History of Ancient Israel

Instructor: Kenneth Giese

Type: Lecture


This course covers the 800-year span of Israel’s history as a nation as documented in Joshua, Judges, 1 and 2 Samuel, and 1 and 2 Kings. It progresses through the conquest of the Canaan (or the Promised Land) under Joshua to the period of the Judges, the united monarchy under Saul, David and Solomon, through the divided monarchies of Israel and Judah, and finally, the fall of both nations.

Required Texts

  • The Holy Bible (New King James Version)
  • Chronological and Background Charts of the Old Testament by John Walton


Term Paper

For this assignment, you will be asked to write @ a 2000-word, type-written character analysis of one of the individuals you will meet as we examine the history of Israel.  Describe the lessons we can learn from the example, life and actions of this person.  I would encourage you to consider choosing someone who is not as well-known as, for example, David, Joshua, Solomon, etc.  However, the choice is up to you.  Your paper will be evaluated on the depth of your analysis of this individual and your ability to directly apply their “life lessons” to our lives today.   

Class Participation

Due to the volume of material we have to cover, we may not be able to engage in as much class discussion as any of us would like, but I will try my best to make that happen.  I encourage you to ask questions, but please understand that I may have to answer them after class or via email, due to time constraints.

After the completion of each of the six books, one class period will be devoted to small group facilitated discussions on topics related to each book.  This will give you additional opportunities for sharing your ideas with the class.

Educational Bio

Kenneth Giese is a 1973 graduate of Ambassador College with a bachelor of arts degree in theology and speech. He has been involved in pastoral ministry, serving congregations across the United States, for over 40 years, including seven years as the pastor of the host congregation for Ambassador College in Big Sandy, Texas.  In addition to the classes he teaches at Foundation Institute, he currently serves as pastor of the Fort Worth, Texas, and Tulsa, Oklahoma, congregation.