the conclusion of this course, the student will:
Have greater understanding of the world from which the New Testament
2. Read and study each of the New Testament books in its historical
3. Better understand genres in the New Testament: gospels, epistles,
4. Explore ways to bridge the past of ancient Christian texts to the
present-day concerns of faith.
Attendance & informed participation in all classes.
(Absences without adequate excuse will affect final grade.)
Required Reading (Available for Purchase)
Modern Translation of the New Testament, preferably the New Revised
Standard Version, the New International Version, or the Jerusalem
Bible New Testament. The
bookstore will have copies of Bart Ehrman, The
New Testament and Other Early Christian Writings: A Reader,
2nd edition (Oxford University Press, 1998, 2004),
which includes the NRSV translation of the New Testament plus other
non-canonical writings of the early church.
T. Johnson, The Writings of the New Testament, Revised Edition
(Fortress Press, 1999). Basic
introduction to the New Testament.
A. Powell, Fortress Introduction to the Gospels (Fortress
Press, 1998). Helpful
summaries of the four Gospels, as well as the Gospels as a whole in
relation to Jesus.
Dunn, Cambridge Companion to Paul (Cambridge University Press,
2003). Introduction to the life and letters of Paul from the
perspective of various scholars.
Harner, What Are They Saying About the Catholic Epistles? (Paulist
Press, 2004). A
brief overview of the “General” or “Catholic” Epistles
including James, 1 Peter, 2 Peter, 1, 2, 3 John and Jude.
chapters on the Book of Acts, the Book of Hebrews and the Book of
Revelation, respectively, from Howard-Brook & Ringe, The New
Testament – Introducing the Way of Discipleship (see below under
recommended reading), on reserve in library.
Recommended Reading (On Reserve in Library)
Barrett, ed., The New Testament Background, Revised Edition (San Francisco: Harper
Collins, 1989). Source
material from the Greco-Roman world of the New Testament.
Donelson, From Hebrews to
Revelation: A Theological Introduction (Louisville, KY:
Westminster John Knox Press, 2001).
More readings on the “last third” of the New Testament.
O. Francis & J. Paul Sampley, eds., Pauline
Parallels, 2nd Edition (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1984).
A easy reference for comparing parallel Pauline passages.
Howard-Brook & Sharon Ringe, The New Testament – Introducing
the Way of Discipleship (Maryknoll, NY:
Orbis Books, 2002). Liberationist
readings of the New Testament.
Allan Powell, ed., The New Testament Today (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox
Press, 1999). End of 20th
century bibliographic essays on New Testament writings.
Pregeant, Engaging the New Testament: An Interdisciplinary Introduction
(Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1995).
Another introductory textbook, with an excellent opening
chapter on reading strategies for the New Testament.
G. Reddish, An Introduction to the Gospels (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1997).
More extensive introductions to the Four Gospels. Good discussion of “Synoptic Problem.”
J. Roetzel, The Letters of Paul: Conversations in Context, Fourth Edition
(Westminster/John Knox Press, 1998).
Good introduction to Paul the man, his letters and theological
issues in them.
Hamilton Throckmorton, ed., Gospel
Parallels: A Synopsis of the First Three Gospels, 5th Edition, New
Revised Standard Version (Nashville: T. Nelson, 1992). Important tool
for reading and comparing the Synoptic Gospels.
5-page analysis of a miracle story, parable or narrative incident
in the life of Jesus that appears in more than one of the Synoptic
Gospels. The student
will study the passages in a Synoptic Parallel, note changes and
differences from one Gospel to the other, read what commentators
say about the pericope, and briefly describe the details of the
story, determine its purpose and function in the overall
narrative, and discuss its theological message.
Make sure the final analysis is your own and not just
rehashing the ideas of others. (Rather, integrate the commentaries with your own
informed opinions and conclusions.) Typed, double-spaced,12-point
font. Due March 9.
15-page final, research paper on a ministerial or theological
issue or set of related issues that crosses several of the
epistolary literature, whether the Pauline or Deutero-Pauline
letters, or several of the Catholic Epistles, or the Johannine
literature (both Gospel and Epistles).
Sample topics include issues of leadership in Paul; how
Paul handles conflict in a variety of his congregations; the role
of women in the Pauline mission (you may want to add, “as
compared to the Jesus movement”); the theme of justification in
Paul; the theme of reconciliation in Paul; Paul and the law; the
impact of the delay of the parousia on the churches
represented by the Catholic epistles; the confrontation of the
early church (Paul, the Catholic Epistles, or John’s Revelation)
with the Roman Empire; Jews and “Christians” in Paul, the
Early Church, or the Johannine community, etc.
Your paper should reflect both the analysis of several
relevant passages in the writings you are studying and what
scholars are saying about these topics. Again, your own voice should be loud and clear in the
presentation of the material and your conclusions about it.
Please discuss your topic with the professor (via email,
phone call, or office appointment) and submit a one-paragraph
description of your topic by March 30.
Final paper should be typed, double-spaced, 12-point font.
Due May 4, one week after final class.
Introduction to the Course and to the Study of the New
The World of the New Testament
Barrett, 1-22, 135-176.
Video Presentation: "From
Jesus to Christ: Part One"
Understanding Jesus and the Gospels
Johnson, 93-158; Powell, Gospels, 1-37.
Reddish, 13-43; Powell, NT Today,10-30.
The Gospels of Matthew & Mark
Matthew & Mark; Johnson, 159-211; Powell, Gospels, 38-84.
Reddish, 73-143; Powell, NT Today, 31-57.
Studies in Luke-Acts
Gospel of Luke and Book of Acts; Johnson, 213-257; Powell, Gospels,
85-11; Howard-Brook, 103-121.
The Apostle Paul: Life, Mission & Letters
Thessalonians; Johnson, 259-293; Dunn, 1-63.
Jesus to Christ, Part II"
The Corinthian Correspondence
1-2 Corinthians; Johnson, 295-324; Dunn, 74-90.
Recommended: Roetzel, 83-96.
Gospel passage essay
Romans & Galatians
Romans & Galatians; Johnson, 327-366; Dunn,
Roetzel, 96-113 .
No class (Reading Week)
Philippians & Philemon; Colossians & Ephesians
& Philemon; Colossians & Ephesians; Johnson, 369-421; Dunn,
Recommended: Roetzel, 113-148.
Final Paper Topic
The Pastoral Epistles
Timothy; Titus; Johnson, 423-452; Dunn, 141-155.
The General Epistles: Hebrews & James
Hebrews & James; Johnson, 455-476; 507-518; Harner, 5-28;
The General Epistles: 1 Peter, 2 Peter-Jude; 1-3 John
1-2 Peter, Jude; 1-3 John; Johnson, 479-518; Harner, 29-106.
The Gospel of John and the Book of Revelation; Conclusion of
Gospel of John and Book of Revelation; Johnson, 521-592; Powell, Gospels,
112-138; Howard-Brook, 188-206.
Reddish, 180-213; Donelson, 133-158; Barrett, 316-349.
Final Paper Due in Professor's Office (by 5PM - in
person, regular mail or e-mail).