Below are some vital comments that need to be taken inconsideration when preparing the paper!
Attached are the instructions, and the grading rubric! Lets Get An A+!!!
Please Read Very Carefully-
Tools contained in this document are exegetical material I will be looking for in your exegetical paper.
Some have expressed concern about the nature of our unit paper. However, I want to encourage everyone to present no theological paper, homiletical/preaching work, verses linkage with other scripture texts, cut/paste work from commentary search, authorship and background work of a Bible book, etc., but as our Syllabus has it- an Exegetical paper.
An exegetical paper explains Bible passages from biblical authors’ literal-historical point of view (rather than from our current historical situation), and from context of biblical authors’ argument (rather than from context of our preconceived theological idea) to explain the word of God. An exegetical paper, in addition, explains Biblical texts from biblical languages’ grammatical sense.
1. Bible is a literary work and is not coded, so it must be read and understood literally like you are reading a piece of any literature book. Now, literary works sometimes do have figure of speeches in them. These are also found in Scriptures, consequently, we must take cognizance of text’s figurative languages as we read scriptures finding meaning for each figure within each text’s context.
2. The Bible is a historical work and must be understood from its ancient historical context (i.e., what was happening at the time of each book’s composition which is/are issues that author of each biblical book was addressing).
3. Each Bible book was composed with commonality of language (of the ancient people author of each book was addressing), thus the rule of grammar of biblical language used to write each book must be utilized reading the book in order to accurately understand and interpret Scriptures so that the word of God can be correctly taught, preached, and applied today being guided by the Holy Spirit.
Now, since this is a Greek class and our New Testament books are written in Greek, we must utilize Greek language tools to ascertain authorial intent of New Testament books we are exegeting.
First step in composing a good exegetical paper is making sure your diagramming is correctly done. We establish each sentence’s subject (and its clause, if any); main verb (and its clause); and direct object of verbs (again, with their trailing clauses) in our text. These three part of speech, clearly marked down throughout the text we are working on will map out the who, what, why, when, etc., of each passage and unmistakably tells us what a given text is saying. Checking our interlinear translation can aid us in ascertaining each of the three parts of speech and each of their trailing clauses.
Next is to see how those parts of speeches are connected to each other in a sustained manner throughout our given text so as to present author’s points within each text’s context.
Bible authors tie points they are conveying to their first audience in their book together in an unbroken chain of thought. These are done often with series of connectives. Connectives clearly knot author’s thoughts, phrases, sentences, paragraphs, etc., to each other.
Consider, for example, these italicized phrases (first without connectives and then with connectives “and”/“because of”): The King died. The Queen died. Lots of grief. Relationship and meaning of these three phrases to each other are somehow fluid as they currently are. However, reading the same phrases again with connectives (the King died and the Queen died because of lots of grief) we would see that the connectives provide author’s succinct meaning for the three phrases. It is thus mandatory to pay attention to connectives when we read and interpret Bible texts. Although several of our Bible versions do not include some connectives found in Greek text in their translation, we need to consult our Greek Interlinear or formal equivalent Bible versions such as KJV/NKJV, NASB, etc., that retain word-for-word Greek texts in their English rendition.
Some common connectives found in our Scriptures would include word such as “therefore,” “so then,” “therefore then,” etc. These connectives introduce conclusion a biblical author wants to make based on what he just said in verses before the connective word. In our exegetical paper we need to state each connective seen in the text we are working on, and present the function and implication of each of the connectives for each text. We can do this by briefly stating summary of what author just said in verses before the connective that leads him to the conclusion he is about to make, which the word “therefore” introduces. We next must present summary statement of content of that conclusion the Bible author is bringing up seen after the conclusive connective word (please see my example below on Exegeting Rom 12). “For”/”because” are other sets of conjunctives that introduce reason for the point a biblical author just stated in previous verse(s) before those causal connective words. Their function and value must be presented in your paper. “But” is a contrastive word, and with it a Bible author is contrasting his point with the preceding point he just made. “And” is adding to author’s preceding statement/point. There are many more conjunctions (this class note cannot cover) including words such as “now” (a rhetorical device introducing a new point); “although” (a concession); “just as…so” (a comparative phrase comparing two statements); “so that” “in order that” (introducing purpose for a statement just made by the author), etc. As stated above, since connectives tie author’s thoughts together in an unbroken manner in a text, each connective and its implication (grammatical value) must be expressed clearly in our exegetical paper. I will mark down work that presents no connectives and their functions in their paper.
Working on our exegesis we need to observe how each verb is expressed. Now, each of the verbal tense highlighted in this note has dozens of other usages that cannot be covered in this short class. However, if you are able to identify any verbal form and its summary function given in this note, that will be good enough for me in this paper class. Please do not parse any verbal form (e.g., present tense 2nd person third singular, etc.) of any vocabulary for me in your paper. I only need a verb’s function (e.g., present tense indicating a continuous act; a past tense indicating one time act; an imperfect tense indicating a continuous act in a past time, etc.).
If a verb is expressed in a present tense it is indicating the act being stated is an on-going one at the time Bible author was composing his work. An imperfect tense (implies an act the author was talking about was a continuous one in a past time when the author was writing). Past (aorist) tense informs us that action the verb is conveying happened at a time in the past when the Bible author was writing his text. A future tense shows the Bible author believes an event will take place in a near future; and a perfect tense shows an act that was already completed in a past time has an on-going effect at the time the author was writing his work. We also need to ascertain if a verb is active (i.e., is performing the action in the sentence) or passive (i.e., something is acting on it). Each of these verbal expressions gives us unique information about “action” of the subject in the sentence.
An exegetical paper must seek to express Bible author’s mood in his text. We need to state if the Bible author is expressing an imperative (i.e., a command, e.g., “ye do such and such”); prohibition or warning (i.e., “ye do not do such and such”); indicative mood (i.e., mere declaring an information to his reader that an event happens or that someone/something performs a certain action); subjunctive mood (i.e., a “wish,” used in a purpose/result clause, e.g., “…in other that…,” “so that…, with the result that…” etc. ); optative mood is common in prayer/supplication (e.g., “may you be filled with the knowledge of Christ…,” etc.). Each of these moods and their implications in the text needs to be presented in your exegetical paper.
Participles (whether acting as verb or modifying verb), need to be identified in your passage, and their functions need to be stated as applicable. If a participle qualifies a verb you will need to state whether their actions occur before, during, or after verbs they are modifying, etc., and their exegetical implications in the text need to be provided in your paper. Some participles/participial phrases (substantival participles) function as noun, e.g., “going to hell” is not good. Implications of each of these verbal nouns which are also called gerunds need to be carefully nuanced and expressed in a brief manner in your paper. Please do not parse verbs/decline nouns in your paper, only state their exegetical value as appropriate.
For an example if you are to work on Romans 12:1-9, you will need to show how Paul’s thought in Rom 12:1 relates to its preceding argument at the end of Rom chapt 11 which is seen with the connective “therefore.” Next you will show how Rom 12:2 continues the thought of verse v.1; how v.3 relates to v.2, etc., with the connectives such as “and,” “but,” “for,” etc. found in the text. Function of each of the connective and how they link author’s points to each other in the passage must also be provided in your exegetical paper. Again do note that I will grade down papers that fail to express connectives and their functions.
Present your paper clearly using all learned Greek tools to express how author’s statements logically relate to each other, how sentences/phrases are linked together within each context, and how an author develops and advances his thought in context from Greek Grammatical perspective.
Using result of our diagramming can further help us affirm how a Bible author ties his points and thought together in an unbroken chain. But diagramming can also show us how author breaks his thought (per se), digressing a bit to expand on an issue/a point from his statements before returning to pick it up again as he continues his argument. Many times a biblical author may start a new subject that is unrelated to his preceding argument. These, and more, need to be clearly pointed out as applicable in your exegetical paper.
Word study of key vocabularies of the passage we are working on is exceptionally important part of our exegetical paper. Word study allows us to understand various meaning each Greek/Hebrew vocabulary possibly could have. Will then must nuance down the word in question to the very meaning the word could possibly imply within context of text we are working on, bringing out biblical author’s intended/contextual meaning of that word in our passage. This must be well demonstrated in your paper.
Applying good exegetical skill is the only way to capture a biblical writer’s authorial intent at the time he penned his work. It is also the only means to know how first audience of each book understood their book as God addressed their particular problems using inspired authors of our Scriptures.
Not until we have affirmed what God said in His word as He resolved problems of each book’s first readers can we determine God’s unchanging eternal principle inherent in each book of Scriptures and apply them to our society’s divergent problems today. In order word, if we are not able to affirm what God said when He addressed His people’s problems at the time Scriptures was written we will not be able to know what God is saying to resolving our various societal problems today.
Contextual exegesis/exposition, utilizing class learnt exegetical tool to explain author’s point of view (not your own), is most essential to earn good grade in this paper. You can also check good Commentaries, Journal articles, etc., to help your thinking along the way. Please do not “copy/paste” texts of commentaries. You can react to commentators’ view and critically evaluate them based on your exegesis. No web sites materials are allowed in this paper. If SafeAssgn tags your paper for plagiarism you will be awarded and F for your paper. So please be cautious composing your work.
Examples of An Exegetical Paper
If you are working on exegesis of Rom 12:1-9, I would want to see something like this in your exegetical paper:
In Romans 12:1 Paul concludes his discussion on subject of God’s mercy (which Gentiles already received and has resulted in their salvation; and which Jews will receive in the future, Rom 11:25-32) by commanding his readers to present themselves to God as a living sacrifice. That Rom 12:1 is a concluding phrase of what Paul has been saying before this chapter is clear when the apostle employs the word “therefore” in 12:1 linking this passage with its preceding thought in chap 11, and using the phrase “God’s mercy” found in chapt 11:30-32 as spring board to appeal to his readers to present their bodies as living sacrifice….” This exhortation came after Paul’s brief digression from the subject of mercy received, as he gives thanks to God for His unfathomed wisdom and knowledge regarding Jews and Gentile’s salvation in a doxology (11:33-36). Word study on the word “mercy,” indicates that it means…….etc…….
If you were to write an exegetical paper on James 1:1-16, you will commence with something like this: James starts his epistle by introducing his name simply as “James” and qualifying it with the phrase “a servant” of both God the Father and of the Lord Jesus Christ. The word “servant” means…. Here James makes both God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ the object and focus of his service and ministry. After introducing himself as the author of this epistle James states the recipient of his letter. They are “the twelve tribes” whose location is “in diaspora” The Greek word “diaspora” implies…. This means that James’ epistle is a circular letter intended for many Jewish congregations in different parts of the then known world. James greets his readers with the word “greetings” (“xarin”) which in Greek means ….
In verse 2, James introduces one of the points for this letter by commanding his audience to count all things joy….., etc.
Turabian Guide for Paper Format:
Everyone needs to consult Kate L. Turabian 8th ed., for formatting paper for this class (that falls under biblical studies). See pg 135-215 and her basic patterns samples on pg 145-148.
Make sure you understand LUO format style for book with one or more authors; article in a book (that needs author of article and ed. of the book); book in series (which needs editor of series, e.g., most commentaries); journals; dissertation; unpublished articles; electronic material,. Need to learn which punctuation applies to each section of format, etc.
All Papers/projects cannot be more than 10-12 pages max.?SafeAssign scans for plagiarism. Automatic F grade will be awarded to any form of plagiarism in paper, including resubmitting old LUO class material. Please read LUO honor code on this.
Liberty Online Library
I want to remind everyone of wealth of scholarly information and research materials in our Liberty’s on-line library for paper/projects. Hundreds of articles are available in PDF form that we can read on our topics. Everyone needs to demonstrate excellent interaction with these on-line articles in a scholarly way to obtain good grade for their end of Unit paper/research work.
Give proper footnote and bibliography, and again, no plagiarism please.
In case you are not fully familiar with how to get to the best section of Blackboard’s On-Line library for research material in biblical studies, on
“my blackboard” page, click “Resources,” > LU Jerry Falwell Library.
Below “Search Anything” (by “Search Tools”) click “Databases by Name” > Religion & Philosophy, > ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials.
In “Limit your result” box, click “full text.”
Go up back to ” Searching: ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials” on top left.
Type short key phrases relating your exegetical paper topic. You can also search with specific Bible passages for your exegetical paper.
Click “PDF full text” to read each of the articles.
All research paper should demonstrate good interaction with LUO library resources.
Please do your best to present an exegetical paper, explaining what the word of God is saying to its first readers, and the passage’s possible implications for us today.