Exegesis of the book of Ruth; 6 pages (not
>> including bibliography) of a double-spaced, fully documented paper (include footnotes and
>> bibliography). Turabian style 8th edition ONLY
USE THE NRSV BIBLE ONLY
Here\’s some details: Study the biblical text according to the following areas of exploration outlined below. When you
write up the exegetical paper, you are presenting the conclusions arrived at during the
interpretive process of studying the biblical text. The paper should be written in such a way that
it integrates all that you have learned in the interpretive process.
Begin the paper with an introduction stating which biblical passage will be analyzed. Then
include the following components:
2. Textual Matters and Translation
The initial step in the study of a passage is to establish as much as possible the original text.
This step involves using the method of textual criticism, to determine the texts wording. Discuss
any textual problems present in the passage. If there are no textual problems apparent, simply say
so and move on. However, if there are, what interpretive problems are raised by these and what
solutions seem the most appropriate. Which reading will you adopt? Which translation forms the
basis of your exegesis?
3. Compositional History
What, if anything, can be determined about the unity, date and authorship of the passage? Do we
know anything about the original author or redactors/editors or about the original audience? Is
there evidence of an oral stage before the text was written down? Was the passage composed
from earlier written sources? Is there evidence of later revision, redaction or re-use? How does
this information change how you read the text in terms of its final form?
4. Genre and Structure
Identify the genre (literary form) and then outline the structure of the passage. Outlining the
structure involves dividing the passage into sections and adding a heading or title for each
section. Include the verses for each section.
5. Historical Context
Describe the historical, cultural, social context/background of the text. What is the Sitz im Leben,
Life Setting? Are there clues in the passage itself? Give support for your answers from the
biblical text and any secondary sources.
6. Literary Context and Canonical Placement
Describe the literary context of the passage. This will involve analyzing the passage within the
chapter, within the section of the biblical book, within the book as a whole, within the biblical
canon (the immediate context and the larger contexts). How does the passage relate to what
precedes and follows it and within the document as a whole? What is the significance of the
position or placement of the passage within the larger context? How does the larger context shed
light on the passage?
7. Literary Analysis of the Text
In this section discuss the results of your in-depth close reading of the text. Go through the whole
passage, verse by verse, making observations about each verse and explaining their significance.
Discuss the flow and development of the narrative or the main argument(s). Are the key words or
phrases repeated in the passage? Discuss the meaning certain words (you may need to do a word
study, although this is optional). You may consider looking at any grammatical or syntactical
features, like main and subordinate clauses, connective terms, modifiers (adjectives and
adverbs), etc. Discuss any similes, metaphors, figures of speech.
8. Main Themes and Theological Message
Discuss the main themes in the passage as well as the theology that is emphasized in the text. In
this section you are synthesizing the results of your study, looking at the message of the passage
as a whole.
Some questions to consider: What are the main themes or sub-themes in the passage? What is the
main overall message of the passage? Is there a main argument? What is its purpose? Are there
certain theological traditions or themes alluded to in the passage (i.e. Exodus, Covenant,
Creation theology, etc) which are found elsewhere in the biblical canon? Does the passage echo
and clarify earlier passages? Is it echoed or developed in later passages (intertextuality)? Why
was this passage included in the book? What theological truths are communicated? Summarize
9. Theological Implications and Application
In this section you are moving from what the text meant to what it means for us today. You are
moving from the biblical context to the contemporary context. Here you want to look for
application by recontextualizing.
First, outline some general principles arising from the biblical passage. What are some general
principles or core values which flow out the biblical text which are not culture bound but
timeless and therefore can be applied to our contemporary context? Here it is helpful to
determine the points of contact and dissimilarity between the biblical and modern contexts. Try
to identify what is culturally relative and what is theologically binding.
Then you want to recontextualize by considering the question of application in the modern
context. What is the contemporary significance of the passage in your context? Here it is helpful
to define your own context.
A final word: be careful of making the application too general or vague. Be specific. Give
specific examples of application and a plan for how to implement them. Remember James
Conclude with a final paragraph, summarizing what you have done in the paper.