Course Outline

Course Outline as a PDF

Required Texts:

New Oxford Annotated Bible. NRSV.

Raymond Brown, An Introduction to the New Testament. The Anchor Yale Bible Reference Library.

Bart Ehrman, The New Testament: A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings. 5th edition. Oxford University Press.

Thomas E. Boomershine, An Introduction to the Gospel as Storytelling. Abingdon Press.

Holly E. Hearon & Philip Ruge-Jones, Editors, The Bible in Ancient and Modern Media: Story and Performance. Wipf and Stock.

Course Objectives:

  • To gain a general sense of the historical, philosophical, socio-political contexts in which the scriptures of the Second Testament coalesced.

  • To become familiar with basic exegetical tools and techniques for the interpretation of Second Testament Texts in preaching and teaching

  • To practice the spiritual discipline of learning and telling scripture by heart.

  • Course Requirements:

    1. Read the required texts as assigned.
    2. Attend at least five of the seven scheduled classes and arrange to consult with other students for any missed classes.
    3. Give an oral presentation of 20-30 minutes to the class about your learnings/insights about a book of the Second Testament assigned for that class session.
    4. Present a ten-minute summary/critique of a selected essay from The Bible in Modern and Ancient Media
    5. Learn a story by heart from one of the Gospels or a passage from one of the other books of the Second Testament of 150 words or more to tell for the class.
    6. Write a five page exegesis paper on a passage of your choosing that is at least 150 words in length. This may be the same passage that is learned by heart.
    7. Submit a video tape of a sermon no longer than seven minutes on this same passage.
    8. Attain at least a 60% grade on a Bible Content Exam.

    Class Schedule:

    September 20, 2014 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. (3 hours)
    October 11, 2011 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. (3 hours)
    November 15, 2014 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. (3 hours over lunch)
    December 13, 2014 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. (3 hours over lunch)
    January 17, 2015 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. (3 hours over lunch) February 14, 2015 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. (4 hours over lunch)
    March 7, 2015 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. (3 hours)

    NOTE: All class sessions will meet at Stone Presbyterian Church in Clinton unless otherwise scheduled.

    Class Content:

    In preparation for Session 1, please read Ehrman, pp. 1-87 and Brown, pp. xxxi-9,and the introductions to the Hearon/Ruge-Jones and Boomershine books.

    Session 1 - September 20, 2014 - Overview

    In prepration for Session 2, please read:
    Ehrman, pp. 88-133
    Brown, pp. 126-223
    Hearon/Ruge-Jones and Boomershine as assigned

    Session 2 - October 11, 2014 - Mark & Matthew

    In prepration for Session 3, please read:
    Ehrman, pp. 134-174
    Brown, pp. 225-331
    Hearon/Ruge-Jones and Boomershine as assigned

    Session 3 - November 15, 2014 - Luke & Acts

    In prepration for Session 4, please read:
    Ehrman, pp. 176-304
    Brown, pp. 333-379
    Hearon/Ruge-Jones and Boomershine as assigned

    Session 4 - December 13, 2014 – John

    In prepration for Session 5, please read:
    Ehrman, pp. 306-397
    Brown, pp. 442-637
    Hearon/Ruge-Jones and Boomershine as assigned

    Session 5 - January 17, 2015 - Romans, I & II Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, I & II Thessalonians

    In prepration for Session 6, please read:
    Ehrman, pp. 398-488
    Brown, pp. 638-771
    Hearon/Ruge-Jones and Boomershine as assigned

    Session 6 - February 14, 2015 - I & II Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Hebrews; James; I & II Peter; I, II and III John; Jude

    NOTE: The stories learned by heart will be told and sermons will be preached in this session.
    In prepration for Session 7, please read:
    Ehrman, pp. 490-506
    Brown, pp. 773-840

    NOTE: Half of the class will tell the stories they have learned by heart in this class session.

    Session 7 - March 7, 2015 – Revelation

    NOTE: The other half of the class will tell the stories they have learned by heart in this class session.
    The Bible Content Exam will be given during class.

    Bibliography of other New Testament Material:

    Carter, Warren. Matthew: Story Teller, Interpreter, Evangelist. Hendrickson Publishers. Peabody, MA: 1996.

    Countryman, L. William. The Mystical Way in the Fourth Gospel. Trinity Press International. Harrisburg, PA: 1994.

    Ehrman, Bart D., The New Testament and Other Early Christian Writings. Oxford University Press 1998.

    Gench, Frances Taylor. Encounters with Jesus. Westminster/John Knox Press, Louisville: 2007.

    Jewett, Robert. Paul, the Apostle to America. Westminster John Knox Press. Louisville: 1994.

    Johnson, Luke T. The Writings of the New Testament An Interpretation. Fortress Press, Philadelphia: 1986.

    Kraemer, Ross Shepard and D’Angelo, Mary Rose. Women & Christian Origins, Oxford University Press, New York: 1999.

    Polaski, Sandra Hack. A Feminist Introduction to Paul. Chalice Press. St. Louis: 2005.

    Roetzel, Calvin J. The Letters of Paul, Conversations and Context. Westminster John Knox. Louisville: 1998.

    Marvin Meyer, ed. The Gnostic Gospels of Jesus: The Definitive Collection of Mystical Gospels and Secret Books about Jesus of Nazareth. HarperSanFrancisco.

    footer Lay Academy -