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Interpreting the New Testament (Online)

This foundational unit will introduce students to the literature and history of the New Testament writings. In particular, students will examine various genres and techniques employed in the text to testify to the good news of Jesus Christ and proclaim the fulfilment of Old Testament tradition. Students will also develop a working familiarity with a variety of aids and critical approaches used to interpret and engage the New Testament.

Lecturer: Toni Nguyen
Offered: Refer to Timetable
Also offered face-to-face BN1/8001S

Undergraduate: Level 1
Postgraduate: Level 8

Discipline: BN Biblical Studies


Learning Outcomes: 

Upon successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. Describe the contents of the New Testament: the types of literature, their particular interpretive demands, their place in the development of the canon, their theological outlook.
  2. Demonstrate an awareness of the historical and social world of the New Testament.
  3. Use appropriate interpretive approaches in exegesis of the New Testament.
  4. Access and use the tools of New Testament interpretation: lexicons, dictionaries, commentaries, and historical sources.
  5. Articulate the relationship of the New Testament to the texts and message of the Old Testament.
  6. (and for postgraduates) Articulate a transition from text to life, particularly in terms of theological and hermeneutical application.


Reading Review (1000 word) 25%
Document Study (2 x 500 words) 25%
Essay (2000 words) 50%

Reading Review (1500 word) 25%
Document Study (2 x 750 words) 25%
Essay (3000 words) 50%

Select Bibliography:

*Recommended reading

Baulkham, Richard. Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: The Gospels as Eyewitness Testimony. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2006
Bockmuehl, M. Seeing the Word: Refocusing New Testament Study. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2006.
Brown, Raymond E., An Introduction to the New Testament, New York: Doubleday, 1997.
Burge, Gary M., Lynn H. Cohick & Gene L. Green, The New Testament in Antiquity, Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2009.
Childs, B.S. Biblical Theology of the Old and New Testaments: Theological Reflection on the Christian Bible. Minneapolis: Fortress, 1992.
Coggins, R.J. and J.L. Houlden, eds. A Dictionary of Biblical Interpretation. London: SCM Press, 1990.
*Cousar, C.B. An Introduction to the New Testament: Witnesses to God’s New Work. Louisville & London: Westminster John Knox Press, 2006.
Elwell, Walter A. & Robert W. Yarbrough, Encountering the New Testament: A Historical and Theological Survey. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 1998, 2005, 2013. 
Green, J.B. ed. Hearing the New Testament: Strategies for Interpretation. 2nd ed. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2010.
Johnson, L.T. The Writings of the New Testament. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1999.
Köstenberger, Andreas, and Richard Patterson, Invitation to Biblical Interpretation: Exploring the Hermeneutical Triad of History, Literature, and Theology. Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 2011.
Pennington, Jonathan T., Reading the Gospels Wisely. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2012.
Smith, D.E. ed. Chalice Introduction to the New Testament. St. Louis: Chalice Press, 2004.
Wright, N.T. Paul: In Fresh Perspective. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2005.