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Fall 2011

Fuller Northwest




NE502: EXEGETICAL METHOD AND PRACTICE (4 units). Richard J. Erickson


DESCRIPTION: This course introduces interpretive principles and practices for students of the Greek New Testament. It emphasizes the value of various methods for understanding NT texts in light of exegetical aims and assumptions. Students receive guidance in assessing various types of evidence, in the proper use of reference tools, and in the role of presuppositions in exegesis.

SIGNIFICANCE FOR LIFE AND MINISTRY: The paramount role of ministers of the “gospel of God” (Rom 1:1) is the prophetic exposition of the Word of God from Holy Scripture to a contemporary audience (1 Tim 4:13). This can only be done responsibly when ministers have a clear understanding of the task to which they are called and of the tools for performing it. This course will demonstrate its significance if it helps students to see themselves as both called to and capable of the task, with more enthusiasm for reading the Bible and for a deeper obedience to Scripture in their own lives.

LEARNING OUTCOMES: Having successfully completed this course, students will have demonstrated (1) ability to identify the strengths and weaknesses of a range of interpretive methods for the study of particular NT texts, and to apply these methods accordingly; (2) ability to articulate the impact of their own social location upon their reading of NT texts; and (3) a level of interpretive skill appropriate for effective leadership in Christian communities.

COURSE FORMAT: No more than half of weekly class time will be dedicated to lecture on method, at least half to hands-on application. A high degree of student participation is expected; students will be responsible for preparing assigned passages of the Greek NT to discuss in class. Class will meet weekly over ten weeks for a total of 35 in-class hours. In addition, a portion of class work will be conducted online in Moodle.


Š       González, J. L. Santa Biblia: The Bible through Hispanic Eyes. Nashville: Abingdon, 1996. ISBN: 9780687014521. $18.

Š       Green, Joel B., ed. Hearing the New Testament: Strategies for Interpretation. 2nd ed. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2010. ISBN 9780802864208. $28.

Š       ________. Seized by Truth: Reading the Bible as Scripture. Nashville: Abingdon, 2007. ISBN: 9780687023554. $25. To be read by the end of the first week of the quarter.

Š       deSilva, D. A. Honor, Patronage, Kinship & Purity: Unlocking New Testament Culture. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2000. ISBN 9780830815722. $25.


Students will be expected to consult the following throughout the quarter (which they should already have from LG512, or can use in the library):

Š       Either Aland, B., et al., eds. The Greek New Testament. 4th ed. United Bible Societies, 1994.
Or Idem. Novum Testamentum Graece. 27th ed. Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 1993.

Š       Bauer, W., F. W. Danker, W. F. Arndt, and F. W. Gingrich. A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and other Early Christian Literature. 3rd ed. University of Chicago Press, 2000.

Š       Metzger, Bruce M. A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament. 2nd ed. New York: American Bible Society, 1994.

Š       Wallace, Daniel B. Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics: An Exegetical Syntax of the New Testament. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996.

Š       See in addition the Biblical Division bibliography "Linguistic and Exegetical Books Required in the Master of Divinity Programs" available at http://schedule.fuller.edu/sot/ecds/Ling-Exeg-Biblio.html.



Each of the following assignments is worth 20% of the final grade:

1.     Journaling on assigned reading, submitted via Moodle bi-weekly.

2.     Contributions to ongoing Moodle discussion forums, including responses to interpretive exercises.

3.     Critical review of González, Santa Biblia (600-800 words, or 2-3 pages double-spaced).

4.     Three interpretive exercises on assigned texts (1,200 words each, or about 2 pages single-spaced).

5.     Final research paper on an assigned NT passage (2500 words, or 8 pages double spaced).


RELATIONSHIP TO CURRICULUM: Meets MDiv core requirement in Hermeneutics (HERM).