Practicum Paper: Introduction

My school semester has ended. I'm very grateful. After about a week of reflection I've built up the courage to sit down and utilize some of my class work for a couple posts. This brief series is not going to be very interactive. In fact it might be down right useless to many readers. But I hope it provides a small glance into hermeneutics and specifically my hermeneutics.

This semester I took Hermeneutics 101 at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Instead of a final exam I was asked to provide a Practicum Paper. This paper would count for 30% of my final overall grade! A lot of effort was put into this paper and I was very excited to be finished.

So what actually went into this paper? For three different Biblical texts, I needed to provide thirty different questions that demonstrated how I would interpret the text. The value/level of the questions determined my grade on the paper. As of writing this I still haven't received a grade. But I'm hoping to post the results when I get them depending on how embarrassing they are!

So the three passages of Scripture were Isaiah 65:24, Matthew 16:13-20 and Romans 12:1-2. This was a very interesting set of passages. As I expected, the assignment covered the gambit of genres studied over the course of the semester. Thankfully no proverbs or psalms were listed since those are certainly a weak spot for me. But the selection of prophecy, historical gospel narrative and didactic were right up my ally. I've taught through Romans before and was excited to see it on the list. While teaching through Ephesians I was even provided an opportunity to draw some parallels with Romans 12. It was a text with a context I felt I understood.

The prophetic text in Isaiah is just a fun text. I had to limit myself to thirty questions. In fact I'm mildly worried I didn't provide the best thirty questions because I eventually had to stop writing them down. The text is crucial in a preterist postmillennial understanding and I had thankfully spent some significant time studying it before this assignment.

The Matthew text was the toughest of the three. I don't mind narrative but I felt my questions were not as expressive of the digging I would normally do. I won't deny that I have a strong historical-grammatical method of studying the Bible and occasionally this doesn't play nice with the narrative genre. In liberal schools, this has played very unfairly with the narrative passages of Scripture in fact. And while I will admit to learning a lot from liberal commentaries and methods, I do try to remain conservative in my approach to the Scriptures. Nevertheless, I did feel a little tension in myself while working through thirty questions for the Matthew text.

Over the next few days I'll be posting these thirty questions in their entirety. Hope you enjoy!

Joshua Torrey is the sole proprietor of Torrey Gazette (don't tell Alaina) and the fullness of its editorial process. That means everything wrong with TG can legitimately be blamed on him.