Exegetical Methods

Spring 2018 (February 5 - April 29)

Sharpen your biblical interpretation and study skills, and become more confident in your ability to rightly divide the Word of Truth through this course, which provides a basic overview of the principles and practices of biblical exegesis with special attention to the use of exegetical aids, such as dictionaries, lexicons, concordances, and critical commentaries. Assignments will focus on how exegetical decisions are made, and how we move from the exegesis of the text to our appropriation of it in life and ministry.

Learning Outcomes/Course Goals

Completion of this course should result in:
  • a practiced study of several different methods in the process of interpretation
  • exposure to and practice with a variety of lexical and grammatical resources
  • a basic understanding of textual criticism and translations
  • a more clear understanding of the interplay of the human and divine aspects of the biblical text.

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

Gorman, Michael J. Elements of Biblical Exegesis: A Basic Guide for Students and Ministers. Revised and Expanded Edition. Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson Publishers, 2010. ISBN 978-0-8010-4640-7

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 Diction640ary of Biblical Studies. Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 2002.

Recommended Reading/Resources

  • Carson, D. A. Exegetical Fallacies. 2d ed. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 1996.
  • Erickson, Richard J. A Beginner's Guide to New Testament Exegesis: Taking the Fear Out of Critical Method. Downers Grove, Ill.: IVP Academic, 2005.
  • Hayes, John H., and Carl R. Holladay. Biblical Exegesis: A Beginner’s Handbook. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2007.
  • Stuart, Douglas. Old Testament Exegesis: A Handbook for Students and Pastors, 4th ed. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2009.
  • 8-volume resource set of Dictionary of _____ (e.g., Jesus and the Gospels). Series published by InterVarsity Press from 1992–2012, with a large number of scholarly contributors and an editorial team for each volume.
(“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

Exegetical Methods – Overview of Session Topics

1. Introduction to Exegetical Methods
2. The Text
3. The Survey
4. Contextual Analysis
5. Formal Analysis
6. Detailed Analysis
7. Source Analysis
8. Synthesis
9. Reflection
10. Exegetical Fallacies