You will complete an exegesis of a passage from the New Testament (employing methods of
interpretation and perspectives, such as literary and historical context, literary form, and structure).
Exegesis means to expound upon a text, to unpack a text of its many meanings. Elements of various
types of criticism will be employed to further develop your ability to interpret the Bible. .
Select one of the following passages as the basis for your exegesis: Matthew 6:9-13
References to use are: Biblical Reference Books
Anderson, B., ed. The Books of the Bible. 2 vols. New York: Scribners, 1989.
Bauer, J., ed. Sacramentum Verbi. 3 vols. New York: Herder, 1970.
Black, M., ed. Peake’s Commentary on the Bible. London: Nelson, 1962.
Brown, R. et.al., eds. The Jerome Biblical Commentary. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall, 1968.
__________. The New Jerome Biblical Commentary. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall, 1990.
Buttrick, G., ed. Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible. 4 vols plus supplementary vol. New York: Abingdon,
Ellison, J., ed. Nelson’s Complete Concordance of the Revised Standard Version Bible. New York:
Fitzmyer, J. The Interpretation of Scripture: In Defense of the Historical Critical Method. New York:
Freedman, D.N., ed. The Anchor Bible Dictionary. 6 vols. Doubleday, 1992.
Fuller, R., ed. A New Catholic Commentary on Holy Scripture. Camden: Nelson, 1969.
Hartman, L. Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Bible. New York: McGraw Hill, 1963.
Keck, L., ed. The New Interpreters Bible. 13 vols. Abingdon, 1994.
Kittel and Friedrich, eds. Theological Dictionary of the New Testament. 10 vols. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans,
Laymon, C. The Interpreter’s One Volume Commentary on the Bible. New York: Abingdon, 1971.
Leon-Dufour, X. Dictionary of Biblical Theology. New York: Desclee, 1967.
McKenzie. Dictionary of the Bible. Milwaukee: Bruce, 1965.
Orchard, J. A Synopsis of the Four Gospels. Mercer U. Pr., 1982.
Richardson, A. A Theological Word Book of the Bible. New York: MacMillan, 1950.
Rahner, K., ed. Sacramentum Mundi. 6 vols. New York: Herder, 1968.
Sakenfeld, Karen. The New Interpreters Dictionary of the Bible. 5 vols. Abingdon, 2006.
Follow the outline below and answer the questions in each section using recommended sources. Keep
the outline headings below as the subheadings of your exegesis.
1. Literary Criticism
a. Context: What follows and precedes your passage? Are your pages affected by this context?
b. Form criticism: What is the literary form of your passage? Are there other places in the Bible
(or related text) where this form is used and which help to interpret this passage?
c. Structure: Do you detect any particular structural pattern (e.g., parallelism within your
assigned book of the Bible)? Describe the parts of your passage.
d. Redaction criticism: Has your passage come through an editorial process? What changes
have been made? Explain why certain changes have been made.
e. Key words: What are the theologically important words in the passage? Do these words
evoke any other parts of the Bible? Are these words used in a new way by the author of this
passage? What do these words mean?
2. Theological Analysis
a. What does this passage say about the relationship with God?
b. What questions might this passage have addressed in the community for which it was
[Some of the ideas above are adopted from A Guide to Biblical Exegesis by G. Landes and W. Wink
The purpose of such documentation is to enable the reader to find
your source with ease. Be sure to use some material from the bibliography in the course Doc Sharing area for your exegesis,
especially the biblical reference books. Below are some hints for successfully completing the paper:
1. Look up your passage in the New Testament.
2. Consult a general commentary (such as The Jerome Biblical Commentary, The New Jerome
Biblical Commentary, or The Collegeville Bible Commentary).
3. Consult specific commentaries (see the course bibliography in Doc Sharing, e.g., Harrington’s
Matthew’s Gospel, Fitzmyer’s The Gospel According to Luke).
4. Conduct a periodical search (through EBSCO) of your passage, limiting search to full-text, peerreviewed
Use the checklist below to ensure that you are following the format properly:
1. Are all ideas documented (including page numbers)?
2. Are all quotations documented (including page numbers)?
3. Is there a works cited page?
4. Do the notes and bibliography include sources recommended by the syllabus?
5. Does the format include the headings from the syllabus?
6. Does each sentence make sense?
7. Does the “form” section clearly name a literary form?
8. Does the redaction section contrast the assigned passage with Mark’s version (except for infancy
narrative and Lord’s Prayer)?
9. Does the key word section include more than one key word?
10. Does the key word section refer to Old Testament material?