Course Materials on Biblical Hermeneutics (NT 123)

Welcome to the Westminster Theological Seminary course NT 123, on Biblical Hermeneutics: Old and New Testaments!

I am providing various course documents on line, which you are free to download. Let me remind you that these course materials are very much works in progress. They are tentative in nature, and subject to repeated alteration and improvement. Not everything in them represents settled views on my part.

You may use all the course materials under the GNU Free Documentation License. For details, you must read this license. Briefly, the license allows you to use and pass on both unaltered and altered files, provided that you give credit to the author and that you grant to others the same freedom given to you.

Visual Presentations are provided in three formats: .ODP (editable), .PDF (fixed), and a second .PDF format that has cleaned out all the color in order for you to use it for note taking. The last of these formats contains some slides twice, the first time in the form that you will see in class, the second time with more expansive verbiage.

Visual Presentations

Materials .ODP format (preferred) .PDF format
All files in one .zip file
I. Introduction 1C1Cours.odp 1C1Cours.pdf
II. Foundations 1C2Found.odp 1C2Found.pdf
Foundations: Christ 1C2aChri.odp 1C2aChri.pdf
III. Basic Steps 1C3Simpl.odp 1C3Simpl.pdf
IV. Application 1C4Appli.odp 1C4Appli.pdf
V. Historical Background 1C5HisBk.odp 1C5HisBk.pdf
VI. Redemptive History 1C6Histr.odp 1C6Histr.pdf
Modern Interpretation 1C6aModr.odp 1C6aModr.pdf
Typology 1C6bTypo.odp 1C6bTypo.pdf
VII. Words 1C7Words.odp 1C7Words.pdf
VIII. Studying Topics 1C8Topic.odp 1C8Topic.pdf
Technical Terms 1C8aTerm.odp 1C8aTerm.pdf
IX. Syntax 1C9Syntx.odp 1C9Syntx.pdf
Theory of Syntax 1C9aThyS.odp 1C9aThyS.pdf
Translation 1C9bTrns.odp 1C9bTrns.pdf
X. Large Structures 1C10aLarg.odp 1C10aLarg.pdf
Narrative 1C10bNar.odp 1C10bNar.pdf
Motific and Analogical Analysis 1C10cMot.odp 1C10cMot.pdf
Genre 1C10dGenre.odp 1C10dGenre.pdf
XI. Examples 1C11Exmp.odp 1C11Exmp.pdf
Christ in the Wisdom of Proverbs PProverbs.odp PProverbs.pdf
XII. Conclusion 1C12Conc.odp 1C12Conc.pdf

Older Forms of Presentations

Below are older forms of the presentations. These materials were used before I removed the material on rhetorical analysis of expository literature. In the last few years, rhetorical analysis of expository literature has come to be handled in the curriculum at Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia, as part of the final segment of Greek. It is now called bracketing (in a slightly variant form, "arcing"). For convenience, and for the sake of people who do not have access to the new curriculum in Greek at WTS, I have included the materials below. In 1C10LargOlderWithRhetoricalAnal.odp is included rhetorical analysis of expository literature in the form that I taught it. (This form differs in detail from bracketing and arcing, but is similar in conception.)

Syllabus from 2016 (pdf format only).

X. Large Structures 1C10LargOlderWithRhetoricalAnal.odp 1C10LargOlderWithRhetoricalAnal.pdf
Motific and Analogical Analysis 1C10aMotOlder.odp 1C10aMotOlder.pdf
Narrative 1C10bNarOlder.odp 1C10bNarOlder.pdf

Text files

These files are text files that go with NT 123, both older and newer forms.

Materials .ODT (preferred) .RTF
ZIP (all files together)
Cover 1L0Cover.odt 1L0Cover.rtf
Contents 1L0Conte.odt 1L0Conte.rtf
Bibliography 1B.odt 1B.rtf
I. Introduction 1L1Intro.odt 1L1Intro.rtf
II. Foundations 1L2Found.odt 1L2Found.rtf
III. Beginning Steps 1L3Begin.odt 1L3Begin.rtf
IV. Application 1L4Applc.odt 1L4Applc.rtf
V. Historical Background 1L5HisBk.odt 1L5HisBk.rtf
VI. Time and History 1L6TimeH.odt 1L6TimeH.rtf
VII. Words 1L7Words.odt 1L7Words.rtf
VIII. Studying Topics 1L8Topic.odt 1L8Topic.rtf
IX. Syntax 1L9Syntx.odt 1L9Syntx.rtf
X. Large Structures 1L10Larg.odt 1L10Larg.rtf
XIII. Glossary 1L13Glos.odt 1L13Glos.rtf
Worksheets 1W1.odt 1W1.rtf

Useful pdfs

I have included some useful pdfs of books whose copyrights have expired.

Materials .pdf
Thayer Greek Lexicon Thayer.pdf
Liddell-Scott Greek Lexicon LS.pdf
Burton on Greek Syntax Burton.pdf
Brown, Driver, and Briggs Hebrew Lexicon BDB.pdf
Gesenius Hebrew Grammar Gesenius.pdf
Cassell Latin Dictionary LatinDictionary.pdf


A textbook-like introduction to hermeneutics is Vern S. Poythress, Reading the Word of God in the Presence of God: A Handbook for Biblical Interpretation (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2016). It is available for free download at <>. Print rights are retained by the publisher.

Those interested in reading more about language or about postmodernism may consult Poythress, In the Beginning Was the Word: Language--A God-Centered Approach (Wheaton: Crossway, 2009). It is available for free download at <>. The book contains a bibliography. Print rights are retained by the publisher.


The open document format (.odp and .odt) contains the latest unicode encoding of Greek and Hebrew. 

You can view open document files with OpenOffice or LibreOffice, which are available for free. LibreOffice will probably prove better in the long run. You can view pdf files using Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is probably already on your computer.

The Open Document formats are preferred, for the benefit of permanent public accessibility. For further discussion of the issues of accessibility, see my article on "Digital Ethics and File Formats."


Some files use Greek and Hebrew fonts. Others use special Roman alphabet fonts.  See my base page for access to these fonts.

by Dr. Vern S. Poythress
Westminster Theological Seminary
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania