Course Outline

Intro. to the New Testament

Spring 1996: Albright College

Part I: Introduction

Topic #1:
The Study of Early Christianity
Intro. to the study of the Bible
English versions of the Bible
Intro. to computer use for this course
World Wide Web
problems approaching the material
The problem of History
Tyson: Ch. 1
Get e-mail and network accounts
Send me e-mail with paper topic(s)
Web: Find course Home Page

Part II: The Context of Early Christianity

Topic #2:
The Historical Context
Time Line
Political and Social World of Roman Palestine
Tyson: Ch. 2
Bible: I Maccabees
Web: Very abbreviated time line
Web: Diotima: Resources for the Study of Women and Gender in the Ancient World
Topic #3:
The Jewish Context
Torah (Pentateuch)
Jewish Sects
Dead Sea Scrolls
Apocalyptic and Messianic expectation
Tyson: Ch. 3
Bible: Daniel 12, 4 Ezra=2 Esdras
Web: Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit
Old Student Papers: Student Papers: (due Sept. 22)
Topic #4:
The Hellenistic Context
Official Roman and Greek religions
'Mystery religions'
Tyson: Ch. 4
Web: Greek Mythology
Web: Dionysus in Greek Mythology
Web: The Eleusinian Mysteries
Web: Mithraism
Web: Mithraism
Web: The Mysteries of Mithras
Old Student Papers: Student Papers: (due Sept. 22)
    Mithraistic texts
    Bacchic texts
    Isis Texts

Part III: Jesus and the Gospels

Topic #5:
The Study of Jesus and the Gospels
The problem of the Historical Jesus
Nature and diversity of the early traditions
The problem of the supernatural
Tyson: Ch. 5
Bible: Mark
Web: Proto-gospel of James
Web: Josephus on Jesus
Student Papers: (due Sept. 29)
    Collection of pagan sources on Jesus
    Pagan Aretalogies (miracle accounts)
    Sayings collections
Topic #6:
The Gospels
Literary Criticism:
Traditional View
Two Source Hypothesis
Griesbach Hypothesis
Apocryphal Gospels
Tyson: Ch. 6
Bible: Luke, Matthew
Web: Synoptic Parallel
Old Student Papers: Student Papers: (due Oct. 6)
    Any gospel material from HS (esp. if not on web)
Topic #7:
Oral Traditions
Oral Tradition
Form Criticism
Tyson: Ch. 7
Web: Gospel of Thomas
Student Papers: (due Oct. 13)
    Any gospel material from HS (esp. if not on web)
Topic #8:
The Historical Jesus revisited
Jesus as:
Tyson: Ch. 8
Bible: John
Web: Toldoth Yeshu
Student Papers: (due Oct. 20)
    any stories modeled on Jesus
    iconographic analysis

Part IV: Christianity from 30-70 CE

Topic #9:
Early Jewish Christianity
Earliest Christianities
Tyson: Ch. 9
Bible: Acts
Web: Apocryphal Acts
Student Papers: (due Oct. 27)
    apocryphal acts from HS or elsewhere (esp. if not on web)
Topic #10:
Pauline Christianity
The developing tradition
Paul's Gospel
Tyson: Ch. 10
Bible: Galatians, Philemon, 1 Corinthians
Student Papers: (due Nov. 3)
    apocryphal epistles of Paul (HS)

Part V: Christianity from 70-185 CE

Topic #11:
Increasing Diversity
Orthodoxy and Heresy
Gnosticism, Jewish Christianity
Tyson: Ch. 11
Bible: Colossians, James, Romans 4, Revelation 1-4
Old Student Papers: Student Papers: (due Nov. 10)
    non-Pauline apocryphal epistles or treatises
    Gnostic material (esp. not on web)
Topic #12:
Persecution and the Rise of Early Catholic Christianity
Emerging leadership structures
Charisma and Office
Women in earliest Christianity
Christian Apocalyptic
Tyson: Ch. 12
Bible: 1 Timothy, Titus
Web: Clement, Perpetua & Felicitas, Paul & Thecla
Old Student Papers: Student Papers: (due Nov. 17)
    any martyrologies
    apocryphal apocalypses

Final Exam

Dec., 1996


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Last Modified Sept. 7, 1997
by Alan Humm