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
e-mail
World Wide Web
problems approaching the material
Methodology
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
Geography
maps
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'
Orientalism
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
    etc.

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:
Jesus
The Historical Jesus revisited
Jesus as:
Christ
Myth
Archetype
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
Asceticism
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
Persecution
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