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Winter 2004

Fuller Northwest

NS500: Winter 2013


NS500: NEW TESTAMENT 1: GOSPELS AND ACTS (4 units) Richard J. Erickson



This course constitutes an introduction to the nature, structure, and message of the New Testament Gospels and Acts in their historical, literary, and canonical contexts.



The life and works of Jesus of Nazareth constitute the core datum of the Christian faith. Much of the church's “memory” of this event, together with four of the earliest interpretations of the meaning of that memory, are deposited in the New Testament Gospels and Acts. Increased understanding of these documents on their own terms is absolutely essential for faithfully proclaiming the Gospels' significance for the church and the world today.



Having successfully completed this course, students will have demonstrated that they (1) are familiar with the historical background, content, structure, and message of each of these writings; (2) have skill in the interpretation of the Gospels and Acts as appropriate for effective leadership in Christian communities; (3) can articulate the character of the Gospels and Acts as witnesses to Jesus Christ.



The class will meet for ten weekly classroom sessions, three hours each, for a total of thirty hours. Classroom discussion will be supplemented with online activities in Moodle. The course involves reading, writing, discussion, and hands-on exercises.



Š       All four canonical Gospels, including Luke-Acts, each in one sitting, using either the NRSV or the TNIV [c. 200 pp.]

Š       Selected Apocryphal and non-canonical Jewish texts (options outlined in online syllabus)

Š       deSilva, David A. An Introduction to the New Testament: Contexts, Methods & Ministry Formation. IVP: 2004. [for Gospels and Acts: 430 pp.] ISBN: 978-0830827466. Pub. Price: $50.

Š       Douglas, Kelly B. The Black Christ. Maryknoll: Orbis, 1994. [134 pp.] ISBN: 9780883449394. Pub. Price: $20.

Š       Johnson, Luke Timothy. Prophetic Jesus, Prophetic Church: The Challenge of Luke-Acts to Contemporary Christians. Eerdmans, 2011. [198 pp.] ISBN: 978-0802803900. Pub. Price: $23.

Š       Various written lectures and articles (posted online)


RECOMMENDED READING: List provided in the online syllabus.



1       Reading of all material assigned in weekly lessons; subject to regular honor reporting (20%)

2       Threaded online discussions (20%)

3       Three papers: (a) thoughtful response to reading primary Jewish texts as background to reading the Gospels and Acts (1200 words max); (b) exegetical analysis of a Lukan text in the context of Acts, or vice versa (1200 words max); (c) critical and theological interpretation of a text from a Gospel or Acts for a contemporary, contextually “located” Christian community (1200 words max) (20% each; 60% total)



RELATIONSHIP TO CURRICULUM: MDiv: NT1; MAT: Biblical Studies; MACL: NT1; Ministry Focus Elective in MA in Global Leadership program.