Course Syllabus





Fall Semester, 2002

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9:30-10:50

Wednesdays and Fridays, 9:30-10:50

Room Div S001




A practical study of the procedures for doing sound exegesis in the various portions of the Old Testament.  The method will include the study of words, poetics, textual criticism, syntax, biblical theology, and practical exegetical exposition in the different genres of the Hebrew Bible.  



The main objective of this practicum in exegesis is to develop the skill of doing exegesis in the Old Testament.  To accomplish this, the student will

A.                 Become familiar with the best books and resources for the work,

B.                 Learn how

to do thorough word studies,

to analyze poetic language and literary structures,

to solve textual problems,

to explain syntactical relationships,

to do biblical theology,

to develop accurate and meaningful expositions of the text, and

C.                 Become men and women of the Word.



A.  Each student will be expected to read the assigned Scripture passages (even if not doing the assignment), the assigned class notes for the day, and any other assigned readings for the day.  The reading requirement counts 10% of the total grade for the course.  At the end of the course each student must state in writing if the reading was done or not, or what percentage of it was done if it was not completed.

B.     There are twenty-four exegetical assignments scheduled for this course, one for each day the class meets after the course gets started.  Each student will be required to do sixteen of these assignments for the remaining 90% of the course grade. If more than the sixteen are completed, then the best sixteen scores will be counted for the semester grade.

This means, of course, that the student may skip or drop eight of the assignments.  But please note, no one may skip two assignments in a row.  This arrangement will enable the student to lighten the schedule where necessary, but still work in all areas of the exegetical method.

The assignment instructions will be given in class for each assignment; these will specify exactly what is to be done to be handed in for the assignment.  The grade for the assignment will be based on how well the student developed the exegetical skill involved to meet the objective of the assignment, and not necessarily on whether a particular interpretation or answer was recorded.

C.  Grading: In this course the grading scale is as follows: 93-100 is A, 84-92 is B, and 75-83 is C. In each letter grade there are levels as well, the top two numbers would be +, the bottom two would be - (so 91, 92 is B +; 84, 85 is B-).




Tools You Need to Use


There are far too many books and references available to require for a course like this--part of the objective of the course is to learn about them by use so that what is most useful (what will actually be used again) may be acquired.

But there are some things that the student should have that will make the whole process more convenient (i.e., be able to work more at home): a copy of the Hebrew Bible (with apparatus, Stuttgartensia), a Hebrew dictionary (BDB), a good concordance (to be determined later), and perhaps a reference book/set like a good Bible Dictionary or word study set (VanGemeren, New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology ad Exegesis, 5 Vols [Zondervan]).

As you work through the course you will learn what is most helpful for you in your study of the Bible, and then you can begin to build a working library.  You will also become familiar with the best Old Testament commentaries and be able to have them as excellent resources for your future ministry.

Helps Available


The class notes will be made available either by photocopying (cost involved)

or on the internet:

Another site that may prove helpful in studying the different passages is the site.  This is a translation of the Bible with copious notes and explanations of words, grammar and syntax, textual problems, and background information. 

Along the way you may find a reference to a book that is out of print.  Try  They can find bookstores in the world that have copies of what you want, and contacts to obtain them.








Description and Assignment

1 Aug 28/29

Introduction to the Course; Overview of the Exegetical Method, using Exodus 15:22-27.  An exposition of this passage may be seen on the web site under Sermons.

2 Aug 30/Sept 3 

Word Study Method: Usage.  Read the class notes (pages 1-11) and do Assignment 1: The Usage of ga'al (to redeem).

3 Sept  4/5

Word Study Method: Etymology.  Read the class notes (pages 12-23) and do Assignment 2: yadon (strive) in Genesis 6:3.

4 Sept 6/10

Word Study Method: The Use of the Versions.  Read the class notes (pages 23-29) and do Assignment 3: The Translation of hammillu'im (the filling) in Leviticus 8.

5 Sept 11/12

Introduction to Literary Analysis and Figures of Comparison. Read the class notes (pages 30-79) and do Assignment 4: Figures of Speech in Isaiah 38.

6 Sept 13/17 Figures of Substitution.  Study the class notes (pages 80-94) and do Assignment 5: Figures of Speech in Isaiah 1.
7 Sept 18/19 Figures of Addition and Omission.  Study the class notes (pages 95-101) and do Assignment 6: Figures of Speech in Psalm 139.
8 Sept 20/26 The History and Method of Textual Criticism.  Read the class notes (pages 102-116) and assigned reading and do Assignment 7: Psalm 126:1 and the Dead Sea Scroll.
9 Sept 27/Oct 1 The Method of Textual Criticism.  Read the class notes (pages 116-126) and the assigned reading and do Assignment 8: The Text of Psalm 22:17 [16].
10 Oct 2/3 The Method of Textual Criticism.  Review the class notes and do Assignment 9: The Text of Psalm 2:9.
11 Oct 4/8  Introduction to Syntax.  The Syntax of the Noun.  Read the assigned reading and do Assignment 10: Syntax of the Noun in Jonah 1.
12 Oct 9/10 Syntax of the Verb.  Study the assigned reading and do Assignment 11: Syntax of the Verb in Psalm 3.
13 Oct 11/17 Syntax of the Volitives.  Study the assigned reading and do Assignment 12: Syntax of Volitives in Genesis 12:1-3.
14 Oct 16/22 Syntax of Verbals.  Study the assigned reading and do Assignment 13: Syntax of Verbals in Psalm 126:4-6.
15 Oct 18/24 Syntax of Particles, Prepositions and Conjunctions.  Study the assigned reading and do Assignment 14: Syntax and 2 Samuel 11:1-5.
16 Oct 23/29  Introduction to Biblical Theology.  Read the class notes and assigned reading and do Assignment 15: The Fundamental Problem of Exodus 6:2.
17 Oct 25/31 Biblical Theology: The Method.  Read the class notes and assigned reading and do Assignment 16: The Theology of Psalm 33.
18 Oct 30/Nov 5 Biblical Theology: Correlation.  Read the class notes and assigned reading and do Assignment 17: The Theology of Genesis 22:1-19 and Romans 8:32.
19 Nov 1/7 The Use of the Old Testament in the New Testament.  Read the class notes and do Assignment 18: The Use of Exodus 34:29-35 in 2 Corinthians 3:12-18.
20 Nov 6/12 The Application of the Text to Today.  Read the class notes and do Assignment 19: Lessons from Malachi 1:6-14.
21 Nov 8/14 The Study of Narrative Literature.  Read the assigned material and do Assignment 20: The Exegesis of Genesis 4:1-16.
22 Nov 13/19 The Study of Legal Literature.  Read the assigned material and do Assignment 21: The Exegesis of Leviticus 19.
23 Nov 15/21 The Study of Wisdom Literature.  Read the assigned material and do Assignment 22: The Exegesis of Proverbs 31:10-31.
24 Nov 20/26 The Study of Poetry.  Read the assigned material and do Assignment 23: The Exegesis of Psalm 30.
25 Nov 22/Dec 3 The Study of Prophecy.  Read the assigned material and do Assignment 24: The Exegesis of Isaiah 11:1-9.