Introduction to Biblical Literature

A Dead
Sea Scroll discovered in 1947
Photo of fragments of one Dead Sea Scroll

Open Educational Resources

This page and the resources linked from it are Open Educational Resources (OER)

"Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures." — Luke 24:45

"Bib-Lit", as Introduction to Biblical Literature came to be called on the Southern Nazarene University campus, is a one-semester all-the-way-through-the-Bible course that aims to stamp out biblical illiteracy!

In this entry-level course, I tried to give students a grasp of basic Bible facts in chronological order.. We met 80 Bible characters and looked at 15 key chapters. We learned at least one phrase about the content of every Bible book. By the end of the course, students were writing the entire story of the Bible in one page.

" I stumbled across your internet pages on the Bible. I needed to get back to basics and this helps. Thank you." -- Dan C., Florida

Class resources including assignments, due dates, and exam study guides

What Nazarenes believe about the Bible:

"We believe in the plenary inspiration of the Holy Scriptures, by which we understand the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments, given by divine inspiration, inerrantly revealing the will of God concerning us in all things necessary to our salvation, so that whatever is not contained therein is not to be enjoined as an article of faith.
(Luke 24:44 47; John 10:35; 1 Corinthians 15:3 4; 2 Timothy 3:15 17; 1 Peter 1:10 12; 2 Peter 1:20 21)
    -- Articles of Faith, Church of the Nazarene

"All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness" -- 2 Timothy 3:16

Helps for Bible study

As you get deeper and deeper into the Word, you'll find the following of help:

Bible concordance
Alphabetical listing of words in the Bible with the verses in which they appear. Several concordances or Bible search engines can be found online.
Bible dictionary
Alphabetical arrangement of explanations of Bible history, culture and general contents
Bible encyclopedia
Similar to a Bible dictionary with an alphabetical listing of topics and explanations. Covers more territory in greater detail than does a dictionary
Bible atlas
Geographical and topographical information on Bible lands, including geopolitical boundaries
Bible commentary
Scholar's comments on the meaning of the text of the books of the Bible, often verse by verse. Commentaries often are multi-volume sets

What will you get out of this BibLit course?

Student comments from previous semesters:

The Source: a novel about
biblical archeology Do you read novels? Then, let James Michener bring alive for you the drama of Israel's turbulent past in his novel The Source. Michener is a marvelous storyteller. In this 1965 book, Michener uses historical fiction to bring Israel's past eras to life. The focal point of the novel is an archaeological dig at Tell Makor, an imaginary mound that is the accumulated residue of abandoned settlements, each resting on the ruins of its predecessor.

I don't agree with all of Michener's assumptions and theological conclusions. However, the book can greatly help a peson sense the drama of biblical events.


Most courses at SNU contain a writing component.
I expect students to produce written work that is focused, well-developed, organized, and relatively free of grammatical, punctuation, and spelling errors.
Papers falling short of this standard may not be graded. That work may be returned to the student for further revision and resubmission.
S ee my writing checklist.

Ready for a light-hearted moment?

pointing rightAs we jump into the course, would you like a chuckle? [ more ]

Online Bibles with search capabilities

The two I use most often are and Others include Bible Study Tools and Unbound Bible.

Nave's Topical Bible: Another useful Bible study tool is a "topical Bible" in which relevant passages are grouped according to topics.

"Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path" -- Psalm 119:105

    -- Howard Culbertson,


In an introductory Bible course, students can expect to learn the foundational aspects of the Bible, including its historical context, major themes, key figures, and significant events. Here are some common topics that will likely be covered:

Overall, an introductory Bible course aims to provide students with a foundational understanding of the Bible as a sacred text, its historical context, major themes, and its significance in shaping culture, religion, and ethics.

Tempted to cheat on schoolwork? Before you do, read Southern Nazarene University's academic integrity policy

You might also like