Old Testament Studies and the ISSL

The ISSL (International Sunday School Lessons) series tries to cover important themes and portions of the entire Bible every six years; then a new study series begins, often by studying new portions of the same books, with some Scripture portions repeated, sometimes with a new theme or emphasis. Since the Old Testament has 39 books and the New Testament has 27 books, we would expect a great many Old Testament Bible studies. One way to remember how many books there are in the Bible is to remember “There are 39 books in the Old Testament. 3 times 9 is 27. There are 27 books in the New Testament; for a total of 66 books.” If you remember either 39 or 27, you can find the other numbers.

Between August 4 and August 30, the ISSL (International Sunday School Lessons) series will study thirty-six different Old Testament Bible Lessons. To see a list of our Bible Studies by Book of the Bible and by the Month, go to Links to Commentaries by the Month.

Understanding the Old Testament gives Christians a good foundation for understanding the New Testament, and many important topics run from the Old Testament through the New Testament. But I remember that from September 2, 2018 to December 16, 2018, (beginning with Genesis, one of the most important books in the Bible) that we studied the Old Testament for sixteen weeks in a row. Probably about the middle of November, I received a sincere e-mail from a lady who said something like, “I can’t take it any longer—too much Old Testament study!”

I must confess that when I see several Old Testament lessons in a row, my first thought is “Oh, No!” However, as I begin to study to write the Old Testament commentaries, I learn so many new truths that I am glad the opportunity came my way. I just wish I could write well enough to make the Old Testament Bible Lessons so compelling and interesting that we could enjoy them for sixteen or more weeks in a row. Fortunately for some of us, this time there are no more than 3 or 4 Old Testament lessons in a row before we get back to the New Testament lessons.

Some of you use the International Bible Lessons Commentary and Lesson as a supplement to your church’s teacher and student quarterlies, and I hope that the Old Testament commentaries available through The IBLC remain helpful to you. Many others use The IBLC materials exclusively in your church or weekly Bible study group, while some of you use these Bible study materials privately at home.

Let me suggest that if you ever get to the point of not being able to “take it any longer” in your studies of the Old Testament, please don’t stop your good Bible study habit! TAKE A BREAK! For a few weeks, study a book of the Bible that has particularly interested you from the many Bible Lessons and Commentaries available through the The IBLC website that go back to 2010. Go to the CONTENTS Tab on the Menu Bar and do some studies from some of the New Testament books listed. Only Titus and Philemon do not have any Bible Lessons yet. Then, after a few studies, come back to the ISSL schedule and some more New Testament and Old Testament studies.

Please Note: I am not encouraging you to stop studying the Old Testament. I am encouraging you to keep studying the Bible. You can also catch up on the Old Testament books you missed by going back to Links to Commentaries by the Month to find the studies you missed or go to the CONTENTS Tab on the Menu Bar.

Receive our periodic International Bible Lesson Forum Newsletter by becoming a Registered Member of this IBL Forum. Then, login and make comments to share with others. I add new members manually by hand (nothing automatic here). I try to add new members as quickly as I can, but due to other obligations it can sometimes take 2 or 3 days (sorry for any delays!). Please Note: I have found that Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge are the most reliable web browsers for logging into the Forum.

May God continue to bless your Bible study and teaching and encourage you by His Word and Spirit!

CLICK HERE To Go to the International Bible Lesson Commentary and International Bible Lesson for additional Uniform Sunday School Lesson Series Resources.

Teaching the Truth in Love for the Love of God’s Word and His people,


  • I am not really fond of the new format. it is difficult to navigate and not as helpful to me as the old version was.
  • I agree that the old version was probably easier to navigate; however, some who missed a lesson would write me and ask how to find it, which was not always easy to explain; so I am trying this redesign, and hope it is not too much trouble both for people to use who don't get behind and for people who do get behind. I am always open to any ideas about how to redesign the website to make it more helpful or user friendly. Thanks for your comment! There are still some improvements that need to be made. For example, I need to make the prayers and quizzes easier to get to for people who want a quiz from a former lesson. Again, thanks for your comment and concern!
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