Introduction to Bible Exposition – BIBL 700

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 07/28/2020

Course Description

An introductory course serving as an orientation to the PhD in Bible Exposition. Foundational aspects of writing and research for Bible exposition are explored, with attention given to dissertation development. An introduction to expositional hermeneutics is included with an emphasis on inductive methodology and procedure.


Enrollment in the Ph.D. Bible Exposition


The PhD in Bible Exposition is a degree program unique within the School of Divinity, and it is profitable to orient students from the beginning of the program with appropriate expectations and guidance. Furthermore, an introductory course provides students with a base of knowledge in applied hermeneutics, program philosophy, and writing and research procedure that prepares them for the expectations and requirements of subsequent course work. Finally, an introductory course allows students the opportunity to begin preliminary research and development of potential dissertation topics.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Understand the program philosophy, structure, and procedure of the PhD in Bible Exposition.
  2. Articulate a philosophy of ministry that incorporates a balance between scholarship and ministerial practice.
  3. Incorporate the hermeneutical triad into an inductive methodology and apply it to biblical exegesis and exposition.
  4. Perform academic research in biblical and theological study topics.
  5. Write with proficiency in academic expositional and exegetical research writing.

Course Assignment

Students will read all stated textbook readings and view vignette presentations as per the course schedule.

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

Discussion Board Forum(s) (6)

PhD learning is by its very nature collaborative. Rather than lecture based, PhD seminars are typically peer driven and facilitated by faculty. The online discussion boards for this course will take on much of the same character, with faculty involvement high, but student involvement also very high. Expectations are such that students will submit thorough and timely opening threads in the discussion forum (unless stated otherwise, by Thursday at 11:59PM EST), and then reply to at least three other students with ensuing discussion generated by those replies. Please consider the number of replies a minimum, and consider that grades will be earned not by meeting minimal requirements, but by entering into and contributing to fruitful and engaging dialogue. Target word count for opening threads: 800-1200 words. Target word count for first tier replies: 250-500 words.

Assignment #1 (Hermeneutical Skills and Competencies)

In the book, Invitation to Biblical Interpretation, at the end of chapter one, and then again in chapter sixteen, the following six “vital skills,” or “interpretive and communicative competencies” are listed: (1) Historical-cultural awareness; (2) Canonical consciousness; (3) Sensitivity to genre; (4) Literary and linguistic competence; (5) A firm and growing grasp of biblical theology; and (6) An ability to apply and proclaim passages from every biblical genre to life. In a six part essay, describe the significance and utility of each of these skills and competencies in the context of a Bible exposition ministry. (We are not so concerned with preaching ministry, but the work of Bible interpretation and the outflow of teaching the Bible through multiple contexts and forums.) Describe in your essay what each of these competencies entail, along with their significance and impact on Bible interpretation. Consider using clear examples and illustrations in each segment of your essay. This is not a research paper, so research and citation is not necessary, but otherwise academic style and format is required. Target length for this assignment is 3000 words, 500 per each “skill” listed.

Assignment #2 (Case Study in Topic to Thesis: Amos)

Imagine that you are in a Bible Exposition class covering the Minor Prophets, and you have been given the task of writing a 25 page research paper on the book of Amos. Our “imaginary” paper requires only that you choose a topic and develop a thesis from the book of Amos… and that it involves a point of interpretive or biblical theological interest from the book.

Working through the five chapters in the Kibbe book, you will develop a “research foundation” for a 25 page research paper involving the book of Amos. For this assignment, you will not write the 25 page research paper, but rather you will compose a five step assignment document that mirrors the five chapters from the Kibbe book (based on the idea of our “imaginary” research paper):  (1) choose a topic (find direction), (2) build a bibliography (gather sources), (3) document and elaborate upon a list of issues (understanding issues), (4) document various positions and points of interpretation (entering discussion), and (5) formulate a thesis (establish position). Basically, in this assignment, you will work through the process of writing a paper involving the book of Amos… without actually writing the paper. But you will choose a topic, develop a bibliography, document issues and positions, and formulate a thesis. Target length for this “five-step document” is 1500-2000 words.