This unit provides an introduction to New Testament history, texts and theology. Beginning with the letters of Paul as the earliest extant Christian literature, and surveying the development of gospel literature as well as other forms of early Christian writing, it considers the rise of the early Christian movement and explores the range of developing theological beliefs that characterised the first two generations of early Christianity. In using the New Testament texts as the main source for investigation, the unit draws attention to the diversity of texts, genres, theologies and perspectives within the New Testament itself, and considers a number of critical historical, literary and theological issues that emerge from the study of New Testament texts.

Unit code: BN1010P (Approved)

Points: 18.0

Unit level: Undergraduate Level 1

Unit discipline: New Testament

Proposing College: Pilgrim Theological College

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Learning outcomes


Describe the historical, cultural, religious, and theological world of the New Testament including an awareness of key figures and dates


Identify the different genres of New Testament literature and the forms of critical analysis appropriate to their interpretation


Demonstrate an awareness of critical skills and tools for exegesis, including relevant reference tools and resources


Research, write and reference an exegetical essay using primary and secondary resources


Integrate methodological understandings, skills, and theological reflection in the study of a NT passage


Lectures, Tutorial, Group exercises

Indicative Bibliography

  • NRSV Study Bible (New Oxford Annotated Bible or Harper Collins Study Bible) (recommended for purchase)
  • Boring, M. Eugene. An Introduction to the New Testament: History, Literature, Theology. Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2012.
  • Brown, Raymond E. An Introduction to the New Testament ABRL. New York: Doubleday, 1997.
  • deSilva, David. An Introduction to the New Testament: Contexts, Methods, and Ministry Formation, Illinois: Intervarsity Press, 2004. (recommended for purchase)
  • Klauck, H. J. Ancient Letters and the New Testament: A Guide to Context and Exegesis, Waco, Texas: Baylor, 2006.
  • Levine, Amy-Jill, The Misunderstood Jew: The Church and the Scandal of the Jewish Jesus. New York: Harper Collins, 2007.
  • McDonald, Lee Martin and Stanley E. Porter, eds. Early Christianity and Its Sacred Literature. Peabody: Hendrickson, 2000.
  • Metzger, B. The Canon of the New Testament: Its Origin, Development, and Significance, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1997.
  • Rowland, Christopher. Christian Origins: The Setting and Character of the Most Important Messianic Sect of Judaism. 2nd ed. London: SPCK, 2002.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)
Short Answer Tests

Short quiz (equivalent 125 words)

125 5.0
Short Answer Tests

Short quiz (equivalent 125 words)

125 5.0

weekly written synopsis of readings (500 words)

500 20.0

Essay (1200)

1200 30.0
Exegetical Essay

Exegetical Paper (1800 words)

1800 40.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 2 Oct, 2018

Unit record last updated: 2019-02-18 11:34:37 +1100