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BIB102 Syllabus 1

Mr. Mark Glen Bilby 210 Smee Hall


Visiting Assistant Professor (619) 849-2943
School of Theology and Christian Ministry Office Hours: MTWF 6:30-7:20a, 11-11:50a

C OU RS E S YL LAB US
BIB 102: N EW T ES TAME NT H ISTOR Y AN D R ELI GIO N
20 09 S PRI NG

C OUR SE D ESC RI PTION

Within the context of Christian origins, an overview of the canonical literature of the New Testament with special
attention to its literary history and theological themes (3 credits). NB: This course is one of the components of the
General Education Program at PLNU, under the category of “Responding to the Sacred.” By including this course in a
common educational experience for undergraduates, the faculty supports the study of Scripture and Christian heritage as
foundational in the pursuit of knowledge and the development of personal values.

G OAL S

At the conclusion of this class, the successful student will have:


1. A working understanding of the historical, cultural and literary contexts in and among which the New Testament
came into existence and the relevance of those contexts for interpretation.
2. Knowledge of and skill in using various scholarly approaches for interpretation.
3. Awareness of the diversity of persons and communities who have attended to these texts throughout history,
learning to participate in the ongoing, lively conversation that is New Testament interpretation.

T EX TS

1. Course Reader and Workbook; available through www.religionreaders.com. Required.


2. NRSV Study Bible; preferably Harold W. Attridge, gen. ed., The HarperCollins Study Bible. San Francisco:
HarperOne, 2006 (abv. HCSB); ISBN 978-0060786847 (the New Oxford Annotated Bible and New Interpreter’s
Study Bible are also acceptable scholarly Bibles). Req uired.
3. Ehrman, Bart D. The New Testament. 4th ed. Oxford University Press, 2008 (abv. Ehrman); ISBN 978-0195322590.
Recommen de d.
4. Aland, Kurt and Barbara. Synopsis of the Four Gospels. 26th ed. United Bible Societies, 1982 (abv. Syn); ISBN 978-
0826705006. Recommen de d.
A SS IG NM ENT S

1. Course Worksheets (20% of total grade; due at the beginning of the last class period each week)

This assignment incentivizes students to keep up with the course readings by completing the worksheets in the Course
Reader & Workbook. Most of these worksheets will consist of one page reading summaries. Some will involve filling
out charts. All of the worksheets are to be completed withi n the Workbo ok i n ha ndwri tin g . At the beginning of
the last class period of each week, students will turn in their en tire Cours e Read er & Workbo ok , which the
professor will grade and return to students before the period is over.

2. Reading Quizzes (20% of total grade; each takes place during the last class period each week)

This assignment also helps students keep up with readings, complementing the previous assignment. Each quiz will
consist in a list of direct quotations from the readingsfrom that week, namely those in the Course Reader and any New
Testament texts assigned. Students will attempt to identify the texts, citing the author, title, and date (within a decade).
The professor will choose quotations that reflect the unique features, ideas, and style of each reading. The 3 lowest
reading quiz scores will be dropped in the calculation of the final grade. The final exam will be extended reading quiz,
but will count the same as a regular reading quiz.

3. Essay Quizzes (20% of total grade; each takes place during the last class period each quarter or every four weeks)

In order to guide reading and critical and synthetic thinking, the professor will offer an essay prompt for consideration
each week. At the end of four weeks, students will take an essay quiz. Two of the four possible prompts will appear.
Students will write a two (2) page essay on one of those two, thoroughly yet succinctly arguing for the prompt with
generous specific examples. The lowest essay quiz score will be dropped in the calculation of the final grade.

4. Greek Quizzes (10% of total grade; each takes place during the last class period of the first three weeks of class)

(Note well that this assignment is not as difficult as it sounds. The vast majority of students will get an A on all of
these quizzes, and the material will be introduced very gradually.) This assignment invites students into a rudimentary
knowledge of Biblical (koinē) Greek, allowing students to pronounce Greek words as well as look them up in a Greek
dictionary or lexicon. The first week’s quiz will be on the Greek alphabet (alpha-beta). The second quiz will involve
transliterating (not translating, but rendering the equivalent English letters and pronunciation) a previously coveredverse
from 1 John 1. The third quiz involves transliterating a previously uncovered verse from 1 John 2. After the first three
weeks of class, the professor may occasionally include an extra credit section on the reading quizzes that invites
students to translate some of the main Greek words covered during the course.

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5. Surveys and Reports (10% of total grade; 1st due at the last day of the first week of class, 2nd at the last day of the
last regular week of class)

Students will take a survey that the professor has created to gauge one’s understanding of and attitude toward the
Christian Bible. After taking the first survey, students will write a two (2) page paper that lists the results (specific
percentages) and addresses the question, “Did the survey accurately reflect my understanding of and attitude toward the
Christian Bible?” After taking the second survey, students will write an additional two (2) page paper that lists both
sets of results and addresses the question, “How did my understanding of and attitude toward the Bible change during
this course? If so, how? If not, why not?” The professor will provide the web address and login information for the
online survey. The assignment will be graded as a whole, on a complete/incomplete basis. In other words, students
must complete both surveys and papers to get credit for the assignment. The reports should be typed, 12 point Times
New Roman with standard margins, and emailed to the professor with the subject line: “BIB102.[section#] SAB.”

6. Gospel Comparison Paper and Presentation (10% of total grade; due on student’s respective sign-up date)

For this assignment, students will write a two (2) page paper that offers a close comparative analysis of a specific set of
parallel passages in the New Testament Gospels. Do not simply list differences in wording. Focus on positing
explanations as to why the passages differ, e.g. because of different sources, rhetorical/stylistic aims, customization for
audience, or theological disagreements. The paper should be handwritten and will be presented in class on the day
assigned for the passages the student chose, then immediately turned in to the professor for grading.

7. Attendance (10% of total grade; taken each class day)

After three “free”absences, each absence deducts 1% from the student’s total grade. Each tardy, early departureor other
class disruption deducts ½% from the student’s total grade. In regard to excused absences, the PLNU catalog states,
“[t]here are no allowed or excused absences except when absences are necessitated by certain University-sponsored
activities and are approved in writing by the Provost.” In keeping with this policy, the professor will not entertain
requests for excused absences for any personal reason (e.g., illness, family emergencies, etc.). Missing three weeks of
class (9 class sessions, including the “free” absences) will result in immediate, automatic de-enrollment from the course.
Disruptive students may be asked to leave. Laptops cannot be used in class.

A CA DE MI C H ONE ST Y P OLI CY

All instances of academic dishonesty will be reported and will result in immediate failure and de-enrollment from the course. NB:
the PLNU catalog states, “Academic dishonesty is the act of presenting information, ideas, and/or concepts as one’s own when in
reality they are the results of another person’s creativity and effort. Such acts include plagiarism, copying of class assignments, and
copying or other fraudulent behavior on examinations.”

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E XT RA C RED IT O PPORT UNI TI ES

Students may take advantage of one of following two options for extra credit. Other options may be available, but a student must
talk to the professor at the beginning of the semester to take advantage of them.
1. Attend any professor-approved, public, academic event related to New Testament Studies and hand writ e a two (2) page
paper summarizing and evaluating what you learned. Each such attended event and paper counts for 2.5% extra credit
toward one’s final grade. A student may do two (2) such papers for a total possible 5% extra credit. Each paper must be
submitted along with proof of attendance (e.g. a handout) within a day or two of the event.
2. Read Jesus for President, by Shane Claiborne and Chris Haw, and, for 5% extra credit, hand writ e a five page
summary/review that answers the following question: “How accurately does this book tell the Biblical story?” Students
who have submitted this review for one of the professor’s previous classes may not do it again.

G RAD IN G S CAL E

Each assignment is weighted individually (see above) in the calculation of the total percent. The total percent is rounded to the
nearest whole number in the determination of the course grade. 100-93 = A. 92-90 = A-. 89-87 = B+. 86-83 = B. 82-80 =
B-. 79-77 = C+. 76-73 = C. 72-70 = C-. 69-67 = D+. 66-63 = D. 62-60 = D-. 59-0 = F.

I NCL USI VE L ANG UAG E

The PLNU School of Theology and Christian Ministry is committed to the equality of women and men. Recognizing that people
have often used language in ways that imply the exclusion or inferiority of women, the department urges students, faculty and staff
to avoid sexist language in public discourse, in classroom discussions and especially in their writings.

L ATE W OR K P OL IC Y

Late work, including the possibility of taking make-up quizzes, will not be accepted. Students who are scheduled to participate in a
University-sponsored event should complete the work and arrange to take any quizzes before the due date.

S PE CI AL N EE DS P OL IC Y

While all students are expected to meet the minimum standards for completion of this course as established by the instructor,
students with disabilities may require academic accommodations. At Point Loma Nazarene University, these students are requested
to file documentation during the first two weeks of the semester with the Academic Support Center (ASC), located in the Bond
Academic Center. This policy assists the University in its commitment to full compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act
and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Section 504 (a) prohibits discrimination against students with special needs and guarantees
all qualified students equal access to and benefits of PLNU programs and activities. Once the student files documentation, the ASC
will contact the student’s instructors and provide written recommendations for reasonable and appropriate accommodations to meet
the individual learning needs of the student.

A DDEN DUM : C OURSE OF S TU DY L EAR NI NG O UTC OME S FOR COT N O RD INA TI ON R EQU IR EM EN TS M ET B Y T HIS C OURSE
1. Ability to identify the literary structure of the NT
2. Ability to identify the genre & basic thrust of each New Testament book

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3. Ability to summarize the significant life events of Jesus & Paul
4. Ability to identify the significant elements of the message of Jesus and Paul
5. Ability to describe the impact of the historical background of the NT on the message of Jesus & Paul
6. Ability to chronologically order the significant events & persons of the New Testament
7. Ability to identify & describe the major theological concepts of the New Testament

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