OHIO VALLEY UNIVERSITY
BIB 347.01 Scripture Interpretation (3 credit hours)

At Ohio Valley University, we seek to transform lives in a Christ-centered academic community
that integrates higher learning, biblical faith, and service to God and humanity.

Class days/times: MWF 10:00-10:50pm
Location: East Bible Annex, Room #15
Instructor: Bruce Terry
Office: East Bible Annex, Room #201
Phone: (304) 865-6120 (office); (304) 295-6486 (home)
E-mail: bruce.terry@ovu.edu; Web site: http://bterry.com
Office hours:
M  9:30-10:00am; 1:15-2:15pm; 3:15-3:45pm
T  9:30-11:00am; 2:45-3:15pm; 4:15-5:00pm
W 9:30-10:00am; 1:15-2:15pm; 3:15-3:45pm
Th 9:30-11:00am; 2:45-3:15pm; 4:15-5:00pm
F  9:30-10:00am

I. Textbooks: 

Required: Recommended: Required for students taking Greek: Required for students not taking Greek:

II. Course Description:

BIB 347 Scripture Interpretation (3 credits) A study of the history of hermeneutics focused on understanding the various theories of Biblical interpretation and interpreting the biblical text using historical-grammatical exegesis. A doctrinal and historical studies course. A writing-enhanced course. Offered fall.

This course will focus on the discipline of hermeneutics as it relates to a study of scripture. It will include elements such as the theory and history of interpretation, the practice of textual criticism, the practice of historical-grammatical exegesis, discourse, theological, and genre‚ analysis, and the application of interpretation to modern practice.

III. Rationale:

This course addresses the following objectives of the Bible program:

Objectives For Every Student

Provide students with a more in-depth study of the scriptures than what is gained in introductory studies and/or with training in Christian life and ministry

Objectives For Majors

Provide students with training in how to study the Bible for themselves*

IV. Integrating Faith and Learning:

Romans 10:17 says, "So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ" (ESV).  Consequently, this class will use biblical texts and references to texts to help the student grow in faith.  But simply hearing is not enough.  Jesus told those who believed in him, "If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free" (John 8:31-32 ESV).  So it is necessary to keep doing what we learn.  In light of this, this course will also contain references to application of principles learned.  One of the objectives is a faith objective.  It will not be assessed for a grade, but life is such that it will be assessed, one way or another.  My prayer is that you will pass that test of life.

V. Course Objectives and National Standards:

  1. To acquaint the student with the field of hermeneutics and give him some grasp of what goes into understanding a text.
  2. To develop a preliminary understanding of the science and art of textual criticism.
  3. To train the student in the science and art of historical-grammatical exegesis, helping him understand its strengths and weaknesses, and helping him analyze his own presuppositions with which he approaches a text.
  4. To aid the student in improving his or her writing ability, both as regards grammar and content.
  5. To help the student value the scriptures and in them come to see Jesus, thus providing a faith building experience for the student.

There are no national standards for undergraduate study of the Bible.  At OVU, we emphasize the biblical text and its application in our lives.

VI. School of Biblical Studies Mission Statement:

At the School of Biblical Studies, we seek to transform lives in a Christ-centered academic community by encouraging biblical faith to produce life-long truth-seekers who serve God in His kingdom throughout the world.

VII. Course Requirements and Evaluation:

Assessment of whether the objectives have been met will be based on the student's performance on homework and tests assigned by the teacher and on the student's ability to do relevant analysis on his or her own in papers described below. Academic abilities assessed include reading with understanding skills as evidenced by a reading reports and classroom discussion; writing skills as evidenced by reading reports; and memory organization and retention as evidenced by major exams.

Your grade for the class will be based on three major exams (including a comprehensive final exam), a six-page typewritten exegesis, seven one-page typewritten exegetical method studies, a three-page book report on the book The Origin of the Bible, eight one-page chapter reports on the book Hermeneutics, and attendance and participation in class. Exam questions can come from the lectures or assigned readings from either the textbooks or the New Testament. The final exam will cover material from the whole course.

The papers should be typed. The number of pages listed for the typed papers refer to full pages, not counting the cover sheet (required) and bibliography (also required for the exegesis with at least six entries, most of which are from books or print journals; internet sources are acceptable only if they are from scholarly or reprint sites). One page is defined as 27 double-spaced typewritten lines (counting the title, but not your name or page numbers; set line spacing to exactly 24 points) with 1" margins. The typed papers should be written using the Turabian style guide.

For each of the chapters in Virkler's Hermeneutics, write a one-page report giving a summary and any reaction you might have to the reading. A report that is short or of little substance will be accepted only for half-credit. Since this is a writing enhanced course, a minimum of 20 pages, eight of which are graded, must be written to pass with a C.

Ten points will be given for attendance. One point will be deducted for each class missed, including those missed for illness. The only exception to this will be those who miss on official school business and have an official notice to this effect; up to five such absences will not count against the student's grade if the student has no unexcused absences. Two grace days will be given to all students to allow for absences due to illness and excused absences for official school business. Note well: Grace days will be applied first to excused absences.

Class handouts and homework can be found on the Internet at: "http://bible.ovu.edu/terry/interpretation/". Homework may be printed out, done early, and turned in up to a week before the due date if the student knows of an absence that is coming up. Late homework is accepted for only half credit.

Additional readings/quizzes/essays/maps may be assigned.

All work is expected to be turned in on time. If for some reason you cannot make the due date, please ask my permission to turn the work in late. Late reading reports will be accepted for only half credit, since the readings will be discussed in class. Reports which are both late and short will be accepted only for quarter credit. Reading reports that are more than three weeks late will only be accepted for quarter credit. Reading reports that are more than six weeks late will only be accepted for one-tenth credit. The typed papers turned in late will dock the paper grade by one-third letter (3-1/3%) per class period late.

No paper will be accepted that is more than two weeks late. A paper that is more than one week late may not be rewritten, except in unusual circumstances. A paper must be at least 75% of assigned length in order to be rewritten. The grade on a paper which is rewritten may be increased on content, length, and mechanical errors. Any rewrite should be turned in within two or three weeks of receiving the original graded paper back. All rewrites should be turned in with the original graded paper. No grade will be given to a paper which contains enough mechanical errors to dock the score by a letter grade (i.e., 40 mechanical errors). It will be turned back without a score and the rewrite counted as late. Be sure to proofread and spell check!

Students who are absent on exam days with good reason may schedule a make-up exam within the next week. You must ask to take a make-up exam.

Students who score less than a 70 on a major exam may petition to retake the exam within a week after grades are returned on it. The highest grade on any retake exam will be 70. Once again, you must ask to retake an exam. There will be no retakes on the final exam. Study hard for it.

Definition of a Credit Hour

The US Department of Education and OVU's accrediting body, the Higher Learning Commission, have established requirements regarding how much time is required to be spent on a course for each credit hour earned. As a result, all colleges and universities have been required to establish policies that adhere to this definition. In keeping with this requirement, OVU expects you to spend a minimum of two hours outside of class doing course work (reading, doing homework, writing papers, reviewing for tests, etc.) for each hour you spend in the classroom. Because this is a 3-credit hour course, you should expect to spend a minimum of 6 hours each week outside the classroom doing work for it.

VIII. Grading System:

The final grade will be based on your work in the following way:

          Attendance                                        10%
          Book Report                                        6%
          Chapter Reports                                    8%
          Method Studies                                    14%
          Exegesis                                          10%
          Major Tests                                       32%
          Final Exam                                        20%

Extra credit in these areas will not be allowed to exceed these percentages. Extra credit in the course will be given for up to three one-page reports on the pages (1-100, 100-200, 200+) in Metzger not assigned in class. Your final grade will be A, B, C, D, or F. An A will be given for an average of 100-90, a B for 89-80, a C for 79-70, a D for 69-60, and an F for any average below 60.

IX. Academic Integrity Policy:

Because Ohio Valley University expects students to follow the highest standards of honorable conduct in all areas of life, it is essential that students maintain high standards of academic integrity. Cheating, plagiarizing (whether intentionally misrepresenting another's work as one's own or failing to follow appropriate requirements of documentation), and helping others cheat or plagiarize are all violations of these standards, as is falsifying records such as those kept for field experiences, practica, internships, etc.. Students who engage in these behaviors in a course in which they are enrolled will face appropriate consequences, which could include failing the assignment in question, failing the course, being placed on restricted status (i.e., the student will not be allowed to participate in on-campus activities, including intramurals, and may not represent Ohio Valley University in public events, including athletic competitions, performances, and presentations), or being suspended or dismissed from Ohio Valley University. Students who engage in these behaviors when they are unrelated to a course in which they are enrolled will also face appropriate consequences, which could include being placed on restricted status or being suspended or dismissed from Ohio Valley University. If a student believes he or she has been falsely accused of academic dishonesty, or if the student believes the consequences of an incident of academic dishonesty are unjust, the student may ask that the situation be reviewed. To ask for a review, the student should give to the vice president for academic affairs written notice of the appeal and the reasons for it within 48 hours of being informed of the consequences of the alleged incident; detailed instructions about the appeal procedure are available in the catalog or from the Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Plagiarism

Plagiarism is the presentation of another person's work as your own, whether you mean to or not. Copying or paraphrasing passages from another writer's work without acknowledging that you've done so is plagiarism. Translating passages from another writer's work in another language without acknowledging that you've done so is plagiarism. Copying another writer's work without putting the material in quotation marks is plagiarism, even if credit is given. Allowing another writer to write any part of your essay is plagiarism.

Plagiarism is a serious crime. The maximum penalty at OVU is expulsion from the University.

Plagiarism is easy to avoid. Simply acknowledge the source of any words, phrases, or ideas that you use. If you're not sure how to quote or paraphrase a source or if you need help with the format of endnotes or bibliographies, check with me. While you can (and in fact should) seek the help and advice of friends, classmates, and tutors, be sure that your written work is completely your own.

Professional Dress

Students should dress modestly regardless of the type of clothes that they choose, and be aware that first impressions count and are often dictated by clothing choices. Specifically, members of the University community should avoid clothing that is revealing and/or features offensive slogans, language, or advertisements. Examples of revealing clothing include but are not limited to: midriffs or halters, mesh or netted shirts, tube tops, low cut blouses, short skirts and shorts exposing the upper thigh. Very tight clothing should be avoided. Examples of offensive slogans, language or advertisements include but are not limited to: curse words, sexually suggestive language or gestures, and references to alcohol or drugs.

Electronic Devices

Please turn cell phones OFF or ON SILENT before entering class. You may place your cell phone on your desk as a clock; otherwise, keep it put away. The use of cell phones, computers, and tablets for texting, calling, emailing, googling, checking the internet, tweeting, using facebook, and/or playing games is not permitted; such is distracting both to the students doing such and the students around them. Please put these electronic devices away. Do not use your device out of sight under the desk. I reserve the right to count you absent should you disregard this. Cell phone or tablet use for voice, text, or data during a test will result in failure of that test!

X. Policy for Attendance and Tardies:

OVU Catalog:

Regular class attendance is most important. Instructors are responsible for recording and reporting attendance in each of their classes. Attendance at 75 percent of the scheduled class sessions is required to receive credit for a given course; in other words, if a student misses more than 25 percent of the class sessions, including both excused and unexcused absences, the student will be dropped from the course and will fail the course.

Course Policy:

Attendance in class is mandatory; it will be part of the basis for the grade given. If you cannot attend for good reason, either notify me beforehand or as soon as possible afterward. This applies even if you have an excused absence. You will be expected to do all work of any classes missed, except for pop quizzes. If you do not intend to attend regularly, kindly withdraw from the class now.

Do NOT miss class simply because you do not have an assignment finished. Do NOT miss class if you can possibly come; save any absences for sickness or death in the family. If you have an extended illness, please contact me to let me know.

Kindly try to be a class on time. If you are consistently tardy for no good reason, I reserve the right to count three tardies as an absence. I do count half and other fractional absences.

If you have to leave early, please inform me before class. Do not schedule extra work, doctor's appointments, etc. during class time if at all possible. If you are too frequent in leaving early, I reserve the right to count early departures as a partial absence, adversely affecting your grade.

Absences may be excused if you bring me documentation that you were hospitalized, ill with a contagious disease, involved in an accident, on school business (up to five hours), or there was a death in the immediate family. More than five hours of absences which include three hours of unexcused absence will result in your being dropped from the course with either a W or an F at my discretion. You may pay a fine and petition to be reinstated. Additional unexcused absences will result in your being dropped without future reinstatement. No credit will be given for a course in which absences, both excused and unexcused, total more than 25% of the hours of the course (i.e., as many as 12 class hours, counting each class as 1 hour). Should you approach this limit, you will be asked to withdraw from the course (if possible). I reserve the right to drop you from the course as a warning once you have at least 5 total absences or 3 unexcused absences. If you are dropped for any reason, reinstatement is not guaranteed and will be granted only if a plan for success is presented. Note well: Absences may adversely affect your grade, as outlined above under the topic Course Requirements. A drop from your only Bible course may affect your ability to enroll in the next semester.

XI. Compliance with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA):

If you have a diagnosed disability and need special accommodations, please notify the office of the vice president for academic affairs (VPAA) as soon as possible. After your disability has been verified, I will work with you and the VPAA to insure that you have a fair opportunity to perform in the course.

XII. Bibliography:

The bibliography will be given as the course progresses.

XIII. Course Calendar:

MAJOR EXAM DATES:   Exam 1 -- Monday, September 30, 2013
                    Exam 2 -- Monday, November 4, 2013
                    Final Exam -- Monday, December 16, 2013
                                  10:00 p.m. - 11:50 a.m.

Tentative Course Plan

Note: The readings from Silva and Danker are suggested readings, not required, with the exception of chapter 1 of each book (on reserve in library).
WEEK ONE: 
 8/28/13 -- Introduction to the Course
            homework: write introduction of self (extra credit)
                      read Harvey's Writing with Sources
                      read in Comfort
 8/30/13 -- Frame Theory

WEEK TWO: Hermeneutics
 9/ 2/13 -- Labor Day (no class)
            homework: read in Comfort
 9/ 4/13 -- The Bible's Teaching on Hermeneutics
            homework: finish handouts worked on in class
                      read in Comfort
 9/ 6/13 -- The Bible's Teaching on Hermeneutics

WEEK THREE: Inspiration and Authority
            homework: read Virkler, pp. 15-29 (1st ed.:31) and in Comfort
 9/ 9/13 -- Overview Issues
            homework: read Virkler, pp. 29-41 (1st ed.:46) and in Comfort
                      write report on chapter 1 of Virkler
 9/11/13 -- Inspiration and Inerrancy
            homework: read in Comfort
 9/13/13 -- Authority of the Bible

WEEK FOUR: Interpretation/Exegesis
            homework: read in Comfort
 9/16/13 -- Presuppositions and World View
            homework: finish reading Comfort
                      read Virkler, chap. 2
                      write report on chapter 2 of Virkler
 9/18/13 -- History of Interpretation
            homework: read Fee, chap. I
                      choose passage for exegesis
 9/20/13 -- Overview of Exegesis

WEEK FIVE: Language/Translation
            homework: read Silva, chap. 4
                      write 3-page book report on Comfort's Origin of the Bible
 9/23/13 -- Biblical Languages
            homework: read Danker, chaps. 2 & 3
 9/25/13 -- Greek and Hebrew Testaments
            homework: read Silva, pp. 273-276
                      read Danker, pp. 177-195
 9/27/13 -- Translation Theory and English Translations

WEEK SIX: Textual Criticism
            homework: study for exam
 9/30/13 -- Major Exam
            homework: write method paper on translations
                      read Fee, chap. II, section 2
                      read Metzger on Erasmus, Tischendorf,
                        Westcott & Hort, Streeter, Nestle   
                        3rd ed: pp. 98-103, 126-127,
                          129-135, 169-173, 144-146
                        4th ed: pp. 142-149, 172-173,
                          174-181, 214-218, 190-194
10/ 2/13 -- Overview and History of Textual Criticism
             homework: read Metzger, pp. 36-81 (3rd ed.)
                                    pp. 52-114 (4th ed.)
10/ 4/13 -- Biblical Manuscripts

WEEK SEVEN: Textual Criticism
           homework: write method paper on passage problems
                      read Metzger, pp. 186-207 (3rd ed.)
                                    pp. 250-271 (4th ed.)
10/ 7/13 -- Causes of Errors in Copying
            homework: read Metzger, pp. 207-221 (3rd ed.)
                                    pp. 300-317 (4th ed.)
10/ 9/13 -- Types of Evidence and Text Families
10/11/13 -- Types of Evidence and Text Families (cont.)

WEEK EIGHT: Textual Criticism 
            homework: read Metzger, pp. 223-229, 234-239 (3rd)
                                    pp. 319-326, 331-336 (4th)
10/14/13 -- Examples of Textual Criticism
            homework: read "Another Look at the Ending of Mark"
10/16/13 -- Examples of Textual Criticism
            homework: write method paper on text criticism
                      read Danker, chap. 1 (required)
10/18/13 -- Use of Concordances

WEEK NINE: Word Study
            homework: read Virkler, chap. 4
                      write report on chapter 4 of Virkler
                      read Fee, chap. II, section 4
10/21/13 -- Word Studies
            homework: read Fee, chap. II, section 3
                      read Silva, chap. 5
                      write method paper on word studies
10/23/13 -- Verbal and Phrase Significance
            homework: read Danker, chap. 4 & F.F. Bruce handout
10/25/13 -- Septuagint
World Mission Workshop

WEEK TEN: Grammar
            homework: read Fee, chap. II, section 1
                       read Silva, chap. 6
10/28/13 -- Clause and Sentence Structure
            homework: read Fee, chap. IV
                      read Danker, chaps. 6, 7, & 8
10/30/13 -- Use of Lexicons and Grammars
            homework: read Silva, chap. 1 (required)
                      write method paper on grammatical insights
11/ 1/13 -- How NOT to Do an Exegesis


WEEK ELEVEN: Discourse
            homework: study for test
11/ 4/13 -- Major Exam
            homework: read handout from Terry's Discourse
                        Analysis of First Corinthians
11/ 6/13 -- Texttypes, Verb Salience, Macrostructures
            homework: read Fee, chap. II, section 6
11/ 8/13 -- Macrosegmentation, Paragraphs, Chiastic/Cyclic Structure

WEEK TWELVE: Discourse/Background
            homework: as assigned in class
11/11/13 -- Peak, Participant Tracking, Intertextuality
            homework: read Virkler, chap. 3
                      write report on chapter 3 of Virkler
11/13/13 -- Historical Background
            homework: read Fee, chap. II, section 5
                      write method paper on context and discourse
11/15/13 -- Cultural Background
Last Day to Drop a Class with a "W"--Stick with it to the end!

WEEK THIRTEEN: Theology
            homework: as assigned in class
11/18/13 -- Critical Studies
            homework: read Virkler, chap. 5
                      write report on chapter 5 of Virkler
11/20/13 -- Biblical and Systematic Theology
            homework: write method paper on culture, history, and
                        theology
11/22/13 -- Relationship of the Old and New Testaments

THANKSGIVING BREAK

WEEK FOURTEEN: More Considerations
            homework: as assigned in class
12/ 2/13 -- Prejudice from Tradition, Dispensationalism, etc.
            homework: read Virkler, pp. 183-190, 190-207
                      write report on chapter 7 of Virkler
12/ 4/13 -- Apocalyptic
            homework: read Virkler, chap. 6
                      write report on chapter 6 of Virkler
                      write 6-page exegesis
12/ 6/13 -- Parables, Types, and Allegories

WEEK FIFTEEN: Applications
            homework: read Virkler, chap. 8
                      write report on chapter 8 of Virkler
12/ 9/13 -- Principles and Conflicting Principles
            homework: read Fee, chap. III
12/11/13 -- Cultural Items
            homework: read Virkler, Epilogue
12/13/13 -- Commands, Examples, and Inferences

WEEK SIXTEEN: Final Exam Week
            homework: study for final exam
 12/16/13 -- Final Exam (10:00 p.m. - 11:50 a.m.)

N. B.: Homework is listed before the class for which it is due!

THIS SYLLABUS MAY BE MODIFIED AS THE TEACHER FEELS NECESSARY!


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