New Testament History, Literature, and Theology

BCM 103

 

 

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.

 

Course Objectives:

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.

 

Course Textbooks

·         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)

 

 

Course Requirements

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!)

 

Course Grading:

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 %

            ________________________

                                    Total   100%

 

StudentsWith Disabilities:

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Course Schedule:

 

Week 1

Intro to class; Overview of the NT                                                    

 

Week 2

Overview of the NT; Background                                                      Introducing, chs. 1-2;

                                                                                                            Lost Letters, chap. 1

 

Week 3

Background                                                                                        Making Sense, Intro,

ch 1; Lost Letters, chs. 2-4

Week 4

The Gospels                                                                                        Introducing, chs 3-5

 

Week 5

The Gospels and Acts                                                                         Introducing, chs 6-8

 

Week 6

Acts; Paul’s Epistles                                                                           Introducing, 9-11

 

Week 7

Paul’s Epistles                                                                                     Introducing, 12-13

Lost Letters, chs. 5-6

 

Week 8

Paul’s Epistles                                                                                     Introducing, 14-16

Making Sense, ch. 2

 

NO CLASS                                                                            SPRING BREAK!

 

Week 9

Paul’s Epistles                                                                                     Introducing, 17-18,

22; Lost Letters, ch 7

 

Week 10

Paul’s Epistles                                                                                     Introducing, 19-20

Lost Letters, 8-10

 

Week 11

Paul’s Epistles; Hebrews                                                                     Introducing, 21

Lost Letters, 11-12

 

Week 12

Hebrews; James                                                                                  Introducing, 23-24

 

Week 13

1-2 Peter; 1-3 John                                                                              Introducing, 25-26

Lost Letters, ch.13

 

Week 14

Revelation                                                                                           Lost Letters, ch 14

and Postscript;

Introducing, 27-28

Week 15                                                                                             

Revelation                                                                                           Making Sense, ch 3;

                                                                                                            Introducing, 29

 

Week 16

Revelation; wrap-up                                                                            Assigned reading

                                                                                                            Review for final

Week 17

Final Exam

 

 

***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

 

 

Short Bibliography

 

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

            (IVP)

 

L. M. McDonald and S. E. Porter, Early Christianity and Its Sacred Literature

            (Hendrickson)