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RELS 101.10 Workshop on Old Testament Exegesis

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Andrew Perrin

on 19 October 2016

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Transcript of RELS 101.10 Workshop on Old Testament Exegesis

Workshop on
Old Testament Interpretation

Introduction to Old Testament Studies
Trinity Western University

What are the
of interpretation?
Know your passage:
Read through your selected passage several times, using different methods to immerse yourself in the text (e.g., reading out loud, highlighting/underlining important details, reading different translations).
Genre analysis:
A good exegetical study will strike a balance between focusing on the
of a passage.
Identify what literary genre you are dealing with. This may give you some hints as to what type of material you will encounter, how it fits with the immediate context, as well as give provide some potential clues about key literary themes/emphases. Most often it is possible to make a general generic observation that can be refined later in light of secondary research.
Literary analysis:
The point of analyzing the literary structure of a text is to:
Understand how your passage fits with the material around it (immediate context), within the book (wider context), and within the anthology of the Bible (canonical context).
Establish the structure of the passage.
Identify the key themes, ideas, and messages present in the section.
Historical context:
The point of exploring the historical background of the text is to:
Recover something of the historical world behind or depicted in your passage.
Ascertain relevant details of the historical context of the author who penned the text.
Consider any relevant ancient extra-biblical parallels or sources that shed light on the passage.
Effective biblical interpretation focuses on a delimited passage of scripture,
unpacks its original meanin
, (insofar as this can be recaptured), and uses these insights
to guide the application of its 'plain sense
meaning for the contemporary world.

In short, we want to try and hear what the text
The Art & Science of Biblical Interpretation
theological significance
contemporary relevance
Study Bible
Short introductions to each book and study notes provide concise and thoughtful insights on the 'must know' info.
Bible Dictionaries
Provide articles and entries on people, places, and topics relevant to biblical studies.
Proceed verse-by-verse and explain the background, context, and meanings of biblical books.
Journal Articles
Detailed studies of a given topic, issue, or passage, written from an academic perspective.
"10 Commandments," Bible trading card by Providence Litograph Company (1907)
brainstorming the "thou shalt" and "shalt nots" of biblical interpretation
What is one best practice for conducting an informed interpretation of an Old Testament passage? What is one common pitfall to avoid?
Vintage chart tracking world history out of the pages of Daniel to the year 1843, when William Miller, a lay Baptist preacher whose teachings would later be embraced by several Adventist groups and Jehovah's Witness movement, calculated Jesus would return and set up the everlasting Kingdom of God.
did the world end
in 1843?
Shopping books by genre on the iTunes store:
Shopping books by genre on the iTunes store:
Shopping books by genre on the iTunes store:
Sample Page: Taking Cues from the Translators
"Here you can make the transition from recapturing what a text meant in its ancient context, to the larger more contemporary question of what the text means today. This component of your thinking and research has the potential of being the most controversial and subjective.
The key is to ensure that your proposals here are in some way linked to the insights you uncovered in your research on the above mentioned points. That is, the meaning of the text for today is in some way related to its meaning back then.
It may be that the specific message of your text still holds value or that the general idea of your passage is a timeless truth. Perhaps your passage has something to say about a given attitude, issue, or value that is contentious today. How does your passage speak into that? Are there parallel issues in our modern context to those addressed in the ancient context?"
Don't start here:
Take a
P Test at Your Local Library!
(Acronym/test courtesy of the Meriam Library, California State University at Chico)
: The timeliness of the information

: The importance of the information for you needs

: The source of the information

: The reliability, truthfulness, and correctness of the content

: The reason the information exists
Full transcript