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Mobile Ed: BI101 Introducing Biblical Interpretation: Contexts and Resources (5 hour course)

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The Bible is a vast, complex book, and while some of its contents can be understood by a child, much of it requires careful thought. How do we interpret the Bible correctly? Why do biblical scholars disagree on interpretation?

Dr. Michael Heiser introduces students to the science and art of Bible interpretation. The Bible is a book written for us but not to us, so accurate interpretation needs to be informed by the ancient worldview of the biblical writers, their historical circumstances, cultural and religious beliefs of their day, literary genre, and the original languages of the Bible. Learn the necessary tools for accurate and meaningful biblical interpretation.

Resource Experts

Learning Objectives

Upon successful completion you should be able to:

  • Understand a variety of difficulties inherent to biblical interpretation
  • Grasp the crucial role of context for biblical interpretation
  • Comprehend the need for competence in various fields—worldview, history, religion, literature—for accuracy in biblical interpretation
  • Be aware of academic resources for recovering the contexts of the biblical writers
  • Understand the differences in types of biblical commentaries
  • Be acquainted with a range of biblical genres and literary devices
  • Appreciate the role of literary genre in discovering the meaning of a biblical text
  • Comprehend how word form and word relationships contribute to word meaning

Course Outline


  • Introducing the Speaker and Course
  • My Task

Unit 1: Obstacles to Interpretation

  • Meaning Is Not Self-Evident
  • Obstacle #1: Presuppositions
  • Obstacle #2: Author
  • Obstacle #3: Reader
  • Obstacle #4: Medium
  • Obstacle #5: Meaning
  • Obstacle #6: Translation
  • Obstacle #7: Precedent
  • Obstacle #8: Context
  • Obstacle #9: Relevance
  • Obstacle #10: Validation

Unit 2: Seeing the Bible in Context

  • Reading Isn’t Seeing
  • Three Biblical Contexts

Unit 3: Worldview Context

  • Introduction to Worldview Context
  • Historical Context
  • Cultural Context
  • Religious Context
  • Tools for Worldview Context
  • Primary Sources
  • Reference Works
  • Academic Monographs
  • Bible Commentaries
  • Devotional or Popular Commentaries
  • Expositional Commentaries
  • Scholarly Commentaries
  • Journal Articles
  • Digital Resources

Unit 4: Literary Context

  • Introduction to Literary Context
  • Genre
  • How Genre Influences Meaning
  • Genre and Structure

Unit 5: Literary Context: Old Testament Genres

  • Old Testament Narratives
  • Genealogies
  • Legal Texts
  • Psalms and Prayers
  • Types of Psalms
  • Psalm Interpretation
  • Wisdom Literature
  • Proverbs
  • Old Testament Prophecy and Apocalyptic
  • Interpreting Prophetic Literature

Unit 6: Literary Context: New Testament Genres

  • New Testament Narrative
  • Gospels
  • Epistles
  • New Testament Hymns
  • Domestic Codes
  • Virtue/Vice Lists
  • New Testament Apocalyptic

Unit 7: Literary Context: Understanding Prophecy

  • Fulfillment
  • Literalism and Single Intent
  • Amos 9 and Acts 15: Part 1
  • Amos 9 and Acts 15: Part 2
  • Sensus Plenior: Part 1
  • Sensus Plenior: Part 2
  • Analogical Fulfillment
  • Typological Fulfillment

Unit 8: Literary Context: Literary Devices

  • Chiasm
  • Gematria
  • Hyperbole
  • Imagery
  • Metaphor
  • Merism
  • Parallelism

Unit 9: Linguistic Context

  • Introduction to Linguistic Context
  • Word Level
  • Working at the Word Level
  • Word-Level Analysis
  • Summary of Three Competencies

Unit 10: Application and Conclusion

  • Individual and Pastoral Application
  • Conclusion to the Course

Product Details

  • Title: BI101 Introducing Biblical Interpretation: Contexts and Resources
  • Instructor: Michael S. Heiser
  • Publisher: Lexham Press
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Product Type: Logos Mobile Education
  • Resource Type: Courseware, including transcripts, audio, and video resources
  • Courses: 1
  • Video Hours: 5
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About the Instructor

Dr. Michael S. Heiser is a former Scholar-in-Residence for Faithlife Corporation, the makers of Logos Bible Software. He currently serves as Executive Director of the Awakening School of Theology and Ministry at Celebration Church in Jacksonville, Florida. His varied academic background enables him to operate in the realm of critical scholarship and the wider Christian community. His experience in teaching at the undergraduate level and writing for the layperson have both directly contributed to Logos’ goal of adapting scholarly tools for nonspecialists.

Dr. Heiser earned his PhD in Hebrew Bible and Semitic languages and holds and MA in ancient history and Hebrew studies. He is the coeditor of Old Testament Greek Pseudepigrapha with Morphology and Semitic Inscriptions: Analyzed Texts and English Translations, and can do translation work in roughly a dozen ancient languages, including Biblical Hebrew, Greek, Aramaic, Egyptian hieroglyphs, and Ugaritic cuneiform. He also specializes in Israelite religion (especially Israel’s divine council), contextualizing biblical theology with Israelite and ancient Near Eastern religion, Jewish binitarianism, biblical languages, ancient Semitic languages, textual criticism, comparative philology, and Second Temple period Jewish literature. In addition, he was named the 2007 Pacific Northwest Regional Scholar by the Society of Biblical Literature.

Getting the most out of Mobile Ed

Logos Mobile Education is a highly effective cross-platform learning environment that integrates world class teaching with the powerful study tools and theological libraries available in Logos Bible Software. Every course provides links to additional resources and suggested readings that supplement the lecture material at the end of every transcript segment.

This course comes with an Activities resource that functions as a type of “workbook” for the course. This resource includes learning activities such as: places for you to respond to reflection questions, exercises that will challenge and show you how deepen your understanding of this course by using specific Logos tools and resources, tutorial videos on different features of Logos Bible Software, and links to relevant Logos guides and tools. A link to open the Activities resource is conveniently placed at the end of every segment.



6 ratings

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  1. Matt DeVore

    Matt DeVore


  2. Joseph E

    Joseph E


  3. Zak Feacher

    Zak Feacher


  4. Ron Grimes

    Ron Grimes


    I would disagree with the "New Testament Genre" unit where "Tragedy" has the following description: "There’s also something called midrash, that NT scholars have looked at the Gospels and been able to compare it with the Jewish genre or technique called midrash. What midrash is is it’s a retelling of sacred traditions that preceded whatever it is you’re writing." Midrash is Jewish commentary on Hebrew scripture. It is not a "retelling" of sacred traditions.
  5. Matt Hamrick

    Matt Hamrick


  6. James Brooks

    James Brooks



Collection value: $274.99
Save $85.00 (30%)
Payment plans available in cart