This unit introduces students to interpreting the New Testament, familiarising them with its historical, social and literary settings and introducing them to methods of biblical exegesis. Historical-critical approaches are introduced and explained with special attention to the Gospel of Matthew in reference to the other Synoptic Gospels. Literary, socio-cultural and rhetorical approaches are introduced and explained with special attention to the Gospel of John, the Pauline corpus, and Revelation and reference to other New Testament writings.

Unit code: BN8301B

Unit status: Approved (Major revision)

Points: 24.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Foundational

Unit discipline: New Testament

Proposing College: Eva Burrows College

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Learning outcomes


Identify types of literature found in the New Testament including their particular interpretive demands.


Outline key developments in the history of New Testament Studies


Assess how historical and social aspects of the New Testament era interact with New Testament texts.


Critically apply tools of New Testament interpretation: dictionaries, lexicons, commentaries, online resources, primary sources and others.


Examine the appropriation of Hebrew Bible texts and traditions within the New Testament.


Demonstrate progress in making the transition from text to life, particularly for use in theological, hermeneutical and homiletical application.


Guided readings, weekly online workshops, discussions, group work, video recordings, online lessons

Indicative Bibliography

  • Beetham, Christopher A, ed. Concise New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology and Exegesis. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Academic, 2021.
  • Bellinzoni, Arthur J. The New Testament: An Introduction to Biblical Scholarship. Eugene, Oregon: Wipf & Stock, 2016.
  • Green, Joel B. Hearing the New Testament: Strategies for Interpretation. 2nd ed. Grand Rapids, Mich.: W.B. Eerdmans Pub, 2010.
  • Green, Joel B., and Lee Martin McDonald (eds.). The World of the New Testament: Cultural, Social, and Historical Contexts. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2013.
  • Güting Eberhard W. Textual Criticism and the New Testament Text: Theory, Practice, and Editorial Technique. Text-Critical Studies, Number 12. Atlanta: SBL Press, 2020.
  • Hayes, John H., and Carl R. Holladay. Biblical exegesis: A beginner’s handbook. 3rd edition. Atlanta: John Knox, 2007.
  • Horrell, David G. An Introduction to the Study of Paul. Third ed. London: Bloomsbury, 2015.
  • Porter, Stanley E. Dictionary of Biblical Criticism and Interpretation. London: Routledge, 2009.
  • Powell, Mark Allan. Introducing the New Testament: A Historical, Literary, and Theological Survey. Second ed. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic, 2018.
  • Powell, Mark Allan (ed.). Methods for Matthew. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009.
  • Wright, N. T, and Michael F Bird. The New Testament in Its World: An Introduction to the History, Literature, and Theology of the First Christians. London: SPCK, 2019.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)

Variant 1


1,000 words of original online forum discussion on weekly workshop papers.

1000 20.0

1,000 word workshop paper

1000 15.0

1,000 word workshop paper

1000 15.0
Exegetical Essay

3,000 word exegetical essay

3000 50.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Prof Albert Haddad on 24 Aug, 2022

Unit record last updated: 2022-08-24 15:02:56 +1000