Santa Clara University
Graduate Program in Pastoral Ministries, SCU
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  Course Description

The New Testament texts that figure most prominently in the life of the Church are the Synoptic Gospels, that is, the three that tell the story of Jesus in largely the same way ("synoptic" means "seeing together"). These are the gospels that shape the three-year lectionary cycle of the Church, and thus the texts from which we receive most of our traditions about the life, ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus and the gospel message. This course introduces you to these central texts, to the figure of Jesus in them, and to the early Christian authors and audiences who wrote them. As the foundational New Testament course, it also introduces you to the spiritual and intellectual discipline of biblical studies through its focus on methods of inquiry and tools of study. The course privileges Catholic perspectives on the interpretation of scripture in the life of the Church, perspectives that amplify the voice of the poor and marginalized as we reflect on what the "good news" might mean today.

Program & Course Learning Objectives

The GPPM Program learning objectives for the core New Testament course stipulate that, by the end of this course, you will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the New Testament according to the following competencies (GPPM Objective 1.A):

    1. Summarize principles of Catholic and academic biblical interpretation (quiz#1, class 2).

    2. Describe the overall structure, peculiar purpose, literary genre, theological themes and probable audience for one gospel (quiz #2, class 9).

    3. Use the basic tools for biblical exegesis, namely the concordance, synopsis, commentary, biblical or theological dictionary, New Testament Abstracts and the ATLA Religion Database (Exercises 3, 4, 5 & 6; Exegetical Research Paper).

    4. Identify and apply the definition, steps, assumptions, goals, and limitations of two critical exegetical methods (Exercises 1 & 5; Exegetical Research Paper).

  2. Integrate the perspective of the poor and marginalized in your reflection on theological and pastoral issues (Exercise #7; Exegetical Research Paper; GPPM Objective 4.B).
How to Use this Web Site

The tabs at the left guide you to course resources.  Use them to access assignment directions, readings on Camino or Library Reserve, schedules, the Synoptic Workbook, and research tools throughout the quarter, as needed.  The Class Notes pages provide links to the slides presented in class.

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