BS 102D New Testament Survey

Instructor: Mark Linder

Semesters: Spring

Course Description††††††††††

This course is a general survey of the New Testament books from Matthew through Revelation. This study provides a general understanding of the New Testament books and prepares the student for further biblical study. Particular emphasis is given to authorship, date, recipients, background, distinctive features, personal applications, and the major contribution of each book. Prerequisite: BS 103.

Required Textbook

         R. H. Gundry, A Survey of the New Testament, 4th ed. Zondervan, 2003, ISBN 0310238250

         Holy Bible -Any standard translation will be fine.††††††††

         Additional readings as noted

Course Schedule



Learning Objectives



         Students become a bit acquainted and familiar with others in the class and begin to build online community.

         Students understand the life setting of the people of the New Testament and how that affected their view of God, Jesus, and the gospel

         Students recognize the importance of understanding historical settings for our understanding of the meaning of the New Testament.


The New Testament World

         Students gain familiarity with important ideas and values in society of the 1st century and their relationship to the teaching and behavior of early Christians.

         Students gain understanding of Gnosticism and current issues about its role in the study of the NT and the early church.

         Students examine some of the rival religious and philosophical systems of the New Testament period.


The Life of Jesus

         Students gain familiarity with non-canonical Christian writings and current claims for their significance.

         Students identify and correctly order key events and motifs of Jesusí earthly ministry.

         Students articulate for themselves the human and divine nature of Scripture.


Markís Gospel

         Students recognize and articulate the importance of Markís Gospel in the study of Jesusí life.

         Students recognize the important role of Pharisees in Jewish religious life and gain perspective on their theological and spiritual character.

         Students will reflect on Godís providence in regard to his Word and explore a basic issue in textual criticism.


Matthewís Gospel

         Students gain familiarity with some main themes and arrangement of material in Matthewís Gospel.

         Students become familiar with the important theme of the Kingdom of Heaven in Matthewís Gospel and its main significance in the teachings of Jesus.

         Students describe Godís intent for and Jesusí attitude toward the Law of Moses in the life of the Church.



Lukeís Gospel

         Students observe Lukeís Beatitudes and consider both Jesusí purposes and Lukeís v. Matthewís.

         Students recognize the form and purpose of parables and how they function as part of Jesusí ministry and preaching practices.

         Students become familiar with Lukeís accounts of appearances and their major themes.


Johnís Gospel

         Students ask question, clarify issues, make comments about the course.


Acts and the Church

         Students recognize unique aspects of Johnís portrayal of Jesusí life and teaching.

         Students gain familiarity with emperor worship and the way in which it related politics, religion, and society.

         Students will describe and assess early church values, ideals, and gatherings.


Paulís Early Letters

         Students will describe and list Paulís pastoral activities and attitudes as revealed in his letters and in Acts.

         Students will identify and describe Paulís main opponents and the specific issues they raised for his teaching and ministry.

         Students will appreciate the place of love, liberty, and law in Paulís thought and in Christian experience.


Paulís Major Letters

         Students will recognize Godís plan in working through his people, both Israel and the Church.

         Students will be familiar with biblical texts at the center of the difficult theological issue of predestination and election and free will.

         Students examine actions and behaviors some object to and others accept.


Prison & Pastoral Epistles

         Students consider the balance of personal action and delegation.

         Students consider Paulís use of letters as a ministry tool.

         Students consider biblical and cultural issues of interpretation.


General Epistles

         Students examine strong warnings against falling away from the faith.

         Students examine details and flow of thought in the epistle of James.

         Students reflect on the challenges to truth and charges of false teaching and heresy.



         Students consider the reasons and roles of predictions of Jesusí return.

         Students become familiar with apocalyptic genre and its interpretive challenges in order to begin to interpret it more clearly.

         Students consider prophecy interpretation and methods.


Portfolio Project Part 1

         Students begin work on final project, submitting an early synopsis of final project for peer review.

         Students offer and receive suggestions and encouragement from peers as part of the process of improving and completing the final project.


Portfolio Project Part 2

         Complete the final exam, in which students reflect on some issues related to the New Testament, Paul, and the later epistles.

         Submit final projects.

         Offer final comments and reflections on the class.