Monday, June 9, 2008

Creative Classes in Biblical Exegesis

Keith Dyer, New Testament Professor at Whitley College, shared earlier on this site about his experiences as a ‘theologian without borders’, in a popular article entitled, ‘I Have Never Enjoyed Teaching (and Learning) so Much!’

Now Keith writes in response to my request for ‘creative things happening in theological education’ about the ‘Whitley way’ of teaching biblical studies:

“It's not new (as it goes back to Athol Gill, of course), but I still find that our Introduction to the New Testament unit is one of the few I know of that BEGINS each 3-hour session with an open-ended exegetical workshop discussion (in groups up to 12 for 1 hour) that the students have prepared from a worksheet given out the week before. THEN, after that, we talk about hermeneutical methods, relevant background material, and so on, that emerge out of the discussion. I still find that most courses/units (and introductory texts) are structured the other way around: here are the methods, their strengths and weaknesses, now go and do it -- OR, even more typically, here is a survey of the NT books, some relevant background history, and some methods/questions to guide your exegesis, now go and do it (and maybe some texts are looked at as examples and illustrations).”

“All of the workshop papers which we give out to the students now have some visual element to them also (a relevant art work on the cover).”

This is one way of teaching biblical studies. How do you teach the Bible in your small corner? Do pass on your creative ideas.

Dr. Geoff Pound

Image: Keith Dyer