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The Bible is a complex mix of literary genres that spans several centuries. Understanding how to properly read and interpret it is challenging. In these courses some of the brightest minds in biblical interpretation will teach you their methods. You’ll learn how to understand scripture in its original historical and literary contexts and grasp the messages the Old Testament and New Testament authors intended.
Resource Type: Courseware, including transcripts, audio, and video resources
Video Hours: 20
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BI103 Principles of Bible Interpretation
Instructor: Craig S. Keener
Video hours: 2
Join Dr. Craig Keener, a foremost expert in biblical backgrounds, as he provides principles for interpretation along with excellent examples. See the parable of the Prodigal Son through the eyes of a Pharisee, learn the dangers involved in using allegory rather than analogy, and appreciate the contrast between Emperor Augustus and Jesus in the story of the first Christmas. Dr. Keener draws from his meticulous research of the ancient world to show you how to interpret the Bible by understanding its cultural contexts, genres, and more.
Reading the Bible in Context
Understanding the Background of the Bible
Interpreting Different Genres in the Bible
Dr. Craig S. Keener is professor of New Testament at Asbury Theological Seminary, and is the author of 17 books, four of which have won book awards in Christianity Today. One, IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament, has sold more than half a million copies. He has authored scholarly commentaries on Matthew, John (two volumes), Acts (four volumes), and more briefly on Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, and Revelation.
BI131 Introducing Literary Interpretation
Instructor: Jeannine K. Brown
Video hours: 5
Many of us read the Bible a passage or verse at a time. In this course, Dr. Jeannine Brown shows the importance of understanding biblical books as a whole. With her clear and simple approach, Dr. Brown demonstrates three methods to help you grasp the specific messages intended by Old Testament and New Testament authors. Learn about the different literary genres in Scripture and see how authors used certain genres to communicate their message. Discover how to read a passage in its literary context, and understand the importance of the Bible’s historical setting.
Dr. Brown is passionate about helping people understand Scripture and provides the knowledge and practical tools to equip you in this task.
Important Terms: Exegesis, Contextualization, and Hermeneutics
In this course, Dr. John Walton guides students through the types of literature in the Old Testament. Beginning with narrative and continuing through prophecy, apocalyptic literature, wisdom literature, and the Psalms, this course explains how to best read and understand the Old Testament. Students should walk away with a strong interpretive framework through which they can grapple with the Old Testament. The course guides students into asking broader questions about the overall purpose of the Old Testament and God’s revelations throughout it.
Introducing the Professor and the Course
Unit 1: Foundations
Identifying Old Testament Genres
About the Old Testament
Introduction to Authority, Inspiration, and Revelation
Identifying Emphasis in Old Testament Narratives
What Sort of Reader?
Unit 2: Genres: Law
Law: Part 1
Law: Part 2
Finding English Translations of Ancient Legal Texts
Law: Part 3
Unit 3: Genres: Narrative
The Significance of Story
Misreading Biblical Narrative, Part 1
Using Visual Filters to Identify God as the Subject
Misreading Biblical Narrative, Part 2
Finding Practical Ways to Preach Old Testament Narratives
Ancient History Writing
Unit 4: Genres: Prophecy and Apocalyptic
Using the Bible Facts Report to Research the Role of a Prophet
Prophecy for the Present
Kinds of Prophetic Illocution
Search Parameters for the Prophetic Literature
The Message of the Prophets
Focusing on the Message
Prophecy and the New Testament
Locating Prophecies about Jesus
Unit 5: Genres: Wisdom and Psalms
Introduction to Wisdom
The Book of Job
Discovering Ancient Near Eastern Parallels to the Book of Job
The Book of Ecclesiastes
Song of Songs
Speaker Identifications in English Translations
Unit 6: Theology and Faith
Dr. John H. Walton is a professor of Old Testament at Wheaton College Graduate School. Before teaching at Wheaton, Dr. Walton taught at Moody Bible Institute for 20 years.
Develop a new level of competency in interpreting the New Testament with Dr. William Klein’s guidance and insight on New Testament genres. Learn how to interpret the different genres found in the New Testament epistles. Distinguish which events in Acts are meant to be descriptive, describing what happened, and which are meant to be prescriptive, instructing on how to live. Discover how the book of Revelation combines three genres, and how this affects its interpretation.
Dr. Klein concludes each unit with practice exercises. He challenges you to interpret a passage using the methods he describes, and then shows you step-by-step how he would interpret it.
The Book of Acts
The Book of Revelation
Dr. William W. Klein is professor of New Testament at Denver Seminary and serves as Chair of the Division of Biblical Studies. He edited and was the major contributor to Introduction to Biblical Interpretation, wrote the commentary on Ephesians in the Expositor's Bible Commentary, Revised Edition, and has consulted on several recent Bible versions, serving as chief exegetical consultant for the New Testament portion of The Message.