R S 335 • Jesus in History and Tradition-W
9:00 AM-10:00 AM
This course will address two basic questions of historical inquiry: What can we know about the historical figure of Jesus? and How did the gospels tradition develop in the first century of the Christian movement? The course is designed to acquaint students with the major critical issues, scholarly debates, and historical methods in studying the development of the Christian tradition regarding the figure of Jesus. Historical backgrounds regarding prevailing religious beliefs and expectations within first century Jewish and Graeco-Roman religious cultures will establish the context for understanding the stories about Jesus. The course will focus on literary- and historical-critical methods of analyzing the Christian gospels in the New Testament and related materials, including the apocryphal gospels and comparable sources . Special attention will be paid to pathways of literary and theological development from the earliest oral transmission to more elaborated forms of expression in various early Christian communities and traditions in order to understand how they came to present the story of Jesus.
3 short essays: 60% (20% each) Final paper: 40%.
W. A. Meeks, HarperCollins Student Study Bible... B. Throckmorton, Gospel Parallels, 5th ed. D. Duncan & D. Cartlidge, Documents for the Study of the Gospels, rev. ed. H.C. Kee, Jesus in History, rev. ed. K. F. Nickle, The Synoptic Gospels: An Introduction