An exegetical and theological study of the books of the New Testament General Epistles of Hebrews, James, 1, 2 Peter, 1, 2, 3 John, and Jude.
These letters offer a unique perspective to the development and theology of the early church that is non-Pauline. Students will develop more skill in interpreting the Bible by studying these books. Students will learn to identify the key themes, background, and application of these letters. Particular attention will be paid to what these books teach about holiness. Students will be able to explain and practice how faith must be reflected in both the quality of relationships and deeds of compassion without regard to the social status of the person who receives our attention. The relevance of the concerns of these early Christian communities such as identity, unity, behavior and spiritual warfare will be explored.
The early church developed in various contexts. Many of these contexts can be known and others are implied. These letters deal with many topics that are still relevant to the church today. These letters contain theology of second-generation Christians. We can gain a look at how the early church understood the person, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. We can also see their struggles to understand their faith and find unity in a pagan environment. Through it all, we can see the commitment of the early believers and solid faith in the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
Intended Course Outcomes through Engagements
Students will show growth in the following ways:
- Character Formation: Model new insights about Jesus Christ gained by a careful reading and interaction with the Bible and the General Epistles.
- Content Processing with Peers: Evaluate and apply truths that emerge from the interpretation of the General Epistles.
- Ministry Capability Development: Relate the themes of each epistle to both personal and ministry contexts in going from text to proclamation.
- Application in Mission and Community: Develop a plan for community outreach based upon the leading of the Holy Spirit through study of the General Epistles.
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