Foundations of Biblical Interpretation
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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.
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|Section 1: Getting the Basics|
|This introduction gives a brief overview of the course and discusses why biblical interpretation is a valuable topic to explore.|
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.
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.
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.
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
|Section 2: The Centrality of Context|
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
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
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.
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
|In this concluding discussion, I briefly summarize and highlight the concepts outlined in the course.|