Introduction to New Testament Interpretation

REL501
Spring 2018
MWF 9:30-10:20am
Area: 
Area I
MDIV Requirements: 
New Testament
Professor: 
Permission Not Required
No Limit to Enrollment
Course Description: 

This course is a two-semester introduction to the literature of the New Testament and to the methods and resources useful for interpreting that literature. Semester one will focus on the Gospels and Acts; semester two, the Pauline letters, pastoral and catholic epistles, and the Apocalypse of John.

As historical writings of the early Christian movement, the New Testament addresses the questions, “Who was (is) Jesus?” and “Who are we as his followers?” Interactive lectures aim to 1) depict the social, cultural, and religious matrices of the Jesus movement and emergent Christianity; and 2) to foster a basic knowledge of NT’s historical, literary, and theological characteristics as scholars understand them.

The yearlong course also highlights the living character of NT traditions for various communities, in distinct venues and modes, in different times and locales. Over the course of the year, we hope to 3) provide guidance in the art and methods of “exegesis,” broadly conceived; 4) nurture students’ sensitivity to the importance of social location in the interpretation of Christian Scripture; and 5) introduce students to distinct modes of reading the New Testament. Semester one introduces students to basic exegetical skills and tools of historical interpretation; that skill base is expanded in semester two to other modes of interpretation.

Background Expected: 

None

Course Requirements: 

MW Lecture, F (or other TBD day) section meeting, exams, papers, required readings

Basis of Evaluation: 

1 Midterm, 1 Final Exam, 3 short papers