THEO 201: New
Description and Schedule
Phones: 414-288-6802 (office); 414-962-3460 (home)
Office: Coughlin Hall, 209
This course will
examine main methodological approaches in contemporary New Testament
scholarship (text, source, form, redaction, canonical, rhetorical, and
narrative criticism, among others).
Seminar - a mixture
of introductory lectures, discussions, and student led presentations
methodological paper/presentation (7 pages), two exegetical
papers/presentations (7 pages each):
paper/presentation will be an in-depth methodological investigation
dealing with one of the biblical “criticisms”/methods discussed in the
course. The report should address the following questions: What are the
objectives and assumptions of the method? Who are the “founding fathers”
of the approach and what is their possible philosophical/disciplinary
background? What are the “classic” works of this approach? What are the
standard “technical” procedures used in this biblical “criticism”? What
are the strengths and weaknesses of the method? Provide several
applications of the method using New Testament materials. You can start
your preparation for the paper by reading introductions to the methods
in Raymond Collins’ book. Other useful introductions to various
“criticisms” include: J. C. Anderson and S. D. Moore. Mark & Method: New Approaches in Biblical
Studies (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1992); S. R. Haynes and S. L.
McKenzie. To Each Its Own Meaning: An Introduction to Biblical
Criticisms and Their Applications (Louisville, Ky.: Westminster John
Knox Press, 1999); Hearing the New Testament: Strategies for
Interpretation (ed. Joel B. Green; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans/Carlisle:
Paternoster Press, 1995). I will supply a preliminary
bibliography that will introduce you to the literature related to some
of the major “criticisms.” I would prefer no duplication in methods, so please discuss
your preferences among yourselves).
paper/presentations will be exegetical papers in which a student will
investigate selected passage(s) from the New Testament by using a method
discussed in the course. (It will be even more fun if a student could
choose a comparative analysis of two methods in analyzing one biblical
passage(s). He/she can then apply each of the methods to the passage,
comparing and contrasting the different questions the methods ask.) One
of the papers will explore passages/traditions found in the
Gospels/Acts; the second paper must explore the materials from the
Pauline Corpus, the Catholic Epistles, The Book of Hebrews, or the Book
of Revelation. One
of the exegetical papers can be connected with the method which student
investigated in his/her first presentation. The second exegetical paper,
however, must deal with a different method. Although it would be ideal
if the exegetical papers are presented on the week dealing with the
appropriate method, yet since we will be comparing various methods the
presentations can also be made during sessions dealing with different
methods. There will be a respondent (a friendly respondent!) assigned to
each exegetical paper whose task will be to prepare a one page a double
spaced response with some critical questions to the presenter. The
response will be distributed to all class-members on the day of
papers/presentations should contain 7 pages of double spaced prose and a
page of bibliography, to be passed out to all class-members on the
session preceding the class discussion, but no later than two days
before the presentation. Please, no electronic copies. Only hard copies! Your papers should conform to the style sheet
presented in the SBL Handbook of Style (Peabody, Mass.:
Hendrickson Publishers, 1999). The Handbook can be found in the library
(CALL NUMBER: PN 147.S26) and on the
assigned reading and active participation in seminar discussions are of
primary importance. Note that assigned readings are to be completed
before each session. Evaluation of the student’s performance will be
based on class participation and three presentations/papers.
Greek is required for
Biblical division students. All students will be encouraged to utilize
relevant sources in French and/or German in preparation of their papers.
Biblical division students: Erwin Nestle, Kurt
Aland, et al., eds., Novum Testamentum Graece (26th
or 27th ed.: Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 1993) or
Kurt Aland, Matthew Black, et al., eds., The Greek New Testament
(3rd or 4th ed.; New York: United Bible
Societies/American Bible Society, 1993).
other students: NRSV, RSV, or equivalent. Any interlinear
Greek New Testament.
Collins, Introduction to the New Testament (Garden City,
N.Y.: Doubleday, 1983). (= Collins)
Raymond E. Brown,
An Introduction to the New Testament (New York: Doubleday,
1997). (= Brown)
All electronic documents listed in the
schedule are available for download only as *.
files. These files require
free Adobe Acrobat Reader
in order to be viewed.
Students and Instructor
Syllabus and Bibliography
Context of the New Testament (major literary corpora: pseudepigrapha,
DSS, Josephus, Philo, targumim, etc)
The Formation of the New Testament
Collins, “The Formation of the New Testament,” 1-40.
Brown, chapter 1.
Collins, “Historical-Critical Methodology,” 41-74.
Brown, chapter 2.
Collins, “Source Criticism,” 115-155.
Brown, chapters 5 and 6.
Collins, “Form Criticism,” 156-195.
McKnight, What is Form Criticism?
Background Reading: Brown, chapters 7 and 8.
Collins, “Redaction Criticism,” 196-230.
Optional reading: Norman Perrin, What Is Redaction Criticism?
Background Reading: Brown, chapters 9 and 10.
STRUCTURAL CRITICISM, POSTSTRUCTURAL CRITICISM, AND DECONSTRUCTION
Poststructural Criticism and Deconstruction
READER-RESPONSE CRITICISM, IDEOLOGICAL CRITICISM
BIBLICAL INTERPRETATION IN THE COMMUNITIES OF FAITH: RABBINIC AND
Allison, A New Moses, part I;
part II; part III;
Brown, chapters 32 and 37.
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© 2007 Andrei Orlov