Biblical Hermeneutics and History of Interpretation BIB634E

Published: October 23, 2021

Instructor: Paul Keim, PhD

The Bible occupies a central role in the life of the church, and it is essential for students to acquire a deep knowledge of the history of biblical interpretation and to develop competency in biblical hermeneutics. The history of interpreting the Bible by faith traditions in different places and different times continues to shape the questions that contemporary readers bring to the Bible. The process of interpreting the Bible is furthermore complicated by the diverse contexts of the readers of the Bible. This course will introduce students to the major methods of interpreting the Bible throughout the history of the early church, including allegorical and typological interpretations. Students will become acquainted with the interpretation of the Bible in the Reformation era (Luther, Calvin, and Anabaptists), and they will learn about modern methods of studying the Bible (e.g., historical, source, redaction criticism, etc.). Students will also engage with more recent methods of interpreting the Bible such as feminist, womanist, postcolonial, queer, and ecological criticism. The overall goal for the course is for students to develop their interpretive skills by way of engaging with tradition and recent developments in reading the Bible so that they may become equipped to preach and teach the Bible effectively in their own context.