Undergraduate Course: Jesus and the Gospels (BIST08021)
|School||School of Divinity
||College||College of Humanities and Social Science
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 8 (Year 1 Undergraduate)
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||This course is the partner to Paul and his Letters (level 8). It is an introduction to the study of Jesus and the Gospels within their Jewish and Graeco-Roman contexts and is aimed at students beginning their study of the New Testament. We will pay particular attention to recent work on the historical Jesus and Mark's Gospel (the earliest extant 'life of Jesus'), besides surveying a range of other gospels, both canonical and apocryphal. Finally, we will ask why some Gospels were included in the Christian canon while others were not.
This course is the partner to Paul and his Letters (level 8). It is an introduction to the study of Jesus and the Gospels within their Jewish and Graeco-Roman contexts and is aimed at students beginning their study of the New Testament. We will pay particular attention to recent work on the historical Jesus and Mark's Gospel (the earliest extant 'life of Jesus'), besides surveying a range of other gospels, both canonical and apocryphal. Finally, we will ask why some Gospels were included in the Christian canon while others were not.
The course begins with a survey of the Jewish and Roman contexts of Jesus's Galilee and the cities where the Gospels emerged. We'll look at what we can know about the historical Jesus, and then go on to analyse the ways in which we might approach the Gospels. Several weeks will be spent looking at Mark's Gospel, followed by a quicker look at Matthew, Luke and John. We'll also look at Gospels which didn't make it into the New Testament (for example, the Gospel of Thomas and the Gospel of Peter), and ask what processes led to their exclusion.
Student Learning Experience Information:
The course is taught through 3 weekly lectures and a regular tutorial. Background reading is listed for each lecture, and specific tutorial tasks are assigned for each week. In addition, students will be put into small groups to work on one 'artefact' from the time of Jesus, which they will present to the rest of the class in week 11. Students will demonstrate their achievement of the intended learning outcomes through regular essays, the group 'artefact', contribution to tutorial discussion, and the final exam.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| None
Information for Visiting Students
|High Demand Course?
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2018/19, Available to all students (SV2)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||Course Work 30%. Comprising:
1) For formative feedback only: prepare an outline of your first essay (2, below), due beginning of week 4.
2) Exegetical Essay (1): apply one reading strategy to a gospel text (form criticism, redaction criticism etc). 1500 words, due beginning of week 6. (ie the week after Innovative Learning Week)
3) Exegetical Essay (2): on a passage from Mark. 1500 words, due beginning of week 9.
All the above to be marked by tutors and monitored by academic staff.
Tutorials and Omeka Project 10%. Attendance compulsory (as with lectures). Students to prepare an A4 tutorial sheet as an aide memoir in class. Tutors will check that these are done, but will not take them in or mark them. The final score in this section of assessment will be largely determined on the basis of class participation, after consultation between the tutors as a group and the Course Manager.
Written Exam 60%
||Hours & Minutes
|Main Exam Diet S1 (December)||2:00|
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Will be able to demonstrate an understanding of some of the issues surrounding the reconstruction of Christian Origins.
- Show a familiarity with Jewish and Graeco-Roman contexts of the early Jesus movement and the Gospels.
- Demonstrate good abilities in the interpretation of early Christian literature, particularly Mark's Gospel.
- Demonstrate the ability to evaluate secondary literature, think critically, construct an argument, and formulate a prose composition.
- Show an ability to identify key terms and their meanings, and to judge the relative importance of items on course bibliographies.
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
|Keywords||Jesus,Gospels,Mark's Gospel,canonical Gospels,apocryphal Gospels,Jewish and Graeco-Roman contex
|Course organiser||Prof Helen Bond
Tel: (0131 6)50 8923
|Course secretary||Ms Katrina Munro
Tel: (0131 6)50 8900