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OT/NT 637 SOCIAL-SCIENTIFIC AND RHETORICAL APPROACHES TO BIBLICAL INTERPRETATION ASHLAND THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY SPRING 2011 THURSDAY 1:00-4:00 PM Dr. David A. deSilva NB: Preparation for the First Session is Required E-mail: Phone: (419) 289-5933 Fax: (419) 289-5969 Skype: david.desilva1967 Office Hours: Friday 8am-5pm

I. Course Description NT 615/715 This course will afford students the opportunity to explore the setting and meaning of the Letter to the Hebrews through a careful examination of the rhetorical strategy of the text in its cultural context. We will be especially attentive to the pastoral goal of the author and the ways in which he marshals the resources of the Jewish Scriptures, classical rhetoric, cultural codes, and Christian cosmology to motivate his hearers to remain committed to Jesus and one another. OT/NT 637 This course continues the introduction to modern techniques of biblical criticism, extending the foundation to include social-scientific, cultural-anthropological, rhetorical, and ideological modes of analysis. Special emphasis will be given to discerning the kinds of questions each mode of analysis brings to a text, what theoretical resources each mode draws upon outside the discipline of biblical studies, and what fruits the student can expect from pursuing these lines of inquiry. II. Relationship to Curriculum Model Close work with any text from Scripture, especially encountering it afresh in the original language, cannot fail to provide opportunities for growth, if not transformation, across the four levels identified by the ATS curriculum model. Hebrews, in particular, is a text that calls

2 us to discern and walk in line with a full response of gratitude to God for the gifts God has given, and the promises God still holds out before us, in Christ. It is a call to recognize who we are as we stand before the Holy God who has cut the new covenant with us in Christs blood. It is a call to recognize the full dimensions of an ethical response of gratitude to such astounding generosity, and to find the moral strength to make a response as noble as the generous act that spawns it. As the finest example of homiletical rhetoric in the New Testament, as well as a clear example of a pastoral communication, Hebrews provides an excellent case study in the task of the Christian leader and the competencies in Scriptural interpretation and persuasive communication he or she must embody in order to carry the day for God when his or her congregation stands at the crossroads between faithfulness and shrinking away from the challenges of discipleship. The practice of performing exegesis upon this text, and discussing in concert with our fellow disciples its implications for our lives, our visions for Christian community, and our mission in the world, provides occasion to develop competency across the spectrum of ministry skills. III. Student Learning Outcomes The student who successfully completes this course should be able to perform the following activities, as related to each of the four facets of the curriculum: Core Identity rooted in Christ, as the source from which life and ministry flow. * Articulate the vision set forward by the author of Hebrews of our identity in Christ as we stand before God having been cleansed by Christs decisive sacrifice; * Articulate our identity and destiny as Gods children and as a link in the chain of witnesses, and discern how these truths are to shape our lives and responses to the challenges to faithful discipleship we face; Character that reflects maturity in Christ. * articulate the contours of and motivations for the core virtues of endurance, gratitude, and faithfulness as developed by the author of Hebrews, and continue through self-examination and discernment to grow in these fundamental facets of Christian character; Calling that is foundational for servant leadership in the church, community and world. * understand the importance of establishing a strong community of faith for the perseverance of individual believers, and describe the resources which the author of Hebrews provides for building up such communities;

3 * articulate the model of Christian leadership evinced by the author of Hebrews and assess its informativity for his or her own sense of calling; Competence in the disciplines and skills relevant to Christian ministry. A. Articulates, integrates, and applies Scripture, theology, church history, and religious heritage to life and ministry. * describe the techniques employed by a New Testament author in the interpretation of passages from the Old Testament, and explain the significance of New Testament readings of the Old Testament; * articulate the basic argument of the Letter to the Hebrews, and the intended effects of this argument on the decisions, commitments, and behaviors of the communities of faith which received the letter; * apply the theological motivations and ethical exhortations of Hebrews to the life of churches and believers in your specific context; B. Applies cultural exegesis to ones life and ministry. * determine the effects of a New Testament author's use of honor language and patronage scripts upon the first-century Christian communities, and utilize these strategies in your own application of Scripture in your context of ministry; C. Practices a broad range of appropriate ministry skills. * employ insights from classical rhetoric (rhetorical criticism) in your analysis and interpretation of any New Testament letter or speech; * critique interpretations of Hebrews which are divorced from the author's historical context and rhetorical purposes for his readers. * (for students taking this course as Greek Exegesis) read substantial portions of a New Testament book weekly in the original language as the basis for study and reflection, growing in facility with this more intimate interface with the Word of God as delivered to us.

IV. Teaching Strategies for Student Learning

4 This course will principally follow a seminar format, relying on student preparation of, and reflection upon, the weekly assignments to move through the salient issues in the interpretation of the text as the instructor seeks to facilitate discussion rather than lecture (much of what might have been delivered in lecture format being available in the commentary written by the instructor). Class preparation and participation are thus critical to the attainment of the learning outcomes. The exegetical paper, of course, becomes a primary vehicle by means of which students will demonstrate their growth in exegetical skill and hermeneutical discernment.

V. Course Requirements A. Textbooks All Students: 1. David A. deSilva, Perseverance in Gratitude: A Socio-rhetorical Commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2000. ISBN 0-8028-4188-0. 2. Aristotle, The Art of Rhetoric, in Joe Sachs (tr.), Platos Gorgias and Aristotles Rhetoric. Newberryport, Maine: Focus Publishing/R. Pullins Co., 2008. ISBN 1-5851-0299-7; ISBN-13: 978-1585102990. 3. John H. Elliott, What is Social-Scientific Criticism? Philadelphia: Fortress, 1993. ISBN10: 0-8006-2678-8; ISBN-13: 978-0800626785. NT 637 only: 4. Wayne Meeks, The First Urban Christians: The Social World of the Apostle Paul. 2nd edition. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2003. ISBN-10: 0-3000-9861-8; ISBN-13: 9780300098617 OT 637 only: 4. Phyllis Trible, Rhetorical Criticism (Guides to Biblical Scholarship: Old Testament Series). Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 1994. ISBN-10: 0-8006-2798-9; ISBN-13: 9780800627980. Access to a critical edition of the Greek New Testament (UBS4 or NA26/27) is essential for students enrolled in NT 715 or OT/NT 637. In addition to the above texts for purchase, students will be asked to read several pertinent articles during the course of the quarter. The majority of these will be available on the reserve shelf (inquire at the circulation desk) for your convenience; these are also available in the periodical room or the main stacks.

5 These will include, but may not be limited to, the following: Charles Carter, Opening Windows onto Biblical Worlds: Applying the Social Sciences to Hebrew Scripture, pp. 421-451 in David Baker and Bill Arnold, eds., The Face of Old Testament Studies (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2004). David deSilva, Embodying the Word: Social-Scientific Interpretation of the New Testament, pp. 118-129 in Scot McKnight and Grant Osborne, eds., The Face of New Testament Studies (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2004). David deSilva, The Epistle to the Hebrews in Social-Scientific Perspective, Restoration Quarterly 36 (1994) 1-21. Clifford Geertz, Religion as a Cultural System and Ethos, World View, and the Analysis of Sacred Symbols, pp. 87-141 in The Interpretation of Cultures (New York: Basic Books, 1977). Richard D. Nelson, Raising Up a Faithful Priest: Community and Priesthood in a Biblical Theology (Louisville, KY: Westminster/John Knox Press, 1993), chapter 4.

B. Attendance According to the student handbook, attendance at all class sessions is expected unless the professor has been notified in advance. Any student missing the equivalent of six class hours will be required to do additional work, receive a lower grade or withdraw from the class; this is at the discretion of the professor. C. Requirements and Evaluation: NT 615/715: The class will be structured more as a seminar than a lecture course. I envision that most of your exposure to content will happen through diligent preparation of the readings and review assignments. We will use the time together to discuss the materials and refine our grasp of the material in concert with one another. Faithful attendance at seminars and informed participation are therefore crucial, so that each of us may give our best to helping one another discover the multifaceted meaning of this text. Every lesson includes "Questions for Reflection and Discussion." These should be at the heart of your preparation for each class session; students will be asked to turn in a copy of their notes on these questions prior to each class (a copy only; keep the originals for your reference). A primary objective of this course is to encourage growth in the science and art of exegesis. In order to fulfill this aim, we will look together at ways in which rhetorical and social-scientific modes of interpretation can enhance the exegetical enterprise, and the final

6 component of the class will be an exegetical paper of sufficient length to allow exploration of a passage using the appropriate tools of interpretation. The length should fall between 10-12 pages, double-spaced, 12-point type. If you overshoot this mark in an earlier draft of your paper, be sure to edit the paper with a view to falling between the assigned limits. Details of this assignment will be provided in a handout. Grammar and syntax count your selfexpression must not inhibit the reader's ability to follow your argument. The guidelines for "Standard Written English" should be followed closely. NT615: Each week, you will give close attention to a particular passage (see course schedule) in three translations with a view to determining where important decisions have been made concerning the meaning and syntactic relationships of words/parts of the sentence. We will use the ESV (or NRSV), the NIV, and the CEB (Common English Bible). These are all available online at Please do this PRIOR to reading the commentary, and then be alert as you read the commentary to explanations of the grammar and lexical meanings that might help you evaluate these translations. Your work here will enable you to participate meaningfully in those parts of class where other students are discussing their translation of the Greek text. It is expected that you will also do this work as part of your preparation for the exegesis paper. NT 715: 1. You will translate passages selected from the Greek text of Hebrews, for which your advance preparation will be necessary. Please prepare your translation in duplicate, submitting one copy to the instructor at the beginning of class each week translation work is due. Please be prepared to engage the NT 615 students on the question of how the ESV, NIV 2010, and CEB (all accessible online at stack up against your understanding of the Greek text, and to help account for differences. 2. The exegesis paper will be written based on the Greek text of your selected passage, and will include your own translation of the passage together with notes explaining/supporting your translation where a number of possible translations exist. OT/NT 637: In place of the assignments focused on the text of Hebrews (whether in translation, as for NT 615 students, or in Greek, as for NT 715 students), you will give attention each week to the ways in which some aspect of rhetorical or social-scientific analysis opens up the text of Hebrews. This will give you the opportunity to practice week-by-week, in a more focused way, the exegetical skills that are your primary focus for this course. Please prepare a copy of your notes from this exercise for submission each week. Your final paper will not necessarily focus on the exegesis of a passage, though it will include exegesis in some form; instead, you will select a particular rhetorical-critical or socialscientific question or lens and analysis some part of all of the text of Hebrews from that angle

7 in conversation with appropriate theorists and critical commentaries. probably fall closer to 20 double-spaced pages. D. Calculation of Grade Class participation Exegesis paper 1/2 1/2 This paper should

VI. Class Schedule and Reading Assignments: Readings and assignments are to be completed prior to the class under which they are listed. Class One The Historical and Social Setting of Hebrews Hebrews, entire deSilva, Perseverance in Gratitude, introduction (pp. 1-80). Class Two Hebrews and Classical Rhetoric; Rhetorical Criticism and New Testament Interpretation; Applicability to Hebrew Bible View lecture on Rhetorical Criticism (via Angel) Aristotle, The Art of Rhetoric, Book 1.1 through 2.11; 3.1-19. Handouts on rhetorical analysis OT 637 students only: Trible, Rhetorical Criticism Class Three (prepare Heb 1:1-14) Hebrews in Cultural Context; Hebrews and Old Testament Exegesis in the First Century John H. Elliott, What is Social-Scientific Criticism? (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1993), 1-106. Richard D. Nelson, Raising Up a Faithful Priest: Community and Priesthood in a Biblical Theology (Louisville, KY: Westminster/John Knox Press, 1993), 55-82. Review Honor and Patronage topics and their intersection with Hebrews (see deSilva, Perseverance, Introduction) R. B. Sloan and C. C. Newman, "Ancient Jewish Hermeneutics," pp. 23-39 in B. Corley, S. Lemke, and G. Lovejoy, Biblical Hermeneutics: A Comprehensive Introduction to Interpreting Scripture (Nashville, TN: Broadman and Holman, 1996). OT 637 students only: Charles Carter, Opening Windows onto Biblical Worlds: Applying the Social Sciences to Hebrew Scripture, pp. 421-451 in David Baker and Bill Arnold, eds., The Face of Old Testament Studies (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2004).

8 Reflection: to what extent does the use of the Jewish Scriptures in Hebrews reflect distinctively Jewish hermeneutics, and to what extent broader Greco-Roman rhetorical practice? Class Four (prepare Heb 2:1-13) Hebrews 1:1-2:18: The Son of God, the Benefactor of Believers Heb 1:1-2:18 deSilva, Perseverance in Gratitude, commentary on 1:1-2:18 Clifford Geertz, Religion as a Cultural System and Ethos, World View, and the Analysis of Sacred Symbols, pp. 87-141 in The Interpretation of Cultures (New York: Basic Books, 1977). Class Five (prepare Heb 3:7-19) Hebrews 3:1-4:13: The Pattern of Distrust Heb 3:1-4:13 Numbers 14 deSilva, Perseverance in Gratitude, commentary on 3:1-4:13 Online (?) lecture: Peter Bergers Sacred Canopy and NT Interpretation Kee, Knowing the Truth: questions to bring to OT/NT texts to probe social world, nature and structure of the community, social tensions and challenges, reflected in a text. Class Six (prepare Heb 6:1-12) Hebrews 4:14-5:10: Jesus' Appointment to the High Priesthood; Hebrews 5:11-6:20: Motivations to Remain Fruitful Soil Heb 4:14-6:20 deSilva, Perseverance in Gratitude, on 4:14-6:20 Selections from the Progymnasmata of Theon and Hermogenes (George A. Kennedy, Progymnasmata, 15-23, 42-62, 73-88). Class Seven (prepare Heb 10:1-14) Hebrews 7:1-8:13: Better Priest, Better Sanctuary, Better Covenant Hebrews 9:1-10:18: The Effects of the One Effective Sacrifice Heb 7:1-10:18 deSilva, Perseverance in Gratitude, on 7:1-10:18 deSilva, Honor, Patronage, Kinship & Purity, chapter 7. Review R. D. Nelson, Raising Up a Faithful Priest: Community and Priesthood in a Biblical Theology, chapter 4. Exodus 29; Leviticus 16; Exodus 24 Class Eight (prepare Heb 10:26-39) Hebrews 10:19-39: Valuing the Gift Enough to Keep Investing

9 Hebrews 11:1-12:4: The Examples of Faith Heb 10:19-12:4 deSilva, Perseverance in Gratitude, on 10:19-12:4 M. R. Cosby, "The Rhetorical Composition of Hebrews 11," Journal of Biblical Literature 107 (1988) 257-73. Reading on sectarian formation and tension (TBD) Class Nine (prepare Heb 12:1-11) Hebrews 12:4-29: Persevering as Confident Children of God Heb 12:1-29 deSilva, Perseverance in Gratitude, on 12:1-29. C. K. Barrett, "The Eschatology in the Epistle to the Hebrews," in The Background of the New Testament and Its Eschatology (ed. W. D. Davies and D. Daube). Cambridge: Cambridge University, 1954. Online (?) Lecture: How Greek was the author of Hebrews? A study of the authors social location in regard to Greek paidei/a Class Ten (prepare Heb 12:25-29; 13:15-16, 20-21) Hebrews 13:1-25: Living out a Response of Gratitude Heb 13:1-25 deSilva, Perseverance in Gratitude, on chapter 13. Review of the Rhetorical Strategy and Pastoral Goal of Hebrews Further Applications of Hebrews for Contemporary Church Contexts. THE EXEGESIS PAPER/SEMINAR PAPER WILL BE DUE AT ASHLAND'S MAIN CAMPUS BY THURSDAY, JUNE 2, 2011, AT 1:00 PM (I.E., AT THE START OF OUR LAST CLASS SESSION). STUDENTS ANTICIPATING GRADUATION ON JUNE 4, 2011, MUST SUBMIT THEIR PAPERS BY END OF BUSINESS DAY ON MONDAY, MAY 30, 2011. NO LATE EXAMS OR PAPERS WILL BE ACCEPTED WITHOUT PRIOR WRITTEN REQUEST AND WRITTEN APPROVAL FROM THE PROFESSOR. VII. Other Course Instructions The Exegesis Paper will need to show evidence of critical interaction with at least three scholarly commentaries (the main course text can count as one) as well as at least three other critical resources. Engagement with devotional and pastoral resources is also welcome in addition to these resources: in this case, you will want to interact critically with these resources as well, evaluating their devotional and pastoral applications in light of your own study of the passage. A critical commentary is one that seeks to lead out the meaning o f the text under investigation fully in the light of linguistic/lexical, literary, historical, philosophical, traditionhistorical, and cultural contexts. The following series provide excellent examples of what I have in mind: Word Biblical Commentary, New International Greek Testament Commentary,

10 New International Commentary on the New Testament, Anchor Bible Commentary, Hermeneia. Commentaries (see especially William Lanes commentary on Hebrews in the Word Biblical Commentary, Craig Koesters on Hebrews in the Anchor Bible Commentary, as well as my Perseverance in Gratitude) and the Study Guide will provide a starting place for additional resources. See further the description of this paper in the Study Guide. VIII. Suggestions for Lifelong Learning 1. Read more broadly in classical rhetorical handbooks (e.g., Quintilians Institutes, pseudoCiceros Rhetorica ad Herennium, Aristotles Rhetorica ad Alexandrum [probably by Anaximenes]) and in social-scientific and cultural-anthropological theory (e.g., Max Weber, Sociology of Religion, Peter Berger, The Sacred Canopy, Rosabeth Kanter, Commitment and Community, Victor Turner, The Ritual Process, Clifford Geertz, The Interpretation of Cultures, Mary Douglas, Purity and Danger). 2. Read more broadly in seminal examples of the application of this material to biblical interpretation (e.g., Wayne Meeks, The First Urban Christians; Howard Kee, Knowing the Truth; Gerd Theissen, The Social Setting of Pauline Christianity; Bengt Holmberg, Paul and Power; idem, Sociology and the New Testament: An Appraisal; Phyllis Trible, Rhetorical Criticism [Guides to Biblical Scholarship: Old Testament Series]; Robert Wilson, Sociological Approaches to the Old Testament). 3. Practice the application of these models and focal lenses in the interpretation of particular texts in the course of your ongoing engagement with exegesis, teaching, preaching, and writing. 4. Preach or teach through the Epistle to the Hebrews in your local church, deepening your understanding of its challenge to, and resources for, your particular congregation in its setting (local, denominational, national, global). Work through a second critical commentary (e.g., Craig Koesters in the Yale Anchor Bible series or Luke Johnsons in the New Testament Library) and another resource designed to stimulate your thinking about enfleshment of the word (e.g., Thomas Longs commentary on Hebrews in the Interpretation series, or George Guthries in the New International Version Application Commentary). 5. Create an opportunity for people from two churches of different social locations to read through Hebrews together, listening to one another share how the text helps them frame their experience, challenge them, and provide resources for them to move forward. For example, a few persons from a predominantly Caucasian Protestant church could partner with a few persons from an Hispanic Roman Catholic church for a weekly or monthly meeting, or

11 members of an African-American congregation could partner with members from a Korean church. IX. Seminary Guidelines A. ATS Academic Integrity Policy Ashland Theological Seminary seeks to model servant leadership derived from biblical standards of honesty and integrity. We desire to encourage, develop, and sustain men and women of character who will exemplify these biblical qualities in their ministry to the church and the world. As members of the seminary community, students are expected to hold themselves to the highest standards of academic, personal, and social integrity. All students, therefore, are expected to abide by the academic integrity standards outlined in the Student Handbook. B. Writing Assistance If you need assistance with writing projects for your coursework, contact the ATS Writing Center. The center provides free sessions with a peer consultant who can help you with all of your concerns about academic writing. Contact the center if you have a question about how to complete your assignment, if you have documentation questions, or if you would like to have your paper evaluated for areas needing improvement. The ATS Writing Center can be reached at 419-289-5162 or by e-mail at C. Students with Disabilities For students who have specific physical, psychiatric or learning disabilities and require accommodations, please let the professor know early in the quarter (preferably the first week) so that your learning needs can be appropriately met. In order to receive accommodations, documentation concerning your disability must be on file with Classroom Support Services, 105 Amstutz Hall, Ashland University, 419-289-5953. Please contact them with any questions you may have. D. ATS Grading Scale Grade Percent Description A 97-100 Superior achievement of course objectives, diligence and originality, high degree of freedom from error, outstanding evidence of ability to utilize course knowledge, initiative expressed in preparing and completing assignments, positive contributions verbalized in class. A92-96 B+ 89-91 B 86-88 Good work submitted, commendable achievement of course objectives, some aspects of the course met with excellence, substantial evidence of ability to utilize course material, positive contributions verbalized in class, consistency and

12 thoroughness of work completed. BC+ C 83-85 80-82 77-79

Acceptable work completed, satisfactory achievement of course objectives, demonstrating at least some ability to utilize course knowledge, satisfactory class contribution.


74-76 71-73 68-70

Passing but minimal work, marginal achievement of course objectives, poor performance in comprehension of work submitted, inadequate class contributions. Unacceptable work resulting in failure to receive class credit, inadequacy of work submitted or of performance and attendance in class.


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