Foundations of Biblical Interpretation
4.6 (6 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
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Foundations of Biblical Interpretation

Learn central concepts to help you understand, interpret, and apply the Bible
4.6 (6 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
150 students enrolled
Created by Branson Parler
Last updated 1/2013
English
Current price: $10 Original price: $20 Discount: 50% off
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Includes:
  • 5.5 hours on-demand video
  • 9 Supplemental Resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • In this course, you will learn 1) how to read the Bible with awareness of historical and cultural context.
  • 2) How to read the Bible with attentiveness to the literary characteristics of the text
  • 3) How to read the Bible with knowledge of the big story of the Bible.
  • 4) How to read the Bible with self-awareness regarding the theological and cultural presuppositions that shape our interpretation of the Bible.
View Curriculum
Requirements
  • There are suggested readings that accompany each lecture, but those readings are not required.
Description

This course is for those who find the Bible interesting, enlightening, confusing, or all of the above! This course explores the foundations of biblical interpretation and provides students with key tools for reading, interpreting, and applying the Bible in the contemporary world. There are nine lectures in the course (over 5 hours of content), with accompanying PowerPoints.

Who is the target audience?
  • Anyone who wants to grow in their understanding of how to interpret the Bible better.
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Curriculum For This Course
Expand All 11 Lectures Collapse All 11 Lectures 06:49:34
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Getting the Basics
6 Lectures 03:07:15
This introduction gives a brief overview of the course and discusses why biblical interpretation is a valuable topic to explore.
Preview 10:20

This lecture covers the centrality of the two great commands--love of God and love of neighbor--in guiding our interpretation of the Bible.
In case you would like to do the same reading that my students do in class, I've included that information with each lecture. Doing the reading will give you greater insight into the matters discussed in each lecture, but the lectures can be understood without the reading.
Background reading (optional): Augustine, De Doctrina Christiana (On Christian Doctrine), Book 1, chap. 35 - Book 2, chap. 5. Click here to read this text for free online.
Preview 36:27

This lectures discusses some common ways that we misread and misinterpret Scripture.

Background reading: How to Read the Bible in Changing Times by Mark L. Strauss, pp. 13-39.

Bad Ways of Reading the Bible
37:41

This lecture discusses different ways in which our own context shapes how we interpret Scripture. We need to learn to become self-aware readers of Scripture so that we can properly understand the meaning of the text, as opposed to imposing our own meaning on the text.
Background reading: Grasping God's Word, 3rd edition by J. Scott Duvall and J. Daniel Hays, pp.137-147.
Reader's Context
30:08

This lecture discusses the importance of the Holy Spirit in our interpretation of Scripture, covering topics such as inspiration and illumination.

Background reading: How to Read the Bible in Changing Times by Mark L. Strauss, pp.41-56.

The Role of the Holy Spirit
24:57

If we are going to properly interpret any text of Scripture, we must have a good understanding of the overarching narrative of Scripture. This lecture summarizes the basic story of Scripture, from Genesis to Revelation.
Background Reading: How to Read the Bible in Changing Times by Mark L. Strauss, pp.56-68
Preview 47:42
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The Centrality of Context
5 Lectures 02:16:19
This lecture explains why understanding the historical-cultural context of Scripture is so important to properly interpreting the Bible.

Background Reading: Grasping God's Word, 3rd edition by Duvall and Hays, 115-136

Historical-Cultural Context
35:38

This lectures discusses the importance of literary context, which includes surrounding context and literary genre.
Background Reading: Grasping God's Word, 3rd edition by Duvall and Hays, 149-162
Literary Context
38:25

This lecture discusses the centrality of Christ for interpreting the narrative of Scripture. It also walks through an interpretive tool called the quadriga, which is helpful especially for interpreting Old Testament texts.

Background reading: "The Quadriga, or Something Like it: A Biblical and Pastoral Defense," by Peter Leithart (in Ancient Faith for the Church's Future). Partially available online here.

Jesus, the Center of Scripture
40:13

This lecture discusses the idea of a "heart of God hermeneutic," a way to think about how to apply the Bible today. Before watching the lecture, take a few minutes to complete the Bible Application Activity (included below). This activity should raise some questions in your mind and help you think more about the complexity of applying or living out the Bible today. 

Background reading: How to Read the Bible in Changing Times by Mark L. Strauss, pp.69-92

A Heart of God Hermeneutic
16:28

In this concluding discussion, I briefly summarize and highlight the concepts outlined in the course.
Conclusion
05:35
About the Instructor
Branson Parler
4.6 Average rating
6 Reviews
150 Students
1 Course
Bible/Theology Professor at Kuyper College

 Branson Parler (PhD, Calvin Theological Seminary) is Associate Professor of Theological Studies at Kuyper College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he teaches courses in Bible, Theology, and Philosophy. For more information, you can visit his website at www.bransonparler.com.