Personal Development & Parenting

How To Read And Interpret The Bible

Course Fee R799.00

What is this course about? 

This course is designed to teach some of the basic principles of Bible reading literacy. Since the Bible was written so many years ago, some guidance in the rules of interpretation will help students to better understand the intent of the Bible’s original authors. The course will take learners through the basics of the Bible’s structure, translations, interpretation and practical techniques. This course is a must for anyone who wants to get better acquainted with the Bible and who wants help in overcoming some interpretative challenges.

Who should be doing this course?

How to read the Bible’ is aimed at anyone who is interested in reading the Bible with sound principles of interpretation. This may include people who:

  • Want to understand the Bible better
  • Want to teach the contents of the Bible more accurately
  • Are in leadership positions in a church

The course not only explains the principles of interpretation, but will also help you to know what is required to understand the more challenging parts of the Bible.

Who developed this course?

This course was convened by James Lappeman (MA, Religion). Following a principle used by Bible translators, James led a panel of theologians and Bible enthusiasts from all ages and walks of life. The goal was to develop a course designed to balance reliability, insight and readability. The course was moderated by Dr Kennedy Owino. 

The collective consisted of:

  • Douglas Jacoby (PhD, Theology)
  • Mfundo Taliwe 
  • Cyril Stevens 
  • Dr Steve Kinnard (PhD, Theology)
  • Andries Koorzen 
  • Dr John Oakes (PhD, Chemistry)
  • Solomon Kanyango 
  • Benny Bosch 
  • Michael Burns (MA, Theology) 
  • Brent Kleineibst 
  • Twaambo Chikoye 
  • Dave Pocta (MA, Theology)
  • Craig Risi

Learning Outcomes

After completing this course, you should be able to:

  • Understand the basic makeup of the Bible and its translations
  • Identify the common issues that hinder proper Bible interpretation
  • Understand the basic steps required for correct Bible interpretation
  • Understand the importance of taking into account the historical, cultural, language and literature gaps
  • Identify common Biblical figures of speech and basic rules of interpretation
  • Summarize the main methods of reading the Bible

How is your course mark calculated?

Your course mark is calculated using the average mark obtained in each of the Chapter tests. In order to pass this course, you must obtain a final course mark of at least 50%. This means that even if you fail a few of the chapter tests, if your test marks in the other chapter tests are high enough you will still be able to pass the course. Good Luck! 

Study at your own pace!

We’ve created our courses to suit your busy life! The duration of this course is based on a student guide where one 300 – 500 word article is read per day, and the assessment is done on a separate day after the relevant articles have been reviewed. But you can do the course in your own time and at your own pace. If you choose to do two readings per day, it will take you half of the estimated time, four readings per day means doing the course in a quarter of the time etc. We leave that decision up to you! 

In the 6 chapters of this course you'll be covering the following areas:

CHAPTER 1 Reading and interpreting the Bible
CHAPTER 2 Questions that people who read the Bible often ask
CHAPTER 3 How to interpret what you are reading
CHAPTER 4 Understanding the “Gaps”
CHAPTER 5 Figures of speech and the Bible
CHAPTER 6 Different ways to read the Bible

Dr James Lappeman


James is Head of Projects at the UCT Unilever Institute of Strategic Marketing. He also lectures in Marketing at the University of Cape Town teaching both undergrad and post-grad students.

Dr Kennedy Owino


Dr. Kennedy Owino has specialties in Systematic Theology and African Christianities. He currently lectures at Seth Mokitimi Methodist Seminary in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. Dr. Owino has researched and continues to publish in the field of African Christianities, religion, gender and masculinity. More recently, he has developed special interest in theological education research. He also serves as the Submissions editor to the Journal of Gender and Religion in Africa (JGRA), housed within the Gender and Religion program at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

Great insight!

Wayne Moodley

I enjoyed this course as it provided the basic information needed to start reading the bible with greater insight and understanding :)

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