Another course I teach every year is called Biblical Study Methods. It is a class required for all theology majors and minors. Here are the textbooks for the class. We’ll spend half the time talking about the Bible, and half the time knee deep in Scripture (primarily Jonah + Micah).
When I start the class, I begin by comparing it to the class I introduced in the last post, Biblical Study Methods. I say something like this:
“Biblical Foundations is about giving you the story of the Bible. It is a class that takes you on a journey, a road trip through the pages of Scripture. By contrast, Biblical Study Methods is a methods class. If Scripture is a vehicle, this is a class that takes the engine apart, examines the parts, and then puts it back together, so that we are even better equipped for the journey.
Because of the methodological nature of the class, there may be times when you may feel that your faith is being deconstructed, taken apart. Asking tough questions about our assumptions tends to do that. But we are not taking it apart to break it, but to understand it, to question our own assumptions, and then to come back to the text with a renewed appreciation of just how amazing the Bible is.
Because if you end this class with all the pieces still strewn across the floor of the garage, then this class will have failed. Because the goal of studying Scripture is the journey with God. But the point of taking the engine apart is that you would be able to be a mechanic of sorts for biblical interpretation. That you would have the tools to begin working on sticky interpretive problems, for the sake of helping others take the journey too.”
Here’s the welcome video: