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Last modified: 27 Feb 2018 18:20

Course Overview

What does it mean to read the Bible responsibly? This question is vitally relevant to anyone working closely with biblical texts, whether in academic study or in the context of faith communities who consider the biblical texts to be their Scriptures. This course will examine bring together the theory or philosophy of biblical interpretation with the associated methods and skills. 

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 4
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 30 credits (15 ECTS credits)
Campus Old Aberdeen Sustained Study No
  • Dr Jutta Leonhardt-Balzer

Qualification Prerequisites


What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • Either Programme Level 4 or Programme Level 5
  • Any Undergraduate Programme (Studied)

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?

  • DR303B God and Salvation in the Gospels and Acts (Studied)
  • DR353B God and Salvation in the Gospels and Acts (Studied)
  • DR453B God and Salvation in the Gospels and Acts (Studied)

Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

This course will offer students an opportunity to reflect on what it means to read the Bible responsibly and to acquire the skills involved in good biblical interpretation. The practices involved are far more heavily affected by cultural and philosophical factors than we may recognize: approaches to the biblical texts that are considered acceptable at certain times or in certain contexts may be regarded as problematic or even reprehensible in others. Understanding these issues will enable students to become responsible interpreters of the Bible, with an appropriately diverse skill set and a sensitivity to the motivating factors behind alternative interpretations. In order to accomplish this goal, the course will trace the major movements in traditional and modern “hermeneutics” while explaining the practical methods associated with each and allowing students the opportunity to practice these.  As well as the key methods in historical criticism (including form-, source-, redaction-criticism), the course will engage with social-scientific methods and developments in ideological criticism, as well as the recent renewal of interest in “theological interpretation.”

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown


More Information about Week Numbers

Details, including assessments, may be subject to change until 31 August 2023 for 1st half-session courses and 22 December 2023 for 2nd half-session courses.

Summative Assessments

First Assessment:

  • 3500 word essay 40%,
  • Oral Presentation 10%,
  • 2 hour Exam 50%

Resit: No Resit

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.


Formative feedback will be provided through the tutorials and class exercises. This will involve both staff-led and peer-led discussion of interpretations and exegetical findings. Further formative feedback will be provided on all work submitted for assessment. 

Summative feedback will be provided through the grading of work submitted for assessment.  

Course Learning Outcomes

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