(J ST 120, RL ST 120)
New Testament (3) Introduction to the history, literature, and religion of early Christianity in the Jewish-Hellenistic setting.
CAMS (J ST/RL ST) 120 New Testament (3)
(BA) This course meets the Bachelor of Arts degree requirements.
This course introduces the student to the New Testament (NT), the principal religious text of Christians. As such, it is one of the most significant and most studio texts in human history. Written in Greek between approximately 55 C.E. and 110 C-E the New Testament consists of 27 individual books, each written by a separate author (authors), that were later assembled into the "New Testament." Because of the growth of Christianity, the NT has influenced every aspect of our world-to name only a few: history, politics, economics, literature, philosophy, ethics, medicine, science, the arts (music, architecture, the visual arts), gender roles, theater and drama, law, psychology, and sociology. After introducing the student to the academic study of religion and the "historical-critical method," our study begins by examining the materials from which the NT's text is reconstructed, and the period in which the NT was authored. This includes exploring other parallel phenomena (such as miraculous hearings, resurrections, and virgin births) in contemporaneous Graeco-Roman religions. After this background is in place, the course turns to an examination of the gospels and their interrelationships, the pictures of Jesus presented (and their relationship to first-century B.C.E. Judaism), variations among Christian understandings of Jesus reflected in the NT and other contemporaneous Christian writings (he was a man, an angel, a lesser divinity), Paul and his life and writings, and the emergence of Christianity from Judaism as a distinct, new, apocalyptic religion. Along the way, we examine the manuscript tradition of the NT, changes that have been made to its text, and different interpretations of certain passages in the NT. We also examine the historical-critical tools scholars use to date and sequence passages in the NT (form, redaction, literary, and historical criticism, for example), for one can correlate the evolution of early Christian theology with the evolution of the NT's text.
Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.