Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2017-2018 (archived)

Module TMMC1027: Methods of Reading the Bible

Department: Theology, Ministry and Mission

TMMC1027: Methods of Reading the Bible

Type Tied Level 1 Credits 10 Availability Available in 2017/18 Module Cap None. Location Durham


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • To help students appreciate the importance – and the challenges – of understanding biblical texts both within their original and modern contexts.
  • To acquaint students with a basic working knowledge of the critical tools, skills and resources that are useful in exegesis.


  • Some basic historical perspectives on the issues of biblical interpretation.
  • Introduction to the range of skills needed for exegesis and to the resources that are available, helping them to develop their own practical exegetical skills.
  • A basic introduction to various kinds of biblical criticism that they will encounter and may wish to use.
  • Some perspectives on how language conveys meaning, and especially on the question of genre, to foster listening to texts in an informed way.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Present a basic outline history of the Christian interpretation of the Bible.
  • Demonstrate an informed understanding and inquiring approach to selected methods of interpretation used by modern biblical scholars.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Interpret a biblical text in a way that reflects an awareness of some of the questions raised by its historical and cultural context and of its linguistic and literary character.
Key Skills:
  • Identify gather and evaluate source materials for a specific purpose.
  • Evaluate the appropriateness of different approaches, communicating their findings sensitively and accurately.
  • Carry out a guided task that involves: independent inquiry; management of time and resources; using IT; meeting deadlines; evaluating the task and learning from it.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Lectures provide content, a conceptual framework and a survey of approaches within a subject area that enable students to locate their learning in a wider context, to make connections with other disciplines, and to evaluate and apply their learning to different contexts.
  • Seminars offer students an opportunity to present, evaluate and apply their knowledge to specific contexts, and to engage with teaching staff and peers in debate and reflection.
  • Guided reading in conjunction with lectures encourages independent learning and underpins the knowledge and understanding gained in lectures and seminars.
  • Small group learning creates an environment where students learn to articulate their knowledge and understanding effectively and in a way that is relevant to the group and its context.
  • Tutorials enhance learning by offering feedback and encouraging students to reflect on their own response to the knowledge and skills they have acquired.
  • Programmed online learning materials guide students through knowledge content, its wider framework and different approaches to its application.
  • Virtual discussion forums offer students the opportunity to articulate the knowledge and understanding they have acquired to others and to engage in informed debate.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 8 1 8
Small Group Learning 6
Personal Study 86
Total 100

Summative Assessment

Component: Essay Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Essay 2,500 words 100%

Formative Assessment:

Students will be expected to demonstrate engagement with the subject matter and the learning outcomes throughout the module by suitable formative assessments that encourage integrative and reflective skills.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University