PhD Field Essays at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary with Resources Listed

OLD TESTAMENT

The field essay in Old Testament will consist of two questions, each designed to take an hour of the applicant’s 2-hour time allotment. Questions will be as follows:

1. Hebrew Translation. The applicant will be asked to translate a passage of approximately five to ten verses of Hebrew prose from the text of Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia. The applicant will not need to bring a text but will be provided with a photocopy of the passage to be translated. The applicant will be asked to parse forms and explain syntax constructions from the selected passage. Moreover, applicants will be asked basic questions from Hebrew phonology and morphology. Dictionaries or other reference aids may not be used. The purpose of this translation exercise is to determine the extent of the applicant’s expertise in Hebrew language.

2. General Question. For the second hour of the field essay, the applicant will be asked to write an essay on a Old Testament topic. Two subjects will be listed, and the student will be asked to choose one of the two. For this portion of the exam, the applicant should follow the suggested bibliography attached to this sheet.

Instructions: In preparing for the general question in Old Testament, students are advised to study at least two of the three works listed in each of the two categories listed below. The exam will consist of two questions from which one is to be selected. Questions are generally fairly broad, involving some major period or method of Old Testament research or asking for a discussion of scholarship in a particular book of the Old Testament. Usually the two questions will involve two distinct areas of Old Testament study, such as one from the Pentateuch and one from the Prophets.

 

I. Introduction to the Old Testament

Childs, B. S. Introduction to the Old Testament as Scripture. Philadelphia: Fortress, 1979.

Harrison, R. K. Introduction to the Old Testament. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1969.

Rendtorff, Rolf The Old Testament. An Introduction. Philadelphia: Fortress, 1991.

II. Interpretation of the Old Testament

Barton, John, ed. The Cambridge Companion to Biblical Interpretation. Cambridge: University Press, 1998.

Knight, Douglas A., and Gene M. Tucker, eds. The Hebrew Bible and Its Modern Interpreters. The Bible and Its Modem Interpreters Series. Minneapolis: Fortress, 1985.

VanGemeren, Willem A, ed. A Guide to the Old Testament Theology and Exegesis. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1997.

 

NEW TESTAMENT

The field essay in New Testament will consist of two questions, each designed to take an hour of the applicant’s 2-hour time allotment. Questions will be as follows:

I . Greek Translation. The applicant will be asked to translate a passage of approximately ten to twelve lines from the Nestle text of the Gospel of Mark. The applicant will not need to bring a text but will be provided with a photocopy of the passage to be translated and a page of vocabulary covering the passage from Sakae Kubo, A Reader’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament. (Applicants will be expected to know the “special vocabulary” listed by Kubo at the beginning of the Gospel of Mark as well as the vocabulary of common New Testament words in Appendix I of Kubo. These words will not be provided in the Kubo entry for the passage to be translated.)

2. General Question. For the second hour of the field essay, the applicant will be asked to write an essay on a New Testament topic. Two subjects will be listed, and the applicant will be asked to choose one of the two. For this portion of the exam, the applicant should follow the suggested bibliography attached to this sheet.

Instructions: In preparing for the general question in New Testament, students are advised to study at least two of the three works listed in each of the two categories fisted below. The exam will consist of two questions from which one is to be selected. Questions are generally fairly broad, involving some major period or method of New Testament research or asking for a discussion of scholarship in a particular book of the New Testament. Usually the two questions will involve two distinct areas of New Testament study, such as one from the Gospels and one from Pauline studies.

I. Histories of New Testament Research:

Riches, John K. A Century of New Testament Study. Valley Forge, PA: Trinity Press International, 1993.

McKnight, Scot and Grant R. Osborne. The Face of New Testament Studies: A Survey of Recent Research. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2004.

Neill, Stephen and Tom Wright. The Interpretation of the New Testament, 1861-1986 Oxford: At the University Press, 1988.

Kümmel, Werner George. The New Testament: The History of the Investigation of its Problems Trans. S. M. Gilmore and H. C. Kee. Nashville: Abingdon, 1970.

 

II. New Testament Introductions:

Carson, D. A., D. J. Moo and Leon Morris. An Introduction to the New Testament. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1992.

Guthrie, Donald. New Testament Introduction. Revised edition. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1990.

Kostenberger, Andreas J., L. Scott Kellum, and Charles Quarles. The Cradle, the Cross, and the Crown: An Introduction to the New Testament. Nashville: B&H Academic, 2009.

Kümmel, Werner George. Introduction to the New Testament. Revised edition, trans. H C. Kee. Nashville: Abingdon, 1975.

 

BIBLICAL THEOLOGY

Question: The entrance exam in Biblical Theology will consist of one question and two translations. Each section (the translation and the question) are designed to take an hour of the applicant’s two hour time allotment.

1. Translation: The applicant will translate a short portion of the Hebrew text and the Greek text giving relevant parsings as requested. The passage will come from the Hebrew Scriptures and the Greek Scriptures respectively.

2. General Question: The applicant will be asked to write an essay on a Biblical Theology topic. The student should focus their studies on the history and methods of Biblical Theology. The applicant should follow the suggested bibliography to study.

Instructions:

Students are advised to study all of the works below. Questions are generally fairly broad, involving some major issue, method, or the history of Biblical Theology.

Bibliography:

Klink and Lockett, Understanding Biblical Theology. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2012.

Hamilton, God’s Glory in Salvation Through Judgment. Wheaton: Crossway, 2010

Hafemann and House, Central Themes in Biblical Theology. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2007.

Childs, Biblical Theology of OT and NT. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 2012.

C.H. Scobie “History of Biblical Theology” in New Dictionary of Biblical Theology (Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 2000).

 

CHURCH HISTORY/HISTORICAL THEOLOGY

The field essay in Church History and Historical Theology will consist of two questions, each designed to take an hour of the applicant’s 2-hour time allotment. Questions will be as follows:

I . A Question on the Major Turning Points of Christian History.

In preparation for this question, read Mark A. Noll’s Turning Points: Decisive Moments in the History of Christianity (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1997). Two questions will be given, and you will be asked to choose one of the two. The questions may focus on any of the “turning points” identified by Noll and may call for comparison or contrast between two or more of them. The essays will be evaluated for accuracy of detail and interpretive insight.

2. A Question Pertaining to the Applicant’s Major Area of Interest.

Once again, two questions will be offered and you will be asked to choose one of the two. The questions will require a familiarity with the historical events and ideas that structure your particular area of interest.

To help you prepare for this part of the field essay, read the work or works suggested for your chosen area below:

Patristics

Jaroslav Pelikan. The Christian Tradition: A History of the Development of Doctrine, Vol. 1: The Emergence of the Catholic Tradition. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1975.

Robert Louis Wilken. The Spirit of Early Christian Thought: Seeking the Face of God. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2005.

Reformation Studies

Alister McGrath. Reformation Thought. 3rd ed. Oxford: Blackwell, 1999.

Steven Ozment. The Age of Reform: 1250-1550. New Haven: Yale Univ. Press, 1980.

American Christianity

Nathan Hatch. The Democratization of American Christianity. New Haven: Yale Univ. Press, 1989.

Sidney E. Ahlstrom.A Religious History of the American People. New Haven, Yale Univ. Press, 1972.

Baptist History

Robert G. Torbet. A History of Baptists. 3rd. ed. Valley Forge: Judson Press, 1973.

Walter B. Shurden. Not a Silent People: Controversies That Have Shaped Southern Baptists. Macon, GA: Smyth & Helwys, 1995.

 

SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY

In preparation for this essay, review each of the areas of systematic theology. Review each area’s particular doctrines and their rationale (including biblical and traditional theological argumentation). Review as well the most significant issues and controversies in each area, whether patristic, scholastic, modern or evangelical. At the time of the field essay, you will be given two questions, each representing a different area of theology. You will be asked to answer one of the two questions.

 

1. To assist you in this review, consult a published systematic theology such as one of the following:

Millard Erickson, Christian Theology, Second Edition. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1998. The first edition, published in three volumes from 1983-85 is still valuable as well.

Alister McGrath. Christian Theology: An Introduction. Oxford: Blackwell, 1994.

Stanley Grenz. Theology for the Community of God. Nashville: Broadman and Holman, 1994.

Wayne Grudem. Systematic Theology. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1994.

Very helpful on issues in the modern era is: Peter Hodgson and Robert King. Christian Theology, An Introduction to Its Traditions and Tasks. Rev. Ed. Philadelphia: Fortress, 1985.

 

2. Also helpful for your preparation are reference works such as:

 The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Modern Christian Thought

The Evangelical Dictionary of Theology

 New Dictionary of Theology

A New Handbook of Christian Theology

 

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About pjtibayan

I love Jesus Christ and live to share life and share Jesus together with First Southern Baptist Church of Bellflower primarily to Southeast Los Angeles County.
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