• STH TN 806: The Gospel of John
    The purpose of this study of the Fourth Gospel is to acquaint the student with this work from the later New Testament period in a way that provides understanding of and the capacity for criticism of the text involved (in addition to some non-canonical Johannine literature, e.g., the Gnostic Apocryphon of John). Appreciation for both the unity and the diversity within the Johannine literature should increase during this study. (Requires TN 721 or equivalent)
  • STH TN 810: The Social Setting of Early Christianity
    The focus of the course will be the economy, society, and culture of the Greco-Roman world in which the first Christians lived. The purpose of the course is to introduce the student to the social world that produced the New Testament and other early Christian literature, including martyrdoms and apologies. We will read primary and secondary sources on Roman history (early imperial period), ancient Judaism (from Alexander the Great to the revolt by the messianic figure Bar Kochba), Greco-Roman religions (with focus on the "pagan spirituality" of the ancient mystery religions), and the reaction by Roman magistrates and pagan intellectuals to the new Christian movement. Such context is essential for reconstructing the life, religion, society, and culture of the ancient Christians. (Requires TN 721 or equivalent)
  • STH TN 813: Letter to the Romans
    Analysis of Paul's most systemic letter with special attention to the themes of election, justification by faith, ethics, and new Israel. Romans' historical impact on Luther, Wesley, Barth, and Bultmann. (Requires TN 721 or equivalent)
  • STH TN 815: Jesus and Paul on Poverty and Economic Issues
    We live in a time of great wealth and great poverty. We, the rich and the poor, often coexist in close proximity, as neighbors and strangers, folk passing each other, sometimes unseen, in grocery stores and gas stations, people who interact or, more often, live in segregated silences within church and society. At the global level, too, the pattern of passing and unseeing exchange recurs in engagements (whether economic, political, or cultural) among nations of great wealth and the world's poor. This class engages New Testament texts and early Christian communities' own struggles with poverty, status, and class differences as a springboard for deep discussions of the moral life around issues of poverty and economic justice. (Requires TN 721 or equivalent)
  • STH TN 816: Greek Reading I
    This course builds on Greek language skills by engaging in close readings and translations of New Testament and other Greek literature.
  • STH TN 817: Greek Reading II
    This course builds on Greek language skills by engaging in close readings and translations of New Testament and other Greek literature.
  • STH TN 820: The Gospel of Mark
    English exegesis of the gospel according to Mark. (Requires TN 721 or equivalent)
  • STH TN 825: Gender & Family in Early Christianity
    A study of early Christian perspectives on gender, sexuality, marriage, divorce, household arrangements and family life, as expressed in New Testament and other early Christian writings, within the context of ancient Mediterranean teachings and practice. Topics will include: the impact of slavery on family arrangements, the roles of women in the household and society, ancient beliefs about masculinity and femininity, and the function of arguments regarding "natural" sexuality in earliest Christian discourse. (Requires TN 721 or equivalent)
  • STH TN 826: The Corinthian Correspondence
    A theological and exegetical study; attention to literary and religio-historical problems. (Requires TN 721 or equivalent)
  • STH TN 827: Gender in Early Christianity
    We will compare and contrast modern American and early Christian constructions of gender, historically, socioculturally, and theologically, using the early Christian formulations within their Greco-Roman and Jewish contexts as a springboard for group discussion and analysis. In the first third of the course, we ask how, in comparison to our own, first century C.E. Jews, Greeks, and Romans seem to have constructed and enacted their gender identities. In the latter two thirds of the course, we analyze how these gender categories impacted early Christianity and how, in turn, adherents shaped them in their own identity formation and theological explorations. Primary sources include Greco-Roman, Second-Temple Jewish, New Testament, and other early Christian texts. (Requires TN 721 or equivalent)
  • STH TN 833: Archaeology and Religion in Ancient Ephesus
    Analysis of the social and civic context of ancient religions in Ephesus especially through examination of-- and reflection upon--the city's extant material culture which the class will observe during a 10 day visit to ancient Ephesus and other archaeological sites in the region (March 7-17). Ephesus will serve as our primary classroom. Visits to other sites will be used for comparative purposes as we interpret the material remains in Ephesus during 4 visits to the site.
  • STH TN 838: Friendship and Paul's Letter to the Philippians
    In his letter to the Philippians, Paul gave common Greek and Roman ideas about friendship a distinctively Christian cast in order to address internal and external struggles believers there were experiencing. We will begin read ancients from Aristotle to Dio Chrysostom who talked about friendship to create a set of portraits of elite friendship. We will then read Philippians in light of this common portrait, addressing: the interrelationship of believers as "friends"; the importance of imitation, unity, suffering righteousness, and love, for Christian living; the question of the identity of the Philippians' opponents; and challenges of understanding themselves as a distinctive "commonwealth" within a Roman imperial colony. We will engage modern concerns arising from these emphases throughout the course, as we place them in conversation with the social, ethical, and theological struggles faced by first-century non-Jewish converts who were forming new identities as Christians and seeking to understand both their relationship to Judaism and their place within the Roman Empire. (Requires TN 721 or equivalent)
  • STH TN 841: Luke-Acts
    Luke-Acts as apologetic and missionary instrument in the Roman world. Redefinition of the figure of Jesus, Paul, and the apostles in the late first century. (Requires TN 721 or equivalent)
  • STH TO 704: Hebrew Bible I
    Introduction to the religion and literature of ancient Israel; development of Hebrew scripture within its cultural, historical, and social contexts. Required of all students who have not completed a thorough introduction to the Hebrew Bible. A one-hour study section is also required. This course is prerequisite for all Hebrew Bible II courses. MDIV & MTS CORE REQUIREMENT.
  • STH TO 723: Biblical Hebrew I
    Hebrew grammar, including exercises in translation and composition, following Lambdin's Introduction to Biblical Hebrew. Prepares students to read Hebrew prose. (Credit for STH TO 723 is given only after successful completion of STH TO 724.)
  • STH TO 724: Biblical Hebrew II
    Graduate Prerequisites: STH TO 723.
    Continues and presupposes STH TO 723.
  • STH TO 802: The Prophetic Tradition
    The history of biblical prophecy in the context of ancient Near Eastern prophetic phenomena. Emphasis on reading primary texts and questions of social context, role, literary forms, rhetoric, and relation to tradition and to the present. (Requires TO 704 or equivalent)
  • STH TO 804: The Book of Ezekiel
    The book of Ezekiel is radical literature; and those who would study it seriously must be prepared for strange visions, troubling twists on traditions, weird sign acts, priestly minutiae, and almost relentless divine anger. We will read the entire book of Ezekiel, using "among other resources" Darr's commentary on the book of Ezekiel in the New Interpreter's Bible Commentary. Class sessions will include lectures and seminar-style class discussions. (Requires TO 704 or equivalent)
  • STH TO 807: History of Israelite Religion
    The origins and development of the religion of Israel and Judah from its earliest roots in Canaanite culture to its transformation in the Persian period. Attention to extra-biblical, as well as biblical evidence; the religion of family and countryside, as well as that of cities and elites; ritual behavior and mythological representation, and theological assertations and questionings.
  • STH TO 813: Proverbs
    A study of ancient Israel's proverbs as poetry, as strategies for dealing with a variety of social interactions, and as compact exemplars of ancient wisdom. We will examine both the sayings of Israel's sages and the popular proverbs everyone "performed," assisted not only by critical biblical scholarship, but also by the fields of paremiology (the study of proverbs), folklore studies, and anthropology. (Requires TO 704 or equivalent)