New Testament History, Literature, and Theology
Course Syllabus David Mathewson, Ph.D.
Gordon College david.mathewson@gordon
Spring Semester, 2011 Ext. 4212
Jenks 406 Office: Conrad #10
Course Description: This class will lead the student through a comprehensive study of the New Testament (NT), with special attention to its literature, history and theology. The class will examine the NT documents and their major teachings in light of the historical and cultural context in which they were produced. It will also examine the major theological themes found in the NT as they grow out of and develop from the OT.
1. The student should become familiar with the basic contents, background, form and message of each NT book, as well as the basic religious and political environment during the time of the writing of the NT literature.
2. The student should be able to discuss major themes and emphases that arise from the study of the NT.
3. The student should exhibit a grasp of the overall flow of the NT record of God’s revelation for his new covenant people.
4. The student should be aware of and able to discuss various difficulties which arise in interpreting the NT.
5. The student should begin to gain an appreciation of the variety of literary forms and genres in which God chose to reveal his word in the NT.
6. The student should begin to develop an understanding of how the NT relates to and grows out of the OT as the climax of God’s revelation to his people.
· Craig Blomberg, Making Sense of the New Testament (Baker)
· Mark Alan Powell, Introducing the New Testament (Zondervan)
· Bruce Longenecker, The Lost Letters of Pergamum (Baker)
1. The student will read the NT in its entirety in a modern day translation. The following schedule indicates the NT books you much read by the beginning of the week, starting with Week 2. You are to keep pace with the following schedule (even if we get behind in class). You are to bring a bible to class every day! (This is NEW TESTAMENT)
Week 2 – Matthew, Mark
Week 3 – Luke, John
Week 4 – Acts
Week 5 – Romans
Week 6 – 1-2 Corinthians
Week 7 – Galatians, Ephesians
Week 8 – Philippians Colossians
Week 9 – 1-2 Thessalonians
Week 10 – 1-2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon
Week 11 – Hebrews
Week 12 – James
Week 13 – 1-2 Peter
Week 14 – 1-3 John, Jude
Week 15 – Revelation
2. You are to read the textbooks in their entirety. You will be quizzed over your reading from your textbooks.
3. You will complete four (4) section exams throughout the semester over the lectures on the NT. See the tentative Exam Dates below.
4. You will also complete six (6) unannounced quizzes over the reading from your assigned textbook readings.
5. There will be a final exam that covers the contents of the entire course.
6. There is also an opportunity for extra credit in the form of four (4) discussion/study sessions spread throughout the semester and led by one of my TAs. There are no other opportunities for EC!
NOTICE!!! DUE TO THE SIZE OF THIS CLASS AND SOME PAST PROBLEMS, I WILL NOT ACCEPT ANY LATE OR MAKEUP WORK (QUIZZES, TESTS)!!!! EVERYTHING MUST BE IN ON THE DUE DATE, OR THE RESULT WILL BE A GRADE OF ‘0’
PLEASE TURN OFF ALL CELL PHONES BEFORE ENTERING THE CLASSROOM!
PLEASE!!!! OUT OF RESPECT FOR YOUR FELLOW CLASSMATES, DO NOT PLAY COMPUTER GAMES OR SURF THE WEB OR CHECK EMAIL ETC. DURING CLASS. IT IS DISRESPECTFUL TO ME AND TO YOUR PEERS AND IRRESPONSIBLE! IF YOU WANT TO PLAY GAMES OR PLAY ON THE INTERNET, PLEASE JUST STAY IN YOUR ROOM!!! (If it becomes a problem I reserve the right to implement further action!)
100-90 A (100 = A+; 99-93 = A; 92-90 = A-)
89-80 B (89-87 = B+; 86-83 = B; 82-80 = B-)
79-70 C (79-77 = C+; 76-73 = C; 72-20 = C-)
69-60 D (69-67 = D+; 66-63 = D; 62-60 = D-)
Below 60 F
Quizzes (6) 20%
Section Exams (4) 40%
Final Exam 40 %
Students with disabilities who may need academic accommodations should follow this procedure:
1) Contact Ann Seavey in the Academic Support Center (Jenks 412 x4746) to make sure documentation of your disability is on file in the Academic Support Center (See Academic Catalog Appendix C for documentation guidelines).
2) Meet with an Academic Support Center (ASC) staff person to discuss the accommodations for which you are eligible and the procedures for obtaining them.
3) Obtain a Faculty Notification Form from the ASC and deliver it to your professor within the first full week of the semester.
4) Set up a follow-up appointment to discuss your needs with your professor.
Your failure to register in time with your professor and the ASC may compromise our ability to provide the accommodations, so please follow the above procedure. Questions and disputes about accommodations should be immediately referred to the Academic Support Center. See Grievance Procedures available from the ASC.
Gordon College is committed to assisting students with documented disabilities. If you have a disability, it is essential that you obtain appropriate documentation of the disability and that you understand the accommodations appropriate to the specific disability to which you are entitled.
Intro to class; Overview of the NT
Overview of the NT; Background Introducing, chs. 1-2;
Lost Letters, chap. 1
Background Making Sense, Intro,
ch 1; Lost Letters, chs. 2-4
The Gospels Introducing, chs 3-5
The Gospels and Acts Introducing, chs 6-8
Acts; Paul’s Epistles Introducing, 9-11
Paul’s Epistles Introducing, 12-13
Lost Letters, chs. 5-6
Paul’s Epistles Introducing, 14-16
Making Sense, ch. 2
NO CLASS SPRING BREAK!
Paul’s Epistles Introducing, 17-18,
22; Lost Letters, ch 7
Paul’s Epistles Introducing, 19-20
Lost Letters, 8-10
Paul’s Epistles; Hebrews Introducing, 21
Lost Letters, 11-12
Hebrews; James Introducing, 23-24
1-2 Peter; 1-3 John Introducing, 25-26
Lost Letters, ch.13
Revelation Lost Letters, ch 14
Revelation Making Sense, ch 3;
Revelation; wrap-up Assigned reading
Review for final
***Exam Dates*** The following are Provisional Dates!
· Section Exam #1 - Background; Gospels: Week 5
· Section Exam #2 – Acts-Galatians: Week 9
· Section Exam #3 – Ephesians-Titus: Week 12
· Section Exam #4 – Hebrews-Revelation: Week 16
P. Achtemeier, J. Green, M. Thompson, Introducing the New Testament: Its
Literature and Theology (Eerdmans)
David L. Barr, New Testament Story: An Introduction (Wadsworth)
R. Brown, An Introduction to the New Testament (Doubleday)
D. A. Carson, D. Moo, An Introduction to the New Testament (Zondervan)
B. Childs, The New Testament as Canon (Fortress)
B. Ehrman, The New Testament: A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian
Writings, 2nd ed. (Oxford)
W. Elwell and R. Yarbrough, Encountering the New Testament (Baker)
C. Evans and S. E. Porter, Dictionary of New Testament Background (IVP)
J. Green, S. McKnight, I. H. Marshall, Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels (IVP)
D. Guthrie, New Testament Introduction, Rev. edn (IVP)
G. Hawthorne, R. Martin, D. Reid, Dictionary of Paul and His Letters (IVP)
W. Kummel, Introduction to the New Testament, English edn (Abingdon)
R. Martin and P. Davids, Dictionary of the Later New Testament and Its Developments
L. M. McDonald and S. E. Porter, Early Christianity and Its Sacred Literature