Honors | Introduction to the New Testament (REL)
R220 | 28047 | Bert Harrill

LEC Tuth 11:15am-12:05pm
DIS Th 2:30-3:20pm

Description.  This course introduces students to the historical
study of earliest Christianity as found in the writings that we call
the "New Testament."  The New Testament is a collection of different
books by various authors, not a single book.  After a look at the
religious and social environment of the first century, we shall
examine the earliest surviving Christian writings (the letters of
Paul), the production of "gospels" about Jesus, and the
institutionalization of the early churches.  Students will read the
entire New Testament, as well as the Gospel of Thomas.  No previous
background is presupposed.  The approach to the Bible is strictly

This course contributes to a liberal arts education by introducing a
culture and ideas different from those in modern times, developing
important critical thinking and writing skills, and increasing
knowledge of important foundational texts of Western civilization.

Course Objectives and Evaluation:
At the end of the course, the student should have acquired a basic
knowledge of

末The social and religious environment of Christian origins
末Paul's career, thought, and communities
末the diverse images of Jesus and his followers found in the Gospels
末how institutional Christianity emerged
末the historical context and basic themes of each work in the New


1.  The HarperCollins Study Bible, revised edition.  Edited by H. W.
Attridge and W. A. Meeks et al. San Francisco: HarperCollins, 2006.
2.  Bart D. Ehrman,  A Brief Introduction to the New Testament.
Oxford University Press, 2004.
3.  Burton H. Throckmorton, Jr., Gospel Parallels: A Comparison of
the Synoptic Gospels, 5th ed.  Thomas Nelson, 1992.
4.  Michael Joseph Brown, What They Don稚 Tell You: A Survivor痴
Guide to Biblical Studies.  Westminster John Knox, 2000.
5.  Bart D. Ehrman, Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed
the Bible and Why.  HarperOne, 2007 (additional textbook only for
Honors Section).

Honors Requirements:
Research project with class presentation, occasional weekly
assignments, one interpretative essay (56 pages), two tests, final