Students develop the exegetical skills necessary for a detailed understanding of the Old Testament in the original Hebrew, which in turn provides a framework for theology, proclamation, and missional living. A whole range of methods are used in order to analyse different kinds of Old Testament text (e.g. narrative, hymnody, law, prophecy) from various angles for greatest possible depth.
Students desiring to move beyond dependency on the exegetical work of others in order to encounter Scripture with greater personal immediacy will benefit the most from this class. They are challenged to integrate all they have learned in their Hebrew courses into an interpretation of the Old Testament in order to understand for accurately its messages.
Exegesis is not only the key task of students of Biblical literature, it is foundational to Christian theology in general. Mastering this art is thus of upmost importance if the people of God are to remain faithful witnesses.
The Bible itself is the basis of Christian faith and practice. Exegesis seeks to understand that basis on its own terms, in the language in which it was written and according to the cultural and literary conventions of the time. Given that the subject matter of the Old Testament is the God of mission, the more deeply we engage with Scripture exegetically the more we are formed to be his people in the world.
True motivation to engage in exegesis is missional, namely the desire to encounter and be shaped by the God witnessed to by the Hebrew Scriptures. And the outcome of good exegesis is missional, in that we become equipped to testify to and obey the God of mission.
The Bible was written in its own context and is interpreted in our own historical context. Furthermore, its message is to be proclaimed in all human contexts. In order to effectively understand the message and meaning of Scripture, it is important to learn to respect these different contexts and create a dialogue between them. Hebrew language exegesis is integral to that process.
Interpreting the Bible in its original language is an intercultural experience, for the student is forced to bridge a gap between different cultures—their own and those of the Bible—in order to understand a message composed in and for another people in a different time. It forces us to ask anew: What is the message of the text for my own culture today? Learning to ask and answer this question also prepares us to understand the lives of peoples from other cultures that we may encounter and witness to today.
Students have the opportunity to do independent exegesis of the Hebrew texts by making use of the best contemporary exegetical tools. These tools serve them for a lifetime of independent study, honing them for their calling to be faithful to the Word of God.
Encounter with God through reading Scripture is a key motor of personal transformation, which in turn makes us better interpreters of His Word. This course aims to facilitate such encounter. Students study the various approaches and methods to Old Testament exegesis, illustrated with many examples, and submit their own exegesis, working through the various steps.