This course is an in-depth study of the principles of biblical interpretation and an introduction to the major resources available for biblical interpretation. Topics covered include essential steps in interpreting the Bible, the variety of methods and approaches available to the contemporary student of Scripture, historical and theological issues arising out of the interpretive task, the relationship between the testaments, word studies and literary genre. The course will be more focused on the practical areas so as to develop sound methods of exegesis and application of biblical texts.
At the end of the course, students will be able to gain:
This course aims to introduce the students to the history, principles and methods of interpretation to help them systematically cultivate a good, consistent and exegetical method through which they can interpret the Scriptures to explain the message of God to the contemporary generation. And this will be done by engaging the students in a critique of the different methods of interpretation. The course will help the students to appreciate the theological richness of the text that may be exposed through these interpretive tools.
Students who complete this course successfully will employ the methods discerningly so as to interpret faithfully the biblical text for the present context. They will be able to determine how the literary context affects the meaning of a text. Students will be able to derive timeless truths from the biblical text and show how these should affect the beliefs and behaviour of contemporary Christians.
Students who complete this course successfully will make his/her own theological stand point based on the biblical text. They will appreciate the complexities of the exegetical task and identify the significance of sound exegesis and apply it in their ministry and homiletical practices.
GUIDELINES FOR INTERACTIONS
We anticipate our students to have varied viewpoints which will enrich the discussions in our learning community. Therefore, we ask our students to be charitable and respectful in their interactions with each other, and to remain focused on the topic of discussion, out of respect to others who have committed to being a part of this learning community.
ASSIGNMENTS AND GRADING
A. Weekly Discussions and Written Responses: 200 Words each (Total 42%).
Late responses are not accepted. Each week’s initial response is due on Wednesday (11:59pm) and interactions with other responses are due on Saturday (11:59pm).
Attendance in this course is demonstrated by regular log-ins and up-to-date participation in forums.
Every Monday a weekly discussion question will become visible. Each student will read through the question and take time to formulate a response.
Aim for responses that display a thorough understanding of the textbooks and primary sources relevant to each question and a clear engagement with the class discussions and lectures, especially identifying areas of your understanding of each week’s themes that have challenged, changed, and/or enriched you. This is not a summary of the readings and the lectures, but a response to particular themes/arguments. Be specific and brief, but not superficial.
The initial response should be 300 words but there is no set limit on words for the subsequent interactions between students. In order to maximize the benefit of this element of the course, the student should post his/her initial response by 11:59 pm on Wednesday of the week and then spend the remainder of that week interacting with their colleagues in the class until Saturday at 11:59pm.
Each weekly questions and themes will be discussed on following week during optional class meetings
B. Quiz (weekly or daily quiz) 18%weightage:
These quizzes are based on video lectures, reading assignments, multimedia content etc.
C. Essay/Research Paper: (1500-2000 words) 40%weightage:
Write an exegetical outline on any passage (paragraph) from the Old Testament or New Testament. (Sample passages Genesis 18:16–33; Genesis 45:1–15; 1 Samuel 3:1-21; Mark 2:1–12; Acts 3:1-10; 1 Peter 4:12–19). Evaluation will be based on written clarity and organization, ability to follow assignment instructions, argumentation, degree of insight, and judicious use of secondary sources. (20 Marks).
Write your observation, findings and conclusion based on the following steps.
- Choose a passage
- Gather what you observe.
Book Literary Form
Book Division theme
Relevance to the paragraph under studied:
Figures of Speech
- Determine the structure of the passage
- Relate the passage to its context
- See the historical/cultural data that affects the passage
- Find the meaning of significant word/s on the passage
- Note other Bible passages that relate to the theme.
- Write applications of the text.
- Message lesson outline
Aaran Bennet, Approaches to the New Testament: A Handbook for students and pastors. Bangalore: Saiacs Press, 2018.
Fee, Gordon D. and Douglas Stuart. How to Read the Bible for all its Worth. Second edition. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1993.
Klein, William W., Craig L. Blomberg and Robert L. Hubbard, Jr. Introduction to Biblical Interpretation. Revised and Updated. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2004.
Mckenzie , Steven L. And Stephen R. Haynes. An Introduction to Each to Biblical Criticisms Its Own and their Meaning Application. Kentucky: WJK, 1999.
Osborne, Grant R. The Hermeneutical Spiral: A Comprehensive Introduction to Biblical Interpretation. 2nd ed. Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 2006.
Tate, W. Randolph, (2008) 2008. Biblical Interpretation. 3rd ed. Baker Publishing Group. https://www.perlego.com/book/2050920/biblical-interpretation-pdf.
Bartholomew, Craig, Collin Greene, and Karl Möller, eds. Renewing Biblical Interpretation. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2000.
Barton, John, ed. The Cambridge Companion to Biblical Interpretation. Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press, 1998.
Bock, Darrell L., and Buist M. Fanning, eds. Interpreting the New Testament Text: Introduction to the Art and Science of Exegesis. Illinois: Crossway Books, 2006. Print.
Danker, F. W. Multipurpose Tools for Bible Study. Revised ed. Minneapolis: Fortress, 2003.
Eagleton, Terry. After Theory. London: Allen Lane, 2003.
Fowler, Robert et al. eds. New Paradigms for Bible Study: The Bible in the Third Millennium. New York: T & T Clark, 2004.
Goldingay, John. Models for Interpretation of Scripture. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1995.
Gooder, Paula. Searching for Meaning: An Introduction to Interpreting the New Testament. Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2009.
Hunter, Alastair G., and Philip R. Davies, eds. Sense and Sensitivity: Essays on Reading the Bible in Memory of Robert Carroll. Journal for the Study of the Old Testament, Supplement 348. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 2002.
Kaiser, Walter C. & Moisés Silva. An Introduction to Biblical Hermeneutics: The Search for Meaning. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1994.
Kuhatschek, Jack. Applying the Bible. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1990.
Kὄstenberger, Andreas J. and Richard D. Patterson, Invitation to Biblical Interpretation: Exploring the Hermeneutical Triad of History, Literature, and Theology. Invitation to Theological Studies Series. Grand Rapids: MI: Kregel, 2011.
Lundin, Roger, Clarence Walhout, and Anthony C. Thiselton. The Promise of Hermeneutics. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1999.
McCarthney, Dan and Charles Clayton. Let the Readers Understand: A Guide to Interpreting and Applying the Bible. Wheaton: BridgePoint Book, 1994.
Mickelsen, A. Berkeley. Interpreting the Bible. Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1972. Print.
Silva, Moisés., ed. Foundations of Contemporary Interpretation. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996.
Stuart, Douglas. Old Testament Exegesis. Fourth edition. Louisville: Westminster Press, 2009.
Tate, W. Randolph. Interpreting the Bible: A Handbook of Terms and Methods. Peabody : Hendrickson, 2006.
Thiselton, Anthony C. Hermeneutics: An Introduction. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2009.
Thiselton, Anthony C. New Horizons in Hermeneutics: The Theory and Practice of Transforming Biblical Reading. London: HarperCollins, 1992.
Webb, William J. Slaves, Women and Homosexuals: Exploring the Hermeneutics of Cultural Analysis. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 2001.Aaran Bennet, Approach to the New Testament, saiacs
ONLINE PRIMARY SOURCE READINGS
The readings can be found as PDF files on the course web page at under “Materials”.