Thursday, December 6, 2007

Advanced Greek Exegesis as a Pod- and Skype-Cast Course

As I mentioned earlier, one of the new course assignments for next semester that I am really looking forward to is Advanced Greek Exegesis. I am excited about the opportunity to delve into the fascinating topic of the use of the Old Testament in Acts (see the course description below). I am also increasingly excited about the chance to teach the course as a blended class.

Earlier this fall, the Distance Learning division here approached me about piloting the class as a podcast course. The idea is that our Monday evening classes will be recorded, and podcast students will be able to download the recording by noon the next day. To make the class more interactive for podcast students, their assignments will be due early enough so that on-site students can read and interact with them during class. This afternoon we decided to look into offering the course as a live Skype-cast where students can listen and interact with the class in real time--a much better arrangement, in my view! The demonstration this afternoon using a single microphone and a set of computer speakers in the classroom worked great. A few logistical details remain to be worked out, but I am fairly confident this will fly.

Technically, Greek Exegesis II is required as a pre-requisite, but I would be tempted to waive the requirement for any readers of this blog interested to audit the class. (Briercrest College and Seminary alumni can audit a course for free; everyone else, unfortunately, will have to pay.) Of course, to benefit from the class, you will want to have a decent reading knowledge of Greek.

The syllabus course description follows:

This course is designed to encourage greater confidence in your ability to read Greek, and to provide opportunities for you to hone your exegetical craft through the careful analysis of the early Christian exegesis of Scripture in the speeches of Acts. This type of intertextual analysis is very difficult to do without a good working knowledge of Greek since it requires paying careful attention to verbal parallels and minor textual variations that are frequently obscured in English translation. It is also very rewarding: As we study together, we will become familiar with passages that shaped how early Christians made sense of the death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus and its implications for their lives. We will discover how the LXX can serve as a valuable exegetical tool, and learn to pay attention to the ways in which the first Christians read their Bible as we realize what a difference it can make in our own reading of the New Testament. We will also pause to consider what contemporary Christians should learn from the model of reading, studying, and preaching Scripture presented to us in Acts. And, of course, we will have many opportunities to strengthen our grasp on Greek syntax, morphology and vocabulary, and to grow in our confidence in working with difficult Greek passages from the NT as well as less familiar, and at times equally difficult, passages from the LXX.

1 comment:

Karen said...

That sounds really cool! The best of both worlds--studying at home, but being able to interact with the class. Will the SKYPE classes be recorded too?

(I wish Dad could do something like that.)