- I think that I, at one point, had a negative view, or at least could sympathize with those who had a negative view, on seminary or formal Bible training. It felt stale and inorganic. Shouldn't we come to learn what the Bible says about itself rather than what a bunch of scholars say about it? Wow, was I wrong. At least if seminary is anything like this course. Indeed, contrary to my perception, this course help me gain a better understanding of how to study the Bible without prejudice, how to strike that golden balance between relying on theology to give you much needed context for the passage you're studying and not relying on theology so much that what you've always thought the Bible says starts to take preeminence over what it actually says. Unit 5 teaches you how to identify words that may have some significance that you might have at first overlooked. Unit 6 teaches you some practical strategies to trace the author's flow of thought to understand what the author was getting at by what they wrote. Unit 7 tells you of the importance of understanding the cultural context that the author would have assumed the audience would have, but also warns you of the danger of using historical context to take a verse out of it's literary context, or of making a verse mean something wildly different based on uncertain theories about their culture, or of assuming that the culture of one area at one time is the same as the culture of another area at another time, such as Rome vs a Roman province, or the time of David vs the time of Hezekiah. Units 10, 11, and 12 talk about where our theology comes into play in our interpretation, and how our interpretation should affect our theology. It warns of the dangers both of proudly neglecting the conclusions other godly Christians have reached in their interpretation and theology and of holding fast to those same conclusions to the point that you have to twist parts of Scripture to fit with your theology. And Unit 13 ties it all up by showing that our theology should not stop at books and knowledge but should flow into every area of our lives. In addition, the speaker is engaging to listen to -- this "A Thought Experiment on Poor Commentaries" in which he humorously commentated a passage in Harry Potter was particularly interesting. He is also very humble in his view. I, a non-Calvinist, never felt pressured or pushed when he talked about Calvinism. Whenever the topic would come up, he would state his view on it but wouldn't present it as superior to any other view. Whether you just watch the videos or follow along in the activities, I definitely recommend the course to anyone wanting to better study the Bible.