Biblical Hermeneutics

Fall 2019 (September 15 - December 7th)

An overview of the principles of biblical hermeneutics, with attention to questions and issues related to historical and current perspectives related to the interpretation of Scripture. Interpretation will include Scriptural application to personal devotion, theological conviction, and ministry practice.


Learning Outcomes/Course Goals

Completion of this course should result in:
  • A growing ability to more accurately determine what God is saying in Scripture so that its truth can be trusted and transformation can be experienced.
  • An increased ability to research, analyze, and apply the truth in a way that shapes how the gospel is advanced.
  • Exposure to the world of Biblical scholarship that can inspire diligent study.

Course Format

Weekly online video instruction coordinated with textbook reading and online forum reflections/discussions. Workload: approximately five to seven hours per week.

Required Reading

Kaiser, Walter C., Jr., and Moisés Silva. Introduction to Biblical Hermeneutics: The Search for Meaning, 2d edition. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2007. ISBN 978-0-310-27951-8

Highly Recommended Resources

  • Grenz, Stanley J., David Guretzki, and Cherith Fee Nordling. Pocket Dictionary of Theological Terms. Downers Grove, Ill.” InterVarsity Press, 1999.
  • Patzia, Aruthur G., and Anthone J. Petrotta. Pocket Dictionary of Biblical Studies. Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 2002.

Recommended Reading

  • Carson, D. A. Exegetical Fallacies. 2d ed. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 1996.
  • Goldingay, John. Models for Interpretation of Scripture. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1995; Ontario: Clements Publishing, 2004. [Specific insights into interpreting  and communicating different types of biblical material]
  • Hendricks, Howard G., and William D. Hendricks. Living by the Book. Chicago: Moody Press, 1991. [Section on basic notions of interpretation]
  • Jasper, David. A Short Introduction to Hermeneutics, Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2004. [Historical and current practices for interpretation]
  • Klein, Dr. William W. Handbook for Personal Bible Study: Enriching Your Experience with God’s Word. Colorado Springs: NavPress, 2008. [Bible study methods, with sections on the nature and text of the Bible and biblical interpretation]
  • Osborne, Grant R. The Hermeneutical Spiral: A Comprehensive Introduction to Biblical Interpretation. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1991. [Advanced material]
  • Porter, Stanley E., and Beth M. Stovell. Biblical Hermeneutics: Fives Views. Downers Grove, Ill.: IVP Academic, 2012. [Advanced material]


(“Satisfactory” evaluation required for completion of the course)
1.    Weekly online posts and participation in online forum related to video instruction, class notes, and textbook reading
2.    Final essay (3–5 pages) that demonstrates the integration of course content with a contextual personal or ministry issue of biblical interpretation

Syllabus Overview

1. Introduction to Biblical Hermeneutics
2. Bibliology - Implications for Biblical Hermeneutics
3. A History of Biblical Interpretation
4. The Importance of Context
5. Compositional Analysis
6. Literary/Genre Analysis(1)
7. Literary/Genre Analysis(2)
8. Literary/Genre Analysis(3)
9. Canonical and Theological Analysis
10. Present Significance