This unit introduces students to the study of the New Testament through a detailed investigation of one of its books, the Gospel of Mark. Students will examine this Gospel’s structure, genre, themes, and socio-historical context, and will thereby develop foundational skills and knowledge for interpreting Mark’s Gospel and other New Testament books. The unit also provides an introduction to broader issues in New Testament study: how early Christians shared the good news of Jesus, both orally and by writing the books that were collected as the New Testament; the names and types of the books of the New Testament; features of some New Testament books beyond the Gospel of Mark; and how the Catholic Church understands the inspiration and canonicity of the New Testament today. (This unit may be offered in online or blended mode.)

Unit code: BN1001C

Unit status: Approved (New unit)

Points: 18.0

Unit level: Undergraduate Level 1

Unit discipline: New Testament

Proposing College: Catholic Theological College

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Learning outcomes


Discuss the structure, genre, themes, and socio-historical context of the Gospel of Mark.


Interpret a passage from the Gospel of Mark, using appropriate methods and resources, and develop insights for the life of the Church today.


Summarise the types of books within the New Testament and provide a basic account of how they developed.


Describe how the Bible, particularly the New Testament, is regarded from a Catholic perspective.


Lectures, readings, analysis of biblical texts, and discussions.

Indicative Bibliography

  • Anderson, Janice Capel, and Stephen D. Moore, eds. Mark and Method: New Approaches in Biblical Studies. 2nd ed. Minneapolis: Fortress, 2008.
  • Byrne, Brendan. A Costly Freedom: A Theological Reading of Mark’s Gospel. Strathfield: St Pauls, 2008. Also published: Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2008.
  • Donahue, John R., and Daniel J. Harrington. The Gospel of Mark. Sacra Pagina 2. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2002.
  • Ehrman, Bart D. The New Testament: A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings. 6th ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 2015. [or earlier editions]
  • Harrington, Daniel J. How Do Catholics Read the Bible? Come and See Series. Lanham: Sheed & Ward (Rowman & Littlefield), 2005.
  • Malbon, Elizabeth Struthers. Hearing Mark: A Listener’s Guide. Harrisburg: Trinity, 2002.
  • Moloney, Francis J. The Gospel of Mark: A Commentary. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2002.
  • Perkins, Pheme. Reading the New Testament: An Introduction. 3rd ed. New York: Paulist, 2012.
  • Rhoads, David, Joanna Dewey, and Donald Michie. Mark as Story: An Introduction to the Narrative of a Gospel. 3rd ed. Minneapolis: Fortress, 2012.
  • Telford, W. R. The Theology of the Gospel of Mark. New Testament Theology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)

Variant 1

Report 500 15.0
Report 500 15.0
Exegetical Essay 1500 40.0
Written Examination 1000 30.0

Variant 2

Report 500 15.0
Report 500 15.0
Exegetical Essay 1500 40.0
Oral Examination 1000 30.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Maggie Kappelhoff on 22 Jul, 2020

Unit record last updated: 2020-10-29 13:23:56 +1100