New Testament Orientation I – NBST 515

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 07/28/2020

Course Description

A general introduction to the New Testament Gospels, General Epistles, and Revelation, emphasizing matters of text, canon, authorship, date, authorial purpose, and theme development. Also a special introduction, involving current issues of criticism and interpretation, such as the synoptic problem. The general principles of interpretation (hermeneutics) will be introduced as well as the special principles concerning parables, symbols and types, and prophecy.




This course will provide the student with an overview of both the background and content of the New Testament. A broad look at the New Testament as well as the historical, cultural, political, and religious context allows the student to see how the specific message of a New Testament document interfaces with the whole.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Describe key features of the historical and cultural context of the New Testament.
  2. Describe the major events and themes of Christ’s life and ministry.
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of the historical setting, major themes, interpretive issues, and literary genres of the Gospels, General Epistles, and Revelation.
  4. Evaluate the influence of the Old Testament on the theological emphases of the Gospels, General Epistles, and Revelation.
  5. Construct an evidence-based research project of a key issue or problem in New Testament studies.

Course Assignment

Bible readings, textbook readings, videos, and lecture presentations. (MLO: A, B, C, D)

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

Discussion Board Forums (2)

Discussion boards are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student must participate in 2 Discussion Board Forums during the course in which the student must post a thread in response to the Discussion Board prompt and then respond to 2 different students’ threads. Each Discussion Board thread must contain at least 400 words; each reply must contain at least 200 words. Any sources used, including textbooks, assigned videos or presentations, or outside resources must be documented with parenthetical citations and a bibliography of sources used. (MLO: A, B, C, D.)

Gospel Christology Paper

The student will be assigned one of the four canonical Gospels and write a paper, not to exceed 15 pages, double-spaced, in which the student identifies and traces through the Gospel the primary Christological interpretation of Jesus employed by that Gospel writer; for example, “Jesus as miracle worker;” or “Jesus as Son of God;” or “Jesus as Servant of the LORD;” etc. In the paper, the student must identify the particular stories and passages in the Gospel where this portrayal is emphasized, as well as his or her reasons for thinking so. The student must work chiefly with the text of the assigned Gospel, though secondary sources must also be used, especially academic commentaries on the biblical text, as “conversation partners” with whom to test the student’s hypothesis. The student will be assigned a Gospel on which to work based on the first letter of his or her last name: A-F (Matthew), G-L (Mark), M-R (Luke), S-Z (John). The paper must be in current Turabian format with all sources documented with appropriate footnotes and bibliography. References to the text of the Gospel may be included in the body with parenthetical citations. (MLO: A, B, D, E.)

Reading Reports (8)

The student must complete the required reading each module/week and report the completion of reading each module/week in Blackboard. (MLO: A, B, C, D.)

Presentation Reports (8)

The student must complete the required viewing of visual presentations (video and PowerPoint) each module/week and report the completion each module/week in Blackboard. (MLO: A, B, C, D.)

Exams (4)

The student must take 4 exams, each focusing on material from the 2 most recent modules/weeks. Each exam contains 20 multiple-choice and true/false questions, is open-book/open-notes, and must be completed in 1 hour. (MLO: A, B, C, D.)