This page was last updated 4/22/2014.

This schedule is subject to change at the Professor’s discretion. We will DEFINITELY add dates for setting up your online portfolio site, etc.  It is the responsibility of each student to keep up with schedule changes, even if absent. 

Revisions to original syllabus are marked in THIS COLOR RED.

Assignments should be completed in time for class on the day on which they are listed on the syllabus. Students should bring to class any texts assigned for the day or detailed notes.

Part I: What is a socio-historical and literary study of the NT anyway??

T Jan 14 Introduction: What is religion? What is this class?

Th Jan 16 What is the Academic Study of the Bible? What is the New Testament?

In order to receive a passing grade for class participation, students must read Chapter 1 and attend class Thursday. Students who add the course after January 16 must provide a 1-2 pp. paper explaining the significance of this reading assignment in their own words and how Ehrman’s points might affect their own personal experience of this course.

Part II: The Greco-Roman and Jewish Context

T Jan 21 The Roman World:  Part 1

Daily Reading Response Assignment begins today! Submit your Reading Response on Sakai by 9:00 am.  Responses due from everyone today (not a day you can skip).

Th Jan 23 Diversities of Judaism in the Roman Empire

T Jan 28 Temple, Law, and Synagogue; Literacy

  • Jonathan Klawans, “The Law” on Sakai
  • Amy-Jill Levine, “Bearing False Witness: Common Errors Made about Early Judaism” on Sakai
  • Sakai: Reading assignment on Philo and early rabbis on Jewish Law
  • Ehrman, Chapter 4

Part III: Jesus and the Readers and Writers of the Gospels

Th Jan 30 Mark: The Secret Messiah

  • Ehrman Chapter 5
  • Mark (the entire Gospel of Mark)

T Feb 4  The “Synoptic Problem”; Jesus’ Birth and Baptism

  • Review Ehrman Chapter 5 section “The Synoptic Problem”
  • On Sakai: Throckmorton, Gospel Parallels selections
  • Mark, review chapter 1
  • Matthew 1-4
  • Luke 1-5:11
  • Ehrman Chapter 6 section entitled “The Importance of Beginnings”; Chapter 7 section entitled “Luke’s Birth Narrative in Comparative Perspective”
  • STUDY GUIDE for Synoptic Problem
  • STUDY GUIDE for Jesus’ Birth and Baptism

Th Feb 6 Jesus’ Life and Teachings in Matthew & Luke

  • Matthew 5-25
  • Luke 5:12-chapter 21
  • Ehrman unread sections of Chapters 6 & 7

T Feb 11 Jesus’ Trial, Death, and Resurrection in the Synoptics

Th Feb 13 John: Jesus as Divine Logos

F Feb 14 Deadline A for Creating & Writing Assignment #1

T Feb 18 Jesus’ Life and Teachings in the Gospel of Thomas and “Lost Gospels”

Th Feb 20 The Historical Figure of Jesus; From Jesus to the Gospels to Early Christianity

  • Ehrman Chapters 9&10
  • Sakai: Fredriksen, “Did Jesus Oppose the Purity Laws?”

F Feb 21 Deadline C for Writing & Creating Assignment #1

T Feb 25 Jesus’s Birth and Childhood; Mary Magdalene

Th Feb 27 Luke’s Second Act(s)

T Mar 4 Exam 1

There are significant revisions to original syllabus below.

Part III:  Paul and His Legacy

Th Mar 6 Meet the Apostle –CHANGE

  • Do the reading but NO reading response required for today.
  • Ehrman Chapters 12-13, Chapter 17 on 2 Thessalonians
  • 1 Thessalonians
  • 2 Thessalonians

Mar 10-14 No classes: Spring Break

T Mar 18 Paul continued –CHANGE

Th Mar 20 Sex in the City

T Mar 25 Law and Order: Galatians, Philippians, Philemon

Th Mar 27 Life of Brian:  watch in screening TBA or on your own; post about it plus responses to classmates on the COURSE website — instructions forthcoming.–CHANGE

T Apr 1 Romans–CHANGE

Th Apr 3 Colossians, Ephesians, the Pastorals–CHANGE

  • Ehrman Chapter 17
  • Colossians
  • Ephesians
  • 1 Timothy
  • 2 Timothy
  • Titus
  • STUDY GUIDE for Colossians and Ephesians — Focus on Household Codes

T Apr 8 Women in the Pauline Churches–CHANGE

  • Ehrman, Chapter 18 — RECOMMENDED NOT REQUIRED
  • Sakai: Acts of Paul and Thecla
  • STUDY GUIDE on Paul and Thecla

Th Apr 10 Jesus of Montreal

  • Writing & Creating Assignment #2 Deadline A (10 am)
  • no reading response

F Apr 11 Writing & Creating Assignment #2 Deadline B (Deadline A posts graded by this date)

T Apr 15 Jesus of Montreal–CHANGE

  • Writing & Creating Assignment #2 Deadline C (10 am)
  • no reading response

Part 5: Persecution, Identity Crises, and the End of the World

Th Apr 17 Christian and Jewish Self-Definition; Pagans and Persecution–CHANGE

T Apr 22 Christians and Christians–CHANGE

  • Ehrman Chapter 20
  • James
  • Jude
  • 2 Peter
  • 1, 2, 3 John

Th Apr 24 Apocalypse Now:  Revelation–CHANGE

T Apr 29 Exam #2

F May 2 Noon Deadline A for Writing & Creating Assignment #3 –CHANGE


M May 5 10 am:  Deadline A for intro & bio for website
(Students who did not meet Deadline A for Writing & Creating #3 should at least know what #3 will be/is about in order to write a good intro in time for this deadline.  Writing & Creating #3 Deadline A assignments will be returned by this date.  Comments on Deadline A intro/bios will be returned by Tuesday May 6.)

Th May 8 Final Deadline for Writing & Creating #3, intro & bio, and final edits to website