I​‌‍‍‍‌‍‍‍‌‍‍‍‌‌‌‌‌‌‍‍​nterpretation Paper — BIBL 318 Length: 5-6 pages (double-spaced, New Times Roman 12 pt. font) Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to effectively interpret a biblical passage in James and recognize relevant theological truths from the passage. Directions: After praying and asking God for wisdom, Now you are ready to take additional general interpretive steps for the paper. First, read your chosen passage several times, jotting down observations and questions (about the author, audience, purpose, tone, key words, difficulties, etc.). Second, divide the passage into “units of thought” (similar to contemporary paragraphs), be aware of James’ thought rhymes and contrasts, and decide which of these “units of thought” (sections) of your chosen passage will be the primary focus of the paper (these divisions may also help in coming up with sub-headings for your paper for the interpretive section). 

Third, when reading, use different translations and available Bible study tools in determining the significant words and phrases of the passage. Once you have determined the specific passage and its divisions and have interacted with the text in asking relevant questions, follow the steps below to gather detailed notes for writing the body of your paper: 

A. Consider how the chosen passage fits within the overall flow of the book, particularly the preceding and following passages (when writing your paper, keep this information to about two paragraphs). 

o How does this passage relate to the author’s overall purpose? 

o What overall theological emphases of the author in the book of James might contribute to a better understanding of the meaning of the chosen passage?

 B. Research the cultural-historical background of the passage (consult Commentaries and relevant Bible Dictionaries or helpful background books such as the IVP Biblical Background Commentary by Craig Keener). 

C. Make note of any literary devices and their function in the passage. 

D. Optional: For key sentences of the passage analyze the grammar and function (consult exegetical commentaries and Hebrew or Greek Grammars). E. Analyze key words of the passage (two or more): 

a. Determine the range of meaning that the author may have intended by (1) consulting other translations and relevant lexicons (BDAG preferred) and (2) see how the author​‌‍‍‍‌‍‍‍‌‍‍‍‌‌‌‌‌‌‍‍​ used these key words elsewhere in the letter of James.

 b. Optional: Consider how this word used in other books of the New Testament or Old Testament (LXX). 

c. If relevant, consider how this word is used in Greco-Roman culture. 

d. Based on the above analysis, decide on authorial intent and meaning for the significant word(s) and phrase(s).

 F. Investigate how the theological concepts of the chosen passage relate to biblical and theological teaching in James. G. Draw out two (or more) theological truths from the passage—be specific and clear. When you have completed gathering relevant notes in the above steps, you are now ready to organize and write your paper. (It is likely that students will gather more information than five pages. A good paper will do this and allow for editing, reducing, and revising so the information is written cohesively with clarity.)

 • Introduction (in one paragraph gain attention in a relevant manner, and at the end of the paragraph write a one-sentence thematic thesis sentence). 

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