Course Modules in OT - More Ideas for Assignments on Work

Seminary Curriculum / Produced by TOW Project
More old testament assignments

Here are more sample assignments to help inspire fresh thinking about how to incorporate a concern for vocation, flourishing and economic justice in a seminary course on Old Testament.

Economic Wisdom Project Exegetical Paper

Ask students to take one of the twelve elements or one of the four central themes of the Economic Wisdom Project and write a short exegetical paper tracing the element or theme through scripture. This could be done with the Bible as a whole, either testament, or one biblical genre or book. Naturally, the Theology of Work Bible Commentary would be one good resource for students to begin with, as would the new Faith and Work Study Bible from Zondervan. Some questions for students to consider:

  1. What are the main points the biblical witness puts forth regarding this element?
  2. Is the testimony about this element consistent, or are varying opinions given about it in different parts of scripture?
  3. What are some of the reasons for varying opinions (if they exist)? Historical development? Cultural context or setting? Compare and contrast the opinions. The assignment could actually be given in this form: i.e. “Compare and contrast the view of stewardship in the parables and in Paul’s letters / the view of integrity in Psalms and Proverbs.”

Work in the Prophetic Books

Ask students to look at one of the prophetic books in whole or in part

  • Where is work mentioned in the book or excerpt?
  • What kind of work is praised? Why?
  • Are any kinds of work condemned? Why?
  • What implications do the answers of these questions have for contemporary discussions about work?

(The TOW Project discussions of each of these books may be helpful.)