Introduction to the (Greek) New Testament
Detailed Schedule for Spring 2010
last update: 18 January 2011
Professor Sheila E. McGinn, Ph.D.
Tel: 216-397-3087; Office:  AD B250e; Hours: TR 8:30-11 A.M. or by appointment
RL 205.51 (V, CS, S): TR 11:00 A.M.–12:15 P.M., BR19
Part One: New Testament Contexts
Part Two: The Message of Jesus & the Message about Jesus

Part One: New Testament Contexts

Topic & Assignments
Week 1: Introduction & Orientation
Day 1 T 01/18

Ratio & Instrumenta Studiorum: Ignatian Pedagogy & Tools for New Testament Studies

Day 2 R 01/20 Hunger & Homelessness Project Orientation
  • Task: CSSA SJP Site Registration
  • Essay due next time (informal, individual, at-home): Images of Jesus (NB: You can simply answer the questions seriatum rather than making this a formally structured essay. If you can't answer some of the questions, just skip them.)
  • Task: Generate your Learning Goals (BB form LG) and develop your Learning Contract (BB form LC) to fit those specific goals. NB: The LG and LC forms are not etched in stone. Students sometimes change their minds about one or more of the learning goals they set for themselves at the beginning of the semester. (E.g., perhaps you decide at midterm that you set your sights too high in terms of how much improvement you wanted to make in a particular skill.) This is normal, and the observation itself shows significant learning about yourself. Just revise your LG form and notify the Instructor of the change(s). If your LC needs revision to meet the new goals, talk with the Instructor about the changes you wish to make. By mutual agreement, the LC can be adjusted as necessary to fit those revised learning goals.
Week 2 : Reading Literally, Reading Historically: A Catholic Approach to the Bible
Day 3 T 01/25 How the Bible Means
  • Syllabus Quiz
  • Enrichment: Margaret Nutting Ralph, And God Said What? An Introduction to Biblical Literary Forms, Revised edition (New York/Mahwah: Paulist, 2003), Chapter 1.
  • Essay Due: Images of Jesus
  • Key Terms: Exegesis, Hermeneutics, Historical, Historical-Critical Method, Historicism, Interpretation, Literal, Literalism
  • Lecture Notes or PPT: How the Bible Means
  • Readings: Brown, vii–xlv; Chapters 1–3
  • SGD: Jesus Images Gallery
Day 4 R 01/27

Methods for Study of the GNT [Practicum]

  • Readings: Brown, Chapter 6, the section on "Gospels in General" up to "The Synoptic Problem" (i.e., pages 99–111)
  • NB: MIddle Eastern Luncheon today during regular class session
  • NB: 4:30–10 PM, Field Trip to Ashland University Archaeological Museum and Bible Seminar (dinner included)
    Meet the JCU bus at the brown gate at the Carroll Blvd. end of Admin drive
*** Sun 01/30 Homeless Stand-Down Day 1: Winter Clothing Give-Away (9 am–2 pm)  
Week 3 : Putting Jesus in His Place: The Roman Context
Day 5 T 02/01

The Roman World in the Time of Jesus, Part One. The Historical Context

  • Quiz 2 (on the Methods discussed last time and in the Brown readings for Day 02)
  • Enrichment: Ralph, Chapter 8
  • Key Terms: Atheism, Augustus, Empire, Encomium, Gentile, Gospel, Hellenism, Jew, Propaganda, Rhetoric, Topos/Topoi
  • Lecture Notes or PPT: Highpoints of First-Century A.D. Roman History (by Kristen Slattery)
  • Readings:
    • Matt 1–2; Luke 1–3
    • Brown, Chapter 4
  • SGD: Infancy Narratives DQs
  • Task: Post your response to the first SJP journal prompt (Journal 1 thread on the SJP BBDB)
  • NB: If you wish, you may correct any errors you made on the Syllabus Quiz and re-submit it next week for the additional points. If you revise any answers on the True/False section, remember to provide the reason why the opposite answer was the right one.
Day 6 R 02/03

The Roman World in the Time of Jesus, Part Two. Cultural Contexts

Week 4 : Putting Jesus in His Place: The Jewish Context
Day 7

T 02/08

Jesus Within Judaism, Part One. The "Four Philosophies" in I C.E. Judaism

  • Quiz 3 (on geography)
  • Key Terms: Essene, Judaism, Monotheism, Mosaic Law, Pharisee, Sadducee, Theocracy, Torah, Zealot
  • Lecture Notes or PPT: Jesus Within Judaism Chart (ws)
  • Readings:
    • Matt 5–7; 11–16; 21; 23; Luke 4; 10–18; John 1–4
    • Extra-Canonical Sources for the Life of Jesus
    • Flavius Josephus Antiquities XVIII.3.3; XX.9.1
    • Brown, Chapter 5, Part A; Appendix II.
    • Follow these links to read brief fragments from two of the Qumran documents 4Q285 (SM) and 4Q258 (Sd), and a translation and discussion of 4Q521.
    • Follow this link to read at least one of the extra-canonical gospels Brown mentions on pages 835–40.
  • SGD: Was Jesus Married?
  • NB: Up to three extra-curricular events may be used as make-ups for excused absences from class.
Day 8 R 02/10

Jesus Within Judaism, Part Two. Jewish Apocalyptic & Messianic Expectations: "If I, by the finger of God, cast out Satan…"

  • Assessment: BB Learning Contract; Course Feedback Form. Print the form from this link, complete it, and then deliver the completed form in the RL office (B250) by 3 PM Friday
  • Enrichment: Surf the New Jerusalem Mosaic (Second Temple and Roman-Byzantine periods)
  • Essay (formal, individual, at-home): GMark and the Jewish Revolt CHP (If your surname begins with A–M, you must argue in support of the revolution against Rome; if N–Z, oppose it.)
  • Key Terms: Apocalyptic/Apocalypticism, Eschatology, Futuristic Eschatology, Messiah, Messianic/Messianism, Prophecy/Prophesy, Realized Eschatology
  • Lecture Notes or PPT: Apocalyptic Judaism; Jesus vs. Qumran
  • Readings: GMark (entire)
  • SGD: "Mark on War" debate
  • Task: Tour of the Cleveland Museum of Art Greco-Roman Collection
  • NB: The CMA developed a Greco-Roman Art "Museum on the Go" exhibit, the brochure for which you can download from this link.
*** Sat 02/12 Homeless Stand-Down Day 2: Car Van  
Week 5: "Interpretation" Means Dialogue: Negotiating the Distance Between Jesus' World & Ours
Day 9 T 02/15

Poverty, Then & Now

  • Assessment: Group Presentation Evaluations
  • Enrichment:
    • NN, The Bottom Billion (xx: xx, 200x).
    • NN, Nickled and Dimed (xx: xx, 200x).
    • NN, 30 Days (Television Special), xx min., etc.
  • Essay (formal, group, at-home): Script of Group Presentation
  • Key Terms: Demographics, Economy/Economic Structures, Equity/Justice, Freedom/Liberty/Liberation, Health Disparities, "Original Sin," Poverty, "Structural Sin"
  • Lecture Notes or PPT: GLuke
  • Readings:
    • GLuke (entire)
    • Brown, Chapter 9
    • Also, see the BB Wiki for readings and other links posted by presentation groups.
  • SGD: SJP Group Presentations


Day 10 R 02/17 The Social Location of Jesus' Proclamation, "Our God Reigns"
  • Quiz 4
  • Enrichment:
    • Robert A. Milller, "Back to Basics: A Primer on Historical Method," in Bernard Brandon Scott, ed., Finding the Historical Jesus: Rules of Evidence (Jesus Seminar Guides 3; Santa Rosa, Calif.: Polebridge Press, 2008), 7–18.
    • Ralph, Chapter 7.
  • Essay (informal, individual, in-class): One-Minute Response
  • Key Terms: Agape, A Priori, Basileia/Basileia tou Theou, Christology (high/low; from above/from below), Literary Dependence, Pericope, Redemption, Regent/Reign
  • Lecture Notes or PPT: Jesus Message of God's Basileia
  • Readings:
    • Mark 1–12; Matt 5–7 & parallels; Luke 13–18. Write down your reactions to each pericope as you go along in your reading. Pay especial attention to the differences between GMatt's versions of texts in comparison to those of GLuke (and sometimes GMark).
    • Brown, Chapter 6, "Synoptic Gospels" section (i.e., pages 111–25
    • After studying the introductory material on the Synoptic Gospels Primer website, be able to diagram and explain the Farrer, Griesbach, Two-Source, and Four-Source Hypotheses.
  • SGD: Miracles DQs
  • Task: Synoptic Gospels Primer #9–11
  • NB: You will need to study the Synoptic Problem before you try your hand at the three assigned samples in the Synoptic Gospels Primer. The introductory material on that site, as well as the prior examples (#1–8), are helpful complements to the discussion in the textbook.
*** F 02/18 Homeless Stand-Down Day 3: Health Fair (9 am–2 pm)  
Week 6: Who Was This Man Jesus?
Day 11 T 02/22

The Historical Jesus, Part One: History, Historicity, and Historical Reconstruction

  • Quiz 5 (on the "Synoptic Problem")
  • Enrichment:
    • Robert W. Funk, "Criteria for Determining the Authentic Sayings of Jesus" and "Rules of Oral Evidence: Determining the Authentic Sayings of Jesus," in Scott, ed., Finding the Historical Jesus, 19–24 and 25–30, respectively.
    • Ralph, Chapters 9–11.
  • Essay (informal, individual or dyad, at-home): Color-Coded Synoptic Analysis of a Gospel Pericope (This is preliminary work for the Synoptic Analysis Essay)
  • Key Terms: Evangelion, Evangelist, History/Historical Reconstruction, Historical Jesus, Miracle, Rules of Evidence, Salvation, Soteria
  • Lecture Notes or PPT: Uncovering History lecture from Maltz Museum Symposium
  • Readings: Brown, Appendix I.
  • SGD: (Re-)Constructing the Historical Jesus
  • NB: You might try doing your own reading of the Biblical texts before you read someone else's interpretation of it, so you can see what kind of difference it makes in how you understand the work.
Day 12 R 02/24 The Historical Jesus, Part Two: Finding the Voice of Jesus in the Gospels and Early Traditions
  • Assessments: BB Midterm Learning Contract Assessment; BB Midterm Class Participation Self-Assessment
  • Enrichment:
    • Phillip J. Cunningham, A Believer's Search for the Jesus of History (Mahwah, N.J.: Paulist, 1999).
    • Ralph, Chapter 12.
    • For extra credit, answer these discussion questions on 1 Cor 15.
  • Essay (formal, individual or dyad, at-home): Text-Critical Analysis of I Cor 14:33b-35
  • Key Terms: Criteria of Historicity (Coherence, Distinctiveness or Dissimilarity, Embarassment, Form, Multiple Attestation, Orality, Primary Source); Types of Sources (Independent vs. Dependent; Primary vs. Secondary); Prejudice, Redactional Patterns
  • Lecture Notes or PPT: History Remembered vs. Prophecy Historicized
  • Readings:
    • 1 Corinthians (entire)
    • McGinn article on 1 Cor 11:1-16; focus on the text-critical analysis and translation for v. 10.
    • Brown, Chapter 22
  • SGD: Jesus of Nazareth vs. Jesus the Christ
  • NB: Note the differences between Brown's and McGinn's analyses of I Corinthians, especially chapter 11. What is the most fundamental reason for those differences?
Week 7: Finding the Voice of Jesus in the Gospels
Day 13 T 03/01 Synoptic Analysis [Practicum]  
Day 14 R 03/03 MIDTERM EXAM  
** 03/08– 03/10
  • Assessment: Now that you have reviewed your Learning Goals and Learning Contract, decide whether or not you want to make any changes. If you do, make an appointment to discuss them with the Instructor.
  • Enrichment: Watch Jesus of Nazareth, Jésus Christ de Montréal, or some other great Life-of-Jesus flick and do a "Jesus Christ Movie Star" film critique
  • Readings: Finish Part II of Brown and get a head start on Part III
  • Task: BBDB SJP Journal 6; work on your Synoptic Analysis of a Gospel Pericope (Due week 9)
  • NB: If you find you are not making as much progress toward your learning goals as you had hoped, be sure to discuss this with the Instructor and/or the TA to strategize what to do differently for the rest of the semester. Perhaps your goals were too broad or your expectations of yourself too high. If so, now is a good time to make adjustments—and to renegotiate your Learning Contract, if necessary.

Part Two: The Message of Jesus Becomes the Message about Jesus

Week 9 : Trajectories of Evangelism in the First-Century Jesus Movement
Day 15 T 03/15 Discipleship in Syria: Evidence from the Gospel According to Matthew
  • Quiz 6
  • Enrichment:
    • The Didache or Teaching of the Twelve Apostles. Available in many print editions and at this link.
    • John Painter, Just James (xx: xx, 200x).
    • Aaron Gale, Title (xx: xx, 200x).
    • Sheila E. McGinn, "The Gospel According to Matthew," in Catherine Kroeger and xx, eds., The Women's Study Bible: The New Testament (Place: xx, 199x), pages xxx.
  • Essay (informal, individual, in-class): One-Minute Response
  • Key Terms: Didache, Dikaiosunê ("Righteousness"), Faith, Midrash, Mitzva/Mitzvot, Pesher, Scribe/Scribal, Torah, Two-Ways Doctrine
  • Lecture Notes or PPT: The Gospel According to Matthew and the Antiochene Church
  • Readings:
    • GMatt (entire)
    • Brown, Chapter 8
    • James (entire)
    • Brown, Chapter 34.
  • SGD: GMatt's Jewish Church DQs
Day 16 R 03/17 Discipleship in Asia Minor: Evidence from the Gospel According to John  
Week 10 : Many Gospels: One Jesus?
Day 17 T 03/22 Synoptic Analysis Presentations
  • Assessment: Group Presentation Evaluations
  • DUE: Synoptic Analysis of a Gospel Pericope and Script of Group Presentation
  • Key Terms & Abbreviations: //, 2SH, 4SH, L, M, Q, Parallels, Synopsis, Synoptic
  • Lecture Notes or PPT:
  • Readings:
    NT Pericopes to Study Student Analysts (Section 51) Student Analysts (Section 52)
    1. Mark 2:1-12 & //;
    2. Mark 5:1-20 & //
    3. Mark 5:21-43 & //
    4. Mark 6:30-56 & //
    5. Mark 12:14-17 & //
    6. Mark 12: 18-27& //
    7. Mark 12: 28-34 & //
    8. Mark 14:17-25 & //
    9. Matt 5:1-16 & //
    10. John 12:1-8 & //
  • NB: Also check the BB Wiki for reading assignments and other links posted by presentation groups.
Day 18 R 03/24 Synoptic Analysis Presentations (continued)  
Weeks 11–12: Paul's "Fifth Gospel"
Day 19 T 03/29 Paul of Tarsus & the Earliest Kerygma
  • Quiz 7
  • Enrichment:
    • E. P. Sanders, Paul Among Jews and Gentiles (XX: xx, 19xx).
    • Ralph, Chapter 12.
  • Key Terms: Apostellô, Apostle/Apostleship, Call (by God), Corpus, Hymn, Kerygma (Proclamation), Liturgy, Lord, Parousia, Præscriptio (of a letter), Ha Shem ("The Name")
  • Lecture Notes or PPT: The Græco-Roman Letter Form; Types of Ancient Letters; The Rhetorical Structure of Philippians
  • Readings:
    • Acts 7–28
    • Brown, Chapters 15–17
    • Philippians (entire)
    • Brown, Chapter 20
  • SGD: Christology Timeline
  • NB: As we read the letters of Paul, keep in mind the dramatic differences between the cities he addresses. New York and Los Angeles are not much like Cleveland. So also, Rome and Corinth were quite different from Philippi and Thessalonika. The audiences Paul addresses in each of his letters will influence his rhetorical strategy (what he says, how, and to what end). Sometimes readers have suggested that Paul is inconsistent in his views on certain topics, but this alleged inconsistency virtually disappears if one takes into account the differences in rhetorical situation for his various letters.
Day 20 R 03/31 NO CLASS (Regional Biblical Society meeting)  
Day 21 T 04/05

Galatians and Philemon

  • Enrichment:
    • J. C. Beker, Paul's Apocalyptic Gospel (XX: xx, 19xx).
    • Sheila E. McGinn, "The Household Codes" and Philemon article.
    • NN, Slavery in Antiquity (xx: xx, 19xx).
  • Key Terms: Dikaiosunê Theou, Ekklesia, Emancipation, Forensic Rhetoric, Israel, Kelts, Pistis Iesou, Slave/Slavery
  • Lecture Notes or PPT: Outlines of Galatians and Philemon. (omit? same as Brown?)
  • Readings:
    • Galatians (entire); Philemon (entire)
    • Brown, Chapters 19 & 21
  • SGD: The Case of Onesimus
Day 22 R 04/07 Second Corinthians and Romans
  • Quiz 8
  • Enrichment: Neil Elliott (sp?), Liberating Paul (XX: xx, 199x).
  • Essay (informal, individual, in-class): One-Minute Response
  • Key Terms: Agape, Diakonos, House-Church, Nomos, Prostatis, Tenement, Trastevere
  • Lecture Notes or PPT: Faith-Works and the Love Command vs. Roman Social Structures of Power
  • Readings:
    • 2 Corinthians (entire); Romans (entire)
    • Brown, Chapters 23 & 24
  • SGD: Rom 9–11 DQs
  • Task: Prepare these discussion questions in advance and bring your written notes to class. As always, make sure you include exact verse references for each of your points.
  • NB: Keep in mind that your lowest quiz grade will be dropped, but you will have only one chance for a make-up if you miss any of them.
Weeks 13–14: The Centrality of the Death-Resurrection Proclamation to the Gospel About Jesus, the Christ
Day 23 T 04/12

"Christ Crucified and Raised from Among the Dead" (Part One)

Day 24 R 04/14

"Christ Crucified and Raised from Among the Dead" (Part Two)

Day 25 T 04/19

Jesus as Exemplar: Bearing the Death of the Lord in Our Bodies

  • Quiz 9
  • Enrichment: Ignatius of Loyola, The Spiritual Exercises.
  • Essay (informal, individual, in-class): One-Minute Response
  • Key Terms: Centering Prayer, Christ Mysticism, Discernment, Exemplar, Imitatio Christi, Meditation
  • Lecture Notes or PPT: Ignatian Discernment
  • Readings: Ignatian Prayer handouts
  • SGD: Prayer & Praxis DQs
  • Task: Try this example of Ignatian meditation
  • NB: If you are interested in more information about or experience with Ignatian spirituality, many opportunities are provided by various offices on campus. See the Ignatian Spirituality Institute (ISI) for more information, or check with the Campus Ministry office. An eight-day Ignatian retreat is offered each May and January, which is free for JCU students, faculty, and staff. If you are interested in attending the one this May or next January, you can reserve your spot by contacting the ISI office in AD5 or by calling x4xxx.
*** R 04/21 Holy Thursday 04/01, Easter break begins
  • Enrichment: Watch Jesus of Nazareth, Jésus Christ de Montréal, or some other great Life-of-Jesus flick and do a "Jesus Christ Movie Star" film critique
  • Readings: Finish Part III of Brown and get a head start on Part IV
*** T 04/26

Easter Tuesday; Monday classes meet

  • Assessment: Review your Learning Goals and Learning Contract to decide whether or not you want to make any changes. If you do, make an appointment to discuss them with the Instructor.
  • NB: The final course evaluation will be done in class on Thursday. If you know you will have to miss that class, please contact the Instructor or TA so she can ensure that you get a chance to complete and submit yours anonymously.
Weeks 15–16: Apocalypticism vs. Escapism: Does This World Matter?
Day 26 R 04/28 A Theology of Heavenly Escape: Traditions from the Lycus Valley
  • Quiz 10; Final course evaluation
  • Enrichment: For extra credit, interested students may write the Slavery CHP.
  • Key Terms: Baptism, Body of Christ, Encyclical, Epiphany, Gnosis/Gnosticism, Haustafel/Household Code, High Priest, Œcumene/Ecumenical, Pleroma, Pseudonymity, Sacrifice
  • Lecture Notes or PPT: Outlines of Colossians & Ephesians
  • Readings:
    • Colossians (entire)
    • Sheila E. McGinn, "St. Paul: Lessons on Being Church. Colossians," Catechist nv (Apr–May 2000): 54–59.
    • Ephesians (entire)
    • Hebrews (entire)
    • Brown, Chapters 27–28; 32
  • SGD: Slavery vs. Salvation DQs
  • Task: When you finish reading these letters, generate a list of descriptors for each author's social location, and write a short paragraph summarizing what you can deduce of each author's agenda for composing the letter.
  • NB: Often an author's agenda or ideology is revealed as much in what the author does not say as in what the person does.
Day 27 T 05/03 Roman Patriarchal Aristocracy & the "Household of God"
  • Quiz 11
  • DUE: BB Summative Learning Contract Assessment; BB Summative Class Participation Self-Assessment
  • Enrichment:
    • John Elliott, A Home for the Homeless: A Social-Scientific Criticism of 1 Peter, revised edition (Minneapolis: Augsburg/Fortress, 1990).
    • Dennis Ronald McDonald, The Legend and the Apostle: The Battle for Paul in Story and Canon (Philadelphia: Fortress, 198x).
    • Sheila E. McGinn, The New Prophecy and the Rise of Ecclesiastical Patriarchy in Second-Century Pauline Traditions (diss.; Evanston: Northwestern University, 1989), Chapters 4–5.
  • Key Terms: Episkopos, Homily/Homiletic, Kyrios, Muratorian Canon, Oikos/Oikonomia/Economy, Presbyteros/Presbytera, Undisputed, Virgin, Widow
  • Lecture Notes or PPT: The Battle for Paul
  • Readings:
    • 1 Peter (entire)
    • Brown, Chapter 33
    • 1–2 Timothy & Titus (entire)
    • Brown, Chapters 29–31
    • Sheila E. McGinn, "The Household Codes of the Later Pauline Traditions," Catechist nv (Mar 2004): 50–54.
  • SGD: Social Roles in Paul vs. Paulinism DQs
  • Task: Imagine in what ways your life would be different if you were raised in a culture, church, and/or family where the behavioral rules of the household codes in these four letters were strictly enforced.
  • NB: For current data on domestic violence in the U.S. and statistics on the sex trade and other forms of slavery around the world today, see the U.S. Department of Justice website
Day 28 R 05/05 NO CLASS TODAY (Make-up for Field Trip)  
Week 17: Final Examinations
10 AM

The Final Examination is required of those whose cumulative quiz average is <75%.

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