RLGN 1302 New Testament History



Winter Term 2006

13 November 2006 – 17 February 2007



COURSE NUMBER AND TITLE:       New Testament History; RLGN 1302

TIME:                Monday / Wednesday / Friday, 1200-1300

INSTRUCTOR:           Wally Smith

CONTACT INFORMATION:          Office # 356-2403   Home # 479-8530

EMAIL:              wallys@wbu.edu

AVAILABILITY:           By appointment

LOCATION:             Ft. Wainwright, Building 2107 / Room 105


CATALOG DESCRIPTION: An introductory survey of the historical literature with special attention         to the background and origins of Christian beliers and practices, and to           the life of Jesus Christ and the early Christian community.




TEXTBOOK:    Encountering the New Testament , Walter A Elwell and Robert W. Yarbrough; Baker       Books, Grand Rapids, Michigan;     

     NIV Study Bible , Zondervan, 2 nd Edition



  1) Demonstrate knowledge of the historical, religious, and social context of the New Testament     world,

  2) Demonstrate knowledge of some of the critical methods used in New Testament studies,

  3) Demonstrate an understanding of the basic content of the New Testament and its main     teachings (theological content),

  4) Demonstrate knowledge of the canonical process producing a more complete understanding     of the compilation of the New Testament,.


COURSE ACTIVITIES: Three major methods will be utilized in the class to facilitate the student’s understanding of biblical history: 1) Lecture which will emphasize the timeline of biblical history, the historical setting of the Bible, and the content of the Biblical material, 2) Individual reading to further elaborate on the historical and theological elements of the Bible, 3) films which will highlight current biblical archeological research, and discussion questions on blackboard to stimulate class thinking.





Attendance: Attendance is required. Excessive late arrivals or early departures will be taken into consideration. Material will be discussed in class and included in the exams that is not in the book. It is the student’s responsibility to obtain any material missed by not attending class for any reason. The student must not miss any more than 25% (3 class periods) of the class. Any more misses may result in failure of the class. In case of TDY’s, the instructor should be notified as soon as possible.


Readings: Assigned readings are to be completed prior to the class session for which they are assigned.





Plagiarism Policy: Intellectual integrity and truthfulness are fundamental to scholarship. Scholars, whether they are performing as students or as teachers, are engaged in a search for truth. Plagiarism is a form of cheating and also a form of theft. Plagiarism occurs when a student fails to give proper credit when information is either quoted or paraphrased . Carelessness is no excuse. As such, it is a breach of scholarly responsibility. It is also unethical and in some cases, illegal. Looking at or copying someone else’s test, answer sheet, and/or paper is counted as cheating. Plagiarism may result in an “F” in the course.


Disability Policy: “It is the university policy that no otherwise qualified disabled person be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under any educational program or activity in the university.”


Incomplete Policy: A grade of incomplete is changed if the work required is completed prior to 7 April 2007. If work is not completed by this date, the grade of “I” is converted to the grade of “F”.






Grading Scale:


  A = 90-100%     I = Incomplete

  B = 80-89%     W = Withdrawal

  C = 70-79%

  D = 60-69

  F = Below 60%


Grading Weight: (based on 1000 points possible)   


  Quizzes (average) Score     X 20% = 200 points

  Mid-term Exam Score     X 25% = 250 points

  Final Exam Score     X 25% = 250 points

  Reading Journal Score     X 20% = 200 points

  Blackboard Discussion     X 10% = 100 points


          Total = 1000 points


Quiz / Exam Information:

  1. A quiz will be given weekly over the reading assignment due on that date.

  * If a student misses a class for any reason, he/she is still responsible for the missed quiz

  * The student is to download the missed quiz from blackboard and turn it in during the first

class meeting that he/she is back in class.

* Any quiz not completed according to this schedule will be counted as a zero.

2. Missed exams may be taken at a WBU office during regular office hours. Call to make an appointment. The student will be responsible for scheduling the exam at a time mutually agreeable to both the WBU staff and the student.

  3. There will be no make-up exams or extra credit work for low grades.

4. Journals – See detailed instructions below
5. Discussion Questions – See detailed instructions below

Reading Schedule - RLGN 1302

Assigned readings are to be completed prior to the week for which they are assigned



Class Date        Subject        Reading Material


Nov 13/15/17       Intro to the Bible       Elwell, Chapters 1-2

        N. T. Culture and Politics


Nov 20-24       THANKSGIVING BREAK     -------------------------

        Discussion Question #1 due


Nov 27/29/Dec 1     Religions of Jesus’ Day     Elwell, Chapters 3-6

        Introduction to the Gospels   

        Journal Entry 1 due – John or Matthew

        Discussion Question #2 due


Dec 4/6/8       Life of Jesus         Elwell, Chapters 7-9

        Discussion Question #3 due


Dec 11/13/15       Acts of the Apostles       Elwell, Chapters 13-14

        Journal Entry 2 due – Acts or Romans

         Discussion Question #4 due


Dec 18 - Jan 2       CHRISTMAS BREAK     ----------------------------                 

Jan. 3/5       Missionary Expansion       Elwell, Chapters 15-17

        Journal Entry 3 due – Galatians or Ephesians

        Discussion Question #5 due


Jan 8/10/12       CATCH UP; REVIEW; MIDTERM ---------------------------

        Discussion Question #6 due


Jan. 15/17/19       Paul’s General Church Letters   Elwell, Chapters 18-19

        Discussion Question #7 due     


Jan. 22/24/26       Paul’s Prison / Pastoral Letters   Elwell, Chapters 20-21

        Journal Entry 4 due – I Timothy or James

        Discussion Question #8 due


Jan. 29/31/ Feb 2     General Letters       Elwell, Chapters 22-23

        Discussion Question #9 due


Feb. 5/7/9       Book of Revelation       Elwell, Chapters 24

        Journal Entry 5 due – Revelation

        Discussion Question #10 due


Feb 12/14/16       CATCH UP, REVIEW, FINAL EXAM   ------------------




New Testament History - Journal Assignment


Description:   Create a New Testament Journal by writing entries recording your personal interaction with selected books of the Bible. This is to be done weekly and submitted through the blackboard found at www.wbu.edu / virtual campus / blackboard as a Microsoft Word document . Use “Safe Assignments” to submit the journals, not the digital drop box.



  Due date - a) Noon on Monday of the week each journal is due. Journal 1 will be         available on blackboard 12 noon on Nov 13 and due noon on Nov 27;

    b) 1 letter grade will be subtracted from work not handed in through           blackboard;       

    c) 1 letter grade will be subtracted from work not handed in on the due date;         Journals may be submitted up to one week late, but after 1 week (next         class period) a grade of 0 will be given. Late journals can be emailed or         handed in hardcopy in person.


  Method of Presentation:

    a) Typed, font size 12, double spaced; submitted as a word document

    b) Cover sheet with assignment information in upper right corner of paper

    c) Length - 1 full page per New Testament reading (5 total entries)



    a) Do not simply quote or re-state the Biblical material.

    b) Write about your interaction with the Scripture. This might include your       interpretation of and/or your application of selected passages. This also       could include questions about and/or impressions of the material.

    c) Right or wrong conclusions about the material are not the issue.


  Grading criteria :   

•  Grammar / spelling / writing skills - 1 point off for every grammatical error

    b) Fulfillment of the content requirements

      * Original material – large sections of quotes or restated material will         result in a loss of 1 letter grade;

    c) Completion of the assignment

      * On time and correctly submitted through blackboard

      * One full page – less than 1 page will lose significant points

      * All journal entries will be averaged together and count as 20% of final grade


  N. T. Books to be included in the Journal assignment (5 total):   #1 - John or Matthew   

                    #2 - Acts or Romans   

                    #3 - Galatians or Ephesians

                    #4 - I Timothy or James

                    #5 - Revelation




Blackboard Discussion Questions:


Content: Each week a discussion question will be posted on blackboard. These questions will focus on current issues within the church community, ethical situations where a spiritual world view might be applied, and interpretation of Biblical material. The student will write a response to the posted question each week. The student will also read and respond to what other students post.


Requirement: 1) Discussion questions will be available on Monday each week via Blackboard.

    2) By Thursday, students are to post a 200-250 word personal response to the question.

    3) Students should read classmate’s responses and reply to 3 with a 50 word     response by the following Monday.


Grading: Completion of this requirement will require that students:

•  Be on time with all assigned responses;

•  Meet the length requirement of each response;

•  Respond with appropriate answers / comments that show critical thinking;

•  Show respect for the opinions of other students.