ISSUES IN INTERPRETATION Syllabus
GB 216, Spring 2011
Mark Moore
Office: 624-2518 x2711
Home: 782-8379
markmoore@occ.edu
http://markmoore.org

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Term's Quiz Flashcards
Sample Test #1
Sample Test #2
Sample Test #3

Millennial Views Slide Show

Objectives | projects | textbooks | Schedule | Grades | Essential Reading | Class Policies

Course Description: An examination of various approaches of biblical interpretation. The course begins with an historical survey and culminates with an array of contemporary approaches of current issues. Students learn to recognize, critique, and implement these current hermeneutical practices. Prerequisite: PI 215 Principles of Interpretation. (3 hours).


OBJECTIVES:
  1. Students will be able to identify philosophic and methodological presuppositions behind a broad array of hermeneutical constructs through a historical survey of hermeneutics.

  2. Students will be able to evaluate the major current trends in hermeneutics and show how they affect and are affected by social, political and theological settings.

  3. To better understand the Holy Spirit's role in interpretation and to allow him to participate with us in exegesis and homiletics.

  4. Students will be able to augment the historical/grammatical method of interpretation with other methods which will broaden one’s approach to and understanding of scripture and its contemporary application.


PROJECTS:
  1. Using the Google Docs template provided through your OCC email, choose one of the major historical Bible interpreters out of Yarkin and write a one page summary of his/her life and work. You will need to provide not only biographical and hermeneutical information on this figure, you will also have to provide (a) primary and secondary bibliographical material (books or journal articles about this person, at least one web resource about this person, a web link to their original work if available), (b) a summary of 20 pages of original source material that you have personally read, and (d) three test questions that an informed student should be able to answer. In addition, each student will give a 5 minute class presentation.

  2. Critique one journal article for four of the following topics: Postmodernism; Deconstruction; Liberation Theology; Nationalism, Black, Feminist, Homosexual, Restoration, Islamic, Pentecostal or Catholic hermeneutics. Your articles may be either an example of the method applied exegetically, or an evaluation of the method itself. You will turn in your four articles for approval (2a). On the day the topic is covered in class you will turn in a one page critique (double spaced). They must include a clear description of the hermeneutical method, the dangers each presents, and the positive contribution each may make to proper  interpretation.  

  3. Write a two page book report on Return to Babel. Your first sentence is to be a confessional statement of how much of the book you read. Then, list 3-5 dominant characteristics and methods of Asian, African, and Latin American Hermeneutics, citing specific page numbers the manifest these characteristics.

  4. Write a thorough critique of a fiction piece (film or book) which deals with the return of Jesus. Identify the author’s millennial position and presuppositions and critique his/her use of Scripture. Your critique must demonstrate a functional understanding of each of the major millennial positions as discussed in class.


TEXTBOOKS:

Clouse, Robert (Ed). The Meaning of the Millennium. Downer's Grove, IL: IVP, 1997.

Montague, George. Understanding the Bible. New York: Paulist Press, 1997.

Pope-Levison, Priscilla & Levison, John. Return to Babel. Louisville: John Knox, 1999

Yarchin, William. History of Biblical Interpretation: A Reader. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2005.


SCHEDULE:

Date

Topic

Reading

Date

Topic

Reading

1/17

Introduction

 

3/13

Herm. Shifts

Mont 129-62

1/18

Critical Theories

Mont 1-7

3/14

Literary

Yar 307-19, 361-82

1/19

Overview

Yar 236-275

3/15

Reader Resp.

Mont 163-74

 

 

 

 

 

 

1/24

Rabbinic

Yar 3-28

3/27

Post-modernism

Yar 415-429

1/25

Numerology

Yar 111-48

3/28

Deconstruction

 

1/26

Apostolic

Yar 31-85

3/29

Psychology

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1/31

O.T. in N.T.

Mont 28-48

4/3

Social Science

 

2/1

IFW

 

4/4

Nationalism

 

2/2

Holy Spirit

NB 30-32

4/5

Liberation/Black

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2/7

Allegory

Terms Quiz

4/10

Feminist

Yar 383-97

2/8

Presentations

 

4/11

Homosexual

Project #3

2/9

Presentations

 

4/12

Restorationism

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2/14

Authoritative

Mont 49-67

4/17

Catholic

Mont 201-32

2/15

Presentations

 

4/18

Islamic

 

2/16

Scholasticism

Yar 93-108

4/10

Test #2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2/21

Reformation

Yar 184-207

4/24

Introduction

 

2/22

Cult. vs. Univ.

Yar 218-35

4/25

Millennialism

Clouse 7-13

2/23

Problem Pass.

Mont 68-95

4/26

Historic Premill

Clouse 17-59

 

 

 

 

 

 

2/28

P&T

 

5/1

Disp. Premill

Clouse 63-103

2/29

P&T

 

5/2

Postmillennialism

Clouse 117-152

3/1

No Class

 

5/3

Amillennialism

Clouse 155-212

 

 

 

 

 

 

3/6

Enlightenment

Yar 320-32, 351-60

5/8

Preterists

Project #4

3/7

Modernism

Project 2a

5/9

Test #3

 

3/8

Test #1

 

5/10

Looking Ahead

 

NB = Class Notebook; Mont = George Montague, Understanding the Bible


GRADES:

      Projects 40%; Tests 40%; Quiz 05%; Final 15%


ESSENTIAL READING FOR ISSUES IN INTERPRETATION

Philosophical Issues:

  • Black, David & Dockery, David (eds). New Testament Criticism and Interpretation. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1991. (This volume is particularly helpful with higher criticism and modem hermeneutical developments).

  • Gadamer, Hans-Georg. Truth and Method. New York: Seabury, 1975. (Argues philosophically that the reader brings himself to the text and rather than understanding the author, s/he fuses their “horizon” with his or her own.)

  • Osborne, Grant R. Hermeneutical Spiral: A Comprehensive Introduction to Biblical Interpretation. Downers Grove, Ill: InterVarsity, 1991. (This is a weighty work showing the interplay between the text, author and interpreter in the process of interpretation).

  • Thistleton, Anthony. The Two Horizons: New Testament Hermeneutics and Philosophical Description. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1980.

  • Vanhoozer, Kevin J. Is There a Meaning in This Text. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1998. (A very powerful analysis of the challenge of Deconstruction. His response is a theology of hermeneutics based upon the person of God).

Historical Issues:

  •  Bray, Gerald.  Biblical Interpretation Past and Present. Downers Grove, IL: IVP, 1996. (Extremely thorough coverage of the history of interpretation. Especially helpful with names and bibliography).

  • Farrar, F. W. History of Interpretation.  Grand Rapids: Baker (reprint), 1886. (Probably the classic on the history of Bible interpretation. Very thorough, filled with great tidbits of information).

  • Grant, Robert M., and Tracy, David.  A Short History of the Interpretation of the Bible.  Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1984. (Quite readable history of interpretation).

  • Lubac, Henri. Medieval Exegesis, 2 vols. Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1959. (This two-volume set examines one of the most difficult and sparse periods of biblical interpretation).

  • McKim, Donald (ed). Historical Handbook of Major Bible Interpreters. Downers Grove, Ill: InterVarsity Press, 1998. (This is a fabulous brief summary of the major players in hermeneutics historically).

  • Neill, Stephen and Tom Wright, The Interpretation of the New Testament: 1861­-1986. Oxford: Oxford, 1988. (This is a survey of the major voices in modern biblical interpretation).

  • Silva, Moises.  Has the Church Misread the Bible? (The history of interpretation in the light of current Issues) Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1987. (Clear demonstration of the contemporary importance of hermeneutics; somewhat dated now).

  • Yarchin, William (ed). History of Biblical Interpretation: A Reader. Peabody, MA: Hendrikson, 2004. (This reader is a treasury of original source material from major historical interpreters).

Sociological Issues:

  • Bailey, Randall (ed). Yet with a Steady Beat: Contemporary U. S. Afrocentric Biblical Interpretation. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2003. (Bailey’s collection of essays demonstrates the hermeneutical methods and practical uses of Scripture among African Americans).

  • González, Justo. Santa Biblia: The Bible Through Hispanic Eyes. Nashville: Abingdon, 1996. (This little volume introduces the reader to the primary issues undergirding Hispanic hermeneutics).

  • Goss, Robert E. and Mona West (eds.). Take Back the Word: A Queer Reading of the Bible. Cleveland, OH: The Pilgrim Press, 2000. (This is a radically pro-gay perspective on the Bible).

  • Khiok-khng, Yeo. What Has Jerusalem to do with Beijing? Harrisburg, PA: Trinity Press International, 1998. (This volume offers one perspective on the hermeneutical methods and concerns of Asia).

  • Levison, John R. and Priscilla Pope-Levison (eds.), Return to Babel: Global Perspectives on the Bible. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 1999.  (Five OT and five NT texts are examined by a Latin American, African, and Asian biblical scholar. The differences are marked).

  • Schüssler Fiorenza, Elisabeth (ed.). Searching the Scriptures: A Feminist Introduction. New York: Crossroad, 1993. (This collection of essays is a fair introduction to feminist perspectives on biblical interpretation).

  • Sugirtharajah, R. S. (ed.). Voices from the Margin: Interpreting the Bible in the Third World. London: SPCK, 1991. (This collection of essays highlights the issues and concerns voiced by the majority Christians who live outside the western world and elite academy).

  • Webb, William. Slaves, Women & Homosexuals: Exploring Hermeneutics of Cultural Analysis. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2001. (He argues that if slavery and inequality of women were cultural issues approved by the bible but later dismissed by the church, so too might homosexuality be).

  • Yamauchi, Edwin M. Africa and the Bible. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2004. (This is a helpful description of the cultural template used by Africans to interpret the Bible).


CLASS POLICIES:

    ADA Accommodation: If you have a disability and are requesting an accommodation, please contact the Executive Director of Admissions at 417-624-2518 Extension 2006 as soon as possible.

    Attendance: Absences over 6 will result in the failure of this course as outlined in the college catalogue (page 53-4). Four tardies will be counted as one absence. If a student arrives fifteen minutes after class or leaves fifteen minutes before class is over it will be counted as an absence. 

    Homework: Late work is unacceptable. Assignments and projects are due at the beginning of the class period on which they are assigned.  If you are absent, you are still responsible for having your work brought to class and turned in for you. All work is to be typed unless otherwise noted.

    Tests: Should you miss an exam you will take a different exam and you will have exactly one week to make it up from the class period on which it was given. You may take it at the testing center (L12) after paying a $5 late fee in the business office.

    Cheating/Plagiarism: Cheating will result in a zero on the assignment in question and a mandatory meeting with the dean of students to determine further discipline which may include failure in the class or dismissal from the college. Cheating  includes but is not limited to (1) using material from another student for tests, memory, or term papers, (2) not properly citing sources in papers and assignments so as to make it look original, (3) using cheat sheets – written or electronic – for tests or quizzes.







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