This unit seeks to immerse students in the archaeological, geographical, historical, sociological and theological context of the New Testament. Emphasis will be on reading the texts in places associated with their content and history. Special attention will be given to understanding and interpreting the text in light of all the data available in the sites and museums in dialogue with classical and contemporary biblical scholarship. This unit is one of two complementary units, one focussing upon the Old Testament and the other focussing on the New Testament, that relate to the Study Tour of the Biblical Lands. Students may undertake both the Old and New Testament units in conjunction with this Tour or just one of the units at the appropriate level for their study.

Unit code: BN9705C

Unit status: Approved (Major revision)

Points: 24.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Elective

Unit discipline: New Testament

Proposing College: Catholic Theological College

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Learning outcomes


Research and communicate the archaeological, geographical, cultural, religious and historical context of a New Testament site on the itinerary of the tour


Critique the relationship between the archaeological record and the biblical texts and engage the scholarly debates of interpretation.


Develop a specific topic of research in conjunction with a New Testament passage/s or theme in light of the visit to the relevant sites, employing skilled biblical interpretation in dialogue with the data of the physical sites.


Critically reflect on New Testament sites and texts included in the journey of the tour and integrate with other theological and social disciplines elucidating insights for their relevance to the life of the Church today.


Investigate and analyse scholarly debate on interpretive issues associated with the texts and their contexts.


Demonstrate competence in the methodologies and conventions of advanced research appropriate to biblical studies.


Immersion experience in the biblical lands visiting New Testament sites and reading related texts; input at site and enroute with interactive discussion and reflection.

Indicative Bibliography

  • Bimson, John J., ed. Illustrated Encyclopedia of Bible Places: Towns and Cities, Countries and States, Archaeology and Topography. Leicester: InterVarsity Press, 1995.
  • Crossan, John Dominic, and Jonathan Reed. Excavating Jesus: Beneath the Stones, Behind the Texts. San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 2001.
  • ———. In Search of Paul: How Jesus' Apostle Opposed Rome's Empire with God's Kingdom: The Quest to Understand his World and Words. New York: HarperSanFrancisco, 2004.
  • Finegan, Jack. The Archaeology of the New Testament: The Life of Jesus and the Beginning of the Early Church Rev. ed. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1992.
  • Freyne, Sean. Jesus a Jewish Galilean: A New Reading of the Jesus-story. London: T. & T. Clark, 2004.
  • Fujita, Neil S. A Crack in the Jar: What Ancient Jewish Documents Tell Us about the New Testament. New York: Paulist Press, 1986.
  • Hoppe, Leslie J. What Are They Saying About Biblical Archaeology? New York: Paulist Press, 1984.
  • Murphy-O'Connor, Jerome. The Holy Land 5th ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008.
  • ———. Keys to Jerusalem: Collected Essays. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012. (EBook available.)
  • Reed, Jonathan L. Archaeology and the Galilean Jesus: A Re-examination of the Evidence. Harrisburg: Trinity Press International, 2000.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)

1,000 Report (Essay plan and bibliography) 10% 50% 6,000-word essay 90% 100% OR 7,000-word equivalent learning resource 100% 100% OR 8,000-word equivalent journal 100% 100% OR 2,500-word report (on NT site) 30% Week 4 4,500-word essay 70% Week 16 OR
2,000-word report (on NT site) 30% 60% 5,000-word equivalent learning resource 70% 100%

8000 100.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 7 Aug, 2018

Unit record last updated: 2021-06-07 08:43:49 +1000