Course Syllabus

Instructor: Eric C. Smith, Ph.D.

Course Texts:
Pamela Eisenbaum. Paul Was Not A Christian: The Original Message of a Misunderstood Apostle. HarperOne, 2010. ISBN: 978-0061349911.

Krister Stendahl. Final Account: Paul's Letter to the Romans. Fortress Press, 1995. ISBN: 978-0800629229.
Amy-Jill Levine; Marc Z. Brettler. The Jewish Annotated New Testament, Second Edition. Oxford University Press, 2017. ISBN: 978-0-19-046185-0.

Bart Ehrman. The New Testament: A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings. Oxford, 2015. ISBN: 978-0190203825.

Additionally, you might consider purchasing a good, modern NRSV study bible such as the one below. The Jewish Annotated New Testament above will be sufficient, but if you don't a Harper-Collins, an Oxford, a New Interpreter's, or another NRSV study bible, it would be a good investment. No NIV, NKJV, or other translations please! 

Society of Biblical Literature. Harper Collins Study Bible. Harper Collins, 2006. ISBN: 978-0060786847.

An overview of the weekly schedule is available in the "How the Course Will Work" forum. Please read it carefully! 

Grades are calculated this way:
Weekly posts, four per week, 1.5 points per post, for a total of 48 points or 48%
Say Hello/How the Course Will Work discussion, 2 points or 2%
Philemon writing assignment, 10 points or 10%
Midterm, 20 points or 20%
Final, 20 points or 20%


Course Goals:

  • To recognize that multiple forms of Christianity emerge in and from the texts of the New Testament;
  • To learn to carefully read and analyze ancient texts;
  • To understand the texts of the New Testament in the context of other contemporaneous texts;
  • To understand the larger debates that have preoccupied scholars, faith communities, and other readers of the New Testament. 

Course Outcomes:

Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to do the following:

  • Navigate confidently and competently through the world of early Christian writings
  • Identify and engage the concepts that have emerged from the study of the New Testament.
  • Identify where significant New Testament passages reside.
  • Read and interpret the New Testament for a variety of contexts.

For policies and services (including pass/fail, incompletes policies, and ADA accommodations, see Policies And Services

Course Summary:

Date Details Due