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Mission in the New Testament

Integrative Unit (Hermeneutics and Culture) for MDiv

The aim of this unit is to explore the diversity of the Church’s concepts of mission both then and now based on understandings of the proclamation of Jesus Christ in the writings of the New Testament. Contemporary exegetical methods will be employed to investigate texts illustrative of the manner in which the earliest Christian communities expressed their relationship with and responsibility to the non-Christian world in which they lived, and conversations will take place with a diverse group of contemporary missional practitioners who will reflect on their own reading of the New Testament.

Learning Outcomes: After successful completion of this unit students will have:

1. built upon and consolidated a range of critical exegetical methodologies introduced in the foundational biblical studies units already completed.
2. explored concepts of mission in the Hebrew Bible, the intertestamental literature and other Greek and Roman writings contemporary with the New Testament.
3. examined the ways in which the earliest Christian communities understood the task of mission by examining the ” Q” material, the Gospel of Mark and the Pauline epistles.
4. considered the demands of mission reflected in later New Testament writings such as the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, the Johannine writings, and the later epistles.
5. constructed ways in which contemporary Christian mission can be realised – particularly in terms of theological, hermeneutical and homiletical application.
6. engaged in the adventure of uniting faith and scholarship in the realm of biblical studies and practical experience.




Level 2-
One 2,000 word essay (50%)
One reflective journal (25%)
One one-hour examination (25%)Level 3-
One 3,000 word essay (50%)
One 1,000 word exegetical paper (25%)
One reflective journal (25%)


Arias, M Announcing the reign of God. Philadelphia: Fortress, 1984
Arias, M The great commission. Nashville: Abingdon, 1992
Avis, Paul Church Drawing Near. Spirituality and mission in a post-christian culture. London: T & T Clark, 2003.
**Bosch, D J Transforming mission: paradigm shifts in theology of mission. Maryknoll: Orbis, 1991
Dunn, J D G The partings of the ways: between Christianity and Judaism and their significance for the character of Christianity. London: SCM, 1965
**Esler, P The First Christians in Their Social Worlds. London: Routledge, 1994
Flemming, D Contextualization in the New Testament. Patterns for theology and ministry. Downers Grove IL: IVP Press.
Hahn, F Mission in the New Testament. London: SCM, 1965
Hengel, M The charismatic leader and his followers. Edinburgh: T and T Clark, 1981
Hengel, M Between Jesus and Paul. Studies in the earliest history of Christianity. London: SCM, 1983
Hultgren, A J Paul’s Gospel and mission. The outlook from his letter to the Romans. Philadelphia: Fortress, 1985.
Kraft, Charles Christianity in culture. A study in biblical theologizing in cross-cultural perspective. Rev. Ed. Maryknoll NY: Orbis, 2005.
Kee, H C Good news to the ends of the earth. The theology of Acts. London: SCM, 1990
Larkin Jr., William J. and Joel F. Williams (eds), Mission in the New Testament: An evangelical approach. Maryknoll: Orbis, 1998.
Meyer, B F The early Christians: their world mission and self-discovery. Wilmington: Michael Glazier, 1986
Moltmann, J The way of Jesus Christ. Christology in messianic dimensions. London: SCM, 1990
Neyrey, J The Social World of Luke Acts. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1991
Segovia, F F Discipleship in the New Testament. Philadelphia: Fortress, 1985
**Senior D and Stuhlmueller, C The biblical foundations for mission. London: SCM, 1983
Theissen, G The first followers of Jesus. A sociological analysis of the earliest Christianity. London: SCM, 1978
Trites, Allison A. The New Testament concept of witness. Cambridge: CUP, 1977.