L. Gregory Bloomquist

sola Dei gratia

What You Miss When You Take Notes on Your Laptop

Objectives (Course and Degree Programme)

Course Calendar


DATES


9 AM - 12 PM


GUI 123

CLASS CONTENT

READINGS and ASSIGNMENTS

(to be completed before class)

September 11

​Introduction to the course


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I. INTRODUCTORY ISSUES FOR THE STUDY OF THE NEW TESTAMENT


A. THE BIBLE


B. THE HISTORICAL WORLD OF THE NEW TESTAMENT


  • The Bible
  • The Context from which the Bible arose




Please note that readings are not "equally distributed". You will need to manage your time so that you have completed the readings and assignments before the class in question. (In other words, this may mean reading ahead sometimes, while at others you may be able to 'take some time off' of reading. The responsibility for the completion of the readings lies with you.)







September 18

B. THE HISTORICAL WORLD OF THE NEW TESTAMENT (cont.)


  • The Empires of the Biblical world (especially that of Alexander and the Romans)
  • Israel under the Herodians
  • Israel: The social world
Reading
  • Brown, Introduction, chapters 4-5 (pp. 55-96).
  • Suggested reference: Biblical Chronology (available in the course Google Drive folder).

Assignment
  • Begin to identify noteworthy links between the world identified in Brown and people, places, groups, events, etc. that you already know about in the New Testament.

September 25

C. THE CULTURAL WORLD OF THE NEW TESTAMENT 

  • Introduction
  • Honour / Shame
  • Personality
  • Limited Good
  • Envy
  • Kinship
  • Purity

Reading

  • Complete Malina, New Testament World, chapters 1-7 and conclusion (pp. xi -222).  See also the Study Questions in Malina, pp. 225-244


Assignment

  • Identify  salient features of the cultural values that you have read about and attempt to find New Testament passages that illustrate those values. 
  • Identify ways in which Jesus' followers can be understood according to Malina's categories.

October 2


D. THE NEW TESTAMENT TEXTS


Explanation of Exercise in Living and Exercise and Exam

Reading

  • Brown, Introduction, chapters 1-3 (pp. 3-54)


Assignment

  • Identify which methods you think that you will find most useful for the study of the New Testament. Identify those that you do not think will be as useful.
  • Consider possible explanations for the similarities and differences among the Gospels, and differences of the Gospels from the other NT writings.
October 9
NO CLASS: THANKSGIVING DAY

October 16

Exercise in Living out the Historical and Cultural Values of the Mediterranean World


II. THE SYNOPTIC GOSPELS


Introduction


Exercise in Discerning Synoptic texts 1

Reading
  • Brown, Introduction, chapter 6 (pp. 99-125). 
  • Pertinent materials from Brown, chapters 7-9

Assignment
  • Identify which methods you think that you will find most useful for the study of the New Testament. Identify those that you do not think will be as useful.
  • Consider possible explanations for the similarities and differences among these three Gospels.
October  23
NO CLASS: READING WEEK

Mid-term Take-Home Exam (covering material through October 2)

NB: No books or notes permitted

Due: no later than Wednesday, October 25 before 5 PM

To be submitted as an electronic file, by clicking HERE.

October 30

Exercise in Discerning Synoptic texts 2


The title of the Gospels

The plot of the Gospels

Reading

  • Read all three Synoptic Gospels through using the Synopsis. 
  • Pertinent materials from Brown, Introduction, chapters 7, 8 and 9 (pp. 126 - 278).


Assignment

  • Identify in outline form the content of each Gospel.  (If you use a Lectionary, you may wish to identify the Gospel reading characteristics of the "year" (e.g., in the case of the Revised Common Lectionary Year A, Year B, and Year C ).


November 6


Exercise in Discerning Synoptic texts 3


The infancy narratives

John and Jesus

Jesus' disciples

Reading

  • Pertinent sections of commentaries on Mark 1, Matthew 1-3, and Luke 1-4.
  • Pertinent materials from Brown, chapters 7-9.


Assignment

  • Identify some major similarities and differences among the three Gospels in relation to the infancy stories, the public appearances of John and Jesus, and the way that the disciples of Jesus are first depicted.

November 13

Exercise in Discerning Synoptic texts 4


The miracles of Jesus

Reading

  • Pertinent sections of commentaries on Matthew, Mark and Luke for specific pericopae.
  • Pertinent materials from Brown, chapters 7-9.


Assignment

  • Identify some major similarities and differences among the three Gospels in relation to the miracles of Jesus.
  • Identify the function of the miracles in the plot.
November 20
NO CLASS: SBL / AAR MEETINGS (BOSTON, MA)

November 27

Exercise in Discerning Synoptic texts 5


The teaching of Jesus

Reading

  • Pertinent sections of commentaries on Matthew, Mark and Luke for specific pericopae.
  • Pertinent materials from Brown, chapters 7-9.


Assignment

  • Identify some major similarities and differences among the three Gospels in relation to the teaching of Jesus.
  • Identify the function of teaching in the plot.

December 4

Exercise in Discerning Synoptic texts 6


The Passion accounts

Reading

  • Pertinent sections of commentaries on Mark 14-15, Matthew 26-27, Luke 22-23.
  • Pertinent materials from Brown, chapters 7-9.


Assignment

  • Identify some major similarities and differences among the three Gospels in relation to the Passion accounts (the events leading up to, including, and immediately following the death of Jesus).

Wednesday, December 6

Exercise in Discerning Synoptic texts 7


The Resurrection accounts


III. Conclusions


Reading

  • Pertinent sections of commentaries on Mark 16, Matthew 28, Luke 24.
  • Pertinent materials from Brown, chapters 7-9.


Assignment

  • Identify some major similarities and differences among the three Gospels in relation to the empty tomb and the resurrection appearances of Jesus.

December 11

9 AM - 12 Noon

 FINAL EXAM

(covering material from the entire course)



This course presents students with an introduction to the New Testament in its social, cultural, and historical milieu, an opportunity to explore ways of reading New Testament texts, and a closer reading of the Synoptic Gospels.

This course is intended to develop skills in the careful, attentive reading of sacred Christian texts for theological understanding today and skills in being able to discuss and use the same with others.


This will include gaining the ability to identify important historical and cultural context markers, recognizing distinctives of Biblical materials, including Synoptic texts, differentiating important components of each Synoptic Gospel, analyzing a Gospel text for meaning, and assessing how to understand and use a Gospel text today.


The goal will be to challenge and stretch students in their acquisition of the tools for reading Christian texts and in using those tools to gain new insights from the texts. In order to develop these skills of analysis and communication, the course proposes to provide students with an opportunity to identify, discern, and discuss issues in the study of the three Synoptic Gospels: Mark, Matthew, and Luke, as well as an opportunity to explore contrasting approaches to the same issues (from scholars and members of the class).     


Students in the MDiv programme will also need to demonstrate by the end of the course how they have begun to develop skills for the use of these texts in preaching, teaching, and further theological formation in ministry., 

Description

Workload

The course will employ active learning technologies geared to the above objectives (rather than lectures geared to content retention). This will mean that most of the work will be done in preparing for the class and in class. Accordingly, the workload will be predominately student involvement and will include:

  • participation in class
  • readings (geared to class discussion)
  • quizzes and other in-class exercise
  • in-class writing exercises
  • mid-term and final exams


All class notes are available in the THO 3161 - 2017 folder on Google Drive.  (For access to this folder, please contact Prof. Bloomquist.)

Evaluation

All elements of evaluation and review are designed to ensure that students are meeting the Objectives set forth for the course. The evaluations are designed and weighted to be cumulative (i.e., they seek to gauge appropriation of the Objectives in an ongoing fashion, rather than simply "at the end"). However, since there students from different degree programmes in the course, evaluations will differ.


MDiv
MTS
All others

In-class exercises and quizzes on the assigned readings and assignments: 40%

In-class exercises and quizzes on the assigned readings and assignments: 40%

In-class exercises and quizzes on the assigned readings and assignments: 40%

Mid-Term Exam (written - pastorally oriented questions):30%
Mid-Term Exam (written): 30%
Mid-Term Exam (written): 30%


Final exam (written - pastorally oriented questions): 30%


(NB: Students who have been absent for more than 20% of classes are not eligible to write the Final Exam.)


Final exam (written): 30%


(NB: Students who have been absent for more than 20% of classes are not eligible to write the Final Exam.)

Final exam (written): 30%


(NB: Students who have been absent for more than 20% of classes are not eligible to write the Final Exam.)


For the grading scale used in my courses, click HERE.


Students are expected to follow all University and Faculty policies (including those on academic fraud and required class attendance). If you have any doubts about any of the policies, please consult HERE.

Required Reading (click on title to order from Amazon.ca or purchaseor use in a form that you wish):


Recommended Reading and/or WWW sites:

THO 3161  Introduction to the New Testament: Synoptic Gospels

Bibliography