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Biblical Hermeneutics: Understanding Biblical Interpretation

Course Number: ML507

Professor:

President Emeritus and Distinguished Professor of Old Testament and Ethics at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, Massachusetts

Course Description:

The term hermeneutics can be intimidating. It sounds academic and is foreign to most of our vocabularies. However, the act of interpretation is as common as communication itself. This course will instruct in various parameters for biblical interpretation and will show how specific methods are applied to Bible study.

Course Objectives:

Upon completion of the course, you should be able to do the following:

1. Understand the characteristics of a good interpreter of Scripture.

2. Defend your position on whether a passage of Scripture can have only one or multiple meanings.

3. Describe the basic assumptions of the liberal schools of higher criticism of the Bible.

4. Articulate particular biblical theologies that provide argument for the unity for all of Scripture.

 

5. Identify and interpret literary devices used in biblical narratives.

6. Formulate teaching or preaching outlines of biblical narrative passages.

7. Appreciate the depth of understanding of Scripture that can be reached by a more complete understanding of poetry, proverbs, and allegory.

8. Recognize key interpretive clues as you approach the study of prophetic passages of Scripture.

9. Defend the relevance of the Old Testament for today’s world.

10. Understand the importance of context in correctly interpreting Scripture.

11. Cite numerous principles to be applied in seeking theological truths from Scripture.

12. Develop an attitude of both confidence and caution in interpreting Scripture doctrinally.

13. Explain the right relationship between authorial intent and the role of the reader in determining the meaning of a text.

14. Show how cultural aspects of the Bible can be used to teach overarching truths.

15. Discuss the concept of principlized application of Scripture to contemporary issues.

16. Commit to a regular practice of devotional Bible reading, prayer, and meditation.

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