Reading and Using the Bible

BA (Hons) in Theology - Year 1
COURSE UNIT 103 - 8103


This unit introduces students to basic principles of biblical interpretation and translation.  It introduces the major literary genres found in the Bible and explores their potential for use in various situations in ministry today.  Different contexts in which the Bible is used are examined, with a view to drawing out how that use may be both faithful and effective.


To encourage an approach to biblical interpretation that combines faithfulness to the text, competence in the use of biblical scholarship, relevance to our contemporary world and appropriateness to the situation in which the Bible is being used.


Category of outcome

By the end of this unit students should be able to:

Knowledge and understanding

·      Demonstrate understanding and knowledge of some principles of biblical interpretation

Intellectual skills

·      Engage in responsible exegesis of the Bible

Practical and Transferable skills; Personal qualities

·      Apply a Bible passage appropriately to a specific contemporary situation

·      Use tools such as commentaries, reference works and websites

·      (103 only) work interdependently

·      (103 only) present and discuss information in a group


Assessment task


Weighting within unit



500 words


1000 words





·         103:


·         8103:

A written assignment which is discussed in groups in class

A written exegesis



2000 words

2000 words





·         103:

·         8103:

An exegetical and applied essay

A written assignment

and a learning journal*

* Distance learning students are required to pass this element. So long as this element has been passed, they will be eligible for compensation if the overall unit mark is within the compensation zone (30-39%), and the compensatable credit allowance as set out in the Degree Regulations has not been exceeded.




Available on which programme(s)?

BA in Theology


1.    Introduction

2.    Narrative

3.    Prophets and prophecy

4.    Poetry

5.    Wisdom

6.    Law and ethics

7.    Revelation

8.    The relationship of the NT to the OT

9-10. Exegetical fallacies; how to use commentaries; methods of   

      exegesis; which translation is the best?

11. Preparing Bible studies

Teaching method

Interactive lectures (8103 Distance learning learning)

Additional eLearning content

Unit materials are available at Spurgeon’s Online to support student learning


Written feedback within 15 working days from submission

Date of approval (for office use)


Information updated on

December 2015

Indicative reading

Bartholomew, Craig G., and M. Goheen, The Drama of Scripture: Finding our Place in the Biblical Story (London: SPCK, 2006)

Briggs, Richard, Reading the Bible Wisely (London: SPCK, 2003)

Carson, D.A., Exegetical fallacies (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1984)

Duvall, J.S., and J.D. Hays, Journey into God’s Word: Your Guide to Understanding and Applying the Bible (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2008)

Fee, Gordon D., and D. Stuart, How to Read the Bible for all its Worth, 3rd edn (London: Scripture Union, 2003)

Hayes, John H., and C.R. Holladay, Biblical Exegesis: A beginner's handbook, 3rd edn (Louisville & London: Westminster John Knox, 2007)

Holgate, D., and R. Starr, Biblical Hermeneutics, SCM Studyguide (London: SCM, 2006)

Littledale, Richard, Stale Bread: A Handbook for Speaking the Story (Edinburgh: St Andrew Press, 2007)

Moyise, Steve P., Introduction to Biblical Studies, 3rd edn, T & T Clark Approaches to Biblical Studies (London: Bloomsbury, 2013)

Pattison, S., and M. & T. Cooling, Using the Bible in Christian Ministry: A Workbook (London: Darton, Longman & Todd, 2007)

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Reading and Using the Bible

BA (Hons) in Theology - Year 1
Course Unit 103 - 8103





Hours of Learning:



Dr Hetty Lalleman

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