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: BN1019P

Unit status: Approved (New unit)

Points: 18.0

Unit level: Undergraduate Level 1

Unit discipline: New Testament

Proposing College: Pilgrim Theological College

Show when this unit is running

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

Unit sequence

Foundational (no pre-requisites)


Face to face and Online; Lectures, Tutorial, Group exercises

Indicative Bibliography

  • = set texts recommended for purchase

*NRSV Study Bible (New Oxford Annotated Bible or Harper Collins Study Bible)

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.

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

125 5.0
Short Answer Tests

Short Quiz

125 5.0

Weekly discussion forum

500 20.0


1200 30.0
Exegetical Essay

Exegetical Paper

1800 40.0

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

Unit record last updated: 2021-02-15 17:45:43 +1100