Search | Directories | Reference Tools
UW Home > Discover UW > Student Guide > Course Catalog 

Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Michael A Williams
RELIG 220
Seattle Campus

Introduction to the New Testament

Modern scholarly methods of research and analysis in dealing with New Testament books and their interpretation. Genres of various books (gospel, epistle, sacred history, apocalypse); problems of the relationships among author, material, and intended audience; relationships between theme and image.

Class description

This course introduces the modern scholarly study of the New Testament and the socio-cultural milieu within the New Testament literature originated. Attention is given to significant Jewish and Greco-Roman traditions and institutions that were of importance in shaping the earliest Christian movements. The various writings in the New Testament are examined individually, with interest in such issues as: The relationship between the author and audience and the immediate historical context of the writing, if known; literary genre; intertextuality; key religious issues of concern in a given writing, and their relation to the diverse spectrum of developing early Christian thought, practice, and social formation.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Lecture/discussion, illustrated with Powerpoint slides and select video, overheads, etc.

Recommended preparation

The course has no formal prerequisites. The course does include a quantity of new information and new concepts that many students often find challenging. Good study habits (including a commitment to careful reading of the textbooks) are extremely important.

Class assignments and grading

There is some variation in the details of the assignments, but generally they include: 1. A few written exercises. 10% of grade 2. Midterm exam. 30% of course grade. The Mid-term and final exams usually consist of about half multiple choice and half essay questions. Study questions are provided to prepare for the exams. 3. A brief essay assignment, of about 4-5 pages. The specific content of the assignment has varied from year to year. 20% of course grade. 4. Final exam. 40% of course grade.

See above under assignments.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Additional Information
Last Update by Michael A Williams
Date: 03/23/2011