Bible Study

GENERAL GUIDELINES
• Prepare a short lesson for a Bible study, small group, Sunday School class, youth group, or sermon on a chapter (or chapter-long passage) from Acts, Hebrews, James, 1 Peter, 1 John!
o (Choose whichever sort of application setting [audience] is useful for you in your current church, ministry, or leadership situation).
• The passage should at least be a chapter long. [Roughly 25–35 verses.]
• Make use of the twelve steps of exegesis and pay special attention to the genre of the book your chosen chapter comes from.

SPECIFIC GUIDELINES
The paper should be 8–10 pages (Times New Roman, 12 pt.) and consist of four parts:
a. Exegesis Notes (4–6 pages, single-spaced): This section will contain all of your notes in preparation for the study. Begin by staring at the fish–reading and rereading your chosen passage and the book in which it is located. As with the Translation and Literary Context assignment do your own reading and study with the primary text first (i.e., the Bible). When you reach the Secondary Literature step, you may go back to your earlier 10 steps and insert comments from commentaries. Indicate these citations with author/page number format. For example: (Brown, 146). Be aware that for steps such as Historical Context and Vocabulary you may need to access secondary sources earlier.
i. Arrange your notes in the order of the twelve steps: Text, Translation, Historical
Context, Literary Context, Form, Structure, Grammatical Issues, Vocabulary, Biblical Context, Theology, Secondary Literature, Application
1. For example, under “Text,” list any text critical issues; under “Translation,” list any significant translation differences among the major translations; under “Historical Context,” list any historically, culturally, geographically, sociologically, etc., relevant details.
2. You will not want to spend an extensive amount of time on any one step (especially Translation); however, the space devoted to each step should be determined by the content of your chapter.
ii. Make sure that your application flows from the passage (in other words it should be related to the passage’s literary context, biblical context, and theology).
iii. I will be marking the Exegesis Notes section on:
1. the thoroughness of each step,
2. the accuracy of your notes
3. whether you caught the sense of the passage’s important points (i.e., did you spend time on the issues pertinent to the chapter and book of the Bible chosen or did you follow rabbit trails or decide ahead of time what was important?)
4. and if you make a clear transition from the steps of Biblical Context to Theology to
Application (i.e., are your Theology points related to the Biblical Context points you
made, and are your Applications relevant to the Biblical [and Literary] Context and
Theology you noted?)
b. Exegetical Meaning and Contemporary Relevance of the Passage (2–3 pages, doublespaced): This is a synthesis of what the passage meant in its original context and what it means for followers of Jesus today. The synthesis should contain your conclusions regarding the meaning of the passage and the various points you would like to express in your talk or lesson.
i. The message should state what you think the main point of the passage was originally and how you think this meaning applies in your setting today. ii. The message should be a synthesis of your notes and should not be organized in the
twelve step pattern. iii. (If you make use of a quote or thought drawn from a secondary source, use footnotes in
this section using the Chicago Manual of Style. See Casson, A Writer’s Handbook, 116–
26 or my citation guide or the Writing Centre’s guides.) iv. Depending on your passage, some steps may not be important for discussion in the summary. There is no need to show your “exegetical underwear”!
1. For example, there may be no major translation differences, but a discussion of certain vocabulary issues (e.g., what does “covenant of salt” mean?) may be important for understanding your passage.
v. I will mark this section based on whether:
1. it is well-written
2. the main applications you discuss are supported by your exegetical notes
3. and you have kept your “exegetical underwear” from showing. In other words, you do not need to talk about irrelevant historical context or the meaning of Hebrew or Greek words to express the passage’s main point(s).
c. Outline (1 page, single-spaced): This is an outline of your 2–3 pages on the Exegetical Meaning and Contemporary Relevance that you will use to guide and facilitate discussion in your teaching of the passage. If you do not know what an outline is, you might want to ask! (This handout is in the form of an outline.)
i. Your outline should match your Exegetical Meaning and Contemporary Relevance section!
ii. It should highlight your major points of your synthesis of the Exegetical Notes!
d. Bibliography: use Chicago Manual of Style (“full note”; See Casson, A Writer’s Handbook, 116–26).
e. The Writing Centre has very helpful staff and useful handouts! See the Writing Centre’s “Writing Resources” and “Tip Sheets.”
i. For citation, in the Exegesis Notes section, use “(author, page number)” style or
whatever helps you know your sources. In the Exegetical Meaning and Contemporary Relevance section, use footnotes. Either way, your bibliography will be expected to be consistently cited in Chicago.
ii. Make use of at least 8–10 sources, including:
1. at least two articles from a relevant InterVarsity Press Dictionary of the Old or
New Testament (OT: Pentateuch; Historical Books; Prophets; Wisdom, Poetry &
Writings; NT: New Testament Background, Jesus and the Gospels, Paul and His Letters, Later NT and its Development).
2. at least one peer reviewed article, (Search ATLA Religion Database):
3. and at least four respectable commentaries that can be found in the reference section of the library.
a. Use commentary series such as the Word Biblical Commentary; New
International Commentary on the Old/New Testament; Baker Exegetical; Anchor
Bible; Sacra Pagina; Pillar; New American Commentary; Zondervan Exegetical; Two Horizons; etc. Most of these can be found in the reference section of the library.
b. See also www.bestcommentaries.com to make choices for Technical/Pastoral commentaries.
c. No unpublished, online commentaries! Ebooks through the library are different. If a commentary can be found on the web for free, it is fully online, and it is either old or not respectable. Old is not bad, but I expect you to dialogue with more recent commentaries for this assignment. The commentators of 1903 are not asking or answering the questions of the twenty-first century. (N.B. Matthew
Henry, born 1662 and died in 1714.)
d. Do not use Study Bible notes for any part of this assignment. You are writing study Bible notes in doing your exegesis and application.
4. If you are counting, that still leaves at least 1–3 sources for you to choose!
a. Bibles do not count as Secondary Literature. The Bible is Primary Literature! So I should not see the Bible in your bibliography, especially since Bibles never need to be listed in a bibliography.
5. Avoid purely web resources (e.g., blogs, Wikipedia, Pastor Bob’s Bible study notes, or student papers). See Making Sense: Religious Studies, ch. 4.

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