A study of the methods and tools of biblical interpretation and their application to various literary types found in Scripture.
Students will learn to make careful observations, interpret the historical and literary contexts, and come to understand the key themes of a passage. Students will be able to list points of similarity and difference between the biblical situation and the contemporary situations of their local congregation or cultural context. They will be equipped to teach others to use the same methods. Tools, and methods will be emphasized that are effective in contexts that have limited access to study materials in a local language.
One of the significant challenges we face today is taking the message of the Bible and making it relevant and understandable to contemporary cultures and contexts far removed from the cultures of the Bible. The message of the Bible is transforming but it must be interpreted accurately. Students at all levels can learn basic skills to help them make more accurate interpretations without imposing their own ideas. Culture sometimes can be a major influence on this process. All of ministry hinges upon reading God’s word.
This course will guide the students in developing sound interpretive techniques. It will expose the students to the awareness of the nature of the Bible and the history of the transmission of the biblical texts, both OT and NT. Basic exegetical procedures will be presented and students will have the opportunity to follow a step by step process of exegesis leading to a paper, sermon, or Bible study.
Intended Course Outcomes through Engagements
Students will show growth in the following ways:
- Character Formation: Accept the Bible as God’s written word to us and respond in obedient faith.
- Content Processing with Peers: Demonstrate an understanding of the theory and practice of biblical interpretation from a Wesleyan perspective.
- Ministry Capability Development: Demonstrate knowledge and skill in interpreting the Bible and applying it to a ministry context.
- Application in Mission and Community: Determine what the Bible says about loving one’s neighbor and demonstrate this through tangible acts of love.
- Asia-Pacific Module Handbook
- Student Handouts
- Lecture Slides
- Callen, Barry, & Thompson. Reading the Bible in Wesleyan Ways: Some Constructive Proposals.
- Fee, Gordon. How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth.
- Fringer. Engaging the Story of God.
- Interpreting Scripture. RIIE Course Module.
- Paper: “Report of the Scripture Study Committee to the 28thGeneral Assembly.”