Biblical Studies

Course Descriptions

BS101 OT Book

This course is designed to familiarise the beginning student with the content and structure of the Old Testament books. The course text is Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart, How to Study the Bible Book by Book.

BS103 Survey & Introduction to OT
BS103a OT Survey

In this basic course to the Old Testament, we will employ a synchronic and diachronic approach to study the OT. A brief diachronic survey of the structure, message and major themes of each OT book will be covered, followed by a synchronic survey of the 6 major blocks of the OT, namely, the Pentateuch, the Historical Books, the Prophetic Books, the Psalms, the Wisdom Books and the rest of the Writings. A brief exposure will be included to introduce students to some of the key areas of critical scholarship in the OT today.

BS103b Introduction to OT

This course is an introduction to the background study of the OT. We will look at the background issues like the ancient civilizations of the Ancient Near East, geography of the Bible lands, biblical chronology, archaeology and the OT, a social history of ancient Israel, introduction to Hebrew poetry, understanding Hebrew thinking and thought world and the development of OT faith and religion. Students will also be introduced to critical issues like the formation of the OT canon, OT history and attempts at reconstruction, some major debates about OT history, and a brief introduction to OT Theology.

BS401 Poetic Books

The course is designed to familiarize students to the Poetic Books of the Old Testament. It includes an introduction to the major literary genres, motifs and theological emphases of the books. Students will be introduced to Psalm studies which include a study of the genre, superscriptions, directives and authorship of the Psalms. The ancient Near East background to the Psalter as well as worship in ancient Israel will be covered. A history of Psalm interpretation will include a study of the major contributors and their methods. Students will be exposed to the method of exegesis of Psalms through selected Psalms. The theology, shape and structure of the Psalter will be included. A brief history of the interpretation of the Psalms will be given and students will discover how they can creatively use the Psalms for today’s ministry.

BS501 Wisdom Literature

Students will be introduced to the world of the Wisdom Literature and how wisdom developed in ancient Israel. An introduction to the books of Proverbs, Job and Ecclesiastes will include composition and authorship, their structure and the main message of each book. Other OT books that include wisdom elements and the extra canonical wisdom books will be looked into. The place of wisdom in OT theology and how the wisdom books can be used effectively today will be discussed.

BS601 Prophetic Books

The course will introduce students to a study of the OT prophets and prophecy through the three major periods of the history of Israel – pre-exilic, exilic and post-exilic. Students will look at issues like the role of prophets, the prophetic experience, true and false prophecy and what happened to prophecy in the post-exilic period. The book of Isaiah will be used as the key text, covering key areas like the question of authorship and unity of the book and how the book could have been formed. The different historical backgrounds to the book of Isaiah will be covered. Students will also be introduced to the message and theology of the different parts of the book of Isaiah. Passages from Isaiah will be selected for exegetical study and students will learn to do an exegesis of a prophetic passage.

BS701 OT Theology

The course will discuss what constitutes ‘Old Testament Theology’ today and includes debates like the ‘centre of OT Theology’ debate, the descriptive/normative debate and the canonical debate. A study will be done on the major contributors to OT Theology, the place of OT Theology within the Biblical Theology movement and the relationship between the OT and the NT. The course will also examine some of the major theological themes of the OT. In addition, there will be a discussion on how the OT can address issues of life in our modern world.

BS752 History & Theology of the Exile

In this course, students will cover the historical period immediately before the Jewish Exile in 587 BC to the early period after the Exile. The various events and causes that led to the Exile will be explored. What were the social, religious and political developments during the Exile? How did the people struggle to interpret theologically over the catastrophe? What were some of the works written in this formative period of the Exile and the early post-Exilic period? How can we appropriate the metaphor of exile today in our 21st century?

BS851 Interpreting the OT

This course is offered to Diploma students only. It serves to guide the student through the book by G. Fee & D. Stuart, How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth (London: SU, 1982). Students are expected to employ the inductive Bible study method to produce outlines for all the books in the Old Testament.

BS951 OT Hermeneutics & Homiletics

This course helps students to understand and appreciate the relevance and usefulness of exegeting the Old Testament and preaching from it. The course will further grapple with the issues of Old Testament hermeneutics, learning the basics of sermon preparation by utilising the various forms of Old Testament exegeses (namely, form criticism, narrative criticism, rhetorical analysis, structural analysis, poetic or stylistic criticism, etc) and learning to preach confidently from the various portions of the Old Testament viz. Torah, Prophets, Psalms, Wisdom and the Writings.

BS121 NT Book

This course is designed to familiarise the beginning student with the content and structure of the New Testament books. The course text is Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart, How to Study the Bible Book by Book.

BS123 Survey & Introduction to NT
BS123a NT Survey

A brief survey of the content, message, features and outlines of each of the New Testament books. Emphasis is also given to the use of the New Testament in Christian service and Church ministry. The goal is for students to know the general content of the different books in the New Testament, and be familiar with the principal themes and characters.

BS123b Introduction to NT

This course is a critical introduction to the interpretation of the New Testament. Topics covered include: the historical, political and cultural background of the Jewish people from 168 BC to AD 135; the life and ministry of Jesus Christ; authorship, dating, critical issues and theological motifs of the four gospels; the growth of the apostolic church; the life and ministry of apostle Paul; the origin of the Christian Church, the nature and extension of early Jewish Christianity and the nature and development of the Pauline mission; an examination of special introductory problems of selected New Testament books; the formation of the New Testament canon.

BS123 Survey & Introduction to NT
BS123a NT Survey

A brief survey of the content, message, features and outlines of each of the New Testament books. Emphasis is also given to the use of the New Testament in Christian service and Church ministry. The goal is for students to know the general content of the different books in the New Testament, and be familiar with the principal themes and characters.

BS123b Introduction to NT

This course is a critical introduction to the interpretation of the New Testament. Topics covered include: the historical, political and cultural background of the Jewish people from 168 BC to AD 135; the life and ministry of Jesus Christ; authorship, dating, critical issues and theological motifs of the four gospels; the growth of the apostolic church; the life and ministry of apostle Paul; the origin of the Christian Church, the nature and extension of early Jewish Christianity and the nature and development of the Pauline mission; an examination of special introductory problems of selected New Testament books; the formation of the New Testament canon.

BS223 Mark

The course enables students to undertake an exegetical study of the Gospel according to Mark from the literary and theological perspectives. The study includes a study of the structure, theology and life-setting of the Gospel. Attention is given to Mark’s understanding of Jesus Christ and the nature of discipleship. Students are expected to read the Gospel at least three times and to become familiar with the critical discussions in the commentaries. Occasionally, the Gospel of John is used as the text.

BS225 John

The course enables students to undertake an exegetical study of the Gospel of John from historical, theological, and hermeneutical perspectives. This includes the study of important themes, genre, structure, theology, and life setting of the book, as well as detailed exegetical studies of particular passages.

BS321 Acts of Apostles

The course enables students to undertake an exegetical study of the Book of Acts from historical, literary, and theological perspectives. This includes the study of important themes, genre, structure, theology, and life setting of the book, as well as detailed exegetical studies of particular passages.

BS422 Romans

This course examines the social historical context, the purpose, literary structure, major themes, theological arguments and the Greek syntax of the epistle. Students are expected to work through the entire book and resolve the difficulties of interpretation in selected passages. Students are to prepare Sermon Exegesis papers as an exercise in applying their exegetical understanding of the text to the contemporary church and world. Students will also undertake class presentations in which they review critically secondary source materials on the epistle. Occasionally, Galatians may be used as the text.

BS423 1 Corinthians

The course is a historical and exegetical study of Paul’s fascinating letter based on both the Greek and English text. The use of modern technological resources will also be emphasized in this course. Special attention will be given in investigating how the church in Corinth met with controversial problems that have a very modern ring: divisions within the church, ministerial favoritism, moral failure, spiritual elitism, excessive charismatic expression, theological heresy, and failed financial pledge. Encounter with this letter thus shows how “biblical” modern church problems can be. As such, there will be time for group discussion on the application of 1 Corinthians in our Malaysian Church context today.

BS630 Revelation

The course enables students to undertake an exegetical study of thebook of Revelation from historical, literary and theological perspectives. This includes the study of the, genre, structure, theology, and life setting of the Gospel. Attention is given to the author’s understanding of Jesus Christ and his eschatological perspective.

BS721 NT Theology

This course guides the student to reflect upon the unity and diversity in the New Testament. Major theological themes will be discussed in the light of their immediate social-historical and theological contexts. The history, methodology and presuppositions in contemporary treatment of New Testament theology will also be examined.

BS871 Interpreting the NT

This course is offered to Diploma students only. It serves to guide the student through the book by G. Fee & D. Stuart, How to Read the Book for All Its Worth (London: SU, 1982). Students are expected to employ the inductive Bible study method to produce outlines for all the books in the New Testament.