New Testament Orientation I – NBST 515

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 02/09/2022

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.

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.

Rationale

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.

Course Assignment

Bible readings, textbook readings, and presentations. (MLOs: A, B, C, D)

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in the Course Overview.

Discussions (2)

Discussions are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student must participate in 2 Discussions during the course in which the student must post a thread in response to the Discussion's prompt and then respond to 2 students’ threads or replies. Each Discussion thread must contain at least 400 words; each reply must contain at least 200 words. All sources used, including textbooks and presentations, must be documented in current Turabian format. (CLOs: A, B, C, D.)

Gospel Christology Paper Assignment

The student will be assigned one of the four canonical Gospels and write a paper, not to exceed 15 pages, double-spaced, excluding title page, footnotes, and bibliography, 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. (CLOs: A, B, C, D, E.)

Video Report Assignment

Using a cell phone, tablet, or camera-equipped computer, the student will shoot a 3-minute video of themselves reporting on Jesus of Nazareth for a local television news program and upload the video to complete the assignment. The video should be aimed at a modern audience hearing about Jesus for the first time. The video should include what the student considers to be the irreducible minimum of information the television audience must know about Jesus in order to know who he was. (CLOs: A, B, D.)

Reflective Essay Assignment

The student will review the video submitted in the Video Report Assignment in which they described the Jesus they understood at the time, and then write an essay comparing the Jesus they described in that video to the Jesus they have now come to know through a serious study of the Gospels. Are they the same Jesus? If so, reflect on how the understanding of Jesus described in the Video Report Assignment has been validated by the Jesus encountered in the study of the Gospels this term. If not, reflect on what has changed in student’s understanding of the Jesus they described in the Video Report Assignment. The essay must not exceed 500 words, double-spaced, excluding title page and bibliography. Passages from the Gospels must be documented with parenthetical citations, but all other sources used (if any) must be documented with properly formatted footnotes in current Turabian format. (CLOs: A, B, D.)

Quizzes (4)

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