BIB 313.01 Pentateuch (3 credit hours)

At Ohio Valley University, we seek to transform lives in a Christ-centered academic community
that integrates higher learning, biblical faith, and service to God and humanity.

Class days/times: MWF 10:45-11:35 am
Location: Stotts, Room #307
Instructor: Bruce Terry
Office: Room 311
Phone: (304) 865-6120 (office); (304) 295-6486 (home)
E-mail: bruce.terry@ovu.edu; Web site: http://bterry.com
Office hours:
M 1:00-3:30 pm
T  1:00-2:00 pm; 4:00-5:00 pm
W 1:00-3:30 pm
Th 1:00-2:00 pm; 4:00-5:00 pm
F   1:00-2:00 pm

I. Textbooks:

II. Course Description:

BIB 313 Pentateuch (3 credits) A study of the first five Old Testament books with special attention to developing themes, historical and exegetical studies, and applications for the contemporary church. A textual studies course. Offered spring, odd-numbered years.

This course will focus on the first five books of the Old Testament, known as the Pentateuch. Emphasis will be on knowing the narrative and legal material in the text itself. The course will also focus on questions of introduction and background, as well as a study of the Documentary Hypothesis as it relates to the Pentateuch.

III. Rationale:

This course addresses the following objectives of the Bible program:

Objectives For Every Student

Provide students with a more in-depth study of the scriptures than what is gained in introductory studies and/or with training in Christian life and ministry

Objectives For Majors

Provide students with a more in-depth survey study of Old Testament books
Provide students with training in how to study the Bible for themselves

IV. Integrating Faith and Learning:

Romans 10:17 says, "So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ" (ESV).  Consequently, this class will use biblical texts and references to texts to help the student grow in faith.  But simply hearing is not enough.  Jesus told those who believed in him, "If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free" (John 8:31-32 ESV).  So it is necessary to keep doing what we learn.  In light of this, this course will also contain references to application of principles learned.  One of the objectives is a faith objective.  It will not be assessed for a grade, but life is such that it will be assessed, one way or another.  My prayer is that you will pass that test of life.

V. Course Objectives and National Standards:

  1. To acquaint the student with the historical events of the Pentateuch.
  2. To develop an academic understanding of reading an ancient text such as the Bible and its use in historical reconstruction of events.
  3. To study introductory material to the five books of the Pentateuch in particular and the Old Testament in general.
  4. To investigate the claims and problems of the Documentary Hypothesis as applied to the Pentateuch.
  5. To help the student see the religious experience of Old Testament characters, thus providing a faith building experience.

There are no national standards for undergraduate study of the Bible.  At OVU, we emphasize the biblical text and its application in our lives.

VI. School of Biblical Studies Mission Statement:

At the School of Biblical Studies, we seek to transform lives in a Christ-centered academic community by encouraging biblical faith to produce life-long truth-seekers who serve God in His kingdom throughout the world.

VII. Course Requirements and Evaluation:

Assessment of whether the objectives have been met will be based on the student's performance on homework and tests assigned by the teacher and on the student's ability to do relevant research on his or her own in papers described below. Academic abilities assessed include reading with understanding skills as evidenced by a book introduction, homework, and classroom discussion; writing skills as evidenced by two typed papers; literary research skills as evidence by an research paper; geographical skills as evidenced by a map; and memory organization and retention as evidenced by major exams.

Your grade for the class will be based on two major exams (including a comprehensive final exam), three typed papers, one bonus point map as explained below, attendance, and grades from pop quizzes over the reading, collected in-class work, and collected homework. The papers are on the following: 1) a five-page research paper on the use of the Law of Moses for Christians today (the student should take into account the scriptures found on the scripture search lesson sheets found at http://bible.ovu.edu/terry/ss/otuse.htm and http://bible.ovu.edu/terry/ss/otforms.htm); 2) a three-page book report on the sixteen chapters of The New Evidence that Demands a Verdict which are assigned; and 3) a four-page lesson on the life of a character in the Pentateuch with an application to Christians today. These are full pages, not counting the cover sheet (required) and bibliography (also required). One page is defined as 27 double-spaced typewritten lines (counting the title, but not your name or page numbers) with 1" margins. The typed papers should be written using the Turabian style guide. Exam questions can come from the lectures or assigned readings from either the textbooks or the Pentateuch. The final exam will cover material from the whole course.

Class may be dismissed if there are classroom conflicts during Lectureship week April 1-4. In such a case, students will be expected to attend at least a one hour class or lecture for each hour missed and turn in a one-page report on the class or lecture attended. The reports will count as attendance grades.

Ten points will be given for attendance. One point will be deducted for each class missed, including those missed for illness. The only exception to this will be those who miss on official school business and have an official notice to this effect; up to five such absences will not count against the student's grade if the student has no unexcused absences. Two grace days will be given to all students to allow for absences due to illness and excused absences for official school business. Note well: Grace days will be applied first to excused absences.

Additional readings/quizzes/essays/maps may be assigned.

All work is expected to be turned in on time. If for some reason you cannot make the due date, please ask my permission to turn the work in late. Late reading reports will be accepted for only half credit, since the readings will be discussed in class. Reports which are both late and short will be accepted only for quarter credit.

No paper will be accepted that is more than two weeks late. A paper that is more than one week late may not be rewritten, except in unusual circumstances. A paper must be at least 75% of assigned length in order to be rewritten. The grade on a paper which is rewritten may be increased on content, length, and mechanical errors. No grade will be given to a paper which contains enough mechanical errors to dock the score by a letter grade (i.e., 40 mechanical errors). It will be turned back without a score and the rewrite counted as late. Be sure to proofread and spell check! The English proficiency test sets the minimum standard for college papers.

Students who are absent on exam days with good reason may schedule a make-up exam within the next week. You must ask to take a make-up exam. If a student misses an exam without good reason and is allowed to take the make-up exam, the grade on that exam will be docked by one letter grade (10 points). There is no guarantee that such a student will be allowed to make up any exam.

Students who score less than a 70 on a major exam may petition to retake the exam within a week after grades are returned on it. The highest grade on any retake exam will be 70. Once again, you must ask to retake an exam. There will be no retakes on the final exam. Study hard for it.

Bible Map Instructions

Draw or trace a map of one of the following for 2 bonus points:

1) The Ancient Near East, showing the travels of Abraham


2) Egypt, Sinai, Arabia, and Palestine, showing a possible route of the Exodus

Be sure to label major bodies of water, regions, and cities.

Extra credit may be given for neatness, detail, and good use of color.

N.B. In lieu of drawing or tracing, it is acceptable to photocopy an outline map of the region and fill it in with the above; however, it is not acceptable to photocopy a map which has any of the above marked on it. You must fill it in.

VIII. Grading System:

The final grade will be based on your work in the following way:

          5-page paper on the use of the Law of Moses       10%

          3-page book report on NEDV, ch. 11-26              7%

          4-page lesson on a character in Pentateuch         8%

          Attendance                                        10%

          Pop Quizzes/Homework                              15%

          Midterm Exam                                      23%

          Final Exam                                        27%

Only in the area of maps will any extra credit be allowed to exceed these percentages. Your final grade will be A, B, C, D, or F. An A will be given for an average of 100-90, a B for 89-80, a C for 79-70, a D for 69-60, and an F for any average below 60.

IX. Academic Integrity Policy:

Because Ohio Valley University expects students to follow the highest standards of honorable conduct in all areas of life, it is essential that students maintain high standards of academic integrity. Cheating, plagiarizing (whether intentionally misrepresenting another's work as one's own or failing to follow appropriate requirements of documentation), and helping others to cheat or plagiarize are all violations of these standards. Students who engage in these behaviors will face appropriate consequences, which could include failing the assignment in question, failing the course, or being dismissed from the University. A student who believes that he or she is being treated unjustly may file an appeal with the Provost; the student must initiate the appeal within 48 hours after receiving notification of the consequence. Appeal procedures are available in the office of the Provost.


Plagiarism is the presentation of another person's work as your own, whether you mean to or not. Copying or paraphrasing passages from another writer's work without acknowledging that you've done so is plagiarism. Translating passages from another writer's work in another language without acknowledging that you've done so is plagiarism. Copying another writer's work without putting the material in quotation marks is plagiarism, even if credit is given. Allowing another writer to write any part of your essay is plagiarism.

Plagiarism is a serious crime. The maximum penalty at OVU is expulsion from the University.

Plagiarism is easy to avoid. Simply acknowledge the source of any words, phrases, or ideas that you use. If you're not sure how to quote or paraphrase a source or if you need help with the format of endnotes or bibliographies, check with me. While you can (and in fact should) seek the help and advice of friends, classmates, and tutors, be sure that your written work is completely your own.

X. Policy for Attendance and Tardies:

OVU Catalog:

Regular class attendance is most important. Instructors are responsible for recording and reporting attendance in each of their classes. Attendance at 75% of the scheduled class meeting is required to receive credit for a given course; in other words, if a student misses 25% or more class sessions including both excused and unexcused absences, the student will fail the course.

Course Policy:

Attendance in class is mandatory; it will be part of the basis for the grade given. If you cannot attend for good reason, either notify me beforehand or as soon as possible afterward. This applies even if you have an excused absence. You will be expected to do all work of any classes missed, except for pop quizzes. If you do not intend to attend regularly, kindly withdraw from the class now.

Do NOT miss class simply because you do not have an assignment finished. Do NOT miss class if you can possibly come; save any absences for sickness or death in the family. If you have an extended illness, please contact me to let me know.

Kindly try to be a class on time. If you are consistently tardy for no good reason, I reserve the right to count three tardies as an absence. I do count half absences.

If you have to leave early, please inform me before class. Do not schedule extra work, doctor's appointments, etc. during class time if at all possible. If you are too frequent in leaving early, I reserve the right to count early departures as a partial absence, adversely affecting your grade.

Absences may be excused if you bring me documentation that you were hospitalized, ill with a contagious disease, involved in an accident, on school business (up to five hours), or there was a death in the immediate family. More than five hours of absences which include three hours of unexcused absence will result in your being dropped from the course with either a W or an F at my discretion. You may pay a fine and petition to be reinstated. Additional unexcused absences will result in your being dropped without future reinstatement. No credit will be given for a course in which absences, both excused and unexcused, total more than 25% of the hours of the course (i.e., as many as 12 class hours, counting each class as 1 hour). Should you approach this limit, you will be asked to withdraw from the course (if possible). I reserve the right to drop you from the course as a warning once you have at least 6 total absences. If you are dropped for any reason, reinstatement is not guaranteed and will be granted only if a plan for success is presented. Note well: Absences may adversely affect your grade, as outlined above under the topic Course Requirements. A drop from your only Bible course may affect your ability to enroll in the next semester.

Please turn off cell phones before entering class. If you should have wireless service in the classroom, do not use your messaging service on your laptop or PDA. I reserve the right to count you absent should you disregard this. Cell phone use for voice or text during a test will result in failure of that test.

XI. Compliance with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA):

If you have a diagnosed disability and need special accommodations, please notify the Office of the Provost before or immediately after your first scheduled class meeting. After your disability has been verified, inform your instructor and your instructor will work with you and the Office of the Provost to insure that you have a fair opportunity to perform in the course.

XII. Bibliography:


XIII. Course Calendar:

MAJOR EXAM DATES:   Midterm Exam -- Friday, February 23, 2007

                    Final Exam -- Wednesday, May 2, 2007

                                  10:00 - 11:50 a.m.

Course Plan


 1/10/07 -- Introduction to the Course

            homework: read EDV, Sec. II, ch. 14-17

 1/12/07 -- Documentary Hypothesis


            homework: read IOT, Part 8, ch. 1

 1/15/07 -- Overview of Genesis

            homework: read Gen. 1-2; IOT, Part 8, ch. 2

 1/17/07 -- Creation

            homework: read Gen. 3-4

 1/19/07 -- Fall


            homework: read Gen. 6-9

 1/22/07 -- Flood

            homework: read Gen. 6-9

 1/24/07 -- Flood

            homework: read Gen. 11:1-9

 1/26/07 -- Babel


            homework: read Gen. 11:27-ch. 15

 1/29/07 -- Abraham

            homework: read Gen. 16-19

 1/31/07 -- Abraham

            homework: read Gen. 20-23

                      draw map for 2 bonus points

 2/ 2/07 -- Abraham


            homework: read Gen. 24-26

 2/ 5/07 -- Issac

            homework: read Gen. 27-29

 2/ 7/07 -- Jacob

            homework: read Gen. 30-32

 2/ 9/07 -- Jacob


            homework: read Gen 33-35

 2/12/07 -- Jacob

            homework: read Gen. 37-40; EDV, ch. 11-12

 2/14/07 -- Joseph

            homework: read Gen. 41-44; EDV, ch. 13

 2/16/07 -- Joseph


            homework: read Gen. 45-47; EDV, ch. 18

                      write 5-page paper on the use of the OT

 2/19/07 -- Joseph

            homework: read Gen. 48-50; EDV, ch. 19

 2/21/07 -- Conclusion

            homework: study for test

 2/23/07 -- Midterm Exam


            homework: read IOT, Part 8, ch. 3

 2/26/07 -- Overview of Exodus

            homework: read Ex. 1-4; EDV, ch. 20

 2/28/07 -- Moses' birth and call

            homework: read Ex. 5-8; EDV, ch. 21

 3/ 2/07 -- Ten plagues



            homework: read Ex. 9:1-12:36

 3/12/07 -- Ten plagues

            homework: read Ex. 12:37-ch. 15; EDV, ch. 22

 3/14/07 -- Exodus from Egypt

            homework: read Ex. 16-19

 3/16/07 -- Exodus from Egypt


            homework: read Ex. 20-24

                      write 4-page lesson on OT character

 3/19/07 -- Ten Commandments and other laws

            homework: skim read Ex. 25-40

 3/21/07 -- The tabernacle

            homework: read IOT, Part 8, ch. 4

 3/23/07 -- Overview of Leviticus


            homework: skim read Lev. 1-9; EDV, ch. 23

 3/26/07 -- Sacrifices

            homework: read Lev. 10-15, 18-19; EDV, ch. 24

 3/28/07 -- Laws about purification, sex, holiness

            homework: read Lev. 16; EDV, ch. 25-26

 3/30/07 -- Day of Atonement



 4/ 2/07 -- OVC Lectureship

            homework: read Lev. 23, 25

                      write one-page paper over lecture attended

 4/ 4/07 -- Feasts

            homework: read IOT, Part 8, ch. 5

                      write 3-page book report on EDV, ch. 11-26

 4/ 6/07 -- Overview of Numbers

Last Day to Drop a Class with a "W"--Stick with it to the end!


            homework: read Num. 10:11-ch. 14, 16-17, 20-25

 4/ 9/07 -- Wilderness Journeys

            homework: read Num. 5, 15:37, 18

 4/11/07 -- Various Laws

            homework: read Num. 28, 30

 4/13/07 -- Various Laws


            homework: read Deut. 1-5; IOT, Part 8, ch. 6

 4/16/07 -- Overview of Deuteronomy / Initial sermon of Moses

            homework: read Deut. 6-11

 4/18/07 -- Initial sermon of Moses

            homework: read Deut. 12-18

 4/20/07 -- Second Law


            homework: read Deut. 19-24

 4/23/07 -- Second Law

            homework: read Deut. 25-30

 4/25/07 -- Second Law

            homework: read Deut. 31-34

 4/27/07 -- Conclusion

WEEK SIXTEEN: Final Exam Week

            homework: study for final exam

 5/ 2/07 -- Final Exam (10:00-11:50 a.m.)

N. B.: Homework is listed before the class for which it is due!


This syllabus is on-line at http://bterry.com.

Bruce Terry's Home Page
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http://www.bterry.com/sylbi313.htm hosted at http://bible.ovu.edu/terry/sylbi313.htm
Last updated on January 10, 2007
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