History of Biblical Interpretation

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This course in the History of Biblical Interpretation assumes that the student is familiar with the basic theories of biblical interpretation, and builds upon this knowledge to explore traditional and recent methods of critical biblical interpretation by the study of some of its major proponents. Consideration is given to both the development of biblical interpretation and the various methods currently employed.


  • to understand the history of the development of biblical interpretation
  • to recognize the major scholars who have influenced biblical criticism and interpretation
  • to know the major forms of biblical interpretation, both traditional and recent
  • to gain expert knowledge of at least one traditional method and one recent method previously not studied by the student but embodied by a major proponent


  • to be and become a responsible interpreter of the Bible, in light of knowledge of the history and development of biblical interpretation
  • to appreciate the insights into interpretation gained through the development of biblical interpretation
  • to reflect an attitude of intellectual humility before the panoply of interpretive methods
  • to allow God to shape you as a reflective biblical interpreter who wishes to build the church and instruct his people


  • to apply both traditional and recent methods of interpretation to various portions of the biblical text
  • to express your understanding of biblical interpretation in both written and oral form
  • to raise and handle significant hermeneutical questions that emerge from study of the history of biblical interpretation and respond appropriately to such questions
  • to learn to respond constructively and creatively to the use of a variety of critical interpretive methods
  • to be able to differentiate between productive and unproductive methods of biblical understanding and to employ those that lead to theological knowledge and spiritual growth