SC 135 Risen Lord in a Pagan Empire

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Module Level

Level 8 (Undergraduate)

Time Allowance

Lectures 22 Hours; Tutorials 4 Hours.


Continuous Assessment (50%) Final Take Home Exam to be completed within 24 hours (50%)

Module Aims

To introduce students to the critical study of the Synoptic Gospels so that they can be read as narratives, as hope for contemporary communities of faith and as good news in the “courtyard of the Gentiles.”

Indicative Syllabus:

  • The New Testament World: geography, peoples, powers and religions
  • The History of Second Temple Judaism: groupings and tendencies
  • The Gospels: genre, development, character
  • The lectio continua of the Mark’s Gospel
  • Ways of reading: different approaches to Gospel interpretation
  • Parables in contemporary Gospel interpretation
  • Exegesis of selected Gospel passages
  • Major theological concerns of Mark: Christology, discipleship, ecclesiology, theology of God
  • Issues in contemporary Gospel scholarship: e.g., the historical Jesus debate, Synoptic Theory

Learning Outcomes

  • Understand and be able to use contemporary exegetical concepts and terminology
  • Have obtained an overview of the historical dimensions of the text and the associated diachronic methods
  • Be familiar with narrative and literary methods of textual interpretation and the associated synchronic methods
  • Have a gained familiarity and fluency in the narrative of Mark’s Gospel and its interpretation


  • Rhoads, David M., Joanna Dewey, and Donald Michie. Mark as Story: An Introduction to the Narrative of a Gospel. Third ed. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2015