Overview: This course considers the steps involved in carrying out an exegesis of a passage from a translator’s perspective.  The different aspects of exegesis are studied in detail and then are applied to one passage at the end of the course.  Students are also given an introduction to Translator’s Workplace or Paratext.

Learning Objectives:
At the end of the module the student will have acquired the following knowledge, skills and attitudes:


  • recognize that exegesis is fundamental to translation and that it must include the application of knowledge from other disciplines (such as linguistics, biblical studies)
  • recognize and explain the exegetical problems of various kinds in the text (e.g., textual, grammatical, lexical, cultural, situational, relational, authorʼs purpose, logical relations, etc.)
  • recognize alternative interpretations, especially as they appear in major-language translations and realize that there is usually not just one ‘right’ understanding of a difficult text. 
  • explain how exegesis is related to processing meaning in normal human communication (as taught in BTB-1)
  • recognize various OT and NT genres and different literary forms and explain the factors that should be taken into consideration interpreting and translating these
  • know the range of resources (in print or in electronic form) available to translators for the study of Biblical texts
  • recognize the form and function (structure and genre) of larger units of texts (including whole books and letters), and describe their effect on the exegesis of smaller sub-units


  •  ability to outline/summarize a passage
  • show a growing skill in utilizing the range of resources (in print or in electronic form) available for the understanding of biblical texts
  • use exegetical resources to study the meaning of a word or phrase in the original Greek or a Hebrew (without knowledge of these languages)
  • exegete a longer passage using the procedural steps presented
  • evaluate and select the most likely interpretation based on commentary opinion and considerations of relevance and contextual information
  • apply expertise gained in other disciplines studied when considering the meaning of a biblical text


  • enjoy the task of exegesis
  • be convinced of the need for careful and balanced reasoning
  • awareness of his or her own theological and cultural assumptions, and adopt a self-questioning attitude toward his or her own interpretations in light of those assumptions