An advanced course in hermeneutics including a study of the history of interpretation, both biblical and extra-biblical, and an examination of the current status of various interpretive approaches to the Scriptures.
For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.
Believers from all realms of life need the ability to interpret God’s Word correctly. Pastors, associate pastors, and teachers need these abilities to develop expository sermons and lessons. Those in other fields, such as counseling, business, and education, need these abilities in order to integrate biblical truths with the principles and hypotheses of people in their fields. All believers need hermeneutical skills in order to identify and defend against heretical teachings and to grow in their Christian lives. Believers also need to recognize that there may be more than one plausible interpretation of a biblical passage, and be willing to show tolerance and acceptance when others interpret Scriptures differently than they do. It is important that believers hold to their theories tentatively, so that they are willing to change their opinions when new biblical data would warrant doing so.
Measurable Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Identify the principles involved in validly interpreting a biblical text.
- Apply those principles to a biblical passage in order to understand its meaning.
- Analyze alternative interpretations of a given passage.
- Evaluate the major hermeneutical problems confronting the study of various books of the Bible.
Textbook readings and lecture presentations/notes
Course Requirements Checklist
After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in the Course Overview.
Discussions are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to create a thread in response to the provided prompt for each discussion. Each thread must respond to 2 questions selected from the provided list and include at least 400 words for each question. For each thread, the student must support his or her assertions with at least 3 citations from at least 2 different sources in current Turabian format. Acceptable sources include the Bible, textbooks, video lectures, scholarly articles, and online sources approved by the instructor. In addition to the thread, the student must reply to at least 1 classmate’s thread. Each reply must be at least 200 words. For each reply, no sources are needed, but if used, must be cited properly in current Turabian format.
For the Discussion: Thesis, Outline, and Bibliography Assignment, the student will submit the thesis, passage outline, and bibliography for the Exegetical Paper for discussion among his or her classmates and evaluation by the instructor. The student will then submit at least 1 reply of at least 200 words to a classmate’s thread. (MLO's: A, B, C, D)
Book Critique Assignment
The student will write a 1,250–2,500-word book critique of Misreading Scripture with Western Eyes. The critique must include a summary of the book and be in current Turabian format. (MLO's: A, D)
Exegetical Paper: Passage and Bibliography Assignment
The student will choose 1 passage from the list provided in the course. The student will indicate which passage he or she has chosen for the Exegetical Paper and provide a bibliography of at least 7 scholarly sources related to the passage and generate a bibliography that will be incorporated in the final Exegetical Paper. The course textbooks do not count toward the total number of required sources, and all sources must be in current Turabian format. (MLO's: B, C, D)
Exegetical Paper: Final Assignment
The student will write a 2,500–4,250-word exegetical paper based on his or her chosen passage. The title page, table of contents, and bibliography are not included as part of the total word count. The paper must include at least 7 scholarly sources and be in current Turabian format. (MLO's: B, C, D)
Each quiz will cover the Reading & Study material for the assigned Module: Week as well as the preceding Module: Week. Each quiz will be open-book/open-notes; contain 20 multiple-choice, true/false, matching, and/or essay questions; and have a 1-hour time limit. (MLO's: A, D)