TAM302 Encountering God through Scripture: Hermeneutical Reflections and Exegetical Explorations

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TAM302 (2017—2018)

Course code: TAM302

Course name: Encountering God through Scripture: Hermeneutical Reflections and Exegetical Explorations

Semester: Autumn

Location: Bergen

Academic year: 2018–2019

Language: English

Credits: 15 ECTS Credits

Available for course students: No

Required prerequisite knowledge

The basic educational pathway is an obtained bachelor–s degree with 80 ECTS specialization in theology and with a grade average of C or higher (ECTS). Language requirements apply as for the entire Master program. For details and alternative pathways, see the curriculum for Master in Theology and Ministry.

Recommended prerequisite knowledge

2 years of experience from Ministry or Church practice

Relevance within study programme

Master Program in Theology and Ministry

Elective for Master of Theology or Christian studies


Encountering God through Scripture: Hermeneutical Reflections and Exegetical Explorations (TAM302) explores strategies for biblical interpretation at the forefront of current research and in church tradition. Various models of theological interpretation as an interpretive endeavor and social practice situated in the church are particularly emphasized. The on campus learning sessions will concentrate on applying these strategies and models to selected biblical texts from the lectionary of the Christian feasts. The course aims at equipping the students with hermeneutical and methodological insights and tools relevant for writing their Master Thesis and for future ministry.

Learning outcomes descriptors


The candidate

  • has fundamental knowledge about critical and reflective approaches to biblical interpretation
  • has specialized insight in aims and assumptions of various models of theological interpretation of Scripture
  • has thorough knowledge of approaches to scriptural reading in church tradition
  • has thorough knowledge of selected lectionary texts for the major feasts of the liturgical year.



The candidate

  • can critically assess various interpretative strategies of the Bible.
  • can encounter biblical texts from theological, historical, missional, and spiritual perspectives
  • is sufficiently equipped with theory and methodology from the forefront of biblical interpretation research in order to design a limited research project of his/her own


General competence

The candidate

  • has a reflective stance on the interface between engaging in biblical texts critically, imaginary, and spiritually
  • can apply strategies for biblical interpretation in practical Theology and Ministry
  • can communicate independent work and masters language and terminology of biblical interpretation
  • can participate in scholarly discourses about biblical interpretation in academia, the church, and in wider society arena
  • can contribute to a renewed reflection on the Bible in church and society


Course content will include an introduction into a broad spectrum of current biblical hermeneutical methods. Special attention is given to how this repertoire of critical methods might interact and interplay with distinctively theological, missional and spiritual perspectives on the biblical texts. The hermeneutical introduction will include historical criticism and social-scientific perspectives, genre analysis, rhetorical criticism, narrative criticism, reader-response perspectives, feminist criticism and postcolonial criticism. The course will also provide in-classroom modeling of –thick– interpretation of selected biblical texts from the lectionary of the liturgical year, involving active student participation. The core texts are: Luke 2,1-14; John 1,1-14 (Christmas); Mark 14,22-25; Matt 28,1-20 (Easter); John 20,19-23; Acts 2,1-11 (Pentecost). The study will include commentaries and sermons on these texts from the patristic, medieval and reformation era and from modern times (collected in a reader).

Teaching and learning methods

Two weeklong learning sessions on campus comprised of lectures, group-seminars, and case-based classes.

Participation in an online learning-program stretching over eight weeks before and between the learning sessions. Each week is comprised of at least one video-lecture, self study of syllabus related to the week–s topic, online office hour (a live-chat with a lecturer), and a small assignment (coursework requirement).


375 h

Coursework requirements

  • 80% attendance at the learning session is a requirement. (Alternative assignments will be provided for students prohibited from attending).
  • 8 minor online assignments. (Alternative submission deadline may occasionally be approved)

Grading, coursework requirements

Approved/Not approved

Final assessment

Final assessment in TAM302 is the subject of one Term Paper. This is a written essay comprised of 5000 words (+/- 20%) on a pre-assigned topic. The assignment is distributed at the beginning of the term, and is to be delivered for feedback prior to the second learning session. After revision, final submission of the Term Paper is on a given deadline after the second learning session. The Term Paper is an individual piece of work and is assessed according to the ECTS grading scale.

Permitted aids under examination


Grading, examination

The Term Paper is assessed according to the ECTS grading scale, A-F.

Assessment language


Alternatively, one of the Scandinavian languages.

Other languages could be accepted by application



Course evaluation

Students will be encouraged to evaluate the course module online (itslearning) upon completion. Lecturers will evaluate the course module through mutual conversation, and based on student evaluations.

Available for Course Students



Subject to changes

1100 pages:

 Green, Joel B. (ed.) Hearing the New Testament : strategies for interpretation. 2nd ed. Grand Rapids, Mich: Eerdmans, 2010.

Green, Joel B. Seized by truth : reading the Bible as Scripture. Nashville, Tenn: Abingdon Press, 2007.

Hall, Christopher A. Reading scripture with the church fathers. Downers Grove, Ill: InterVarsity Press, 1998.

George, Timothy. Reading scripture with the reformers. Downers Grove, Ill: IVP Academic, 2011.

Casey, Michael. Sacred reading : the ancient art of Lectio divina. Liguori, Mo: Liguori/Triumph, 1996.


Biblical texts in connected liturgically to Christmas, Easter, and Pentecost

Aditional reading:

Luther, Martin. Luther's works : 26-27 26 : Lectures on Galatians : 1535 Chapters 1-4. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1963.

             Clément, Olivier. The roots of Christian mysticism : text and commentary, Sources. Hyde Park,              N.Y: New City Press, 1994.