Methods of New Testament Exegesis – Current Trends and Future Prospects


Exegetical methods are fundamental to the scholarly study of biblical texts. Since the beginnings of New Testament studies as an academic discipline, the methods of text interpretation have undergone several developments and modifications. In recent decades, the methodological diversity of New Testament exegesis has widened significantly when scholars adapted approaches from neighbouring sciences, such as linguistics, cognitive sciences and cultural studies. At the same time, established methods, e.g. form criticism (Formgeschichte) or tradition history, have been critically evaluated. This research unit aims at exploring how established methods and recently introduced approaches relate to each other: Where do older methods merge with newer ones? In what way are these methodological approaches part of the range of historical criticism? Is the juxtaposition of so-called synchronic and diachronic approaches still reasonable? How can we meaningfully delineate and name specific exegetical methods to facilitate academic discourse and teaching at an academic level? And how do exegetical approaches differ within the theological traditions of different countries and denominations? This research unit will also facilitate an open-minded exchange about the practice of exegetical introductory courses at the various universities and theological educational institutions across Europe and around the world.


Methodology, NT exegesis, hermeneutics, interdisciplinary approaches, academic teaching.


Current Term:




Ursula Ulrike Kaiser

Friedrich Schiller University Jena


Konrad Schwarz

Humboldt University of Berlin

Veronika Burz-Tropper
KU Leuven

Sofia 2024 Call for Papers

In the first year of this research unit, we aim to open a platform to discuss the current status of New Testament exegesis and to gain an overview. Therefore, we welcome papers of a length of 20 to 25 minutes reviewing the current variety of interpretative methods (including the question of their varying designations and/or their debatable delineations) or reflecting the specific usage of exegetical methods in the given academic context of the speakers. We especially encourage early career researchers to share their experiences with the diversity of exegetical methods and their ideas on necessary further developments.