Two exams down, one to go – and that’s not until the 19th.
Yesterday morning was Biblical Interpretation. It wasn’t too bad and I ended up answering questions that I hadn’t specifically revised for. Not sure if that suggest complacency or arrogance on my part, but when I looked at the questions, I didn’t feel entirely comfortable with the ones that tied in to my revision scheme.
The only one which was closely related was a question about Reformation exegesis and how it was distinguished from ancient and medieval Christianity. So, it was a quick overview of historical exegesis followed by a brain dump about Luther, Zwingli and Calvin.
Of the other two, one was suitably vague – ‘How can biblical texts have more than one legitimate/valid meaning?’ – which allowed me to witter on about all sorts of vaguely related issues. On the plus side for that one, I was able to bring in some work from other courses so that add a few brownie points I hope. That said, it wasn’t a very complete answer, largely because I overran on the first question and decided that this would be my ‘compromise’ question.
The third was a discussion about Elisabeth Schussler Fiorenza’s approach to the Bible. Again, not one I specifically revised but I am conversant enough with her feminist approach that I was able to put together something. Overall, should be enough for a reasonable pass but I don’t expect a good mark for the book review I did, so looking for a high C or low B overall.
The Doctrine of Creation exam was fair and I confess to ‘question-spotting’ for that one. Irenaeus, Augustine and Barth were all there, so that’s what got done. Not great, but a comfortable pass I think. Reasonable essay mark to add in to the pot, so overall I’d be hopeful of a B.
So, now I have a little breathing space before next Friday’s Hebrew Prophecy exam. That’s pretty much a straightforward set of exegesis questions, very much focused on the text with no expectation of use of commentaries. In fact, commentaries are pretty much frowned upon in that class. ‘Read the text!’ is the usual cry or ‘Where do you find that idea in the text?’. ‘Historical-critical methods are all well and good, but largely speculative and unrealistic for an exam situation’ seems to be the general approach. That’s not to say you can interpret it however you want. It’s got to come from the text. Anyway, I got an A (72) for the essay in the course, so overall (and allowing for the lecturer’s tough exam marking) I would be hopeful of a good B or maybe even scraping an A. For an A I’d need 55% in the exam and that’s certainly do-able.
In the meantime, time to clear my head a bit and tidy up the accumulation of books and note that have gathered around me.