KR027 Historical and Critical Introduction to the New Testament

Faculty of Arts
Autumn 2020
Extent and Intensity
2/0/0. 4 credit(s). Type of Completion: k (colloquium).
Taught online.
Mgr. et Mgr. Juraj Franek, Ph.D. (lecturer)
Guaranteed by
Mgr. et Mgr. Juraj Franek, Ph.D.
Department of Classical Studies - Faculty of Arts
Contact Person: Jitka Erlebachová
Supplier department: Department of Classical Studies - Faculty of Arts
Mon 12:00–13:40 D31
Working knowledge of the English language. Knowledge of Classical Greek is welcome, but by no means required.
Course Enrolment Limitations
The course is also offered to the students of the fields other than those the course is directly associated with.
fields of study / plans the course is directly associated with
Course objectives
The course is intended to provide a historical and critical introduction to the New Testament, arguably the single most influential collection of written texts in European history.
No previous knowledge of the New Testament or earliest Christianity is presupposed. The lectures are open to students from different fields of study that will benefit from the deeper knowledge of the New Testament literature (esp. Religious Studies, History, Fine Arts, National Literatures etc.). The lectures are likewise well suited for incoming Erasmus students.
Upon the completion of the course, students will have obtained a good command of the New Testament literature embedded in its historical and cultural context.
The structure of the lectures is loosely based on Bart D. Ehrman's The New Testament: A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings (Oxford: Oxford University Press 2012) and Dale B. Martin's New Testament History and Literature (New Haven - London: Yale University Press 2012).
Learning outcomes
Following the successful completion of the course, the student will be able to:
- summarize the main principles of textual criticism;
- describe the formation of the canon of the New Testament;
- provide an overview of Graeco-Roman religions and political, cultural and historical overview of Ancient Judaism;
- analyse selected books of the New Testament using methods of historical criticism;
- understand different methodological approaches to the New Testament.
  • 1. What is the New Testament and how can it be studied?
  • 2. Earliest Christianity in context: Jews and Pagans in the First Century CE.
  • 3. The Gospel according to Mark: Suffering Son of God.
  • 4. The Gospel according to Matthew: Jewish Messiah.
  • 5. The Gospel according to Luke and the Acts of the Apostles: Saviour of the World and his followers.
  • 6. The Gospel according to John and Johannine Epistles: A Man sent from Heaven.
  • 7. The Quest for Historical Jesus: From Renan to Modern times.
  • 8. Paul as a missionary and pastor: 1 Thessalonians, Philemon and 1 & 2 Corinthians.
  • 9. Paul as a Jewish theologian: Galatians and Romans.
  • 10. The Deutero-Pauline and Pastoral Epistles.
  • 11. The Revelation of John: Christianity and Apocalypticism.
  • 12. Concluding Remarks and Discussion.
    required literature
  • Coogan, Michael D. (ed.) (2010). The New Oxford Annotated Bible: New Revised Standard Version. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Ehrman, Bart D. (2012). The New Testament: A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Martin, B. Dale (2012). New Testament History and Literature. New Haven - London: Yale University Press.
    recommended literature
  • Harvey, Anthony E. (2004). A Companion to the New Testament: Second Edition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Harvey, Susan A. - Hunter, David G. (eds.) (2008). The Oxford Handbook of Early Christian Studies. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Teaching methods
Lectures and class discussions.
Assessment methods
Multiple choice test consisting of 20 questions with pass mark set to 70%.
Language of instruction
Further Comments
Study Materials
The course is taught once in two years.

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