The Form of Government 21:5 requires "an exegesis of the Hebrew or Greek text of a passage of Scripture" from candidates for licensure. The committee requires that the paper be exegetical in nature, and that it conform to the standard outlined below.
If the candidate is presently in seminary it is possible that the committe may accept an exegetical paper prepared for a class. However in some seminaries the students do not write exegetical papers which conform to the requirements of presbytery. In that case the candidate will need to write a new paper. The committee is willing to work with candidates (and their professors) to help them write a paper which meets the requirements.
If it has been some years since the candidate attended seminary, the committee may require that the candidate write a new exegetical paper. The committee is interested to see that the candidate is currently capable of exegeting Scripture.
In some cases when candidates are having difficulty writing an exegetical paper, "additional work" may be helpful.
What the committee is looking for:
(a) Ability to handle textual variants correctly.
(b) Competent mastery of lexical/grammatical/historical tools in analyzing the words, phrases and syntactic relationship of the assigned passage in the literary and historic setting.
(c) An accurate literal translation and sound paraphrase.
(d) Ability to employ the biblical canon of hermeneutics (Scripture interprets Scripture), fully informed by the Christ-centered, redemptive-historical nature of biblical revelation.
(e) Ability to distinguish the central point of the passage, identifying and resolving interpretive problems, and pointing out the lines of application which actually arise from the text.
(f) Exegetical papers must interact with the text, contain a bibliography, and state how the church has historically dealt with the text. The paper should be 8-12 pages in length (double-spaced, not including bibliography).
The committee prefers that papers be submitted in electronic format, either as Word documents (.doc or .docx) or as Adobe Acrobat files (.pdf). Care should be taken that Greek and Hebrew text is legible and runs in the proper direction. If candidates submit papers in printed form, the committee prefers that the Greek and Hebrew text be clearly legible in Greek and Hebrew fonts. In either case the committee prefers that papers contain the Greek and Hebrew characters (glyphs) and not are not transliterated.
The Teknia fonts seem to work well in Word documents for Greek and Hebrew: http://www.teknia.com/free_fonts .
Candidates are reminded of the dictum of a seminary professor some years ago: "If your exegetical paper were to have all the Greek and Hebrew removed, and it is still readable, it is not an exegetical paper."
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