Course Summary

Surrounding environment and problematic concerns

This course examines a variety of topics, such as the formation of the New Testament canon, the historical and social setting of the New Testament, the geography of Bible lands, archaeological contributions, the composition of the New Testament books, critical issues relating to the New Testament documents, and special groups. While BRS 2 deals with the people, places, and events of the Greek Scriptures and BRS 4 addresses the theological implications of New Testament documents, BRS 6 is concerned with how the Greek Scriptures relate to the larger world of the ancient Middle East and the Roman Empire. Therefore, the student should already be acquainted with the general content of each book and the theological message of the New Testament. 5 semester hours of undergraduate credit. Recommended prerequisites: BRS 2 and BRS 4.

The course is organized in five modules: (1) The Gospels and Jesus, (2) Acts and the Early Church, 3) The Epistles and the Apocalypse, (4) The World fo the New Testament, and (5) Pharisees, Scribes, and Sadducees.


Module 1--Describe the setting of the Gospels.

Modules 2 and 3--Describe the setting of the early church in the Roman Empire and the issues they faced.

Module 4--Distinguish between the kingdom of God and Roman culture.

Module 5--Describe Jewish groups and institutions and their relationship with Jesus and the early church.

Credit. Credit for the course requires a score of 70% or greater on each of five multiple choice examinations. A sample problem is given below:

Translations are (A) always reliable, (B) never reliable, (C) reliable only insofar as they accurately give the meaning of a passage, (D) seldom reliable.


Internet articles, which are embedded within the online syllabus.

Elwell, Walter A. and Robert W. Yarbrough. Encountering the New Testament. 2nd ed. Baker Academic, 2005. 448 pages. $24.18 ISBN: 978-080128069

Jeffers, James S. The Greco-Roman World of the New Testament Era. IVP Academic, 1999. 352 pages. $13.04 ISBN: 978-0830815890

Saldarini, Anthony J. Pharisees, Scribes, and Sadducees in Palestinian Society: A Sociological Approach. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2001. 356 pages. $31.83 ISBN: 978-0802843586