The focus of this course is on the various methodologies for reading and analyzing the New Testament rather than theology and spirituality. Why is an introductory course necessary? Can’t we just open the New Testament and read the text as it is? The sad events of our own world illustrate some of the dangers of superficial and overly literal readings of religious writings.
Biblical literacy should not be the privilege or duty of a select few, but the right and responsibility of all Christians. The purpose of our study is to provide the tools necessary for an in-depth reading of the New Testament utilizing a variety of methodologies. No one methodology is definitive or exhaustive; each one examines the text from a different perspective and reveals another aspect or layer of the passage in question. Although the material might seem technical and esoteric at times, providing the people of God with a biblical message that is rich, life-giving, and based on a sound understanding of the text is an eminently pastoral undertaking.
To understand the evolutionary nature of the composition and transmission of the New Testament
To be aware of the various sources that comprise the four gospels
To be aware of the differing theologies present in the gospels, Pauline corpus, and various pastoral letters
To be familiar with the various genres present in the New Testament
To understand the influences of culture, political and historical events, and religious environment on the composition of the New Testament
To understand and demonstrate competence in the various reading strategies used in New Testament exegesis
To have a nuanced and theologically current understanding of ‘inspiration’ and ‘Word of God’
To be sensitive to the pastoral implications of New Testament exegesis
To be able to make intelligent and informed observations on New Testament passages
A detailed course schedule is available for download.