Course Syllabus


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 Instructor: Pamela Eisenbaum

 T.A.: Hesron Sihombing



 Instructor: Please use Canvas Email to communicate with me - it  is the most reliable way to reach me and facilitates easy tracking of our correspondence.  (Iliff email is

TA: Email is  

Course Synopsis

This course serves as a broad introduction to the New Testament, its literature, historical context, origins and early development, as well as its importance to the Christian tradition.  It is required for students in the M.Div Program, has no prerequisites, and serves as the foundation for any upper level, more specialized courses you wish to take.

Learning Goals

  1. To provide a basic knowledge of the contents of the New Testament and its central interpretive issues.
  2. To recognize the New Testament as a source for understanding the origins of Christianity as well as how it generated fundamental beliefs and practices that shaped the Christian tradition.
  3. To understand how New Testament texts or the interpretation of those texts have contributed to social and political injustices.
  4. To become a skilled interpreter of scripture in general and the Gospels and Pauline Epistles in particular, someone who is aware of biblical scholarship and able to deploy their knowledge and skill to bridge ancient scripture and the contemporary world.

Learning Outcomes (beta mode :)

Required Books:

Stephen Patterson, Beyond the Passion: Rethinking the Life and Death of Jesus (Fortress, 2004).  ISBN-13: 978-0800636746

Krister Stendahl, The Final Account: Paul’s Letter to the Romans (Fortress, 1995) ISBN-10: 0800629221

Bart Ehrman, A Brief Introduction to the New Testament (Fourth Edition; Oxford, 2016) ISBN-13: 978-0190276393 Note: This text may be rented from Amazon or Chegg Books—considerably cheaper than the purchase price.* Note2: This is NOT the most recent edition of Ehrman's book.

In addition to these books, other readings will be assigned in some weeks.

A Bible in one of the following versions: NRSV (recommend HarperCollins Study Bible, but any NRSV will do); New International Version (Updated 2011); New American Bible (Revised 2011); New American Standard Bible (Updated 1995); Note: Pay attention to the date and edition; older versions are not acceptable, though anything published later than the stated date is fine if it is the same version.

If you prefer electronic versions (e.g. Kindle) of any books, that is fine.

Optional Books

The following books help elaborate key topics or provide a written source that complements material covered in a video, or simply provide added detail to something you may be interested in.

Pamela Eisenbaum, Paul Was Not A Christian (HarperOne, 2009).  This book provides more detailed information about Paul in the context of First Century Judaism and gives you a fuller account of my own perspective on Paul.

The Jewish Annotated New Testament (eds. Amy-Jill Levine & Marc Brettler; 2nd edition, 2015).  This volume contains the NRSV edition of the New Testament, with extensive notes--more extensive than any other Study Bible I know of.


The weekly rhythm is as follows: Each week goes from Monday to Sunday.  The title of each forum includes the date for the Monday of that week.  Unless instructed otherwise, most weeks you will be required to make two postings: one by Thursday at noon; the other by Sunday.  Detailed instructions about participation in discussion forums can be found here. The readings and any other "to-dos" specific to a given week will be listed in that week's forum. 

Assignments and Evaluation Overview

Course Summary:

Date Details Due