SC-531-1 Fall 2002
course introduces the student to the study of the origins of
Christianity by means of its canonical literature, the New
Testament. We will undertake a historical study of the
New Testament documents, seeking to understand their plan,
origin, purpose and content within their broader historical
and cultural context. Appropriate interpretive method
for each genre of the New Testament will be discussed.
We will also seek to clarify the theological message of each
document in light of its historical circumstances.
Application of this message to our own present day will be
Day, Time and Dates:
from 7:00 p.m. to 9:20 p.m.
Location: Room 205
Class web site
the conclusion of this course, the student will:
Have greater understanding of the world from which the New
Testament literature emerges.
2. Read and study each of the New Testament books in its
3. Better understand genres in the New Testament: gospels,
epistles, the apocalyptic.
4. Explore tools to help bridge the past of ancient Christian
texts to the present-day concerns of faith.
Attendance & informed participation in all classes.
Required Reading (Available for Purchase)
Donelson, From Hebrews to
Revelation: A Theological Introduction (Louisville, KY:
Westminster John Knox Press, 2001).
D. Ehrman, The New
Testament and Other Early Christian Writings: A Reader (New
York & Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998).
Timothy Johnson, The
Writings of the New Testament: An Interpretation, Revised
Edition (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1999).
G. Reddish, An
Introduction to the Gospels (Nashville: Abingdon Press,
J. Roetzel, The Letters of
Paul: Conversations in Context, Fourth Edition
(Westminster/John Knox Press, 1998).
Recommended Reading (On Reserve in Library)
Barrett, ed., The New
Testament Background, Revised Edition (San Francisco: Harper
O. Francis & J. Paul Sampley, eds., Pauline
Parallels, 2nd Edition (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1984).
Allan Powell, ed., The New
Testament Today (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press,
Pregeant, Engaging the New
Testament: An Interdisciplinary Introduction (Minneapolis:
Fortress Press, 1995).
Hamilton Throckmorton, ed., Gospel
Parallels: A Synopsis of the First Three Gospels, 5th Edition,
New Revised Standard Version (Nashville: T. Nelson, 1992).
3. Written Assignments
Oral Presentation- on one of the following books of the New
Testament: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts, Romans, 1
Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Philippians, Ephesians,
Pastoral Epistles (1-2 Timothy, Titus), Hebrews, James, 1 Peter,
Epistles of John, Revelation.
Student selections of one of these books of the New
Testament will be arranged in class.
Students will give basic information about the document -
author, date, setting, purpose, structure, message.
A one-page outline of your presentation should be
provided for everyone in class.
No longer than 10 minutes.
Book Analysis - a 5-page essay in which you flesh out in
narrative form the material presented in A above concentrating
on the book's purpose, argument and basic message.
Also provide some assessment as to the book's value for
and application to faithful living in today's modern world.
Due one week after your oral presentation.
Research Paper - a 12-15 page, double-spaced (12-point font)
paper on a topic in New Testament studies selected in
consultation with the professor.
Paper topic should be decided and submitted on a sheet of
paper or by means of an e-mail message to the professor no later
than October 30. Topics
may range from a theme that runs across a particular genre of
the New Testament (e.g., parables & preaching in Jesus, the
meaning of the kingdom of God in the Gospels, the formation and
care of congregations in Paul's letters, leadership in the
Pastorals, the delay of the parousia in the General Epistles,
etc.) to exegesis of a particular passage in a New Testament
book (the passage could be from the book studied by the student
in assignments A and B above), as long as the passage
illustrates well the author's intent in the rest of his work and
can be connected to other related books of the New Testament.
Further guidelines on this paper will be discussed in
class. Due by 5PM
on December 18 (one week after final class) in the professor's
office, delivered either in person, or by regular mail or
11 Introduction to the
Course and to the Study of the New Testament
Johnson, 1-16; Donelson, 1-6.
Powell, 1-9; Pregeant, 1-40.
18 The World of
the New Testament
Johnson, 23-88; Reddish, 44-72.
Barrett, 1-22, 135-176.
Video Presentation: "From
Jesus to Christ: Part One"
25 Understanding Jesus
and the Gospels
Johnson, 125-158; Reddish, 13-43.
Oct. 2 Matthew & Mark
Gospels of Matthew & Mark in Ehrmann, 9-59;
159-207; Reddish, 73-143.
Presentations: Mark and Matthew.
Gospel of Luke and Book of Acts in Ehrmann, 60-91, 145-176;
213-252; Reddish, 144-179.
Presentations: Luke and Acts.
16 Introduction to
the Apostle Paul: Life, Ministry & Letters;
Johnson, 259-278; Roetzel, 1-66.
Video Presentation: "From
Jesus to Christ, Part II"
Oct. 23 Paul:
The Shorter Letters
Read: 1-2 Thessalonians, Philippians, & Philemon in Ehrmann;
281-291, 369-389; Roetzel, 79-83, 113-118, 148-152.
Presentations: 1 Thessalonians and Philippians
30 1 & 2
1-2 Corinthians in Ehrmann, 199-220;
295-320; Roetzel, 83-96.
Presentations: 1 Corinthians and 2 Corinthians
Topic Due (Brief paragraph on sheet of paper or e-mail to professor)
Romans and Galatians in Ehrmann, 185-198; 221-226;
327-338, 343-363; Roetzel, 96-113.
Presentations: Romans & Galatians
13 Interpreters of
Paul: Disputed Pauline Letters
Colossians, Ephesians, 1-2 Timothy and Titus in Ehrman;
393-449; Roetzel, 133-160.
Presentations: Ephesians & Pastorals
20 Hebrews & the General Epistles
Hebrews, James, 1-2 Peter, Jude in Ehrmann, 265-287;
455-518; Donelson, 7-105.
Presentations: Hebrews, James and 1 Peter
27 Reading Week
- No class
Gospel and Epistles of John in Ehrmann, 92-115, 288-295;
521-569; Donelson, 107-131.
Presentations: Gospel of John and Epistles of John.
11 The Book of
Revelation and Conclusion of the Course
Revelation in Ehrmann, 369-385;
573-589; Donelson, 133-158.
Powell, 134-142; Barrett, 316-349.
18 Final Paper Due in Professor's Office (5PM - in person,
regular mail or e-mail)