This unit provides an in-depth study of a group of letters from the Pauline corpus which are explicitly associated with Paul’s imprisonment (Philippians, Philemon, Colossians and Ephesians). The study of these letters will focus on the social and religious contexts out which the letters arise, and the theology which emerges from them. Attention will be also paid to the question of authorship: whether Paul wrote all four or whether Colossians and Ephesians arise from a later context. The unit will consider the ways in which the letters address issues that are of continuing relevance for the life and mission of the church.

Unit Code: BN9310T

Points: 24.0

Unit Level: Postgraduate Elective

Unit Discipline: New Testament

Delivery Mode: Face to Face

Proposing College: Trinity College Theological School

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Learning Outcomes


Critically interpret key aspects of Philippians, Philemon, Colossians and Ephesians in the light of critical scholarship


Discuss, with exegetical support and consideration of a range of secondary scholarship, the rhetoric and theology of the four letters in their context.


Demonstrate an awareness of the issues involved in the question of the authorship of the letters.


Provide a critically informed account of sections in the letters which explore the relationship between theological conviction, ecclesial identity, and missional practice


Demonstrate an understanding of hermeneutical principles in relation to the interpretation of early Christian letters.

Unit sequence

30 points of NT study


Lectures and seminars or similar.


Type Description Wordcount Weight (%)
Exegetical Essay

3,000 word exegetical essay

0 50.0

3,000 word thematic essay

0 50.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 30 Nov, 2015

Unit Record last updated: 2019-03-11 12:04:45 +1100