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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: Deborah Storie
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:



The Bible (NRSV or NIV). The Cambridge Reference Edition of the NRSV is recommended for students who do not already have a Bible in the NRSV or NIV.



Bailey, Kenneth E. Jesus through Middle Eastern Eyes: Cultural Studies in the Gospels. London: SPCK, 2008. Burge, Gary M, Lynn

Burge, Gary M, Lynn Cohick and Gene L Green. The New Testament in Antiquity. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2009.

Korb, Scott. Life in Year One: What the World Was Like in First-Century Palestine. NY: Riverhead, 2010.

Morris, Leon. The Gospel According to Matthew. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1992.

Patte, Daniel and Teresa Okure, eds. Global Bible Commentary. Nashville: Abingdon, 2004.

DeSilva, David Arthur. An Introduction to the New Testament: Contexts, Methods & Ministry Formation. Downers Grove: IVP, 2018.

Schottroff, Luise. The Parables of Jesus. Minneapolis: Fortress, 2006.

Snodgrass, Klyne R. Stories with Intent: A Comprehensive Guide to the Parables of Jesus. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2008.

Wright, NT. Paul: In Fresh Perspective. Minneapolis: Fortress, 2005.



Balz, Horst Robert, and Gerhard Schneider, eds. Exegetical Dictionary of the New Testament. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1990.

Coggins, Robert J and Houlden, JL. eds. A Dictionary of Biblical Interpretation. London: SCM, 1990.

Evans, Craig A, and Stanley E Porter, eds. Dictionary of New Testament Background. Downers: IVP Academic, 2000.

Green, Joel B, ed., Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels. Downers Grove, Illinois: IVP Academic, 2013.


No book purchases are recommended before studying this unit. All required reading will be available as ebooks through the University of Divinity Library Hub or provided for students through ARK.