So begins my official foray into New Testament Territory. I have joined the MTh First Years (there are five of us) for Greek Exegesis: Luke’s Gospel.

The Course Structure of the Module is as follows. (Taken from Dr. Babu’s handout)

Course Description: Exegesis in Greek of Luke’s Gospel using tools of modern biblical scholarship.

Course Aim:
The aim of the course is to exegete the Gospel of Luke 1:1-4:30 by making use of Historical as well as some of the aspects of Narrative Criticism. Luke 1:1-4:30 has been singled out for this study since it forms one literary unit namely, ‘The Pre-Public Minsitry Period.’

Intended Course Outcomes:
At the end of the course, students

– Will have attained a certain level of expertise in employing critical tools to exegete biblical texts.
– Will be able to arrive at theologically sound conclusions about the various literary units exegeted.
– Will have been motivated to study the text analytically.
– Are expected to have gained some measure of confidence to prepare academically sound papers to present and to respond to questions that arise out of the paper.

The course requirements are basically…

1. I have to write a 3500 word paper on Luke 1:26-56… raising critical exegetical comments (using my own translation). This I will present in class. The seminar presentations spend the first hour of class doing a verse by verse translation… ie. So we need to know greek enough to translate someone else’s passage. Then, I must have enough to talk for the remaining two hours! (For those who know me, you’ll probably be saying that it is not so difficult for me… but it is difficult!!!)

2. Then, I have to write a 5000 word paper on any topic on Luke… I don’t even know what a topic for Luke is.

3. Then we have to write another paper (in lieu of an exam)… and I have no idea what this other paper will entail.

The class load is relatively light. Meaning, there are only three classes a week. There are two study days (Tuesday and Thursday)… wow, NT guys really have it easy!!!… :) And it will be mainly class presentations starting Friday.

As far as reading, there is a one-and-a-half page bibliography. But I think we are supposed to have a general understanding of issues related to Luke, as well as specific/detailed knowledge of the text alloted to us.

I must admit I am scared. This is largely because I do not have the greek proficiency that I think is required; I still need the analytical lexicon, or better, Bible Works, to help me through almost each word in the Greek Text. I do believe that “learning Greek through use” principle is valid, but it takes a lot of time, and I don’t think I’m New Testament material yet.

Still, the class, taught by Dr. Babu Imanuel, was not that scary. (The assignment expectations were, but not the class).

In the class, Dr. Babu gave a brief introduction to Luke, the issues of genre, sources etc. I found that I was generally aware of each of the points he was raising, and as a theology student, I think I gave myself a pat on the back. :) Even the next class, on Wednesday, is something I do not fear, because Dr. Babu will be doing hermeneutical methodology, focussing upon new literary criticism… something which has been my pet-hobby for quite some time. In fact, without the greek, I have been aware and done reading on biblical hermeneutical issues.

I spent most of today working on the greek translation of my passage; and I’ve just finished.

I can now start looking at commentaries and see what issues are raised in NT studies about the stated passage. Already, a random search of articles shows that this is an exciting passage, and I’m looking forward to delve into it further.

So, PDP(ii) looks exciting and challenging. I think I’ll be updating this more than once a week; so keep reading, if you are finding this helpful.