School of Biblical Interpretation

The purpose of courses in the School of Biblical Interpretation is fivefold:

  • Acquaint the student with the tools for Bible study.
  • Enable the student to begin building a biblical foundation for theology and practice.
  • Encourage the development of an integrated method for Bible study.
  • Foster a commitment to a lifelong study of the Bible and to its use in Christian ministry.
  • Proclaim effectively, with biblical, theological and historical integrity, the message of the Scriptures to the contemporary world.

Some courses in the School are general in nature, dealing with the entire Scriptures. Other courses are related to specific portions of the Scriptures. The entire School is committed to the realization of the five objectives listed above, but each department has its own primary area of responsibility.

The Department of Old Testament seeks to prepare you to interpret the Old Testament responsibly, which involves accurate understanding of Hebrew patterns of thought and expression, knowledge of the historical contexts in which Hebrew thought was formulated, and acquaintance with the history of Old Testament interpretation.

The Department of New Testament intends that you will exemplify the capacity for, and appreciation of, the critical study of the New Testament, and particularly that you will demonstrate understanding of the New Testament in its historical contexts. You will develop the ability to work with the Greek New Testament, making use of appropriate linguistic resources and evidence the ability to engage in the study of the New Testament in such a way that it will lead to personal and social transformation.

The Department of Inductive Biblical Studies introduces you to a systematic, comprehensive approach to Bible study within which you can integrate the rest of your study of Scripture and bridge to other areas of the curriculum. The hermeneutic embraced moves all the way from initial observation and interpretation of a text in its literary and historical contexts to the appropriation of that text’s original meaning within the contemporary world, an appropriation performed in light of that text’s function within the canon as a whole. The concern is that you will be able to correlate the meaning of individual passages to the whole of biblical revelation. Emphasis is placed on developing the your own abilities to observe specifically, accurately, and thoroughly both the content and structure of scriptural units, to reason inferentially and validly from evidence gathered, and to conduct this independent, direct study of Scripture in informed conversation with the entire range of secondary sources available to students of Scripture.

The Department of Biblical Theology seeks to engage the Bible specifically as Christian Scripture, with an emphasis on its integral theological character.