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Reading Sacred Scripture: The New Testament
Meet Your Instructor
Dr. Najeeb T. Haddad is Chair and Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Notre Dame of Maryland University (Baltimore, MD). He received his PhD in New Testament and Early Christianity from Loyola University Chicago in 2018, and is a parishioner of the Nativity of the Theotokos Antiochian Orthodox Church in Hunt Valley, MD.
Every other Monday from 7:00pm to 8:30pm starting January 11th, 2021 through May 31st , 2021 (11 total
Why should I study the New Testament? In our modern American society, we see the effects of religiosity, both negative and positive, on our culture. But to begin to understand religiosity in mainstream America, we must begin with a critical study of Christianity at its foundations; the New Testament. This course is an introduction to the historical and theological reading of the various early documents of Christianity known as the “New Testament.” The New Testament writings, because they are so removed from our own time and because they are so frequently used by people as a basis of their religious life, are often misunderstood and misused. The course attempts to introduce you not only to the contents (“message”) of the literature but also to the “methods” by which the literature can be intelligently read and understood. The application of standard literary techniques frequently reveals themes and ideas that are at variance with traditional interpretations of the Bible, but also have the power to capture the imagination today in ways traditional views sometimes no longer do.
Specific attention will be paid to the legacies of two figures of enormous importance: Jesus Christ and Paul. We will also explore the phenomenon of the New Testament “canon,” while focusing on the content, contexts, and development of the New Testament. A portion of the course will also be devoted to becoming familiar with the critical methodologies used in the modern academic study of the Bible.
Explain the significant events leading to the development of the Christian movement, from the birth of Jesus to the end of the 1st century.
Situate the New Testament in the wider context of Greco-Roman culture, including its historical, socio-cultural, and religious environments.
Demonstrate knowledge of the intersections between the New Testament and selected contemporary issues, including ethics, social, political, economic, or cultural issues.
Analyze and interpret New Testament texts, beliefs, and practices using standard scholarly methods and tools.
Trace the development of views about Jesus (Christological views) from 1st century up to the present day.
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