The objective of the course is to assist the students in a thorough study of Mark, Matthew, Luke and Acts of the Apostles. By historical-critical analysis of the texts the students will be introduced to the theological understanding of the Synoptic Gospels and Acts. The background of these NT works will be emphasized. This close reading of the text will help the students to answer the questions: who wrote the text, for whom, when and why.
First semester (Mark, Matthew) I. Introduction What is a Gospel; oral tradition; books and believers in early Christianity; the quest for sources; the Synoptics and the historical-critical analysis; the Synoptic Problem authorship, date, features, community, purpose, theology of the Gospels of Mark and Matthew. II. Reading and commenting on Mark’s and Matthew’s Gospels. Second semester (Luke, Acts of the Apostles) III. Introduction to Luke’s authorship, purpose, theology of the Gospel and Acts. IV. Reading and commenting on Luke’s Gospel. V. Reading and commenting on Acts. Learning Outcomes: The students by the end of the course are expected to achieve: • Familiarity with the content of the Synoptic Gospels and Acts. • Understanding of the background of the books and the process and the goal of their composition. • Appreciation of the contribution of each of the evangelists to the gospel tradition and begin to sense their special literary, theological, thematic, spiritual and editorial input. • Ability to explain the Synoptic problem and characteristics of each of the Synoptic Gospels and Acts. • Capacity to summarize the key theological themes. • Sound knowledge of the Roman Catholic view of Scripture and methods for interpretation (synchronic, diachronic, existential).
The Bible Brown Raymond E. An Introduction to the New Testament. New York: Doubleday, 1997.