insights into the lives of significant figures like David, Solomon, and the prophets.
  • Connect Old Testament narratives with foundational Christian beliefs and ethical principles.

Who Should Take This Course

This course is designed for individuals seeking a profound understanding of the Old Testament’s theological, historical, and cultural dimensions. Pastors, seminary students, and believers aiming to strengthen their biblical foundation will find this survey invaluable. Embrace the Old Testament’s enduring relevance for Christian faith and witness its intricate connections with the New Testament.


1. Approaching the Old Testament

The Old Testament Survey emphasizes the importance of understanding the Old Testament for Christians, citing its integral role in comprehending the New Testament. The term “Old Testament” is explained as books related to the Old Covenant given to Israel. Quotations from the Old Testament in the New Testament highlight its ongoing relevance. The abundance of history in the Old Testament is deemed crucial, illustrating God’s actions and serving as a foundation for theological reflection. The text also briefly touches on the diverse literary genres and the Hebrew arrangement of the Old Testament, concluding with the assertion that Jesus adhered to this arrangement.

2. The Order of Books and Creation

This session, explores the arrangement of Old Testament books and their division into the Law, Prophets, and Writings. Jesus recognized the entirety of the Old Testament as the Word of God. The lesson also covers the transmission of the text, highlighting the meticulous efforts of scribes to preserve accuracy. The Dead Sea Scrolls, discovered in 1947, affirmed the reliability of the Old Testament. The discussion extends to translation methods and versions. The second part of the session delves into the concept of creation, emphasizing God as the intelligent Creator and humans made in His image, possessing intelligence, self-awareness, and moral consciousness.

3. The Image of God and the Fall

This session 3 delves into the Old Testament, exploring the creation of man in God’s image. Man possesses unique qualities such as intelligence, moral consciousness, and a supernatural capacity to experience God’s presence. Despite these virtues, the session discusses the fall of man, initiated by Satan’s manipulation and man’s exercise of free will. The concept of identity is explored through individualism and solidarity, emphasizing the choice to align with God’s covenant. The progression of sin is traced through Cain’s murder of Abel, highlighting the impact on both vertical and horizontal relationships. The session concludes with the judgment of the flood, illustrating God’s salvation for the obedient and judgment for the disobedient.

4. Babel and Abraham: The Concepts of Covenant

This session delves into Genesis 11 and beyond, highlighting the Tower of Babel’s disobedience and God’s judgment. Abraham’s journey, faith, and covenant with God are explored, emphasizing his role as the father of the faithful. The covenant, mirrored in the New Testament through Jesus, signifies a profound tie between God and believers, crucial for comprehending the Old Testament’s entirety.

5. Abraham, Israel, Joseph, and Moses

This session explores Abraham’s life, focusing on his faith and God’s covenant. It addresses the impact of cultural influences and written marriage contracts. The narrative shifts to the pivotal moment of Abraham offering Isaac, highlighting the conflict between faith and culture. It then covers Joseph preserving the family, Moses as a national deliverer, and the burning bush encounter revealing God as the eternal “I AM.” The summary touches on plagues, Passover symbolism, and the Exodus leading to the Covenant at Mount Sinai. It concludes with insights into Suzerain Treaty, law codes, and the ongoing relevance of Old Testament laws for Christians, emphasizing God’s consistent character.

6. The Tabernacle Worship

Session 6 delves into the Tabernacle’s role in unifying Israel, symbolizing the Covenant with God. Positioned at the camp center, it imparts a spiritual lesson on holiness, emphasizing separation for God’s service. The anointing oil signifies the sacredness of objects dedicated to God. Holiness reflects God’s multifaceted character. The Tabernacle symbolizes Christ and prepares for sin atonement as people enter the Promised Land. God’s instructions to Joshua stress obedience for blessings, recounting the miraculous Jordan crossing.

7. Joshua, Judges, and Ruth

Session 7 explores Joshua, Judges, and Ruth. Geographically, Canaan, a buffer state, is divided into city-states with a challenging climate and Canaanite religious influence. The conquest unfolds with Rahab, a Canaanite harlot, whose faith connects her to Jesus’ lineage. The scarlet cord symbolizes salvation, akin to the Passover. The Judges era, post-Joshua, lacks central leadership, leading to a cyclical pattern. Ruth, a Moabite, shifts her identity, choosing loyalty to Naomi over her roots, showcasing ḥeseḏ (loyalty). The introduction of the Philistines sets the stage for judges and kings. 

8. The Kings, David, Psalms, and Hebrew Poetry

Session 8 explores the transition from Israel’s tribal confederation to monarchy, emphasizing the Philistine threat and the lives of Samuel, Saul, and David. David’s seven years in Hebron, capturing Jerusalem, and his spiritual journey, notably expressed in Psalm 51, are highlighted. The session delves into Hebrew poetry, particularly in Psalms, discussing characteristics like parallelism, figurative speech, and intense emotional expression. Solomon’s reign is outlined, focusing on his wisdom, the temple, palace, and the consequences of his actions, leading to the division of the kingdom. Wisdom literature examples from Proverbs underscore ethical principles in daily life.

9. Wisdom Literature, Division, and Exile

Session 9 delves into Wisdom Literature, Division, and Exile. Solomon, known for building the temple and imparting wisdom, is associated with Ecclesiastes, emphasizing life’s dissatisfaction without aligning with God’s will. The Book of Job explores the suffering of a righteous man, challenging traditional views of divine justice. The lesson shifts to the division of Israel in 931 BC, caused by Solomon’s disobedience. Israel faces instability with kings like Omri and Ahab, while prophets Amos, Hosea, and Micah warn of Assyrian threats. Judah, led by kings like Hezekiah and Josiah, experiences reforms but succumbs to Babylonian conquest after Josiah’s death.

10. Babylonian Captivity, Return from Exile, and the Prophets

Session 10 delves into Babylonian Captivity, Return from Exile, and the Prophets. In 597 BC, Babylon, led by Nebuchadnezzar, deported Judah, sparing the city. However, in 586 BC, Babylonians returned, destroying Jerusalem and reshaping Jewish practices. Persia’s capture of Babylon in 539 BC fulfilled Jeremiah’s 70-year prophecy. Key figures like Sheshbazzar, Zerubbabel, Haggai, and Zechariah played crucial roles. Esther’s story unfolds in the 59-year gap. Ezra (457 BC) and Nehemiah (444 BC) oversaw Jerusalem’s rebuilding. The session explores prophets as spokesmen for God, emphasizing righteousness, social justice, and conditional prophecies. Examples include Ezekiel’s Tyre doom and Isaiah’s depiction of Jesus’ sufferings.

Trimester 2



No. of Sessions


Running Time

4 hrs 39 min


May 24-26, 1996

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About the Instructor

Old Testament Survey
Dr. Christopher Gornold-Smith

Christopher Gornold-Smith is an English author, pastor, missionary, archaeologist, biblical scholar, Christian apologist, and television producer. He is one of the world’s foremost teachers on the Old Testament.

For years he worked as an Assemblies of God missionary, served in educational media development with Global University (formerly ICI University of Brussels), served as a missionary in residence at SAGU, and taught courses in Christian apologetics, Biblical archaeology, and scriptwriting, as well as lecturing at Elim Bible College, and working as a producer for International Media Ministries.

Gornold-Smith became a member of the Anglo-Israel Archaeological Society and the Palestine Exploration Fund which afforded many opportunities to hear from the leading archaeologists and biblical scholars as they updated members of the IEJ and PEF on their latest digs.

He holds a Diploma of Theology from Elim Bible College (now Regents Theological College, West Malvern, England) in 1961. He holds a Doctor of Divinity (D.D.) from Southwestern Assemblies of God University.

Gornold-Smith is now retired, but still are very involved with Global University.


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