PW 813 - New Testament Exegesis and Sermon Design

January 14-25, 2002

Instructor: John Alsup

email: (home) (office)

phone: 512-863-2040 (home) 472-6736 ext. 244 (office)

Course Description: This course examines the relationship between the exegesis of biblical texts and the task of preaching, with the goal of making sermon preparation more effective, relevant and exegetically responsible. It is designed to help the preacher build productive bridges between the text and the pulpit by: 1) examining exegesis in terms of method; 2) searching for responsible means of integrating historical research and contemporary proclamation; and 3) developing the creative skills of application. The class focuses its work upon selected biblical texts from the 2002 January/February common lectionary and relevant secondary literature, with the goal of increasing familiarity with those texts and of producing competent exegesis and proclamation based on those texts.

Participants: Rev. Doug Dalglish of Canyon Lake, Tx ( ); Rev. David Emery of The Woodlands, Tx ( ); Rev. Robert Flowers of Hewitt, Tx (Baylor Univ.; ); Rev. Larry Gaylord of Dousman, Wisconsin ( ); Rev. Chris Mesa of Weatherford, Tx ( ); Rev. Sung-In Park of Austin ( ); possible "e-group" colleagues?

Logistics: The class meets in room 205 of the McMillan Bldg. The opening session on Monday, January 14 is scheduled to meet from 2-5 p.m. The remaining class sessions Tuesday - Friday, Jan. 15-25 (no class on Monday, the 21st, since the Seminary is closed in recognition of MLK's birthday) are to meet from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Chapel Schedule: Prayer and Praise service on Monday, Thursday, and Friday from 10:30-10:50 a.m.; Preaching and Communion service on Tuesday from 10-10:50 a.m. Weekend: An invitation is extended to those wishing to visit the instructor's horse ranch on Saturday the 19th and/or to attend worship at the Sunrise Beach Federated Church on Sunday the 20th. Details available to those who are interested.

Class Schedule:

Monday 14th - Orientation (cf. APTS Bulletin, Fac. Ed. XCII, May 1977), Discussion of Exegetical Methodology, Preparatory Exercise: Mt. 2:1-18

Tuesday 15th - Exegetical Discussion of Mt. 2:1-18 in preparation for Chapel sermon by instructor on this text (10 a.m.)

Wednesday 16th - Presentation of sermon outlines by class

Thursday 17th - Exegesis of Mt. 5:1-12

Friday 18th - Presentation of sermon outlines by class

Tuesday 22nd - Exegesis of Mt. 17:1-9

Wednesday 23rd - Presentation of sermon outlines by class

Thursday 24th - Exegesis of I Corinthians 1:10-18

Friday 25th - Presentation of sermon outlines by class

Class Dynamics: This course is a collaborative venture; each class member brings differing gifts and experience as exegete and preacher to the table. We want to learn from one another and support one another in breaking new ground as interpreters of scripture. We shall seek to accomplish this in the nine class sessions allotted us by the practice of a disciplined, critical dialogue between the historical-homiletical work method and our previous exegetical training and pulpit experience. As far as possible we want to re-invigorate our use of the Greek New Testament, though no one is to be left out of the conversation for reasons of linguistic amnesia. We want to widen our horizons as Bible students and preachers through serious, good-natured dialogue. Each session will be moderated by a class member to facilitate the discussion, the first by the instructor and then the remaining eight sessions per volunteers or in the order of the alphabetical participants' list above.

A special section on the Bi 216 website has been designed for us. Here you will find, in addition to the Syllabus, locations for exegetical notes and text material from our study together, feedback from the instructor and from one another, and our sermons (cf. below). For those without computer/internet access assistance will be provided; hard copies of all material, moreover, will be made available by the instructor.

Requirements: While no exegetical research papers are required in this course, it is expected that each class member will keep exegetical notes that are organized according to the steps of the class methodology and will prepare four sermon outlines (sentence outlines are a minimum; manuscripts up to four pages in length are also permissible); both are to be made available for a class posting and/or for the wider community of exegete/preachers via the lectionary portion of the Bi 216 website. Postings are accomplished by submission of data on a (virus free!) floppy disk or as email attachments for uploading by the instructor.

Goals: As stated in the course description above, a major goal is that we become better exegetes and preachers as a result of our work together. Honing the skills of listening to the text and to one another will re-vitalize and deepen our commitment to the call to teach and preach in the church. Toward this end all members of the class are expected to subscribe to the Covenant of continued conversation in the mode practiced in the course on the Bi 216 website over the weeks leading up to and including the Lenten season. We agree, moreover, to secure at least two other conversation partners (one an ordained clergy person and one interested layperson) per covenant member in order to widen and deepen our dialogue. These partners will be invited to participate in all aspects of our work together. Their contributions can be offered directly to the website or can be added to the covenant member's periodic submissions for posting. While we intend to assess and adjust aspects of this experimental working arrangement as we go, there will be a final critique by all participants when we reconvene during the June 2002 term. Finally, we agree to be in touch on a minimum of once a week. If for some reason we cannot meet this commitment or if computer failure interrupts the offerings for posting we agree to notify Dr. Alsup by phone with an explanation of the difficulty. It is our hope that this model for communication between us will be the basis for continued conversation for years to come.