MIN607: Biblical Interpretation
Instructor & Contact Information
The People tab in Canvas provides information on the course instructor and you can send a message to your instructor following these instructions. Faculty are expected to: 1) grade and return assignments, with feedback, within 7 days from the date of submission; 2) reply to your Canvas messages within 72 hours; 3) reply several times each week in total in the discussion forums (not to each individual student); and 4) demonstrate the core values of City Vision University.
This course trains students in a method of Biblical interpretation that enables them to read the Scripture faithfully according to its original audience meaning and apply it appropriately for their own ministry context and social location. The course also discusses the cultural and historical background of the Scripture and describes the genres of Biblical literature. Student work will focus on a Bible interpretation paper and talk for which students will select a particular passage of Scripture and apply it for their context.
After completing this course, you will be able to:
- Articulate why a deep understanding of Scripture is necessary for personal spiritual growth and ministry success.
- Practice a multi-step grammatical-historical method of Biblical interpretation, including application.
- Reflect on how Scripture reading can be a spiritual discipline, including use of the ancient method of lectio divina.
- Interpret the primary genres of Scripture, with sensitivity to the distinctions between them.
- Reflect on how your social location affects how you interpret the Bible in ways that enable you to identify blind spots and have a more complete understanding of the Bible that promote your own growth as well as your ability to serve cross-culturally
- Deliver an inspirational Bible talk using a proper Biblical interpretation method, providing applications targeted at the needs of a particular audience
Degree Program Outcomes
Degree outcomes are the overall skills and knowledge we expect you will have after successfully completing a degree program at City Vision University. After completing the degree, you will be able to do the following in each of the listed domains.
- Bible & Theology. Use sound principles of Biblical interpretation and Christian theology to understand the structure, themes and content of the Bible and apply and communicate that well in local contexts.
- Applied Theology. Develop a theological vision that is a faithful restatement of the gospel with transformative power in a particular culture at a moment in history.
- Vocation. Create plans to achieve your own personal vocation and calling as well as bringing social change to the world in line with Christian values.
- Spiritual Formation for Healthy Leadership. Develop plans for inner character development and outer strategies needed for healthy leadership & organizations.
- Cross-Cultural Ministry. Develop strategy for effective cross-cultural management and ministry and apply that to your own organizational or ministry context.
- Organizational Skills. Demonstrate professional competencies in a specialty area appropriate for leadership roles in nonprofit organizations and ministries.
- Strategy. Integrate a wide range of organizational leadership skills into a strategic plan for developing an organization centered around a biblical philosophy of ministry for your context.
This course supports degree outcomes 1 and 2.
Students are required to purchase these texts before the first day of classes.
- Duvall, J. Scott, and Hays, J. Daniel. (2020). Grasping God’s Word: A Hands-On Approach to Reading, Interpreting, and Applying the Bible. 4th ed. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.
- Bobo, L. B. (2016). A Layperson’s Guide to Biblical Interpretation: A Means to Know the Personal God. Resource Publications.
- Students should pick one of the following books:
- McCaulley, E. (2020). Reading While Black: African American Biblical Interpretation as an Exercise in Hope. IVP Academic.
- Richards, E. R., & James, R. (2020). Misreading Scripture with Individualist Eyes: Patronage, Honor, and Shame in the Biblical World. IVP Academic.
- Richards, E. R., & O’Brien, B. J. (2012). Misreading Scripture with Western Eyes: Removing Cultural Blinders to Better Understand the Bible (1st edition). IVP.
- Roth, F. A., Smith, J. M., Oh, K. S., Yafeh-Deigh, A., & Smith, K. H. (2022). Reading the Bible Around the World: A Student’s Guide to Global Hermeneutics (Student edition). IVP Academic.
Notes Regarding Bible Requirements for this Course
- Students will be reading selections from the Bible in each week of the course and will also use it in their exegetical project.
- The Bible can be found online for free in many translations, such as at BibleHub.com or BibleGateway.com. These sites also include other free resources that may be helpful for your exegetical paper. You can find additional free Bible study resources here.
- If you can access a study Bible, we recommend its use, so its notes and study aids (such as cross-references) may be used in the chapter exercises and exegetical project.
Guidelines for Written Work
All written work must follow our Writing Format and Forum Requirements. You must read these to understand how to cite sources appropriately.
Critical Policies to Read for This Course
Note: These policies are critical for all students to read. In case of change, we have linked to the versions on our website to make sure you have the latest version.
This syllabus is subject to change without notice up until the first day of the semester. Last updated: September 29, 2023