It is not so very important for a person to learn facts. For that he does not really need a college. He can learn them from books. The value of an education in a liberal arts college is not the learning of many facts but the training of the mind to think something that cannot be learned from textbooks.
(Albert Einstein, 1921, in response to Thomas Edison’s opinion that a college education is useless)


In much wisdom is much vexation, and those who increase knowledge increase in sorrow.
(Ecclesiastes 1.18)


Health is merely the slowest possible rate at which one can die.



Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.

(William Butler Yeats)



Exegesis Guidelines


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Westminster College 

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 REL 101: Understanding the Bible

Fall Semester • 2006 



Welcome to Religion 101: Understanding the Bible (or Everything You Always Wanted to Know about the Bible But Were Too Afraid or Busy to Ask)! The course title describes our main objective, which is to gain a better understanding of the Bible. More specifically, our aim will be

to clarify what the Bible is and to consider its significance for the history of Western civilization, the world, and us;

to become familiar with the contents of the Bible and to discern major themes and issues;

to read carefully and critically passages from a variety of biblical & non-canonical books;

to explore the meaning of these passages in their historical contexts (e.g., cultural, geographical, literary, political contexts) as well as in relation to contemporary thought;

to become familiar with the methodological issues involved in biblical interpretation;

to cultivate an informed and responsible reading of biblical texts that is both critical and creative by developing exegetical skills using modern methods of interpretation, especially the historical-critical method.

Achieving these goals will not be easy; the course will require hard work on your part. At the same time, you can expect this course to be full of challenging, enlightening, exciting, frustrating, and rewarding experiences.


This course is designed so that anyone, religious or not, who does the required work can attain the goals mentioned above. This course is not designed to persuade you to a particular faith or religious point of view. Nor is it intended to build up or disparage existing faith. Students who consider themselves to be followers of any religion, or no religion at all, are all welcome on this semester journey to become better acquainted with the Bible, to learn to appreciate it better, and to become informed and responsible interpreters of it.

 Requirements and evaluation for the course


For my criteria for evaluation of assignments go to Evaluation and read the information carefully.


NB: If you have any questions regarding any assignment, please 1) ask in class for the benefit of others or 2) make an appointment to see me.


The readings are essential and should be completed before the classes for which they are assigned—use your best judgment to divide the readings for each week evenly for each class. Keeping notes on the readings is highly recommended. Occasionally I may assign additional readings, but these will ordinarily be short. You are required to come to class with written questions or comments you have about the readings (see Participation). The primary focus throughout the course will be on the biblical texts.


You may be asked to read and expound the written questions or comments that are the most interesting or problematic to you. As you share your thoughts with the class, others will be invited to respond or share their own set of questions or comments. You're expected to have read the text(s) carefully and be able to share the penetrating questions or issues in the readings that you dealt with in your reading, preparation, or even further research. You written questions or comments, and the way you expound them will constitute a significant part of the final participation grade.


NB: you don't necessarily have to understand everything before class, but you should demonstrate that you prepared and are familiar with the major issues in the text(s). Remember also that questions are more valuable than answers. You should include or suggest challenges, discoveries, insights, questions, etc. for class discussion.


map #1

You will draw an annotated map of the United Monarchy at the height of David’s reign.

You must draw the map by hand (on a letter-size paper). How colorful or artistic the map is will not affect the grade.

The map must show important boundaries, territories, cities, etc. Show


1) the most significant places in the United Monarchy in the time of David and Solomon, and

2) the topography of the land as clearly as possible.

Write a 2–3 page paper as annotation for the map, explaining the reasons for David’s conquest of the territories that made up his empire (NB: not theological reasons [e.g., “because God told David to do so”]). Tip: consider what advantages David's conquests brought for his kingdom. The quality of the paper will determine the greater part of the evaluation for the assignment.

Follow all the instructions given on my Evaluation page under Written assignments. Use footnotes to document your sources.

The Oxford Bible Atlas and the maps at the end of your study Bible are good places to start. You may find NOAB 505–25 ES also helpful.


map #2

You will draw an annotated map of the Roman Empire during the 1st century.

You must draw the map by hand (on a letter-size paper). How colorful or artistic the map is will not affect the grade.

The map must show important boundaries, territories, cities, etc. Show


1) the most significant places in Palestine, including the main areas of Jesus' ministry, and

2) other significant places around the Mediterranean Sea, including all the places where Paul sent his undisputed letters (see textbook), and the 7 cities mentioned in Revelation 2–3.


The map should include at least the following: Alexandria, Antioch, Athens, Jerusalem, and Rome.

Write a 2–3 page paper on one place (area or city), explaining its significance for the Roman Empire or for understanding the New Testament.

Follow all the instructions given on my Evaluation page under Written assignments. Use footnotes to document your sources.

The Oxford Bible Atlas and the maps at the end of your study Bible are good places to start. You may find NOAB 505–25 ES also helpful. For a little extra help click here.



Throughout the semester, you’ll be responsible for learning significant terms covered in our texts or in class. You will be responsible for the definitions and, when appropriate, significant biblical passages related to the terms. Use 1) the course texts (e.g., glossary and index), 2) the resources listed in Resources to consider below, or 3) the “terms” file on the R-drive, where the terms to be covered on quizzes and exams will be highlighted and updated.


There will be a midterm exam (ca. 30 mins.) covering all the materials in the course, including the reading assignments and terms we will have covered by the time of the exam. The final exam, will cover the entire sweep of the course. See my Evaluation page under Quizzes and examinations. There may be pop quizzes, the results of which will affect the evaluation of your participation.


In lieu of the final exam, you may do one of the following.

1) Take a 30-minute oral exam. Please inform me as early as possible to discuss the nature of the oral exam.

2) Write an exegesis paper (3–4 pages) on Matthew 5 (focusing on a portion thereof) or Galatians 3.6–14. Demonstrate your knowledge of both the Old and New Testament. Please see me as early as possible before the semester break to discuss this option. See Exegesis guidelines page for some starter questions and other tips to consider. For ideas, look at some critical commentaries in our library (i.e., scholarly books on Matthew or Galatians with lots of [foot]notes).


Grades will be assigned as fairly as possible. See my Evaluation page under Grades for more information. The final grade for the course will consist of the following:

final exam or exegesis paper


NB: participation is a significant part of this course.

See my Evaluation page under Participation

for more information and instructions.



2 map assignments


midterm exam



NB: If you have any questions about how you're doing in the course, please make an appointment to see me.


You may earn extra credit at various times during the semester.

Submit a 2–3 page reflection paper relating something from popular culture (e.g., movie, play, TV show, book, any performance) to a particular Bible text or theme (consult the instructor). It should be mostly critique and not merely a plot summary.

Do other extra credit assignments described in the file on the R-drive.

Caveat: The instructor reserves the right to make the final determination concerning any extra credit. You can earn a maximum of 5% towards the final grade. You can write more than one, if you wish, but you won't receive more than 5% total in extra credit.

 Required books

The New Oxford Annotated Bible with the Apocrypha (NRSV), 3rd ed. You may use another Bible, if you wish, but the New Oxford Annotated Bible (NOAB) will be the common text for class assignments and discussions. In all cases, you are encouraged to use other English translations (e.g., NIV) and Bibles in other languages in addition to the NRSV. The Tanakh is especially recommended for comparison of Old Testament passages.

Brown, Michael J. What They Don't Tell You: A Survivor's Guide to Biblical Studies. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2000.

Harris, Stephen L. Understanding the Bible. 7th ed. Mountain View: Mayfield Publishing Co., 2000.

 Recommended books (* = highly recommended)


Tanakh. Philadelphia: The Jewish Publication Society, 1985 (5748).


Achtemeier, Paul. Inspiration and Authority: Nature and Function of Christian Scripture. Peabody: Hendrickson Publishers, 1999.


Aland, Kurt, ed. Synopsis of the four Gospels. New York: United Bible Societies, 1982. (highly recommended; also available in Greek-English version)


Armstrong, Karen. A History of God. New York: Ballantine Books, 1993.


Brown, Raymond E. An Introduction to New Testament Christology. New York: Paulist Press, 1994.


_____. An Introduction to the New Testament. New York: Doubleday, 1997.


_____. Responses to 101 Questions on the Bible. New York: Paulist Press, 1990.


Duling, Dennis C. and Norman Perrin. The New Testament: Proclamation and Parenesis, Myth and History. 3rd ed. Fort Worth: Harcourt Brace College Publishers, 1994.


Goodacre, Mark. The Synoptic Problem: A Way Through the Maze. London: T. & T. Clark, 2001.


Hauer, Christian E. and William A. Young. An Introduction to the Bible: A Journey into Three Worlds. 4th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1998.


Miles, Jack. God: a biography. New York: Vintage Books, 1995.


Pritchard, James, B., ed. The Ancient Near East, vol. I: An Anthology of Texts and Pictures. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1958.


_____. The Ancient Near East, vol. II: A New Anthology of Texts and Pictures. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1975.


Sanders, E. P. and Margaret Davies. Studying the Synoptic Gospels. London, SCM Press, 1989.


Strunk, William, Jr., and E. B. White. The Elements of Style. New York: Macmillan Publishing, 1979. (See my Resources page under Miscellaneous for the first edition of Strunk.)

 Resources to consider


See my Resources page for McGill, AV, & Web resources, esp. The NT Gateway.


R-drive: for helpful materials, check not only the course folder but also the "Religion" folder.


Bible concordances (McGill library).


Ferguson, Duncan S. Bible Basics. Louisville: Westminster/John Knox Press, 1995.


Turner, Nicholas. The Handbook for Biblical Studies. Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1982.

 Keeping in touch

During the semester check your e-mail regularly for the latest messages from me regarding course matters (e.g., changes in the syllabus). Also visit this page for updates to the syllabus, as well as my home page for other information and resources related to the course. Please feel free to make an appointment any time about any course matters.


 Tips from former students

For some practical advice from former students, see the tips page.

 One last word …

Regardless of how tough all the stuff above sounds, I’m pretty much a nice guy. I promise to be as fair as possible. I recognize that you’ll be quite busy this semester, striving after all your passions. I understand. I have my passions too: my awesome, wonderful family, music, the Bible, the Reformed tradition, nature, mountain biking, fixing things, and food, among other things. But I’m also very passionate about education, both yours and mine—I don’t just mean the business of acquiring knowledge, but more importantly the total development of honorable human beings. I don't require you to share my excitement about all the things we'll cover, but I do expect you to complete all the requirements for the course. To help you do that as well as you can, I will make myself available outside the class time and the office hours. I'll be more than glad to help you out when you're stuck while doing an assignment. Or if you have any questions, concerns, complaints, and even compliments, I will do my best to take the time to listen and offer my opinion or advice. Keep in mind that I'm here to help you learn and to continue learning myself. So, again, welcome to Religion 151: Understanding the Bible!

C o u r s e   S c h e d u l e

MWF 10:30–11:30          PH 113


Assigned readings

= required

> = recommended

Project / texts

bold = primary focus text

red bold = important deadline

highlight = R-drive file (only on campus & Internet Explorer)

Class / topics

Week 1


Aug 30 W

Sep 1

Sep 4

Course syllabus (including Evaluation link; review requirements, expectations & criteria for grading—ask Qs, if you have any)

Fisher: Effective Learning

Harris: preface; chs. 1–2 (tip: "Questions for Review" & "Questions for Discussion and Reflection" are very helpful for quizzes & exams)
Gen 7.1–5; 6.11–22
NOAB: vii–ix (see the Note; pay attention to all the sectional introductions as well as the list of good essays under "General Essays, Tables"; all of this will be very helpful throughout the semester)

NOAB: xiii–xxi

Gen 1.1–3.24
>Pritchard: vol.1: 40, 65–75 (also “read” the pictures)
Brown: Responses, Q1–14
>Brooks & Collins: “Introduction” to Hebrew Bible or Old Testament
>Da Vinci Code critique
>New evidence of flood?
>Bible Contradiction & Responses

>Breath of God (NB in Hebrew the word for "spirit" can also mean "air," "breath," "wind")


Copy all relevant Web pages to your hard disk or diskette


Memorize the books of the Protestant canon in order (learn correct spelling).

Focus text(s):
Gen 7.1–5; 6.11–22

Gen 1.1–3.24 (cf. Ps 8, 136, 148; Prov 8.22–31; Job 38; Dt 32.8–9)
Translation comparison

Reminder: bring your Qs & Cs to each class (see Participation)

>Transmission errors

>Bible in 50 words
>Perception quiz


>Study Guide 1

Bible Hunt

Optical conditioning

Optical illusion


General orientation

"The" Bible

Week 2


Sep 6 W

Sep 8

Sep 11

Harris: ch. 3–4
Gen 1.1–3.24
Pritchard: vol.1: 31–39 & vol.2: 1–5 (also “read” the pictures); cf. Job 26.12; Ps 74.14, 89.10; Isa 27.1, 51.9

Harris: ch. 5

Gen 1–36 (skim; cf. Rom 9.10–21)

Brown: Prolegomena; ch. 1

>Fertile Crescent (map)

>Yahweh & Jehovah

Focus text(s):
Gen 1.1–3.24 again (cf. Enuma Elish; also cf. Job 26.8–14; Ps 74.13-17; 89.5–10; Isa 27.1; 51.9–10); ethical & scientific relevance?
Gen 1.26–27: Is God alone? (cf. Ps 82; Ex 15.11; 1 Kgs 22.19–23)

Focus text(s):
Gen 22.1–19: sons & sacrifices (cf. Judg 11.29–40); ethical relevance?
Gen 9.1–17: new start, new laws, new covenant

>JEPD (view in "Page Layout" mode in MS Word)

>Creation retold (humor)
>Redaction & hermeneutics (funny & instructive)
>Study Guide 2

The Ancient Near East
The God of Israel

Torah (Pentateuch)

Week 3


Sep 13 W

Sep 15

Sep 18

Harris: ch. 5

Gen 37–50

Ex 1–15; 19–24; 32–34 (skim)

Pritchard: vol.1: 85–86, 138–67; vol.2: 42–53 (skim prudently; check for OT parallels)
Lev 19

Num 10.11–14.45

Dt 1–6, 26–29 (skim)

Brown: Prolegomena; ch. 2

Yahweh & Jehovah

The following are highly recommended:

>Rendtorff on J (the Yahwist)

>Clines's response to Rendtorff

>Van Seters's response to Rendtorff & Clines

>Rosengren's response to Clines

Focus text(s):
Gen 37.18–36 (discern J & E)

Gen 38 (Judah & Tamar)

Ex 20.1–17: ten (?) words of YHWH (cf. Dt 5.6–21)
Ex 15.1–19: creation motif (cf. Gen 1)
Ex 23.1–13
Ex 34: ritual decalogue
Lev 19 (esp. vv. 15, 33–34): egalitarian ethos (cf. Ex 23.1–3)
Num 22 (humor? meaning?)

Dt 17.14–20: YHWH's egalitarianism
>Study Guide 3

Torah (Pentateuch)


Genesis: beginnings (?)
(Hi)story of the universe & of a family: the many and the one

Family (hi)story

Exodus: freedom & egalitarianism

On the road to becoming a covenant people: learning to be the people of YHWH

Week 4


Sep 20 W

Sep 22

Sep 25

Harris: ch. 6

Josh 1–6, 24

Judg 1.1–16.31
1 Sam 1–12
2 Sam 2–12

Brown: ch. 3

Focus text(s):
Josh 2, 6 (cf. 2 Sam 6.17–19): conquest (?) of Canaan

Judg 2.6–3.6: Dtr's theory of history

Josh 24 (birth of Israel)

Judg 8.22–23: theocracy & monarchy

2 Sam 7: YHWH's deal with David
2 Sam 11–12: David falls?
1 Sam 7.3–8.22; 10.17–27; 12 (cf. Judg 8.22–23): Samuel Tradition (theocratic); cf. Hos 8.4; 9.15; 10.3, 9)
1 Sam 9.1–10.16; 11: Saul Tradition (monarchic)

>Study Guide 4

Deuteronomistic History & Theology


YHWH the warrior
Tribal Confederacy

Pendulum swings of Israelite history

Monarchy & the united kingdom

Whatever happened to the Tribal Confederacy & theocracy?

Week 5


Sep 27 W

Sep 29

Oct 2

Harris: ch. 6
1 Kgs 1–11, 12–22
2 Kgs 16–17
2 Kgs 21–23
2 Chr 33–35
Dt 12–26 (skim)

Brown: ch. 4–5

Harris: ch. 7

1 Sam 10.5–13; 16.13–23; 19.18–24
1Sam 18.10–12
1Kgs 13
2Kgs 9.11
Ezek 14.1–11
Am 7.10–17
1 Kgs 22
2 Kgs 2

>Biblical poetry

>Solomon's Temple

•Map of David's Empire due Oct 2 (R-drive [paper only]; file name = "last name map David.doc"; see example of file name on R-drive)

Focus text(s):
1 Kgs 11.1–13 (cf. Dt 17.14–20): Who or what's to blame?

2 Kgs 21–23 & 2 Chr 33–35: Will the real Manasseh please stand?
Dt 12.1–32: centralization of YHWH cult

1 Kgs 22.1–28: Can prophets lie or be deceived? (cf. Ezek 14.1–11; 1Kgs 13)

1 Sam 10.5–13; 16.13–23; 19.18–24; 2Kgs 9.11: ecstasy & madness?
2 Kgs 2 (cf. Ex 15; Josh 3): Moses? Elisha the mean baldy?
>Prophets & psalms
>2 Sam 24.1–25 & 1 Chr 21: Who incited David to take the census?

>Study Guide 5

•No class Oct 2


The divided kingdom
What went wrong?

Josiah & the Deuteronomic Reform
Deuteronomistic theology

Israelite prophecy

Week 6


Oct 4 W

Oct 6

Oct 9

Harris: ch. 7

Isa 1–11

Jer 1–25

Focus text(s):
Hos 11: YHWH's will & grace

Isa 6–9: Isaiah's call & Immanuel
Zech 9.9 & Mt 21.1–7

Jer 20.7–13 (prophetic lament): prophecy & blasphemy; cf. Job 19.1–7 & Hab 1.2–4, 9; 2.8, 17

Look "Jeremiad" up in a dictionary & see how the definition makes biblical sense


>Study Guide 6

•No class Oct 4


Preexilic prophets

Prophecy & NT

The exile & exilic prophets
Crisis to (new) covenant

Week 7


Oct 11 W

Oct 13


Oct 14–17 (break)


Oct 18

Harris: ch. 7
Jer 31.31–34

Isa 40, 45, 49, 53
Ezek 18, 33–48

Course syllabus

Harris: ch. 8
Ps 1, 8, 13, 19, 22, 29, 44, 46, 51, 82, 89, 104, 116, 130, 137, 150
Prov 1–9

>Biblical poetry

>Solomon's Temple

Focus text(s):
Jer 31.31–34: new covenant

Ezek 18 (cf. Jer 31.28–30): individual accountability
Ezek 36.26–28 (cf. Jer 31.31–34)
Ezek 37.1–14: bone-dry
Isa 53

Focus text(s):
Ps 19: singing in the rain (about creation and law)
Ps 44: Deuteronomistic theology?
Ps 82: the divine council revisited (cf. Ps 44)
Ps 89 (cf. 2 Sam 7): Davidic covenant?

Ecclesiastes: What's the lesson?
>Study Guide 7

New horizons
good dentistry & challenge to Deuteronomistic Theology


Midterm exam Oct 13

The Psalms


Wisdom literature: getting wiser?

Week 8


Oct 20 F

Oct 23

Oct 25

Harris: ch. 8
Job 1–14, 38–42 (skim the rest)
1 Chr 1–9 (skim)

Harris: ch. 9–10

1 Macc (skim)

>Movie: "My Big Fat Greek Wedding"

>The Greeks (interactive site)

>Jack Miles, God: a biography, 334–38

Focus text(s):
Job 1–2; 42.7–17: What went wrong?
Job 7.11–21 (cf. Ps 39): "God, leave me alone!"
Job 9.14–24; 19; 23.1–7 (cf. 1–2; 32.1–5)

Ezra 10: Who's in?

1 Chr 1–9: What's the meaning?

Focus text(s):
1 Macc 1–2; 4.36–61 (Hanukkah)
>Study Guide 8

Wisdom literature: getting wiser?


Restoration of Judah
the beginnings of Judaism

Apocalyptic & apocryphal literature


Judaism & Hellenism

Week 9


Oct 27 F

Oct 30

Nov 1

Harris: ch. 9–10
Dan (see Harris: ch. 8)

Tobit (enjoy!!!)
>Chronology (info & links)

>The Greeks (interactive site)

>Development of the canon

Focus text(s):
Dan 7: weird dreams

Tobit: spiritual entertainment

>Study Guide 9

Apocalyptic & apocryphal literature


The Apocrypha & the idea of the canon


The Greco-Roman world

Week 10


Nov 3 F

Nov 6

Nov 8

Harris: ch. 10

Brown: Intro to NT Christology, 155–61 (“A Brief History of the Development of the Royal Messianic Hope in Israel”)

Harris: ch. 11

Gos Pet (NB: Q10 on "Easter Quiz")

Sanders & Davies: Synoptic Gospels, 51–119 (skim)
Apostles' Creed
Nicene Creed
Inf Gos Thom

>Synoptic Problem (summary of theories)

>The Diatessaron

>Gos Thom

>Brown: Responses, Q34–44
>Resurrection theories

>Syncretism and Harry Potter

Harris: ch.12

Mk 1.1–16.8; 16.8–20

Know the various Jewish groups & significant characteristics

Know the 2 main theories for the synoptic problem

Easter Quiz (NB: take this "quiz" before reading the following:
1 Cor 15.3–10
Mk 15.40–16.8
Mt 27.55–28.20
Lk 23.48–24.53
Jn 19.25–21.25
Acts 1.1–2.4
Phraseology: KoG & KoH

Focus text(s):
Mk 1.1–15 (esp. vv. 9–11, 12–13, 14–15) & ||s
Mk 4.1–13 (esp. vv. 11–13): purpose of parables
Mk 6.30–44: feeding 5K folks (cf. 8.1–10; 19–20); cf. also Mt 14.13–21 (cf. 15.32–39; 16.9–10); Lk 9.10–17; Jn 6.1–15
Mk 8.1–9.1 (esp. 8.27–33, 9.1) & ||s
Mk 15.40–16.8 (–16.20): What really happened?

>Feeding of 5K

>Study Guide 10

The Jewish world
the Messiah

Understanding the Gospels
the Synoptic Gospels

Mark: a trend-setter?
the suffering Messiah

Nov 10

Movie night with the Nas 7:46-ish

directions on the R-drive (view in MS Word: in menu, click View>Print Layout) or click here

Week 11


Nov 10 F

Nov 13

Nov 15

Harris: ch. 12

Mt 1.1–7.29; 10.1–42; 13.1–52; 18.1–35; 23.1–28.20
Brown, Raymond E. Responses to 101 Questions on the Bible (New York: Paulist Press, 1990), Q54–60

>Sermon on the Mount

Lk 1.1–6.49; 9.51–24.53

Brown, Raymond E. Responses to 101 Questions on the Bible (New York: Paulist Press, 1990), Q54–60

Jn (esp. 1.1–18; 3.1–21; 4.1–42; 6; 20)

>Reflections on the Cotton Patch Version

Jn (esp. 1.1–18; 3.1–21; 4.1–42; 6; 20)

>Jesus & Superman? (scroll all the way down to see the comparison)

Xmas Quiz
Focus text(s):
Mt 1.1–17 & ||: the "begat" list (cf. 1 Chr 1)
Mt 1.18–2.23 & || (?): where did Joseph & Mary live?
Mt 5.1–7.27 & ||s (?): Sermon on the Mount (walk this way; talk this way)
Mt 5.3–12 & ||: Beatitudes
Mt 5.17–20; 7.21–23: Torah
Mt 6.5–15 (cf. Lk 11.1–4): Lord's Prayer
Mt 7.12: Golden Rule
Mt 10.1–11.1 & ||s
Mt 10.34–39: anti-family?
Mt 20.1–16: fair?
Mt 21.1–11 & ||s: how many animals can Jesus ride?
Mt 25.31–46: sheep & goats & ethics

Focus text(s):
Lk 1.46–56: radical song?
Lk 3.23–38: significance?
Lk 4.1–13: when will the devil return? (see 22.3)
Lk 4.14–30: what's the problem? (cf 1.46–56)
Lk 6.17–38, esp. 24–26: sermon on the plain (cf. Mt's sermon on the mount)
Lk 10.25–37 (cf. Mk 12.28–34; Mt 22.34–40; Dt 6.4–5 & Lev 19.18; Rom 13.9; Gal 5.14; Jas 2.8): who's the neighbor?
Cotton Patch: Lk 10.25–37
Lk 10.38–42: women disciples?
Lk 15.11–32: lost & found?
Cotton Patch: Lk 15
Lk 16.1–9: huh? fair?
Lk 22.7–23 & ||s: Last Supper (when was it? which was first: bread or wine?)

Focus text(s):
Jn 1.1–18: Logos christology
Jn 3.1–21; 4.1–42; 6; 10; 20
Jn 13.1–20: eat or feet?
Jn 13.31–35: how would others know?

Jn 12.27–36; cf. Mk 14.32–42 & ||s): agony?

Jn 18.2–11 ; cf. ||s: the arrest

Jn 20.19–29 (esp. vv. 22, 28): seeing is believing?
Jesus in Synoptics & Jn

Phraseology: KoG & KoH

>Study Guide 11

Matthew: the teacher par excellence (work on paper)

Luke: champion of the outcast

John: love divine

Week 12


Nov 17 F

Nov 20


Nov 22–26



Nov 27

Harris: ch. 13

Apostles' Creed
Nicene Creed
Brown: Intro to NT, 817–30 (“The Historical Jesus”)
Brown: Responses, Q45–60, 69–76
Charlesworth, "The Historical Jesus and Exegetical Theology" in Princeton Seminary Bulletin, vol.22 no.1 (2001): 45–63
Inf Gos Thom

>C. S. Lewis: historical Jesus

>Video: “From Jesus to Christ," pt.3: Jesus in the Gospels (AV reserve)

Harris: ch. 14

Acts 1.1–15.35; 21.1–28.31

2 Pet 3.15–16
Gal 1.13–17 (cf. Acts 9.1–22; 22.4–16; 26.9–18): Paul's call
Isa 49.1–6
Jer 1.1–10

Consider: Where do we get our ideas about Jesus (really)? What does the Bible actually say about Jesus? Why are there 4 Gospel?
Review beginnings of the Gospels
Mt 10.2–4 & ||s: who were the disciples (NB: order)

Phraseology: KoG & KoH

Focus text(s):
Acts 2; 10–11; 15.1–35: the spirit moves in mysterious & blasphemous ways
Acts 9.1–22; 22.4–16; 26.9–18: reports  of Paul's conversion
Acts 17.16–34: apostle among philosophers in Athens
Acts 28.30–31: the end?

>Study Guide 12

The historical Jesus?


Video: “From Jesus to Christ," pt.3: Jesus in the Gospels (take notes)

The early church

•No class Nov 20

Trying to understand Paul

Week 13


Nov 29 W

Dec 1

Dec 4

Harris: ch. 14

1 Thess
1–2 Cor (skim)


2 Thess
Col & Eph (in this order)
1–2 Tim

Harris: ch. 12

Achtemeier: ch. 5

•Map of Roman Empire due Dec 1 (R-drive [paper only]; file name = "last name map Rome.doc"; see example of file name on R-drive)


Focus text(s):
1 Thess 4.13–5.11 (cf. 1 Cor 15.51)
1 Cor 13 (cf. Rom 13.8–10; John 13.34–35; Gal 5.14; Mk 12.28–34; Mt 22.34–40; Lk 10.27; Jas 2.8; Lev 19.18): apostle of love

1 Cor 6.1–20; 10.14–33: freedom in Christ
1 Cor 12: unity
1 Cor 15: eschatology & resurrection

Gal 3 (cf. Rom 4); Rom 7.7–13: What about the Torah?
Rom 1.1–6: Paul's christology
Rom 9–11: what about Israel?

Rom 13.8–10 (cf. 1 Cor 13; John 13.34–35; Gal 5.14; Mk 12.28–34; Mt 22.34–40; Lk 10.27; Jas 2.8; Lev 19.18): apostle of love
Gal 2.11–14 (cf. Acts 10–11): Gentiles & Jews in the church
Gal 3.23–29; 5.1; cf. 1 Cor 12.12–13 (cf. Col 3.1–11): freedom in Christ
Phil 2.6–11; 3.2–11

Who's in charge? (1 Cor 11.3–16; Eph 5.21–6.9; Col 3.18–4.1; 1 Tim 2.8–15; 1 Pet 2.18–3.7; cf. Rom 10.11–13; Gal 3.27–29; 1 Cor 12.12–13; Col 3.9–11)

>Study Guide 13

Pauline eschatology
Corinthian problems with freedom

Galatian problems with freedom

The early church organizes
Paul revisited, revised?
Who’s in charge?: the masculinization of the church & gospel of freedom

Week 14


Dec 6 W

Dec 8

Dec 11

Harris: ch. 15

1 Pet
Jude & 2 Pet (in this order)
1–3 Jn


>Eschaton all the time

Meyer: “Faith and History Revisited” in Princeton Seminary Bulletin, vol.10 no.2 (1989) 75–83

>Brown: Intro to NT Christology, 162–70 (“The Reality of the Resurrection of Jesus”)
>Brown, Responses: Q1–10, 19–27

>666 or 616? (click on "numerology")

•Exegesis paper due Dec 11 (R-drive; file name = "last name exegesis.doc")

•Extra credit paper(s) due Dec 11


Focus text(s):
Jas 2.14–26: not quite Paul (cf. Mt)
Heb 2.1–4; 3.1–6; 5.7
1 Pet 2.11–4.11 (esp. 2.13–17, 18–25): faith & societal issues
2 Pet 3.1–18: the delay of the Parousia

Rev 5.6; 12.3–9; 13.11–18: portrait of good & evil
Rev 1.1–3
Rom 13.1–7, 1 Tim 2.1 & 1 Pet 2.13–17: faith & the empire


>Study Guide 14

The church in conflict
false (?) teachers & alternatives to Paul

The church under persecution
persecution, apocalyptic & eschatology

Faith, history & text
Final thoughts

Dec 12 T

Reading Day (Review for final exam?)

Dec 13 W

F  i  n  a  l     e  x  a  m: 11:30–14:00 (regular classroom)

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year




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