Dr. Shirley's Web Courses

REL 103 - New Testament Survey


Course Description :

This course is a survey of the history, literature, and content of the New Testament, with an emphasis on the historical background of the New Testament and the influence of the literature on Western culture. The course will consist of reading and studying the whole of the New Testament, with additional readings from the textbook and other library and World Wide Web resources. It will be important for the student to keep up with all reading and written assignments.
This is a 3-credit-hour course, so is the equivalent of 3 one-hour lectures per week with at least another 3 hours of individual study and class assignments per week. As a general guide, students should schedule about 6 hours per week for this course, i.e. about an hour a day, Monday through Saturday, with Sunday for a brief review of the past week's work. Students who work steadily for an hour-or-so each day on this course should have no difficulty in getting a good Grade. Students who make a habit of leaving the week's work for an overnighter on Sundays will probably not do very well.
Those who have difficulty keeping to an orderly routine of study, or who lack self-discipline when faced with conflicting priorities, will probably do better to attend a lecture-based course rather than the Web-based course, and should register for one of the other sections of REL 103 offered at ENMU.

Objectives of the Course :

To enable the student :

  1. to gain knowledge of the content of the various books of the New Testament and their identifying characteristics;
  2. to gain knowledge of the chronology of New Testament writings and events;
  3. to gain knowledge of the various types of literature in the New Testament;
  4. to gain knowledge of the cultural settings of the New Testament World (economic, political, social, and religious), with particular reference to the Roman, Greek, and Jewish cultures;
  5. to gain an appreciation of a variety of cultures, including Roman, Jewish, and European;
  6. to strengthen reading and literary skills by exposure to a variety of genres, including poetic, epistolary, narrative, and apocalyptic forms;
  7. to develop skills in critical thinking by exposure to historical and literary (form, source, redaction, canonical) criticism;
  8. to develop skills in moral reasoning by reading and reacting to the foundational texts of New Testament ethics;
  9. to do reflective self-analysis by applying personal experience and critical thinking to the development of individual values.

Student Expectations :

Students are expected to read the whole of the New Testament and the assignments from the text book and other sources. Students may choose any non-sectarian translation of the Bible. Help in choosing Bibles for study is available on the "Bibles Page".
Academic dishonesty will not be tolerated. Students should refer to the university catalogue for a definition of academic dishonesty and its penalties, or they should go to this Web Page and familiarize themselves with the relevant material.
Grades will be based on exams and class assignments (essays and weekly reading reports). The Final Exam will be given during Finals' Week at the end of the semester. Students are expected to take exams at the times scheduled. Students who cannot take an exam at the scheduled time are expected to take the exam at an earlier time.

Any student who, because of a disabling condition, may require special arrangements in order to meet the course requirements should contact the instructor as soon as possible so that necessary accommodations may be made.
ENMU Reasonable Accommodation statements:

  1. Any student eligible for and requesting academic accommodations due to a disability is requested to provide an academic accommodation form from Services for Students with Disabilities within the first two weeks of the beginning of classes.
  2. Instructors are to receive an academic accommodation form within the first two weeks of classes when there is an existing disability.
  3. If you have a specific disability that qualifies you for academic accommodations, please provide an academic accommodation form from Services for Students with Disabilities within the first two weeks of the semester.

Course Prerequisites : None

Background Knowledge/Skills : Students should be comfortable with reading and writing at College level, and should have sufficient computing, word processing and library skills to be able to complete assignments without overstraining themselves. Those who wish to improve their writing skills may take advantage of the Writing Workshops which Student Academic Services offers free to all students.

The Instructor and Office Hours :

The instructor is available to meet with any student regarding any matter. The instructor will be available at the office hours posted, and at other times by appointment. Students may contact the instructor by phone 9 am to 9 pm. Home phone (505) 763-0101, with an answering machine to leave messages, or e-mail Dr. Rollinson

Grades :

Grades will be based on : Assignments + Essays + Exams

Computation of Grades :
90 - 100 %= A
80 - 89 %= B
70 - 79 %= C
60 - 69 %= D
0 - 59 %= F

Texts :

The BIBLE : It is recommended that each student use at least 2 different translations of the Bible.
If a student has facility in another language besides English, it is good to read the Bible in that language also.
Students who are learning Greek and/or Hebrew should read and translate at least a few verses each day.
and :
The Zondervan Handbook to the Bible
(editors : Pat and David Alexander) ISBN 0-310-23095-0

Course Organization :

The course is divided into 15 units corresponding roughly to the weeks of the semester.
Each "weekly Unit" will conclude with an assignment, which is to be completed and e-mailed to the instructor by 9 am on the following Monday.

  1. Assignments - The Assignments for each week are due by 9 am on the Monday of the next week. It is recommended that students try to send in their assignments a few days ahead of time in case there are problems with the computers over the weekend.
  2. Late Work - For work to be eligible for an "A" Grade, it must be e-mailed to the instructor on time. Students may send their assignments in early, and are advised to do so whenever possible. Work may be sent in up to 2 weeks late, but will drop a letter Grade per week that it is overdue.
  3. Makeup - Because of the nature of this course, in which students do not have to attend classes at particular times on particular days, there is no provision for "make-up" work.
  4. Exams - There will be a Mid-term Exam, and a Final Exam, both of which will count towards the Course Grade.
  5. Extensions - extensions will only be granted under grave extenuating circumstances and at the discretion of the instructor. If you think that you may need an extension, you should contact the instructor ahead of time with your request, and explain the situation.

Anticipated Student Workload :

3 - 5 hours per week reading, 2 - 4 hours per week writing, 1 - 2 hour per week library/computer

Resources :

Class Notes
Reading Logs
FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions
How to get an "A"
REL 103 Resources
General Resource Page
Aids to Bible Study
History Pages
Geography Pages
InterNet Links
Academic Integrity

Copyright © 1999 Shirley J. Rollinson, all Rights Reserved

Dr. Rollinson

Department of Religion
Station 19, ENMU
Portales, NM 88130

Last Updated: January 29, 2008

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