The subject explores the Bible’s overall story -its metanarrative. Major themes are traced including: creation, fall, redemption, restoration and consummation redemption, covenant and revelation of God. The chronology of the Bible history is outlined identifying key events in the people of God and major historical figures. Attention then turns to the authority and authenticity of the Bible including evidence both internal to the Bible and evidence from external sources. Manuscript and archaeological evidence is examined that offers support for the reliability of the biblical text. Common claims of errors and contradictions in the biblical text are examined and responses offered. The nature and structure of the Bible is presented with particular attention paid to formation of the canon, authorship and types of literary genre. With this foundation laid, the remainder of the subject is focused on the establishment of hermeneutical principles for the interpretation of the biblical text. Exploration of the factors affecting interpretation including: presuppositions, linguistics, the hermeneutical gap, and the nature of Scripture is undertaken. A brief history of biblical interpretation is outlined to allow students to understand the various methods employed and identify their contribution to contemporary methods. Emphasis is placed upon the need for and use of basic hermeneutical principles: recognition of genre, historical context, literary context and literary content and number of exercises are undertaken utilising these principles. A range of biblical critical approaches are outlined. The difficulty of application, the final step in interpretation and students are required to assess and critically analyse commonly used types of applications in today’s context.
+ Major themes
+ Chronology of Bible history
+ Authority and authenticity of the Bible
+ The Nature and structure of the Bible
+ Hermeneutical principles
+ The difficulty of application