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Exegetical Papers: Welcome
This guide is intended to introduce graduate level students in religion to the important practice of biblical exegesis. It will also help students in their research by providing important reference works that will greatly enhance their understanding of the practice of biblical interpretation and the various methodologies used.
Although many professors will often have specific requirements in their exegetical assignments, there will also be many aspects of the assignments that will be determined by the student. This guide hopes to provide the proper resources so that students will be able to adequately fulfill the requirements of the essay and in turn greatly enhance their own research skills.
To better enhance their academic exegetical papers students will have to interact with existing scholarship. The library has access to many online databases that contain thousands of documents. These are invaluable tools that will greatly enhance research, both academic and liturgical. This is not an exhaustive list, which can be found here.
This is your "go-to" site when attempting to find journal articles on specific topics
Similar to JSTOR in that it provides access to journal articles on various topics. This has access to some journals not available through JSTOR.
Brill Textual History of the Bible
An excellent source on the textual history of the Hebrew Bible. If you writing a paper on a certain book this is an excellent place to start in order to better understand the rich textual history of different books that make up the Hebrew Bible. At this point in time (2017) only Vol. 1 is finished but as different volumes are finished they will be added to the database.
How to Write Like an Academic
Writing, one of the most valuable skill of an academic, is also one of the most overlooked. Although most people have been writing since a very young age, academic writing is much different than casual writing. These are some basic books that teach how to write academic papers with a theological emphasis.
Turabian Quick Guide
Turabian Style is an abbreviated version of the Chicago Manual of Style. Unfortunately there is no EBook version but this link provides a quick guide into this style.
Chicago Manual of Style
"When that research paper comes due and you’ve forgotten your style manual, get the guidance you need quickly with the Chicago Manual of Style QuickStudy® guide. Based on the 16th edition of CMS, this... contains the information you need for writing academic papers to CMS specifications, pared down to the essentials, including common, real-world sample references for both CMS citation formats so that you can be sure you are giving appropriate credit where credit is due."
The Craft of History and the Study of the New Testament by
"Do professional historians and New Testament scholars use the same methods to explore the past? This interdisciplinary textbook introduces students of the New Testament to the vocabulary and methods employed by historians. It discusses various approaches to historiography and demonstrates their applicability for interpreting the New Testament text and exploring its background. Overviews of the philosophy of history, common historical fallacies, and the basics of historiography are followed by three exegetical studies that illustrate the applicability of various historical methods for New Testament interpretation." - SBL Press
The Elements of Academic Style
Eric Hayot teaches graduate students and faculty in literary and cultural studies how to think and write like a professional scholar. From granular concerns, such as sentence structure and grammar, to big-picture issues, such as adhering to genre patterns for successful research and publishing and developing productive and rewarding writing habits, Hayot helps ambitious students, newly minted Ph.D.'s, and established professors shape their work and develop their voices. Hayot does more than explain the techniques of academic writing. He aims to adjust the writer's perspective, encouraging scholars to think of themselves as makers and doers of important work." - Columbia University Press
The Routledge Handbook of Research Methods in the Study of Religion by
Designed to enable non-specialists and students at upper undergraduate and graduate levels to understand the variety of research methods used in the field.
This focuses on religious research in general but chapters of note for biblical studies include (but are not limited to): Comparison (1.2), Epistemology (1.3), Feminist Methodologies (1.4), Discourse Analysis (2.4), Hermeneutics (2.11), History (2.12), Philology (2.16), Structuralism (2.18), Translation (2.21).
The SBL Handbook of Style by
Though similar to the Chicago Manual of Style, this style is slightly different. The most valuable section of this work is the abbreviations section that gives the standard abbreviations of most of the different works often cited by biblical scholars.
The Christian Writer's Manual of Style by
"The standard style guide of the Christian publishing industry, The Christian Writer's Manual of Style, 4th Edition, compiled by veteran Zondervan editor Robert Hudson, contains clear guidance on style questions related to religious writing, including many topics not addressed in other references or online. Nearly half of this fourth revision is made up of new material, including information about turning blogs into books, the effects of digital media on writing, "adverbial doubles," "vanishing accents," word-choice strategies, endorser guidelines, and much more. It also contains an all-new "Word List" which makes up more than a third of the book. The most needful information remains--entries on capitalization, abbreviation, citations, fictional dialogue, and more--but it has all been updated to keep pace with changes in English language usage. This fourth edition also corresponds with The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th Edition (2010), though it isn't afraid to chart new territory where that reference is unhelpful on issues of religious writing. Comprehensive yet easy-to-use, The Christian Writer's Manual of Style, 4th Edition, is a go-to resource for Christian authors, pastors, teachers, copy writers, editors, proofreaders, publishing and ministry professionals, executive assistants, and students--anyone who writes or edits as a part of their work or study--and for grammar aficionados everywhere." - Zondervan
The Craft of Research by
"The Craft of Research explains how to build an argument that motivates readers to accept a claim; how to anticipate the reservations of readers and to respond to them appropriately; and how to create introductions and conclusions that answer that most demanding question, “So what?” The third edition includes an expanded discussion of the essential early stages of a research task: planning and drafting a paper. The authors have revised and fully updated their section on electronic research, emphasizing the need to distinguish between trustworthy sources (such as those found in libraries) and less reliable sources found with a quick Web search. A chapter on warrants has also been thoroughly reviewed to make this difficult subject easier for researchers Throughout, the authors have preserved the amiable tone, the reliable voice, and the sense of directness that have made this book indispensable for anyone undertaking a research project." - University of Chicago
Elements of Style by
"The Elements of Style (1918), by William Strunk, Jr., and E.B. White, is an American English writing style guide. It is the best-known, most influential prescriptive treatment of English grammar and usage, and often is required reading and usage in U.S. high school and university composition classes. This edition of The Elements of Style details eight elementary rules of usage, ten elementary principles of composition, "a few matters of form," and a list of commonly misused words and expressions." - Start Publishing
Books on Exegesis
Exegesis is one of the most fundamental skills of a biblical scholar. Learning the various methods of interpreting the Hebrew Bible and New Testament will not only help with course work, but will greatly enhance one's ability to better understand how other authors are interpreting these works, and in turn greatly benefit one's research skills.
This short list of books will offer excellent introductions into exegesis, but it should be remembered that some professors are looking for specific information in their exegesis assignment; thus it is very important to refer to your syllabus when writings an exegesis paper.
How to Write an Exegesis Paper
This is a handout created by Dr. Dale B. Martin for his students at Yale University. Remember that this is for his assignments and that those of your professors might be different.
Biblical Hermeneutics: Five Views by
"Five experts in biblical hermeneutics gather here to state and defend their approach to the discipline. Contributors include: Craig Blomberg with the historical-critical/grammatical approach, Richard Gaffin with the redemptive-historical approach, Scott Spencer with the literary/postmodern approach, Robert Wall with the canonical approach and Merold Westphal with the philosophical/theological approach." - IVP Academic
Considering Comparison: A Method for Religious Studies by
"Revisiting critical debates and examining reflections in other disciplines, including comparative history, sociology, comparative theology, and anthropology, Freiberger proposes a model of comparison that is based on a thorough epistemological analysis and that takes both the scholar's situatedness and his or her agency seriously. Examining numerous examples of comparative studies, Considering Comparison develops a methodological framework for conducting and evaluating such studies. Freiberger suggests a comparative approach - which he calls discourse comparison - that confronts the omnipresent risks of decontextualization, essentialization, and universalization.This book makes a case for comparison, arguing that it is indispensable for a deeper analytical understanding of what we call religion. The book is intended to enrich the practice of both aspiring and seasoned comparativists, stimulate much-needed further discussions about comparative methodology, and encourage more scholars to produce responsible comparative studies." - OUP
Contemporary Biblical Hermeneutics by
"Appearing in English for the first time, this classic introduction to the field of hermeneutics covers a wide range of approaches to biblical interpretation. Presenting a brief history of philosophical hermeneutics, Manfred Oeming uses a clear structure to emphasize why there are, and why there must be, different and differing approaches to the interpretation of a text, in this case particularly the biblical text. The often confusing multiplicity of approaches to biblical interpretation are introduced along accessible lines, concluding with an argument for an acceptance of a multiplicity of approaches to account for the many layers of the biblical text. Incorporating discussion of the German hermeneutical tradition, exemplified by the work of Heidegger, Bultmann, and Gadamer, this book helps to bridge Anglo-American and German scholarly traditions. It will be of great assistance to students, teachers and preachers." - Routledge
Elements of Biblical Exegesis: A Basic Guide for Students and Ministers by
World-renowned scholar Michael Gorman presents a straightforward approach to the complex task of biblical exegesis. This third edition of Gorman's widely used and trusted textbook (over 60,000 copies sold) has been thoroughly updated and revised to reflect developments in the academy and the classroom over the past decade. The new edition explains recent developments in theological interpretation and explores missional and non-Western readings of the biblical text. Adaptable for students in various settings, it includes clear explanations, practical hints, suggested exercises, and sample papers.
Exegetical Fallacies by
This book offers updated explanations of the sins of interpretation to teach sound grammatical, lexical, cultural, theological, and historical Bible study practices. "A must for teachers, pastors, and serious Bible students." - Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
The Hermeneutics of the Biblical Writers: Learning to Interpret Scripture from the Prophets and Apostles by
"A method of interpretation--a hermeneutic--is indispensable for understanding Scripture, constructing theology, and living the Christian life, but most contemporary hermeneutical systems fail to acknowledge the principles and practices of the biblical writers themselves. Christians today cannot employ a truly biblical view of the Bible unless they understand why the prophets and apostles interpreted Scripture the way they did. To this end, Abner Chou proposes a "hermeneutic of obedience," in which believers learn to interpret Scripture the way the biblical authors did—including understanding the New Testament's use of the Old Testament. Chou first unfolds the "prophetic hermeneutic" of the Old Testament authors, and demonstrates the continuity of this approach with the "apostolic hermeneutic" of the New Testament authors." - Kregel Publications
Interpreting Scripture with the Great Tradition: Recovering the Genius of Premodern Exegesis by
"The rise of modernity, especially the European Enlightenment and its aftermath, has negatively impacted the way we understand the nature and interpretation of Christian Scripture. In this introduction to biblical interpretation, Craig Carter evaluates the problems of post-Enlightenment hermeneutics and offers an alternative approach: exegesis in harmony with the Great Tradition. Carter argues for the validity of patristic christological exegesis, showing that we must recover the Nicene theological tradition as the context for contemporary exegesis, and seeks to root both the nature and interpretation of Scripture firmly in trinitarian orthodoxy." - Baker Academic
An Introduction to Biblical Hermeneutics by
"Since its publication in 1994, An Introduction to Biblical Hermeneutics has become a standard text for a generation of students, pastors, and serious lay readers. This second edition has been substantially updated and expanded, allowing the authors to fine-tune and enrich their discussions on fundamental interpretive topics. In addition, four new chapters have been included that address more recent controversial issues: * The role of biblical theology in interpretation * How to deal with contemporary questions not directly addressed in the Bible * The New Testament's use of the Old Testament * The role of history in interpretation The book retains the unique aspect of being written by two scholars who hold differing viewpoints on many issues, making for vibrant, thought-provoking dialogue. What they do agree on, however, is the authority of Scripture, the relevance of personal Bible study to life, and why these things matter."
Introduction to Biblical Interpretation by
"Introduction to Biblical Interpretation, now in its third edition, is a classic hermeneutics textbook that sets forth concise, logical, and practical guidelines for discovering the truth in God's Word. With updates and revisions throughout that keep pace with current scholarship, this book offers students the best and most up-to-date information needed to interpret Scripture." - HarperCollins Christian Publishing
Myth in Old Testament Interpretation by
“[Dr. Rogerson’s] survey of the concept of myth in Old Testament interpretation since the late eighteenth century never degenerates into a mere string of names and methods: it is always directed towards understanding what has been behind the analysis of myth, what presuppositions scholars have brought to bear on the biblical text, and (most important) what value if any their insights still have. He shows a delicate discrimination between different scholars of the same school, and even between different aspects of the same scholar's theories.” – John Barton
New Testament Exegesis by
This book introduces beginning scholars to the practice of exegesis and the various steps that can be taken in the process. This book assumes an introductory knowledge of Greek and puts an emphasis on the original language of the text; however this should not frustrate non-Greek reading students as they can skip those sections and still walk away with important knowledge (though this should spark an interest in learning Greek!)
Old Testament Exegesis, Fourth Edition by
The Hebrew Bible counterpart to the above book, this again provides a step-by-step guide to exegesis focusing on the Hebrew Bible. It also assumes basic knowledge of Biblical Hebrew but non-Hebrew reading students will still benefit greatly from this introductory work.
Biblical Exegesis by
"John Hayes and Carl Holladay have thoroughly revised and expanded this best-selling textbook, adding new chapters on emerging methods of interpretation. . . . This new edition retains the features of the early editions: a minimum of technical terms, solid introductory guidelines in exegetical methods, and a valuable presentation of exegetical theory and practice. It is ideal for general introductory exegesis courses, introductions to the Old and New Testaments, and introduction to preaching, as well as for pastors and lay leaders."
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