This unit aims to provide students with a comprehensive overview of the formation, socio-historical setting and literary forms of the New Testament literature. Whilst studying the various books of the New Testament, students will be introduced to contemporary methods of critical biblical interpretation. The theological issues of these writings will also be explored.

Unit code: BN8000Y

Unit status: Approved (New unit)

Points: 24.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Foundational

Unit discipline: New Testament

Proposing College: Yarra Theological Union

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Learning outcomes


Demonstrate an advanced understanding of the social, historical and political milieu of the first century CE


Analyse the relationship between New Testament texts and the Old Testament and articulate implicit and explicit intertextual references


Discuss issues associated with the critical attitude towards Judaism in some of these texts


Describe and discuss the formation of these texts as the source documents of the early Christian communities


Use contemporary critical methods of biblical interpretation to prepare an exegetical essay


Use resources, such as commentaries, dictionaries and concordances, for biblical research and communicate their findings in a research essay


Lectures, tutorials, and class discussions

Indicative Bibliography

  • Bible, with the Deuterocanonical or Apocryphal Books. Suitable version of the NRSV (New Revised Standard Version) or the RSV (Revised Standard Version). NRSV preferred. (recommended for purchase)

Set Text:

  • Perkins, Pheme. Reading the New Testament. 3rd ed. Revised and Updated. New York: Paulist, 2012. (recommended for purchase, available through Amazon or Book Depository)

  • Boring, Eugene. An Introduction to the New Testament: History, Literature, Theology. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2012.

  • Brown, Raymond E. An Introduction to the New Testament. New York: Doubleday, 1997.

  • Holladay, Carl R. A Critical Introduction to the New Testament. Interpreting the Message and Meaning of Jesus Christ. Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 2005.

  • Johnson, Luke Timothy. The Writings of the New Testament: An Interpretation. 3rd. ed. Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Fortress, 2010.

  • Levine, Amy-Jill, and Marc Zvi Brettler, eds. The Jewish Annotated New Testament: New Revised Standard Version Bible Translation. New York: Oxford University Press, 2011.

  • Malina, Bruce J., and Richard L. Rohrbaugh. Social-Science Commentary on the Synoptic Gospels. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress, 1992.

  • ––––––. Social Science Commentary on the Gospel of John. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress, 1998.

  • Moloney, Francis J. A Friendly Guide to the New Testament. Mulgrave, VIC: John Garratt Publishing, 2010..

  • Powell, Mark Allen. Introducing the New Testament: A Historical, Literary and Theological Survey. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2009.

  • Rhoads, David M., Joanna Dewey, and Donald M. Michie. Mark as Story: Introduction to the Narrative of a Gospel. 2nd ed. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress, 1999.

  • Ryan, Maurice, ed. Reading the Bible: An Introduction for Students. Tuggerah, NSW: Social Science Press, 2003.

  • Throckmorton, Burton H. Gospel Parallels: A Comparison of the Synoptic Gospels. 5th ed. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1992.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)

4000 word research essay

0 65.0
Exegetical Essay

2000 word exegetical essay

0 35.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 19 Oct, 2016

Unit record last updated: 2019-03-06 11:17:36 +1100