Course Summary

The principles required for responsible interpretation of the Old Testament

The primary task of the course is to determine how select texts of scripture should be studied in order to understand the author’s original intent. BRS 19 assumes the student has a working knowledge of the nature and content of the Old Testament. The course is organized in five modules. These modules are designed to help the student develop a framework for his/her own investigation of various parts of the Old Testament. The modules are (1) Interpreting Old Testament Literature, (2) Narrative and History, (3) Law, (4) Prophetic Announcements, and (5) Lament, Praise, and Wisdom. 5 semester hours of undergraduate credit. Recommended prerequisites: BRS 1 and 3. A Bible post-test will be required at the end of BRS 19.


• Formulate the mechanics of biblical interpretation.

• Apply rules of interpretation to biblical narrative.

• Evaluate rules of interpretation for legal material.

• Apply the rules of interpretation to prophetic announcements.

• Recognize, evaluate, and use rules of interpretation in the genre of lament, praise, and wisdom.

Credit. Credit for the course requires a 70 percent or greater on four multiple choice examinations and an exegetical assignment. Each element is valued at 20 percent of the course grade.  A sample multiple-choice problem is given below.

Given the entire text of a lament, which of the following phrases expresses the ultimate objective of the lament? (A) "I trust in your unfailing love," (B) "Please, O God, avenge my enemies," (C) "You, God, will not allow me to suffer loss," (D) "Why have you forsaken me?"


A Bible in its original language or any translation and the following textbook

Broyles, Craig C. (ed.). Interpreting the Old Testament: A Guide for Exegesis. Baker Academic, 2001. 272 pages. $25.63 ISBN: 978-0801022715