The Bible

Course Outline & Assessment Information


Through this class students are expected to develop an understanding of, and competencies in regard to, the following areas of studying and interpreting the written word of God:

  1. Develop an understanding and appreciation for the nature of the written word of God.
  2. Be aware of our own worldview and assumptions that we bring to our reading of Scripture, and think deeply about which of these are helpful, and which take away from a more authentic understanding of what God is saying through his written revelation in Scripture.
  3. Learn to appreciate the underlying truth and goal of God’s revealing himself through written words from various times, in various literary styles, involving so many different people with varying levels of understanding of God.
  4. Learn to read the Scripture as a whole, as the story of God and his people pointing and leading us to Jesus Christ, the living, eternal word who alone fully and completely reveals who God truly is.
  5. Read and show an understanding of how various Biblical theologians view the nature and role of Scripture, and the implications and benefits of viewing Scripture as incarnational rather than inerrant.
  6. Understand the written nature of Scripture, its varying contexts and literary genres, and how appreciating and respecting how it is written leads to a more authentic and meaningful understanding.
  7. Be able to interpret scriptural passages in their cultural, linguistic and theological time and place and understand the difference between reading the Bible literarily and literalistically.
  8. Understand the importance and advantage of exegetical study of Scripture.
  9. Understand the basic principles of sound hermeneutics, and learn to use them in seeking to understand and apply the meaning of Scripture for life today.
  10. Appreciate the intended impact and depth of meaning of non-literal language (metaphors, types, poetry, apocalyptic writing etc.)
  11. Develop a deeper insight into the meaning and message of the early chapters of Genesis, particularly the creation.
  12. Become consistent in reading the Old Testament both in its original context, and in the light of Jesus Christ and his fulfilment of the law, prophets and writings.

Brief Description

The Bible: Written Word, Living Word class is intended to examine our approach to the Scripture. What do we bring with us to our Bible studies? What is the Bible really meant to convey? What is the truth God inspired it to reveal? Is it a reference book like a manual or encyclopedia giving us eternal principles for good living? How do we read the Old Testament? How does it have meaning for us today?

This is a foundational class for ACCM students. It fits side by side with and serves as a good foundation for Jesus and the Gospels and Preaching. If you have already done one or both of these classes previously, The Bible class will dig deeper into and reinforce many of the principles you have learned.

We will start by considering basic questions about the nature and role of Scripture, and look at some of the commonly held views of the Bible and how it should be read. We will work on developing important Bible Study skills and sound approaches to interpreting and applying the words of Scripture in the Old and New Testaments in the light of who God has revealed himself to be in Jesus Christ through the inspiration of God the Holy Spirit.

There will be a number of videos, books and articles to read and reflect upon. If you are taking the class for credit, please read the information on assessments.


Class 1: Towards an Understanding of Scripture

What is My View of the Bible?
The Bible is God’s Word to Us
Interpreting the Scriptures
Views of Scripture

Class 2: Me and the Text

How do we read the Scriptures?
Confirmation Bias or Myside Bias
Cultural Biases and Filters
The Tendency to Look for Rules rather than God and his Grace in Scripture

Class 3: The Bible: Divine and Human

The Nature and Inspiration of Scripture
What the Bible Says About its Nature and Purpose
The Incarnation

Class 4: God’s Story and Ours

How is the Bible Authoritative?
God’s Story
Reading the Bible Selfishly or Legalistically
The Bible as a Witnessing Story
The Bible as a Relational, Family Story
Receiving the Word in Faith

Class 5: Words of Truth

Bible Reading
Reading Literally or Theologically
Poetry and Symbolic Language
Reading Different Types of Literature
Old Testament Literary Genres

Class 6: New Testament Use of the Old Testament

Interpreting the Old Testament
The Old Testament in the Gospels
Jesus Authority Over the Scriptures

Class 7: The Old Testament – Genesis and the Law

Reading Genesis
Creation in Genesis
Noah and the Flood
Reading the Law

Texts and Supporting Materials

There will be a number of books and articles to read and reflect upon. We would like you to purchase or borrow two or more of the following texts as follows:

Required Reading (Two of the following)

  • Gary Deddo, Scripture: God’s Gift, Internet,
  • Eugene Peterson, Eat This Book: A Conversation in the Art of Spiritual Reading, Eerdmans/Paternoster Press, 2009
  • N.T. Wright, Scripture and the Authority of God: How to Read the Bible Today, HarperOne, 2013
Any supporting articles or other materials are supplied in the Class Resource Library.

Other recommended Reading

  • Peter Enns, Inspiration and Incarnation: Evangelicals and the Problem of the Old Testament, Baker Academic, 2nd Edition, 2015
  • John Goldingay, Models of Scripture, Wipf & Stock, 2004
  • Ron Martoia, The Bible as Improv, Zondervan, 2009
  • Peter Enns, The Bible Tells Me So: Why Defending Scripture Has Made Us Unable to Read It, HarperCollins, 2015
 These texts can be purchased from most online bookstores (we recommend Book Depository which offers free shipping) or from select Christian book retailers. 


The components of assessment for this class are all listed below. You are encouraged to work through the class notes and readings before launching into the assessments. Assessments must be submitted before the due dates outlined in the course syllabus you received upon registration. Do not submit more than one assessment before receiving feedback from your teacher. The assessments are as follows:


Assessment 1: Me and the Bible

  • Write about your relationship with the Bible from as far back as you can remember.
  • What were you taught and led to believe about the truth of Scripture and how to read it?
    • What views have you held about Genesis 1 and 2 in the past?
    • What do you believe now?
    • What views have you held about the law, and what do you believe now?
    • What views have you held about prophecy, and how do you read and understand prophecy now?

(Min 600 words)


Assessment 2: Book Review

Write a book review on one of the books you have chosen from the reading list, or you can choose another book if agreed to by the class assessor.

  • Give personal reflections on how what you read impacts on your own approach to the Bible.
  • What did you find challenging?
  • What did you find most helpful?
  • Was there anything you disagreed with and if so why?

(Min 600 words)


Assessment 3

Choose three passages that reflect distinct literary styles (at least two from the Old Testament)

  • Exposit each of them using the study principles and techniques you have learned in this class and your reading.
  • What meaning does each have in the light of Jesus as the living word and fulfilment of all the Law, Prophets and writings?
  • (Min 1000 words)


Assessment 4

Choose three New Testament passages that quote the Old

  • Exposit each of them using the study principles and techniques you have learned in this class and your reading.
  • Discuss how the N.T. author interprets the quoted O.T. passage in the light of Jesus the living Word
  • (Min 1000 words)



More about the Lecturer, Phillip Hopwood.

Grading System

Check the "FAQ" option from the ABOUT dropdown menu.



This web site contains course material that is for the use of the students of Ambassador College of Christian Ministry only. Re-publication and re-dissemination, including posting to news groups or web pages, is strictly prohibited without prior written consent of Ambassador College of Christian Ministry. Your participation in an ACCM course indicates your agreement.

Class Notes - Conventions

As you work through the class notes, you'll have opportunities to complete exercises, reflect on particular points and take special note. These are clearly indicated, with relevant instructions alongside



These should be emailed to