Methods and Biblical Interpretation
Biblical interpretation does not happen in a vacuum. Every interpretive act involves the text, the reader, and its signifying context, including that of the writer(s) and that of the reader, defined by the complex web of social, cultural, political, and even psychological forces. This course covers some major methods used in the critical study of the Bible (with a focus on the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament) from the late nineteenth century to the early twenty-first century, including the historical-critical methods, literary criticism, and reader-centered approaches. It examines the tasks, presuppositions, and reading strategies of various exegetical methods, and evaluates each’s weaknesses and strengths.