Foundational unit

1st semester: Monday evening         (Min. No. 8)

This unit aims to provide students with a comprehensive overview of the formation, socio-historical setting and literary forms of the New Testament literature. Whilst studying the various books of the New Testament, students will be introduced to contemporary methods of critical biblical interpretation. The theological issues of these writings will also be explored.


Upon successful completion of this unit, it is expected that students will be able to:
1. demonstrate an advanced understanding of the social, historical and political milieu of the first century CE
2. analyse the relationship between New Testament texts and the Old Testament and articulate implicit and explicit intertextual references
3. discuss issues associated with the critical attitude towards Judaism in some of these texts
4. describe and discuss the formation of these texts as the source documents of the early Christian communities
5. use contemporary critical methods of biblical interpretation to prepare an exegetical essay
6. use resources, such as commentaries, dictionaries and concordances, for biblical research and communicate their findings in a research essay

2000 word exegetical essay (35%); 4000 word research essay (65%)

BIBLIOGRAPHY *set texts recommended for purchase
*Bible, with the Deuterocanonical or Apocryphal Books. Suitable version of the NRSV (New Revised Standard Version) or the RSV (Revised Standard Version). NRSV preferred.

Set text: *Perkins, Pheme. Reading the New Testament. Revised and updated 3rd ed. New York: Paulist Press, 2012. (Available through Amazon or Book Depository)

Boring, M. Eugene. An Introduction to the New Testament: History, Literature, Theology. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox, 2012.

Holladay, Carl R. A Critical Introduction to the New Testament. Interpreting the Message and Meaning of Jesus Christ.Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 2005.

Levine, Amy-Jill, and Marc Zvi Brettler, eds. The Jewish Annotated New Testament: New Revised Standard Version Bible Translation. New York: OUP, 2011.

Malina, Bruce J., and Richard L. Rohrbaugh. Social-Science Commentary on the Synoptic Gospels. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress, 1992.

———. Social-Science Commentary on the Gospel of John. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress, 1998.

Moloney, Francis J. A Friendly Guide to the New Testament. Mulgrave: Garratt Publishing, 2010.

———. Gospel Interpretation and Christian Life.Adelaide, SA: ATF Press, 2017.

Rhoads, David M., Joanna Dewey, and Donald M. Michie. Mark as Story: Introduction to the Narrative of a Gospel. 2nd ed. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress, 1999.

Ryan, Maurice, ed. Reading the Bible: An Introduction for Students. Tuggerah: Social Science Press, 2003.

Throckmorton, Burton H. Gospel Parallels: A Comparison of the Synoptic Gospels. 5th ed. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 1992.