Luke 8:22-25 Exegetical Paper


In general, exegesis involves examining the biblical text itself in its context, to arrive at a reasonable interpretation of the text. This assumes that we need to understand what an author would have meant to communicate to his particular audience before we can discover what it might mean for today’s audience. Discovering the original meaning insofar as that is possible requires careful attention to (A) the text itself, (B) secondary sources (i.e., commentaries, biblical criticism, articles, etc.), and in this case (C), a basic understanding of the gospel writer and his theology.

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In writing an exegetical paper, this is a typical pattern for the body of the paper:

A. Outline background issues (approx. 1-2 pages):

Any biblical commentary, however brief or extensive, will usually begin by outlining the basic or broad context of the pericope. These foundational background issues might include:

• Authorship/redaction

• Dating

• Intended audience

• Sources used by author/redactor

• Historical/cultural/religious setting

• Literary forms (oral and written)

B. Next, place the text in its more immediate context (approx. 1.5 to 2 pages):

• What comes immediately before and after the pericope under consideration? Unless it is otherwise obvious, as you consider the immediate context, it may be helpful to say briefly why you begin and end your pericope where you do. In other words, why did you choose to discuss verses 3-7, rather than 2-7 or 3-8, etc. What makes your pericope a literary unit? In many cases the sub-titles throughout your Bible will already clearly mark periscopae. But remember, those subtitles are simply added for ease of reference for the modern reader. They are not part of the original biblical text itself. So, do not refer to your pericope by the subtitle, simply refer to it via the verse reference.

C. Provide a verse-by-verse commentary of the pericope itself (approx. 4-5 pages):

• Discuss the text verse-by-verse. This should be the largest section of your paper. Point out any issues that affect its meaning: this could include elements of the historical, cultural, or religious world of the author and/or audience, literary forms as they were used at the time, etc. The commentaries you consult will show you generally how this is done.

D. Optionally, you may conclude by summarizing what you understand to be the original author’s intended meaning for the original audience (approx. 1 page).

General Guidelines For all Papers:

• Read the relevant sections of Ehrman in order to help orient you before writing your paper. Look also at his footnotes, index, and bibliography to see if they provide some direction.

• All papers should be written using the following mechanical guidelines:

1. A maximum of one-inch margins all around

2. Times Roman, 12-point font, double spacing, 1” margins.

3. Bibliography and citations should be in Chicago Style: use endnotes, not footnotes; include full bibliography. Special note: Biblical citations (i.e., Mk 3:5) should be cited in parentheses in the body of the text immediately following the biblical quotation. Only after the first Bible quotation you must add an endnote indicating from which translation of the Bible you are quoting.

4. Watch spelling, grammar, and general mechanics of your paper, including overall organization and presentation. These considerations will affect your grade.

• All papers should have a Cover Page with your pericope, your name, the date, course title, and my name. All subsequent pages should have a one-line header or footer containing your name, date and course title. Submit your paper in WORD or PDF Format via Canvas upload. No hard copy needed.


• The noun “Bible” is capitalized. The adjective “biblical” is not;

• Jesus came to preach the “Gospel,” but “In Luke’s “gospel” we read…” and the “gospel” of Mark, etc.;

• All foreign words must be in italics: i.e., Sitz im Leben, Logos, Quelle, inclusio, etc.;

• Sitz im Leben (not sitz in leben: the S and L are capitalized);

• Your passage is called a “pericope” not a “periscope” (and the plural is pericopae, not pericopes)

Always use abbreviations for the following:

New Testament = NT

Old Testament = OT

Mark = Mk.

Matthew = Mt.

Luke = Lk.

John = Jn.

Some research to use:

Luke usd Darrell L. Bock

modern Biblical Commentaries (1980’s or later). DO NOT use modern commentaries with modern publications of ancient commentaries

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