The “Inside the PTS Curriculum” series gives you an inside look at what students are learning in their courses at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. Each article focuses on one class, its subject matter, what students can expect to learn, the required texts, and the kinds of assignments students can expect. We’ll let you know whether the course is required or available for the Master of Divinity (MDiv), the Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies (MAPS), or Master of Theological Studies (MTS). Each article will include the professor’s bio.
This week’s course is: “Hebrew Grammar II and Exegesis.”
About Hebrew Grammar II and Exegesis
During this term, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary students are learning about biblical Hebrew with the Rev. Dr. Steven Tuell in the class “Hebrew Grammar II and Exegesis.” This course fulfills a requirement for students in the Master of Divinity (MDiv) degree and is available to students in the Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies (MAPS) and Master of Theology (MTS) degree programs.
This synchronous online course completes the study of introductory Hebrew grammar and introduces the practice of exegesis. Students will gain skills in interpreting texts by giving attention to their literary, social, historical, and canonical contexts, and by articulating a faithful interpretation of these texts as Christian Scripture. Students will also learn to identify reliable scholarly resources for biblical interpretation.
By the end of the course, students will be able to give a primary meaning for all vocabulary covered in the textbook and assigned biblical readings, identify all parts of speech and grammatical constructions in Biblical Hebrew, and translate correctly verbal and non-verbal sentences into English. Further, they will learn to evaluate in grammatical and syntactical terms the main elements of Hebrew narrative and poetry. This will require students to display an ability to use the principal tools of Hebrew language study: lexicon, concordance, verb paradigms, etc.
Assignments include a midterm exam, quizzes, and homework. Another important component of the course is an 18-20 page exegesis paper with preliminary translation work and a rough draft.
Required reading includes C. L. Seow, A Grammar for Biblical Hebrew, rev. ed.; Richard and Kendall Soulen, Handbook of Biblical Criticism, 4th ed.; and Merold Westphal, Whose Community? Which Interpretation? – Philosophical Hermeneutics for the Church.
About the Instructor
The Rev. Dr. Steven Tuell is the James A. Kelso Professor of Hebrew and Old Testament at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. He received a B.A. from West Virginia Wesleyan College, an M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary, and a Ph.D. in Hebrew Bible at Union Theological Seminary in Virginia. Dr. Tuell’s research interests are biblical prophecy, particularly the book of Ezekiel and the Book of the Twelve, and the biblical literature of the early Persian Period. He has completed a textbook on the prophets (with Stephen Cook and John Strong), and his works in progress include a book on creation in Scripture. An ordained elder in The United Methodist Church, he has served churches in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, and Virginia. Dr. Tuell preaches and teaches frequently throughout the area.