General Epistles/Revelation – NBST 845

CG • Section 8WK • 07/01/2018 to 12/31/2199 • Modified 07/27/2021

Course Description

A study of select portions of the General Epistles and the book of Revelation. The course provides a treatment of introductory issues, hermeneutical principles regarding epistolary and apocalyptic literature, and a functional analysis of key interpretive issues in the study of the General Epistles and Revelation. The course engages with current evangelical scholarship on critical issues that relate to the study of the General Epistles and Revelation, with attention given to the impact of theological systems on the interpretation of Revelation. Special emphasis is placed on biblical theological motifs within these books, and expositional strategies to integrate standard exegesis with biblical theological awareness.  

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


In both the scholarly and popular community, the general epistles and Revelation represent a group of works that are either neglected, misunderstood, or even abused. Therefore, in an effort to achieve achieve a well-rounded understanding of the Canon in general and these works in particular and equip teachers and expositors with the tools necessary to adequately articulate their message in a compelling way, this course will deal with special issues pertaining to the more volatile, controversial, or difficult elements of these important New Testament books. 

Course Assignment

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

Discussions (4)

Discussions are collaborative learning experiences. There are 4 such discussion assignments in this course (found in Modules 1, 2, 6, and 8). To successfully complete a discussion you are required to provide a thread in response to the prompts located in their respective modules. Each thread must be at meet the word count stipulated in the prompt and demonstrate critical thinking and awareness of course-related knowledge (utilizing at least 2 secondary sources from the course materials or presentations along with citations). Threads need to satisfy what is asked for in the prompt (nothing more, nothing less) and be accompanied by replies and, in some cases, responses to those as defined in the instructions given for each discussion. (CLOs A, B, C, D, E, F)

In this assignment, students will put together an expanded outline of the Book of Hebrews that successfully summarizes the organization of the author's thought and presentation. While students can consult commentaries/articles/New Testament introductions for help (properly referenced with footnotes according to current Turabian format), the outline presented by the student must be original not just in outline headings, but in the breakdown of the major units of this New Testament work. After the outline is complete, a one-page double-spaced explanation/justification for what was presented in the outline needs to be provided that helps the reader understand how the student arrived at the conclusions reached in the outline above. (CLOs A, C, E)

 In this assignment, students will write a 1,000 word letter to Martin Luther, arguing that James does, in fact, belong in the New Testament canon. Featured in this letter ought to be a thorough and compelling exposition of James 2:14-26 (an especially loathsome pericope in Luther's view). Along with this exposition, the student needs to demonstrate how an accurate interpretation of James 2:14-26 is consistent with what is found elsewhere in the New Testament. . (CLOs D, E, F)

 In this assignment, students will write a 1,500 word blogpost in the style and verbiage seen today on the internet that seeks to help believing readers gain the assurance that John speaks of here.  (CLOs B, D, E)

The student will select an appropriately-sized pericope from either the general epistles or Revelation that deals with either a significant textual and/or theological issue and write a 20-page expositional analysis of the chosen that includes historical, literary, expositional, and canonical analysis. This will be followed by anarticulation of an application of the passage for today. (CLOs A, C, E, F)