Lecture 3 Practicing Exegesis.txt

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Lecture 3 Practicing Exegesis.txt
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2011-02-26 00:10:09
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VLI Interpreting scripture JennBrandiLe
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Lecture 3 – Practicing Exegesis
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  1. List (in 1 sentence each) the two phases of exegesis.
    • 1.Determine the possible meanings of a text through the literary context.
    • 2.Select the most probable meaning of the text through the historical-cultural context.
  2. Explain (in 1 paragraph) what genre is and how knowing the genre of a text helps us interpret it.
    • The first order of business in reading a text is to refine your understanding of what kind of text (genre) you are reading. Genre is a French word adopted into English: it means “type” or “kind.” Genres are literary molds or types that authors use to communicate their message. We recognize there are different strategies for reading different kinds of literature (genre). We do this intuitively when we read a poem differently than a scientific treatise, or a love letter differently than a historical narrative. If we are confused about a text’s genre, we often arrive at a weird interpretation.
    • To trace an author’s flow of thought so we can know the point of his or her writing, we should start by identifying the genre of the text. Happily, literature can be categorized into a manageable number of genres.
  3. Are these Old Testament or New Testament Genre? 1.Narrative2. Law 3. Poetry/Wisdom 4 Prophecy
    Old Testament
  4. Are these Old Testament or New Testament Genre?1.Gospel 2.Acts 3.Letter 4.Apocalypse
    New Testament
  5. What genre is this? an account of events characterized by plot, sequences of connected action (that bring together characters, place and circumstance) that leads through dramatic conflict to some sense of resolution.
    Narrative
  6. What genres uses this narrative strategy? “Think scenes”
    Narrative and Acts
  7. What genre is this? The ordering of life within the community. OT law is closely connected to the concept of covenant (which God adopted and adapted from the ANE Suzerain-Vassal treaty).The stipulations of the covenant within an if-then-consequences structure (“If you obey the stipulations of this covenant, then you will receive covenant blessings. If you disobey, you will receive covenant curses”).
    Law
  8. What genre uses this narrative strategy? “Think forms of covenant loyalty” (chesed)
    Law
  9. What genre is this? It is dense in images and structure. Its most distinctive feature is parallel lines and their relationship.
    Poetry/Wisdom
  10. What genre uses this narrative strategy? : “Think parallel thoughts”
    Poetry/Wisdom
  11. What genre is this? The utterance of a prophet that declares God’s will. The heart of this genre is the oracle, which uses typical structures composed of basic elements. They are usually oracles of disaster (judgment) or oracles of promise (salvation).
    Prophecy
  12. What genre uses this narrative strategy? “Think oracles”
    Prophecy
  13. What genre is this? a form of Greco-Roman biography that was uniquely modified by the Christ event; Jesus’ life, death and resurrection modified the genre. The units of meaning are word-deed complexes of episodes in Jesus’ ministry (pericopes). The authors arranged the word-deed complexes in a certain way to reach his audience on a certain occasion for a certain purpose. Knowing this aids our interpretation.
    Gospel
  14. What genre uses this narrative strategy? “Think word-deed complex” (pericope)
    Gospel
  15. What genre is this? a type of narrative in the category of “The Outstanding Deeds of a Prominent Person” (e.g., a king, general or hero).
    Acts
  16. What genre is this? a written communication addressed to individuals or groups from whom the sender is separated by distance or social status. A substitute for oral communication. Ideally, an apostle would want to speak directly to people. When this was not possible, the apostle wrote this and sent a trusted carrier who could explain its contents ( They tend to be linear and discursive; and longer instructional ones often subtly nuance their thoughts through sophisticated subordinating grammar (subordinating conjunctions with their dependent clauses). Modern Westerners have given prominence to this genre.
    Letter
  17. What genre uses this narrative strategy? “Think Paragraphs”
    Letter
  18. What genre is this? a first-person prose recital of revelatory visions or dreams, framed by a description of the circumstances of the revelatory experience, and structured to emphasize the central, revelatory message.
    Apocalypse
  19. What genre uses this narrative strategy? “Think visions”
    Apocalypse
  20. What features of the text are being used for interpreting Ephesians here and how do they help you interpret the text? : It is important to know: that Paul planted the Ephesian church, background information about the city of Ephesus, the environs of Asia Minor, the Greek goddess Artemis (Diana), divination and magic. This setting and context affect Paul’s very wording of Ephesians
    The author and original audience- First, find out what you can about the author and audience from reading the text. Second, check other sources, e.g., a Bible dictionary and the introduction to a good commentary, which come into play when you research the historical context outside the text.
  21. What features of the text are being used for interpreting Ephesians here and how do they help interpret the text?: in Ephesians, Paul refers to his being a prisoner three times (Eph 3:1, 4:1, 6:19-20).Paul’s church planting strategy was to go to the synagogue first. When some members became believers, then the synagogue would split and a church would be planted with a Jewish core, Gentile god-fearers and proselytes (Gentile converts to Judaism). However, Ephesians is addressed primarily to Gentiles because there was an in-flooding of Gentiles into the Ephesian church
    Occasion and purpose - First, search the text for the occasion and purpose. In addition, see if you can find the occasion and purpose of literary units within the book. Then confirm and refine your findings by consulting a good Bible dictionary and the introduction to a good commentary on the book in question.
  22. Describe (in 2 paragraphs) what are themes and literary units and how to find them within a text.
    • Theme(s)-A text is written from a set of circumstances for a certain purpose. Seek the unity and theme of the text that serves this purpose. Also, texts generally have a few to several major literary units, each with its own (sub)theme that, in turn, supports the major theme of the book. Think of a text as an extended argument supported by the themes of each literary unit, sub points, Scripture citations, illustrations, and experiences.
    • Ephesians’ themes include: the greatness of God, his purposes, the mystery of his will and the unity of everything in Christ (summed up in Christ). In the ancient Greco-Roman world, the sum of a group of numbers was put at the head of the column rather than below. Are there one or two verses in Ephesians that say this about Christ Jesus?
    • Literary units-A lengthy text not only has major literary units (themes) but minor literary units (paragraphs), as well. In letters, these can be made up of one or more paragraphs. As you continue to write one-sentence summaries of the paragraphs of your text, be on the lookout for how these one-sentence summaries cluster, by theme, into minor and major literary units. Observe how the text changes from one theme to another. The outline of your text will emerge from this exercize.
  23. Why are key words important?
    Often the meaning of a passage turns on the meaning of a significant word or term in the text.
  24. What exercises a disproportionately large influence in a literary unit or in the whole text?
    Key Words- Without knowing the original languages of Scripture, one can look up words in an exhaustive concordance and it will indicate which Greek words (in the NT) stand behind the English words.
  25. What are words used to speak of one thing in terms of another: illuminating a less understood phenomenon by means of a better understood one; or opening up an insight into something by bringing it into an analogous relationship with something else
    Metaphors
  26. What interpreting feature is this an example of: “Hovering” in Gen 1:2- The Spirit of God was brooding/hovering/moving over the waters like a hen brooding over her eggs to bring them to birth, life and flourishing.
    Metaphor
  27. Why is understanding metaphors important?
    The more we understand the field of experience from which a metaphor comes, the more we will understand what Scripture is trying to teach us through it.
  28. What interpreting feature is this an example of - “wisdom” (sophia), “knowledge” (gnōsis, ginōskō), and “spiritual” (pneumatikos) in 1 Corinthians- Paul describes what it really means to be spiritual in contrast to the Corinthians’ false, Hellenistic ideas of spirituality. Paul confronts their false religion and redefines spirituality in terms of the Cross and the Spirit
    Key Words
  29. What is this describing?---Words do not stand on their own as units of meaning. The way that words are used in a sentence determines their meaning; and this is mediated by their wider context in the passage and book.
    The reason why grammar is important
  30. What interpreting feature deals with how words and sentences are put together to convey meaning?
    Grammar
  31. What aspect of grammar usually shows the kind of action?
    Verb tense
  32. What aspect of grammar usually shows how the subject is related to the action – performing the action (active), or being acted upon (passive), or the subject acting on itself
    Verb voice
  33. What aspect of grammar shows how the action is related to reality from the viewpoint of the speaker or writer, indicating reality (indicative), conveying possibility or probability or desire (subjunctive – e.g., could, should or would), or expressing a wish (optative).
    Verb mood
  34. What aspect of grammar functions to connect clauses and sentences and help us to see the structural relationships between sentences and clauses, and thus give us insight into the author’s flow of thought and the meaning of the text. There are four types : temporal, local, emphatic and logical.
    Conjunctions/connectives

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