COS 111 - The Pastor as Interpreter of the Bible

June 30 - July 9, 2014 : 1:30-5:00 p.m. (No class on July 1 and 4)

Instructor: Dr. Susan Slusher Bell

Download class syllabus & pre-class assignments

Course Description

The books of the Bible were written or preserved orally over a period of more than 2,000 years. Many different writings were considered sacred by various communities until the cannon was established and agreed upon. The development of the texts and ideas within the texts will be considered. Exegesis and the art of preaching will be presented and discussed, with students given the chance to exercise new skills informed by class information and discussion. The basics of the theology of John Wesley and Christian biblical theology will be presented to guide students in their preaching and teaching.

Course Objectives

  1. To explore the role of the pastor as interpreter of the Bible in the church context.
  2. To understand how the Biblical cannon was formed.
  3. To develop basic exegetical skills.
  4. To survey main concepts especially historical, literary, and theological approaches to understanding the Bible through the books of Genesis, Amos, Mark and Philippians.
  5. To form a community at CST of students and faculty who live as the disciples of Jesus Christ.

Required Textbooks

What They Don’t Tell You: A Survivor’s Guide to Biblical Studies, Michael Joseph Brown. ISBN: 0-664-22220x

The Bible: The Book that Bridges the Millennia Part 1: Origins & Formation, Maxine Clarke Beach. ISBN: X933523 (This book can be purchased from used for 1¢ plus shipping.)

How to Read the Bible for All It’s Worth:A Guide to Understanding the Bible Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart ISBN-13: 978-0310246046

Can These Bones Live? Kevass J. Harding. ISBN: 978-0-687-33557-2

Suggested Textbooks

The New Oxford Annotated Bible with Apocrypha NRSV

God Sense: Reading the Bible for Preaching, Paul Scott Wilson

The Bible Makes Sense, Walter Brueggemann. ISBN: 0-664-22495-4

This class requires homework to be turned in before the class starts:
Download class syllabus & pre-class assignments