COURSE TITLE: Introduction to the New Testament
DATE: Feb. - May, 2017
LECTURER: Rev. Michael Elliott


RATIONALE

The Bible is the main source of our religious/theological thinking and belief. The New Testament in particular contains the rudiments of the Christian faith and the conception, embryo, birth and early development of the Christian church. A study of and subsequent scholarly knowledge of the New Testament will provide one with the necessary tools to facilitate the understanding of the life and teaching of Jesus the Christ and the early church.

 

COURSE AIMS:

This course is an introduction to the study of New Testament literature, with a particular emphasis on the Synoptic Gospels and their relationship to the rest of the Canon.

This course is intended to provide students in the SMTP with opportunities to examine New Testament Scriptures and thereto, apply approved methods and principles related to interpretation and application. As a consequence, they will be able to reflect higher levels of theological integrity and credibility in the contents and delivery of sermons, Bible studies and other similar discourses and theologically linked work.

We also intend to examine the canonization and translation of the New Testament Literature.

Examine the literary relationship of the Synoptic Gospels. Critically analyse the teachings of the early church as depicted in the Synoptic Gospels and Acts of the Apostles.

This course exposes individuals to the management of knowledge and critical thinking,
and provides an opportunity to apply those skills to the academic research process. In
research, process is more important than product. Individuals will be introduced to
strategies which are applicable to informational research papers rather than field or
experimental research.


The course adopts a strategic approach where each individual will begin with a topic
which (s)he knows nothing about and proceeds through a series of steps to learn the
research strategies from an initial research question to a completed documented outline
accompanied with bibliography.

The course is divided into five modules. The first is an introductory module which examines the course syllabus in detail, and provides the student with an overview of prophetic literature in the Ancient Near East and the categories of prophets in Israel. In the second module there will be a focus on the characteristics of prophets and the growth of prophetic literature and various theological and ethical issues that must be contend with. The third will zero-in prophetic literature outside of the prophetic books. The fourth will look at the various prophetic books called the “Major Prophets” in the pre-exilic, exilic and post-exilic period, as is applicable. The fifth will deal with the prophetic books called “Minor Prophets” or the Book of the Twelve during the pre-exilic, exilic and post-exilic period as is applicable. In modules four and five each prophet being matched to the various kings in Northern and Southern kingdoms during their prophetic utterance.

An introduction to a general overview of the Bible, with a focus on how to employ critical thinking to Biblical reading and interpretation.

This course is intended to provide students in the SMTP with opportunities to examine Old Testament Scriptures and thereto, apply approved methods of interpretation and application. As a consequence, they will be able to reflect higher levels of theological integrity and credibility in the contents and delivery of sermons and Bible studies.

This course is designed as an introduction to Old Testament Theology with a focus on the study and practice of Israel’s relationship with and to Yahweh, an examination of some of ways in which Yahweh is characterised and understood as being active in the life of the community. It will also seek to take a panoramic looking at Old Testament theology in light of the New Testament, the church and our contemporary pluralistic society. 

The course will entail looking at Pastoral Care from its roots in the biblical, psychological, and social context.