TH6602 - The Bible, Culture and Historical Theology


The Bible, Culture and Historical Theology


20 CC   10 ECTS

Distance Learning: King's Evangelical Divinity School eCampus


10 hours of recorded lectures 10 hours
190 hours of generated study time. 190 hours

Students have access to an online discussion forum to communicate with tutors and other students, along with e-mail support from tutors. Where appropriate, telephone support is also available.
Scheduled hours Placement Hours Independent Guided study
10 0 190

Core course material is noted as required in student courseware and typically includes recorded lectures and reading of select textbooks, papers or book extracts. All students are expected to listen to all of the course lectures and read the required materials. A range of supporting teaching material is also available to students as further recommended learning options.

Reformational Hermeneutics AD 1500-1650

      a. Luther—Hermeneutical Key

      b. Calvin—Analogy of Scripture

Post Reformation Period AD 1650-1800

     a. Immanuel Kant—Inability to know a thing in itself.

     b. Schleiermacher –Psychology of Exegesis

     c. Thomas Reid—Common-sense realism

     d. John Wesley –Devotional Exegesis

Modern Period AD 1800-Present

     a. Heidegger—Existentialist Hermeneutic

     b. Barth—Bible Tool for Divine Encounter

     c. Derrida—Deconstruction—Meaning is all Interpretation

     d. Gadamer—Fusion of Text and Reader

     e. Paul Feyerabend—Rejection of Interpretive Method

     f. Rorty—Pragmatic Interpretation

Is There a Way Out of This Hermeneutical Dilemma for Evangelicals?

    a. Vander Goot—Plain Sense Hermeneutics

    b. VanTil—Presuppositional Hermeneutics c. Vanhoozer—Trinitarian Hermeneutics

  • To sensitise students to the way culture, worldview, and historical context have influenced epistemological and hermeneutical theory throughout Church history.
  • To enable students to develop a critical awareness of how culture, worldview, and historical context influences their own understanding of Scripture.
  • To encourage students to understand and critique how Evangelicals relate to other Christian communities and the broader secular culture.
  • To develop an appreciation of the way key figures have influenced epistemological and hermeneutical theory from the Reformation to the present.
  • To explain the complex arguments proffered by Postmodern thinkers concerning our inability truly to understand a text’s meaning in an objective manner.

Audio lectures, guided reading, individual study, and individual support where appropriate. Students will prepare for assignments individually using interactive online learning material. Students are encouraged, but not required, to participate in online theological discussion on the eCampus Forum.

An ability to perform in-depth research of key hermeneutical thinkers sufficient to portray the ideas of those thinkers in an accurate way.

Sufficient familiarity with the terms and concepts of various hermeneutical theories so as to be able to provide a meaningful assessment of those theories.

Detailed awareness of the claims and challenges posed by Deconstructionist hermeneutics in obtaining interpretative certainty.

Recognition of how a hermeneutical theory impacts Biblical interpretation in theoretical and practical terms.

Component Weighting % Learning outcome(s) assessed Assessment category
14000 word assignment100%1-4Coursework

As assessment

Carson, D. A. (Ed.). (2016). The enduring authority of the Christian Scriptures. Michigan: Eerdmans.

Detweiler, Robert, ed. (1982). Derrida and biblical studies. Vol. 23. Semeia. Chico, CA: Society of Biblical Literature.

Feyerabend, Paul (1988). Against method. Rev.ed. London: Verso.

Jobling, David, and Tina Pippin, eds. (1992, 1993). Ideological criticism of biblical texts. Vol. 59, Semeia. Atlanta, GA: Society of Biblical Literature.

Klein, William W., Craig L. Blomberg, and Robert L. Hubbard, Jr. (2004). Introduction to biblical interpretation. Revised ed. Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

Kuhn, Thomas S. (1996). The structure of scientific revolutions. 3rd Ed. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

McGrath, A. E. (2012). Historical theology: An introduction to the history of Christian thought (2nd ed.). Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.

McKim, Donald K. (2007). Dictionary of major biblical interpreters (2nd edn). Nottingham and Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press.

Mitchener, Ronald T. (2007). Engaging deconstructive theology. Cornwall: Ashgate.

Sandys-Wunsch, John (2005). What have they done to the Bible?: A history of modern biblical interpretation. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press.


Stephen Vantassel


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