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Old Testament Research Paper Writing

Old Testament research paper due and don’t know how to begin researching for it? Here is Paper Masters’ suggestion for researching Old Testament theology:

The Old Testament is considered by many an obsolete compilation of biblical history that has little bearing on Christianity today.  A dedicated study of the Old Testament however would prove that this opinion is largely unfounded.  You may want to emphasize in your Old Testament research paper that it presents a fertile groundwork for any researcher or student attempting to understand and explicate God’s plan for His people, both Jew and Gentile. Although it deals predominantly with old laws and covenants, its content has significant bearing on the context of the New Testament.  As such, it also has significant application to the lives of Christians today.

Old TestamentThere are many parallels in the events and personalities of the Old Testament and those exhibited today, which reinforces the importance of the Old Testament as a guide for contemporary living.  Despite the backdrop of an ancient setting, the people of the Old Testament, their problems and triumphs as well as their spiritual aspirations, are not very unlike those of modern man.  Similarly, the implications of Old Testament principles and teachings can be applied for both.

A prime example can be found in the likeness of man’s sin and its penalty demonstrated in positions of power, particularly in the sexual transgressions exhibited by King David and those of former President Bill Clinton.  Although II Samuel deals predominantly with the power and authority demonstrated in the consolidation of all of Israel under David, it also reveals the human weaknesses of man regardless of position.

The Old Testament and Research Today

Old Testament BibleThe books of the bible that relate to Samuel, specifically II Samuel, reveals King David’s desire for the wife of another man (II Samuel 11), Bathsheba, and the activities he would resort to in order to have her, which included murder (II Samuel 11). As reprehensible as David’s behavior was, his faithfulness and ultimate repentance to God was returned with the faithfulness of God’s forgiveness and he continued to serve the Lord until his death. As for the similar sexual transgression demonstrated by Bill Clinton, one can never know whether he had a sincerely contrite heart and asked for God’s forgiveness, however it is clear that his behavior may have played a significant role in the Democratic Party’s failure to secure another term in Presidency. At the same time, it had a profound effect on the moral fabric of American society.

On a similar vein, the importance of national obedience to God is also demonstrated in the Old Testament, which is replete with examples of the nation of Israel’s failure to abide with God. In spite of their deliverance by God from the hand of Egypt (Exodus 14), the Israelites would several times demonstrate their loss of faith in God when things were not going as they had expected or when their desire for signs that God was with them were not offered. For example, when Moses had ascended Mount Sinai and failed to return in a timely manner, the Israelites hastily fashioned an idol and offered sacrifices to it (Exodus 32). Although God plagued the people of Israel for their sin (Exodus 32:35), He still promised them deliverance from their enemies (Exodus 33:2). The Israelites responded with repentance by stripping themselves of the ornaments of pagan worship. (Exodus 33:5) The behavior of the Israelites at the foot of Sinai is not unlike the futility demonstrated by a contemporary society that has lost sight of or faith in God’s promises. Even further, it is often not until the ramifications of contemporary society’s sinful nature are played out that the confidence of embracing God’s faithfulness becomes significant.

The Relevance of Old Testament Research Paper Topics Today

Old Testament Research Today

While the new covenant revealed in the New Testament is accompanied by new principles for leading a Christian life, many of the principles revealed in the Old Testament are applicable even today. Clearly, the principles laid out in the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20) would appear to be the most frequently embraced by believers and non-believers alike. There are few that would argue the applicability of tenets such as “Thou shalt not kill” and “Thou shalt not steal”. Nevertheless, the principles “Thou shalt not commit adultery” and “Honor thy mother and thy father” bear just as much significance today, despite the proclivity of believers and non-believers to give them less consideration or heed. Even more, the disregard for the command that “Thou shalt have no other gods before me” is evidenced in the proliferation of divers religions around the world.

Consider also the laws ascribed in Leviticus. Although many of those laws, such as the mandate of blood sacrifice and the exclusionary rules of the temple have been erased by the new covenant, there are many that, when applied to contemporary life, can facilitate an even closer adherence to Christ-like behavior today. Even more, they can offer a defense from many of the social afflictions that are evidenced today.

Old Testament Research PapersLeviticus speaks of the penalty of retribution for the sin of deceit or violence against a neighbor (Leviticus 6), which is not unlike the penalties exacted in the contemporary justice system. Although modern examples of retribution are not followed by a sin offering made to God by the guilty party, reparations to the injured party are frequently required. And, while it is not mandated by the laws of men, a contrite repentance before God would clearly follow the example found in Leviticus.

The book of Leviticus also defines the customs of marital and sexual behavior, which although they are often ignored in modern society, formed the basis productive and righteous living in the Old Testament. The Israelites were strictly commanded not to form a sexual association with certain kinsmen, married neighbors or with beasts. (Leviticus 18) The abomination that such associations represented to God during Old Testament times are just as abhorrent to God in modern times.

The Impact of the Old Testament Research on Modern Life

Aside from the guiding principles and the parallel in events and personalities that can be derived from the Old Testament, a dedicated study of its books can effect a major impact on modern life. Most importantly, in a world where social and national disharmony and decay has become commonplace, it can provide a peace that comes only from understanding the faithfulness that God has demonstrated to His people.

For example, the book of Job offers a biography of a life that is filled with the hardships, temptations and despair that many people are well acquainted with today. Although Job was a man of wealth and character, his fidelity to God was challenged by numerous afflictions including poor health and the loss of his children and property. (Job, 1-3) The truth that man’s afflictions are the result of sin is pointed to in many chapters of the book (Job 5, 20, 34) and, although Job protests his integrity throughout (Job 6, 9, 23), his final submission to God (Job 42) results in his restoration.

The example of Job’s hardships and his inclination to challenge the penalties of sin are not unlike the circumstances and character of man today. Therefore, an understanding of Job’s experience and, most importantly, his ultimate submission to God has applications for us even today.
Similarly, the unrewarding consequence of man’s pursuit of earthly goals is revealed in the book of Ecclesiastes. Solomon’s recollection of his search for contentment and satisfaction in the pleasures of life rather than in the pursuit of a relationship with God should be sharply familiar to many people in today’s society. Solomon ultimately determines that fearing God and keeping His commandments offers far better results (Ecclesiastes 12) than what the world can offer, a truth that can be realized even today.

Conclusion

The books of the Old Testament research paper is not an accident. Rather, their conservation is a clear indication that what is revealed in them should have as much significance today as it did when the events that are detailed in them actually occurred. In essence, one can never fully understand the roles, responsibilities and promises of Christian life without them. Contemporary Christians therefore have not only the reward of the doctrines of Christ presented in the New Testament but also the manifestation of God’s faithfulness found in the Old Testament.

 

Related Research Paper Topics

Amos – In the Bible, there are numerous books that are dedicated to telling the stories of prophets of God. One such book is the Book of Amos, though he is considered to be a lesser prophet.

Daniel – The Book of Daniel is another book of the Old Testament that documents the various trials that members of the Jewish faith are forced to endure at the hands of nonbelievers, this time focusing on the titular individual.

Deuteronomy – Deuteronomy is the fifth book of the Jewish Torah and the Christian Bible. It is the final book of the Pentateuch, a term used to described the books of the Bible attributed to Moses.

Ecclesiastes – In the Bible, the Book of Ecclesiastes has some of the most profound lessons on true human nature to be found.

Esther – There are three main sections or stories in the book of Esther. The first section is summarized as ‘Esther replaces Vashti’, the second is ‘Mordecai overcomes Haman’ and the third is ‘Israel survives Haman’s attempt to destroy them.’

Exodus – The book of Exodus is the retelling of the Jews’ coming into Egypt as guests of Joseph to their flight to freedom from slavery, led by Moses under the direction of God, called Yahweh by the Jews.

Ezekiel – In the Old Testament, the Book of Ezekiel recounts the visions received by the prophet during his exile in Babylon.

Hosea – The Book of Hosea chronicles the adult life of a Jewish prophet during a turbulent time in Israel’s history.

Isaiah – The Book of Isaiah is probably one of the most cyclical books in the Bible, as it describes the consequences for a society that does not respect the power and authority of God as well as the prosperity and success that will come to a kingdom that does.

Jeremiah - The Book of Jeremiah is largely a biographical story of one of God’s prophets, though the messages that can be found in the text have been carried throughout generations.

Job – The book of Job in the Bible does not have a specific author named, however it is believed that either Job himself, Elihu, Moses or Solomon wrote it.

Joel – In the Bible, the Book of Joel is a short account of the punishments that can be brought against those who do not have faith in God, and the benefits that can be given to those that do.

Jonah – In the Bible, one of the most famous tales of the Old Testament is that of Jonah and the whale.

Joshua – Traditionally, the Book of Joshua, the sixth book of the Bible, is the first of the “historical books” of the Bible.

Judges – In the Christian Bible, the Book of Judges provides insight into exactly what the title states: individuals who served as judges during Biblical times.

Kings – Kings was originally constructed as a single book but over time was divided into Book I and Book 2, continuing the history of Israel and their kings, and telling of the sins and retribution of the people of Israel.

Lamentations – Of all the books in the Bible, that of Lamentations provides the greatest insight into the struggles true believers in God will face, and the promise of salvation that He offers.

Leviticus – Leviticus is the third book of the Old Testament or, as known by the Hebrews, the Pentateuch. The Hebrews, connecting it to the second book of the Bible, knows this book as “Va-yakra”, and He called, Exodus.

Numbers – The Book of Numbers details the time from the Exodus of God’s people from Egypt when they wandered in the desert for a period of thirty-eight years as they were being prepared to enter the Promised Land.

Obadiah – The Book of Obadiah is the shortest book in the Old Testament, yet the messages it contain are just as profound as the longest of books.

Proverbs – The Book of Proverbs, much like the Book of Psalms, provides various opportunities for learning for members of the Christian and Hebrew faiths.

Psalms – As one of the most eloquent books of the Bible, the Book of Psalms contains 150 poems, representing the entire range of religious behaviors that one should embody in order to effectively practice their faith.

Ruth – The Book of Ruth is one of the few books in the Christian Bible that is dedicated to the story of a female character.

Samuel – The Book of Samuel, which was written about 960 B.C., was later separated into Book 1 and Book 2, and continues thus to this day.