Syllabus for The Book of Samuel

Course description

The book of Samuel (usually divided into 1 Samuel and 2 Samuel in our Bibles) reports Israel's history from the birth of Samuel through the reign of King David. It would be difficult to overestimate the importance of this century in the development of God's kingdom. When the prophet Samuel was born, Israel was in disarray under the failing leadership of the Judges and Levites. But by the time David delivered his last words, God had made an everlasting covenant with him and established David's house as the permanent dynasty over his people. How did this transformation take place? And what does it mean for us today?  It is based on the lecture series, The Book of Samuel, produced by Third Millennium Ministries and hosted by Dr. Thaddeus J. James, Jr.with contributions from a variety of professors.

Goals and Objectives


In this course, we would like to accomplish the following:

1. We hope you will learn the important information, original meaning, and modern application of The Book of Samuel. 

2. We hope you become convinced of the value of the studying The Book of Samuel and grow in your interest in teaching from it.

3. We hope that you will apply the teachings of The Book of Samuel to your own heart, life, and ministry, especially trusting the Lord regarding the future, even during difficult times.


When you have done the following, it will show that the goals are met:

1. Obtain satisfactory grades on the tests of the course, showing that you can identify the following: a) the important information about the background, purpose and design of the book of Samuel, b) the primary events in the lives of Samuel, Saul and David as portrayed in the book of Samuel, and c) the original meaning and Christian application of the book of Samuel.

2. Complete the study guides and questionnaires of the course, showing your interest in The Book of Samuel and your efforts to apply its teachings to your own heart, life, especially being encouraged to trust the Lord regarding the future, even during difficult times.

Thematic Outline of the Course

1. Introduction to The Book of Samuel.
2. Samuel and Saul
3. King David

Additional Reading: Richard L. Pratt, Jr., He Gave Us Stories

Explanation of Assignments

The Multimedia Lessons

1. Study the lessons, watching the video, listening to the audio, or reading the text.
2. Complete the study guides for each lesson. These study guides will prepare you for the online quizzes and help you apply the teachings of the lesson to your own life. (For those students associated with a particular institution wishing to track the completion of the completion of the Study Guides, a drop box has been provided at the end of the course.)
3. Take the online quizzes on each section of the lessons. The quizzes may be taken as many times as you want, but you must wait five days between each attempt, and the official grade will be from the first attempt.
4. Optional: We recommend that you look through the glossaries and use the learning games to become familiar with special names and technical terms used in the lessons. 
5. Take the cumulative test for each complete lesson. You may take the test again as many times as you want for review, but you must wait five days between each attempt, and the official grade is from the first attempt.
6. When you have finished all the lessons on the multimedia lectures, take the final exam on the lectures.

Other Activities

1. Complete the supplementary lessons for each lesson. These lessons give you additional background information and provide other learning aids related to the lessons. You may repeat these lessons as many times as you want, and the official grade will be the highest score out of all the attempts.
2. Complete the questionnaires for the lessons to help assimilate the teachings and apply them to your own life. These are not quizzes. The answers are more subjective. The grade is for completing the assignment.

3. There is a final lesson based on additional readings. These are optional readings designed to supplement the main lesson materials. The student should do the reading, complete the study guides, and take the corresponding quizzes and cumulative test based on the reading. These are graded as extra credit. (For those students associated with a particular institution wishing to track the completion of the Reading Study Guides, a drop box has been provided at the end of the course.)


We recommend that you work on these reading assignments and quizzes during the entire course, instead of waiting until you finish all the lessons based on the video lectures.

Optional Activities

Some institutions may require you to do one or more of the following optional assignments. If so, read the instructions in lesson 1 and follow the specific guidelines given in the instructions for each lesson.

1. The Written project
2. Essay Questions
3. Journal Questions 
4. Optional Additional Reading


The final grade will be calculated as follows:

1) The quizzes on the lectures are each worth 10 points.
2) Each cumulative test is worth 30 points.
3) Each supplementary lesson is worth 10 points.
4) Each questionnaire is worth 10 points.
5) The final exam on the lectures is worth 100 points.
6) Each quiz on the reading assignments is worth 10 points (extra credit).
7) The cumulative test on the additional reading is worth 30 points (extra credit).

The final grade of the course will be calculated by adding the corresponding percentages of all assignments and tests, making a total of 100% possible.

Greek and Hebrew

Some lessons in our courses make reference to words in Greek or Hebrew. If you have not studied these languages, you might want to at least become familiar with the alphabets.

For the Greek alphabet, see:

For the Hebrew alphabet, see:

List of Contributors to The Book of Samuel

Dr. Thaddeus J. James, Jr. (Host) is Vice President of Academic Affairs at Birmingham Theological Seminary. He holds an M.A. in Pastoral Leadership from BTS and a Ph.D. in Theology from Trinity Theological Seminary. In addition to teaching seminary students and supervising faculty, Dr. James serves as Director of the BTS Prison Initiative at Bibb County Correctional Facility, a program that offers Certificates in Practical Theology and/or M.A. degrees in Biblical Studies. He is Associate Minister and a Ruling Elder at Household of Faith Church (PCA) in Birmingham, and served as chair of the Association of Reformed Theological Seminaries (ARTS) Commission on Accreditation. Dr. James and his wife Yvonne are the parents of six children, ten grandchildren, and have been licensed therapeutic foster parents for more than 19 years.

Andrew Abernethy, Ph.D. is Assistant Professor of Old Testament at Wheaton College & Graduate School.

Rev. Dr. Humphrey Akogyeram is a professor at Good News Theological Seminary in Accra, Ghana.

Dr. David Correa is an associate Professor at San Pablo Theological Seminary in Merida, Mexico and the Director of Next Institute Mexico. He also serves as Pastor of Presbyterian Iglesia Jesus in Progreso.

Mr. Sherif Atef Fahim teaches at Alexandria School of Theology in Egypt.

Dr. Doug Falls is Associate Pastor at StoneBridge Church Community in Charlotte, NC, and Visiting Lecturer in Practical Theology at Reformed Theological Seminary, Charlotte.

Dr. James M. Hamilton is Associate Professor of Biblical Theology at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and Preaching Pastor of Kenwood Baptist Church.

Rev. Dr. Emad A. Mikhail is President of Great Commission College in Egypt.

Dr. John Oswalt is the Visiting Distinguished Professor of Old Testament at Asbury Theological Seminary.

Rev. Dr. Stephen Tong is a renowned Chinese evangelist and theologian, promoter of Reformed Evangelistic Movement, and the founder of the Stephen Tong Evangelistic Ministries International (STEMI), Reformed Evangelical Church and Seminary in Indonesia.

Dr. Herbert D. Ward is Professor of Biblical Studies at Covenant College in Lookout Mountain, GA.

Last modified: Wednesday, June 9, 2021, 12:03 PM