The unit gives an introduction to contemporary interpretation of the New Testament by reading it as a collection of different kinds of literature and by exploring the historical, cultural and social backgrounds of the New Testament writings. It introduces some methods used in the exegesis of biblical texts and explores some of the issues surrounding the application of the ancient writings to contemporary contexts. A series of incremental topics will be covered during the semester, presenting both an overview of the literature and specific study of representative sections of biblical material.

Unit code: BN8741Z

Unit status: Approved (New unit)

Points: 24.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Foundational

Unit discipline: New Testament

Proposing College: Uniting College for Leadership and Theology

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Learning outcomes


Explore the historical, cultural and social contexts of the New Testament


Analyse the use and limitations of selected methods of interpreting the New Testament


Discuss the literary structure, rhetorical features and key words of certain New Testament texts


Evaluate the contemporary relevance of specified texts and draw hermeneutical meaning from these texts


Employ knowledge and skills developed in the unit to critique and develop resources suitable for selected ministry context(s)

Unit sequence

A Level 8 unit in postgraduate theology and ministry awards


UCLT uses primary and secondary sources considered through different lenses to identify and explore the challenges of the unit material for the contemporary world. Students are engaged in a range of comparative, analytical and reflective practices to identify the original meanings of the text in their contexts and to interpret them hermeneutically.

Indicative Bibliography

  • The Old and New Testaments with Apocrypha, NRSV (e.g. The New Interpreter’s Study Bible, The Harper Collins Study Bible, or The New Oxford Annotated Bible).
  • Bassler, Jouette M. Navigating Paul: An Introduction to Key Theological Concepts. Westminster John Knox Press, 2006.
  • Brown, Sandra. & Francis Moloney. Interpreting the Gospel and Letters of John: An Introduction. Grand Rapids, MI: 2017.
  • Burkett, Delbert. An Introduction to the New Testament and the Origins of Christianity, 2nd edition. Cambridge University Press, 2019.
  • Carroll, John T. Jesus and the Gospels: An Introduction. Westminster John Knox Press, 2016.
  • Carter, Warren. Seven Events that Shaped the New Testament World. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2013.
  • Gorman, Michael. Elements of Biblical exegesis: a basic guide for students and ministers. Baker Academic, 2008.
  • Holladay, Carl R. A Critical Introduction to the New Testament: Interpreting the Message and Meaning of Jesus Christ. Nashville, Abingdon, 2005.
  • Longkumer, Matsung. Socio-Cultural Reading of Wealth in the Gospel of Mark. New Delhi, Christian World Imprints, 2020.
  • McKenzie, Steven L, & John Kaltner, New Meanings for Ancient Texts: Recent Approaches to Biblical Criticisms and Their Application. Louisville, KN: Westminster John Knox, 2013.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)
Oral Presentation

Interaction with the content of the New Testament

500 10.0

Methods of Interpretation

500 10.0

Historical/cultural/social context of the New Testament

1000 20.0
Exegetical Essay

Text Analysis and contemporary application

2500 35.0
Learning Resource

Professional Practice Application

2000 25.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Prof Albert Haddad on 20 Oct, 2022

Unit record last updated: 2022-10-20 17:25:56 +1100