OT/NT 637 – SOCIAL-SCIENTIFIC AND RHETORICAL APPROACHES TO BIBLICAL INTERPRETATION ASHLAND THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY SPRING 2011 THURSDAY 1:00-4:00 PM Dr. David A. deSilva NB: Preparation for the First Session is Required E-mail: ddesilva@ashland.edu Phone: (419) 289-5933 Fax: (419) 289-5969 Skype: david.desilva1967 Office Hours: Friday 8am-5pm

I. Course Description NT 615/715 This course will afford students the opportunity to explore the setting and meaning of the Letter to the Hebrews through a careful examination of the rhetorical strategy of the text in its cultural context. We will be especially attentive to the pastoral goal of the author and the ways in which he marshals the resources of the Jewish Scriptures, classical rhetoric, cultural codes, and Christian cosmology to motivate his hearers to remain committed to Jesus and one another. OT/NT 637 This course continues the introduction to modern techniques of biblical criticism, extending the foundation to include social-scientific, cultural-anthropological, rhetorical, and ideological modes of analysis. Special emphasis will be given to discerning the kinds of questions each mode of analysis brings to a text, what theoretical resources each mode draws upon outside the discipline of biblical studies, and what fruits the student can expect from pursuing these lines of inquiry. II. Relationship to Curriculum Model Close work with any text from Scripture, especially encountering it afresh in the original language, cannot fail to provide opportunities for growth, if not transformation, across the four levels identified by the ATS curriculum model. Hebrews, in particular, is a text that calls

in Christ. As the finest example of homiletical rhetoric in the New Testament. Student Learning Outcomes The student who successfully completes this course should be able to perform the following activities. and describe the resources which the author of Hebrews provides for building up such communities. Hebrews provides an excellent case study in the task of the Christian leader and the competencies in Scriptural interpretation and persuasive communication he or she must embody in order to carry the day for God when his or her congregation stands at the crossroads between faithfulness and shrinking away from the challenges of discipleship. It is a call to recognize the full dimensions of an ethical response of gratitude to such astounding generosity. gratitude. * Articulate the vision set forward by the author of Hebrews of our identity in Christ as we stand before God having been cleansed by Christ’s decisive sacrifice. and faithfulness as developed by the author of Hebrews. Character that reflects maturity in Christ. It is a call to recognize who we are as we stand before the Holy God who has cut the new covenant with us in Christ’s blood. * articulate the contours of and motivations for the core virtues of endurance. and to find the moral strength to make a response as noble as the generous act that spawns it. and discern how these truths are to shape our lives and responses to the challenges to faithful discipleship we face. as well as a clear example of a pastoral communication. and the promises God still holds out before us. our visions for Christian community. as related to each of the four facets of the curriculum: Core Identity rooted in Christ. * understand the importance of establishing a strong community of faith for the perseverance of individual believers. .2 us to discern and walk in line with a full response of gratitude to God for the gifts God has given. community and world. III. and our mission in the world. and continue through self-examination and discernment to grow in these fundamental facets of Christian character. The practice of performing exegesis upon this text. provides occasion to develop competency across the spectrum of ministry skills. and discussing in concert with our fellow disciples its implications for our lives. Calling that is foundational for servant leadership in the church. * Articulate our identity and destiny as God’s children and as a link in the chain of witnesses. as the source from which life and ministry flow.

Teaching Strategies for Student Learning . and behaviors of the communities of faith which received the letter. * articulate the basic argument of the Letter to the Hebrews. and applies Scripture. C. A. integrates. IV. commitments. * determine the effects of a New Testament author's use of honor language and patronage scripts upon the first-century Christian communities.3 * articulate the model of Christian leadership evinced by the author of Hebrews and assess its informativity for his or her own sense of calling. * apply the theological motivations and ethical exhortations of Hebrews to the life of churches and believers in your specific context. growing in facility with this more intimate interface with the Word of God as delivered to us. and utilize these strategies in your own application of Scripture in your context of ministry. Articulates. B. * (for students taking this course as Greek Exegesis) read substantial portions of a New Testament book weekly in the original language as the basis for study and reflection. and religious heritage to life and ministry. theology. * describe the techniques employed by a New Testament author in the interpretation of passages from the Old Testament. church history. Practices a broad range of appropriate ministry skills. Applies cultural exegesis to one’s life and ministry. and the intended effects of this argument on the decisions. * critique interpretations of Hebrews which are divorced from the author's historical context and rhetorical purposes for his readers. Competence in the disciplines and skills relevant to Christian ministry. and explain the significance of New Testament readings of the Old Testament. * employ insights from classical rhetoric (rhetorical criticism) in your analysis and interpretation of any New Testament letter or speech.

The First Urban Christians: The Social World of the Apostle Paul. MI: Eerdmans. 1993. Perseverance in Gratitude: A Socio-rhetorical Commentary on the Epistle “to the Hebrews. these are also available in the periodical room or the main stacks.” Grand Rapids. ISBN-13: 978-1585102990. and reflection upon. Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress. Newberryport. 2000. ISBN-10: 0-8006-2798-9. of course. 1994. ISBN-13: 9780300098617 OT 637 only: 4. ISBN-13: 978-0800626785. The Art of Rhetoric. ISBN-10: 0-3000-9861-8.. Maine: Focus Publishing/R. deSilva. New Haven: Yale University Press. Class preparation and participation are thus critical to the attainment of the learning outcomes. ISBN 1-5851-0299-7. David A. in Joe Sachs (tr. The majority of these will be available on the reserve shelf (inquire at the circulation desk) for your convenience. Course Requirements A.4 This course will principally follow a seminar format. NT 637 only: 4. Wayne Meeks. students will be asked to read several pertinent articles during the course of the quarter.). In addition to the above texts for purchase. Phyllis Trible. ISBN-13: 9780800627980. 2nd edition. ISBN10: 0-8006-2678-8. ISBN 0-8028-4188-0. V. Plato’s Gorgias and Aristotle’s Rhetoric. 2003. becomes a primary vehicle by means of which students will demonstrate their growth in exegetical skill and hermeneutical discernment. Rhetorical Criticism (Guides to Biblical Scholarship: Old Testament Series). . relying on student preparation of. 3. 2008. Textbooks All Students: 1. Aristotle. Elliott. 2. John H. The exegetical paper. What is Social-Scientific Criticism? Philadelphia: Fortress. the weekly assignments to move through the salient issues in the interpretation of the text as the instructor seeks to facilitate discussion rather than lecture (much of what might have been delivered in lecture format being available in the commentary written by the instructor). Pullins Co. Access to a critical edition of the Greek New Testament (UBS4 or NA26/27) is essential for students enrolled in NT 715 or OT/NT 637.

‚Religion as a Cultural System‛ and ‚Ethos. 1977). We will use the time together to discuss the materials and refine our grasp of the material in concert with one another. ‚Embodying the Word: Social-Scientific Interpretation of the New Testament. Richard D.‛ pp. A primary objective of this course is to encourage growth in the science and art of exegesis. we will look together at ways in which rhetorical and social-scientific modes of interpretation can enhance the exegetical enterprise. I envision that most of your exposure to content will happen through diligent preparation of the readings and review assignments. keep the originals for your reference). The Face of New Testament Studies (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic. Raising Up a Faithful Priest: Community and Priesthood in a Biblical Theology (Louisville. eds.‛ pp. and the final . and the Analysis of Sacred Symbols. 2004). Requirements and Evaluation: NT 615/715: The class will be structured more as a seminar than a lecture course. In order to fulfill this aim. students will be asked to turn in a copy of their notes on these questions prior to each class (a copy only. Attendance According to the student handbook.‛ pp.‛ Restoration Quarterly 36 (1994) 1-21. eds." These should be at the heart of your preparation for each class session. receive a lower grade or withdraw from the class. this is at the discretion of the professor. but may not be limited to. B. Any student missing the equivalent of six class hours will be required to do additional work.. attendance at all class sessions is expected unless the professor has been notified in advance. 2004). David deSilva. 1993). ‚The Epistle to the Hebrews in Social-Scientific Perspective. KY: Westminster/John Knox Press. Every lesson includes "Questions for Reflection and Discussion. Nelson. 87-141 in The Interpretation of Cultures (New York: Basic Books. 421-451 in David Baker and Bill Arnold. World View. ‚Opening Windows onto Biblical Worlds: Applying the Social Sciences to Hebrew Scripture. C. 118-129 in Scot McKnight and Grant Osborne.5 These will include. The Face of Old Testament Studies (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic. David deSilva. the following: Charles Carter. so that each of us may give our best to helping one another discover the multifaceted meaning of this text. Clifford Geertz.. Faithful attendance at seminars and informed participation are therefore crucial. chapter 4.

and to help account for differences. The guidelines for "Standard Written English" should be followed closely. If you overshoot this mark in an earlier draft of your paper. 12-point type. instead. We will use the ESV (or NRSV). be sure to edit the paper with a view to falling between the assigned limits. These are all available online at http://www. and will include your own translation of the passage together with notes explaining/supporting your translation where a number of possible translations exist. Please prepare your translation in duplicate. though it will include exegesis in some form.biblegateway. Your final paper will not necessarily focus on the exegesis of a passage. you will select a particular rhetorical-critical or socialscientific question or lens and analysis some part of all of the text of Hebrews from that angle . The length should fall between 10-12 pages. the exegetical skills that are your primary focus for this course. double-spaced.6 component of the class will be an exegetical paper of sufficient length to allow exploration of a passage using the appropriate tools of interpretation. NT 715: 1. you will give attention each week to the ways in which some aspect of rhetorical or social-scientific analysis opens up the text of Hebrews. and CEB (all accessible online at http://www.biblegateway. NT615: Each week. for which your advance preparation will be necessary. This will give you the opportunity to practice week-by-week. OT/NT 637: In place of the assignments focused on the text of Hebrews (whether in translation. and the CEB (Common English Bible). Details of this assignment will be provided in a handout. the NIV. submitting one copy to the instructor at the beginning of class each week translation work is due.com/versions/) stack up against your understanding of the Greek text. Please do this PRIOR to reading the commentary. Please be prepared to engage the NT 615 students on the question of how the ESV. Your work here will enable you to participate meaningfully in those parts of class where other students are discussing their translation of the Greek text. It is expected that you will also do this work as part of your preparation for the exegesis paper. You will translate passages selected from the Greek text of Hebrews. or in Greek. as for NT 715 students).com/versions/. Grammar and syntax count — your selfexpression must not inhibit the reader's ability to follow your argument. NIV 2010. 2. Please prepare a copy of your notes from this exercise for submission each week. as for NT 615 students. The exegesis paper will be written based on the Greek text of your selected passage. and then be alert as you read the commentary to explanations of the grammar and lexical meanings that might help you evaluate these translations. in a more focused way. you will give close attention to a particular passage (see course schedule) in three translations with a view to determining where important decisions have been made concerning the meaning and syntactic relationships of words/parts of the sentence.

1-106. 55-82. probably fall closer to 20 double-spaced pages. Richard D. Applicability to Hebrew Bible View lecture on Rhetorical Criticism (via Angel) Aristotle.11. Biblical Hermeneutics: A Comprehensive Introduction to Interpreting Scripture (Nashville. D. Raising Up a Faithful Priest: Community and Priesthood in a Biblical Theology (Louisville. Class Two Hebrews and Classical Rhetoric. Review Honor and Patronage topics and their intersection with Hebrews (see deSilva. 2004). 1993). Newman. Nelson. ‚Introduction‛) R. C. Lemke. TN: Broadman and Holman. The Face of Old Testament Studies (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic.1 through 2. and G. Calculation of Grade Class participation Exegesis paper 1/2 1/2 This paper should VI. Hebrews and Old Testament Exegesis in the First Century John H. 421-451 in David Baker and Bill Arnold.. The Art of Rhetoric. 3. eds. Corley. OT 637 students only: Charles Carter. .7 in conversation with appropriate theorists and critical commentaries. Class One The Historical and Social Setting of Hebrews Hebrews. ‚Opening Windows onto Biblical Worlds: Applying the Social Sciences to Hebrew Scripture. 1993). "Ancient Jewish Hermeneutics. B. 23-39 in B." pp. Book 1. Perseverance. Sloan and C. KY: Westminster/John Knox Press.‛ pp. Perseverance in Gratitude. S. Rhetorical Criticism and New Testament Interpretation. Class Schedule and Reading Assignments: Readings and assignments are to be completed prior to the class under which they are listed. Elliott. Lovejoy. What is Social-Scientific Criticism? (Philadelphia: Fortress. 1996).1-19. introduction (pp. Rhetorical Criticism Class Three (prepare Heb 1:1-14) Hebrews in Cultural Context. Handouts on rhetorical analysis OT 637 students only: Trible. 1-80). entire deSilva.

Review R.8 Reflection: to what extent does the use of the Jewish Scriptures in Hebrews reflect distinctively Jewish hermeneutics. the Benefactor of Believers Heb 1:1-2:18 deSilva. social tensions and challenges. Hebrews 5:11-6:20: Motivations to Remain Fruitful Soil Heb 4:14-6:20 deSilva. nature and structure of the community. commentary on 1:1-2:18 Clifford Geertz. and to what extent broader Greco-Roman rhetorical practice? Class Four (prepare Heb 2:1-13) Hebrews 1:1-2:18: The Son of God. Better Sanctuary. chapter 7. Knowing the Truth: questions to bring to OT/NT texts to probe social world. Perseverance in Gratitude. Patronage. 15-23. World View. 87-141 in The Interpretation of Cultures (New York: Basic Books. commentary on 3:1-4:13 Online (?) lecture: Peter Berger’s Sacred Canopy and NT Interpretation Kee. Raising Up a Faithful Priest: Community and Priesthood in a Biblical Theology. Nelson. on 7:1-10:18 deSilva. Class Seven (prepare Heb 10:1-14) Hebrews 7:1-8:13: Better Priest. 73-88). Perseverance in Gratitude. reflected in a text. Perseverance in Gratitude. Exodus 24 Class Eight (prepare Heb 10:26-39) Hebrews 10:19-39: Valuing the Gift Enough to Keep Investing . Leviticus 16. Better Covenant Hebrews 9:1-10:18: The Effects of the One Effective Sacrifice Heb 7:1-10:18 deSilva. D. on 4:14-6:20 Selections from the Progymnasmata of Theon and Hermogenes (George A. and the Analysis of Sacred Symbols. Honor. 42-62. Class Five (prepare Heb 3:7-19) Hebrews 3:1-4:13: The Pattern of Distrust Heb 3:1-4:13 Numbers 14 deSilva. Kinship & Purity.‛ pp. ‚Religion as a Cultural System‛ and ‚Ethos. Progymnasmata. Exodus 29. 1977). chapter 4. Perseverance in Gratitude. Class Six (prepare Heb 6:1-12) Hebrews 4:14-5:10: Jesus' Appointment to the High Priesthood. Kennedy.

2011. D. 1954. Cosby. Perseverance in Gratitude. on chapter 13. and cultural contexts.. "The Rhetorical Composition of Hebrews 11. traditionhistorical. "The Eschatology in the Epistle to the Hebrews. Online (?) Lecture: ‚How Greek was the author of ‘Hebrews’? A study of the author’s social location in regard to Greek paidei/a‛ Class Ten (prepare Heb 12:25-29. A ‚critical‛ commentary is one that seeks to lead out the meaning o f the text under investigation fully in the light of linguistic/lexical. Barrett.9 Hebrews 11:1-12:4: The Examples of Faith Heb 10:19-12:4 deSilva. 13:15-16. Perseverance in Gratitude. MAY 30. Reading on sectarian formation and tension (TBD) Class Nine (prepare Heb 12:1-11) Hebrews 12:4-29: Persevering as Confident Children of God Heb 12:1-29 deSilva. on 10:19-12:4 M. evaluating their devotional and pastoral applications in light of your own study of the passage. JUNE 2. Review of the Rhetorical Strategy and Pastoral Goal of Hebrews Further Applications of Hebrews for Contemporary Church Contexts. THE EXEGESIS PAPER/SEMINAR PAPER WILL BE DUE AT ASHLAND'S MAIN CAMPUS BY THURSDAY. NO LATE EXAMS OR PAPERS WILL BE ACCEPTED WITHOUT PRIOR WRITTEN REQUEST AND WRITTEN APPROVAL FROM THE PROFESSOR. W. K. MUST SUBMIT THEIR PAPERS BY END OF BUSINESS DAY ON MONDAY.E. historical. on 12:1-29. The following series provide excellent examples of what I have in mind: Word Biblical Commentary. philosophical. Daube). C. Davies and D. R. you will want to interact critically with these resources as well. STUDENTS ANTICIPATING GRADUATION ON JUNE 4. Cambridge: Cambridge University. 2011. AT 1:00 PM (I. 2011. Perseverance in Gratitude. Other Course Instructions The Exegesis Paper will need to show evidence of critical interaction with at least three scholarly commentaries (the main course text can count as one) as well as at least three other critical resources. New International Greek Testament Commentary." Journal of Biblical Literature 107 (1988) 257-73. Engagement with devotional and pastoral resources is also welcome in addition to these resources: in this case. AT THE START OF OUR LAST CLASS SESSION)." in The Background of the New Testament and Its Eschatology (ed. literary. 20-21) Hebrews 13:1-25: Living out a Response of Gratitude Heb 13:1-25 deSilva. VII. .

Read more broadly in seminal examples of the application of this material to biblical interpretation (e. The Social Setting of Pauline Christianity. Sociology of Religion.g. teaching. Phyllis Trible. Gerd Theissen. 5. VIII. and provide resources for them to move forward. Commitment and Community. Clifford Geertz. Commentaries (see especially William Lane’s commentary on Hebrews in the Word Biblical Commentary. Work through a second critical commentary (e. Hermeneia. global). preaching. The First Urban Christians. Peter Berger. a few persons from a predominantly Caucasian Protestant church could partner with a few persons from an Hispanic Roman Catholic church for a weekly or monthly meeting. For example. 4. Craig Koester’s on Hebrews in the Anchor Bible Commentary. Preach or teach through the Epistle to the Hebrews in your local church.10 New International Commentary on the New Testament. 2. national. Robert Wilson. Victor Turner. Howard Kee. Sociological Approaches to the Old Testament). The Interpretation of Cultures. Knowing the Truth. and writing. listening to one another share how the text helps them frame their experience. Rhetorical Criticism [Guides to Biblical Scholarship: Old Testament Series].. Thomas Long’s commentary on Hebrews in the Interpretation series. Anchor Bible Commentary. or . Suggestions for Lifelong Learning 1. your particular congregation in its setting (local. and resources for. denominational.. Rosabeth Kanter. The Sacred Canopy. 3.. Bengt Holmberg.g. Paul and Power. Aristotle’s Rhetorica ad Alexandrum [probably by Anaximenes]) and in social-scientific and cultural-anthropological theory (e. See further the description of this paper in the Study Guide. Sociology and the New Testament: An Appraisal.. as well as my Perseverance in Gratitude) and the Study Guide will provide a starting place for additional resources. Quintilian’s Institutes. Wayne Meeks. challenge them. pseudoCicero’s Rhetorica ad Herennium. Max Weber.. Craig Koester’s in the Yale Anchor Bible series or Luke Johnson’s in the New Testament Library) and another resource designed to stimulate your thinking about enfleshment of the word (e.g. deepening your understanding of its challenge to. The Ritual Process. Read more broadly in classical rhetorical handbooks (e. Mary Douglas.g. idem. Create an opportunity for people from two churches of different social locations to read through Hebrews together. Purity and Danger). Practice the application of these models and focal lenses in the interpretation of particular texts in the course of your ongoing engagement with exegesis.g. or George Guthrie’s in the New International Version Application Commentary).

documentation concerning your disability must be on file with Classroom Support Services. IX. ATS Academic Integrity Policy Ashland Theological Seminary seeks to model servant leadership derived from biblical standards of honesty and integrity. Contact the center if you have a question about how to complete your assignment. positive contributions verbalized in class. As members of the seminary community. We desire to encourage. C. some aspects of the course met with excellence. if you have documentation questions. Students with Disabilities For students who have specific physical. consistency and . high degree of freedom from error. The ATS Writing Center can be reached at 419-289-5162 or by e-mail at atswc@ashland. and social integrity. or if you would like to have your paper evaluated for areas needing improvement. Seminary Guidelines A. In order to receive accommodations. therefore.11 members of an African-American congregation could partner with members from a Korean church. commendable achievement of course objectives. Please contact them with any questions you may have. diligence and originality. psychiatric or learning disabilities and require accommodations. B.edu. Ashland University. All students. initiative expressed in preparing and completing assignments. The center provides free sessions with a peer consultant who can help you with all of your concerns about academic writing. personal. and sustain men and women of character who will exemplify these biblical qualities in their ministry to the church and the world. develop. substantial evidence of ability to utilize course material. please let the professor know early in the quarter (preferably the first week) so that your learning needs can be appropriately met. positive contributions verbalized in class. A92-96 B+ 89-91 B 86-88 Good work submitted. outstanding evidence of ability to utilize course knowledge. are expected to abide by the academic integrity standards outlined in the Student Handbook. ATS Grading Scale Grade Percent Description A 97-100 Superior achievement of course objectives. D. 105 Amstutz Hall. contact the ATS Writing Center. 419-289-5953. Writing Assistance If you need assistance with writing projects for your coursework. students are expected to hold themselves to the highest standards of academic.

satisfactory achievement of course objectives. CD+ D 74-76 71-73 68-70 Passing but minimal work. marginal achievement of course objectives.12 thoroughness of work completed. inadequate class contributions. satisfactory class contribution. inadequacy of work submitted or of performance and attendance in class. DF 65-67 Below 65 . poor performance in comprehension of work submitted. Unacceptable work resulting in failure to receive class credit. demonstrating at least some ability to utilize course knowledge. BC+ C 83-85 80-82 77-79 Acceptable work completed.

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