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REL 201: Introduction to the New Testament: Home

A basic introduction to the literature and theology of the New Testament, including exposure to critical methods such as form and redaction criticisms.

Core Value

The Core Value of REL 201 is Excellence. Participants in the Introduction to the New Testament class will contribute to the success of the class throguh hard work, diligent study, and developing the expected skills and knowledge needed to understand and interpret the New Testament and other texts beyond the course. 

Excellence: Saint Leo University is an educational enterprise. All of us, individually and collectively, work hard to ensure that our students develop the character, learn the skills and assimilate the knowledge essential to become morally responsible leaders. The success of our University depends upon a conscientious commitment to our mission, vision, and goals. 



Prerequisite: PHI 101

Please review syllabus for Late Policy, Attendance Policy, information for Students with Disabilities, the Academic Honor Code, and Protection of the Academic Environment. 

Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate general knowledge of the content of the New Testament, including arrangement of material, formation of synoptic gospels, and format of Pauline letters. 
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of the historical and cultural settings of the New Testament, including geography of Israel, groups of Jews, and the concerns of early Jewish groups. 
  3. Demonstrate knowledge of the literary and theological characteristics of each gospel, especially the emphases of each evangelist (including identification and analysis). 
  4. Demonstrate knowledge of and rudimentary ability to use historical, redaction, and form criticisms (these methods include analysis of specific passages). 
  5. Demonstrate teh ability to research meanings of biblical themes and passages, including familiarity with biblical reference materials (including synthesis of material from these sources). 
  6. Demonstrate understanding of different portraits of Jesus and the meaning of Christian discipleship (including analysis).

Expected Learning Outcomes

  1. Students will be able to use biblical reference material to trace biblical themes. 
  2. Students will be able to analyze biblical texts incorporating form, historical context, structure, and editing perspectives. 
  3. Students will learn to describe the formation of the New Testament especially the synpotic gospels. 
  4. Students will recognize and identify the literary characteristics of each evangelist as well as their intended messages. 
  5. Students will describe the portraits of Jesus present in teh four gospels and Pauline literature. 
  6. Students will analyze Pauline literature appropriate to the texts as letters. 

Written Assignments and the MLA Format

The Religion Department recognizes the value of excellence in writing for students in Religion. In part, each professor is expected to provide guidance on improving a student's writing skills. Students are required to use only the MLA (Modern Language Association) format to write and develop a scholarly paper for submission. MLA has been adopted by the department as its writing standard for all academic written assignments. No other writing style is acceptable. 

MLA is the Modern Language Association, and the style is one of many in the academic world used to regulate the language, citations, procedure, and formatting of manuscripts and other examples of writing. Please be consistent throughout each written paper. Refer to the MLA Guide under Resources on the Course Menu for MLA specifics. An on-line reference for MLA can be accessed at the following website:

For each scholarly paper and group assignment(s), the work will be assessed using an individual grading rubric for each assignment. This tool and process helps the students identify and the professor measure the key points necessary to successfully complete written or group assignments. Wikipedia is not an appropriate source for any scholarly writing and should not be used for any assignments in this course.