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Course Descriptions: Department of Biblical Studies

Department Head, Old Testament:
The Very Rev. Dr. Curtis I. Crenshaw

Department Head, New Testament:
The Rev. Dr. S. Randal Toms

The Department of Biblical Studies concentrates on providing instruction in the canonical Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments. Each section of the Bible in both testaments is introduced. The books of the sections of Scripture (e.g., Pentateuch, historical books, Gospels, Epistles, and so forth) are presented with special emphasis on historical context, cultural background, sound hermeneutical principles such as authorial intent, exegesis of key passages, and the historical interpretations of the Church. In addition, particular attention is given to the interpretation of Scripture with a view to preaching through the lectionary readings.

Old Testament Division

OT 501 Old Testament Introduction: General survey of the canonical books of the Old Testament, with an overview and critique of the major critical theories in Old Testament studies. Special attention is paid to the historical reliability of the biblical texts and to the New Testament fulfillment.

OT 502 Pentateuch: Study of and introduction to the first five books of the Bible, tracing the Biblical theology of God’s covenant of grace as it unfolds in the lives of the Patriarchs and in these five books. Special attention is given to the Genesis accounts of the creation and the fall and to the biblical covenants with Abraham and Moses.

OT 601 Historical Books (Joshua – Esther): Study of and introduction to the later historical books of the Old Testament. Special consideration is given to the nature and purpose of the Old Testament histories, the message of each book, and how each book contributes to the Old Testament development of the coming of Messiah and His kingdom.

OT 602 Prophets (Isaiah – Malachi): Study of and introduction to the prophets in the Old Testament. Special consideration is given to the examination of the texts of the major and minor Prophetical Books in light of their historical and sociological settings. Theological issues and principles of prophetic interpretation are also considered along with the application of these books to the Church and society of today.

OT 702 Poetic Books (Job – Song of Solomon): Study of and introduction to the unique style and role of poetry in the Hebrew canon, especially the books Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, and Lamentations. Special consideration is given to the theological, devotional, and didactic significance of these books.

OT 703 Exodus, Leviticus, and Hebrews: This course brings together the Old and New Testaments with an emphasis on the tabernacle, offerings, sacrifices, sufficiency of the death of Christ, priesthood, and the one people of God. It also gives an interpretive model for the unity of the Bible.

New Testament Division

NT 501 New Testament Introduction: Introduction to the 27 canonical books of the New Testament along with a survey of the cultural background of the New Testament. Special consideration is given to the study of the development and definition of the NT canon. Recent studies and New Testament criticism in modern times are also considered along with the message of each book.

NT 503 Four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John): Study of and introduction to the Gospels of the New Testament with reference to the Greek texts. Special consideration is given to the origin of the Gospels, noting both early Church tradition and modern theories (Synoptic Problem), their styles and structure, and how they fit into the Bible as a whole.

NT 603 Acts and Pauline Epistles (Acts to Philemon): Study of and introduction to the corpus of St. Paul’s epistles alongside their historical contexts set forth in the Book of Acts. Special consideration is given to St. Paul’s use of the epistolary style, as well as the historical occasion, context and culture of behind each epistle. The largest amount of time will be spent on the Book of Romans as a summary of Pauline thought and its historic importance in the Western Church.

 

New Testament Division (cont.)

NT 701 Catholic Epistles (James, 1-2 Peter, 1-3 John, Jude): Study of and introduction to those New Testament epistles addressed to the whole (or Catholic) Church in distinction from those sent to particular churches. The background, contents, structure and theology of each epistle are introduced. Special consideration is given to the theological importance of 1 John through 3 John, the social setting and teaching of James, and the relationship between 1 Peter and 2 Peter to each other and to the Epistle of Jude.

NT 704 Eschatology and the Book of Revelation: This presents the concerns of General Eschatology, including the immortality of the soul, the intermediate state, the resurrection of the body, the second advent of Christ, eternal punishment, and the glory and rewards of heaven. The course also covers the popular approaches to “end time prophecy” and presents a balance between those who set dates for His Second Coming and those who pay little attention to it. Thus, various millennial views will be presented.

Biblical Languages Division

BL 501, 502 Greek I, II: Introduction to the essentials of Greek vocabulary, grammar, and syntax. The goal is to bring each student to an elementary reading ability in simple Greek as well as a proficiency to use the tools available to the parish minister.

BL 503 Greek III: Advanced Greek: Practical introduction to the exegesis of the Greek New Testament with special attention to methodology and bibliography.  Prerequisite: Greek 1 & 2.

BL 601, 602 Hebrew I, II: Introduction to the essentials of Hebrew orthography, grammar, vocabulary, and syntax. The goal is to provide the student with the grammatical and lexical skills necessary to read the simpler sections of the Hebrew Scriptures along with a proficiency in the use of the essential tools.

BL 603 Hebrew III: Advanced Hebrew: Practical introduction to the exegesis of the Hebrew Old Testament, with special attention to methodology and bibliography. Prerequisite: Hebrew 1 & 2.

Biblical Studies Division

BS 501 Bible Studies Method: This course is for the student who will not take Greek or Hebrew. It teaches the student how to study the Bible with limited access to Greek and Hebrew dictionaries, good commentaries, context, thought flow analysis, and more.

BS 502 Scripture and Hermeneutics: Introduction to the doctrine of Holy Scripture as the inspired, infallible Word of God with special attention to the general rules and principles of interpretation. The history of interpretation is also considered.

BS 601 English Bible Survey 1 – Old Testament: General survey of the Old Testament canonical books of the Bible, with an overview of the basic message of the books and how they fit into the Canon of Scripture.

BS 602 English Bible Survey 2 – New Testament: General survey of the New Testament canonical books of the Bible, with an overview of the basic message of the books and how they fit into the Canon of Scripture.

BS 701 Biblical Covenant: The course will examine the history, exegesis and Biblical Theology, as well as the implications of a thoroughly Biblical, catholic, and reformed understanding of this central Scriptural theme.