Bible Interpretation: Tools and Techniques – John DeMassa, Instructor
When: Saturday, 9:00 – 11:00 a.m. January 15th – March 5th
Where: Trinity Church, 300 North Benson Road, Fairfield, CT 06824
Instructor: Dr. John M. DeMassa
J. Scott Duvall and J. Daniel Hays, Grasping God’s Word: A Hands-On Approach to Reading, Interpreting, and Applying the Bible. 2nd Edition. (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2005).
Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart, How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth. 3rd Edition. (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2003).
R.C. Sproul, Knowing Scripture. Revised edition. (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Books, 2009).
Other materials may be assigned.
Course Objectives: This course is designed for anyone interested in learning more about how to interpret the Bible. A primary objective is to secure skills related to uncovering the original author-intended meaning of a passage, and discovering relevant personal applications. A practical interpretive approach will be presented to help guide the student through the most challenging biblical passages. Our ultimate objective will be to equip students to be responsible interpreters of the Bible, correctly handling the word of truth.
Course Outline: Our course will survey basic principles and guidelines for biblical interpretation. We will view interpretation as a four-stage journey that answers critical questions along the way. Included in the “journey” will be the development of skills on how to read the text at the basic word and sentence level then the paragraph and finally discourse levels (whole narratives). The historical and cultural background will be examined to shed light on the context of a passage. The student will also be exposed to various useful study tools such as Bible commentaries, dictionaries, and concordances. We will examine the role of the Holy Spirit throughout the interpretive journey. We will finally apply our techniques and tools to the Old and New Testaments, where we will discover the meaning of types, poetry, proverbs, parables, symbols, and prophecy.
Schedule of Classes:
|Spring Semester||Spring 2010|
|Session 1: Grasping God’s Word (and How to Read the Book)
|Session 2: Contexts-Then and Now
Duvall, ch.4: How To Read the Book, Part III
|Session 3: Contexts-Then and Now, Part II
Duvall, ch.7: The Literary Context
|Session 4: Meaning
Duvall, ch.10: Who Controls the Meaning?
|Session 5: Application
Duvall, ch.12: The Role of the Holy Spirit
Duvall, ch.13: Application
|Session 6: The Interpretive Journey-New Testament
Duvall, ch.14 : New Testament-Letters
|Session 7: The Interpretive Journey-New Testament/Old Testament
Duvall, ch.1 7: New Testament-Revelation
|Session 8: The Interpretive Journey-New Testament/Old Testament
Duvall, ch.20: Old Testament-Poetry
Attendance: Very important.
Homework: Projects or questions from each topic may be assigned for each session. These assignments are the responsibility of the student and should not be taken lightly. They will be collected, recorded and count toward your final grade. The best 7 assessments out of 8 will be weighted for the final grade.
Classes will meet at Trinity Church (room to be determined).
Details Subject to Change