Religious Studies | Introduction to the New Testament
R220 | 11504 | Storin


Tha above course carries A&H, CSA distribution.

The course provides an historical introduction to the collection of
ancient Christian literature commonly called the New Testament.
There are 27 writings in the New Testament, and we will treat each
independently, as they were not all written by a single author but
instead by a variety of early Christians, each of whom had their own
approach to the “Christ event” and their own take on how to live the
Christian life.  While these works eventually became considered
scripture (often very soon after their composition) and thereby
foundational to the directions of later Christian traditions, our
investigation is limited to the religious and cultural contours of
these writings within the historical context of the first and second
century Mediterranean world.  After an introduction to the
Mediterranean context (which covers several aspects of ancient
Judaism and the Roman Empire), our investigations refocus on the
various New Testament writings themselves.  The course concludes
with discussions about the “making” of the New Testament: since the
writings within the New Testament only represents a fraction of the
literature about Jesus Christ and the Christian life circulating
around the ancient world, why were they selected to be in the New
Testament and not others?  We will explore the various processes
that resulted in the canonization of these writings as the “New
Testament.”  The student should emerge from this course with a basic
knowledge of the historical context of the New Testament writings as
well as the basic religious and literary themes prevalent within
them.  The student can expect to read all 27 books of the New
Testament as well as some other writings from ancient Christianity
and some secondary literature (textbook and readings on Oncourse).