Probing your collective wisdom
Let us imagine you could teach a NT introduction course to 1st and 2nd year undergraduates in 10 sessions. In this imaginary scenario there is already a really superb looking syllabus, but you simply want to think through different options.
What would you suggest should be covered? What themes, NT books, background matters, exegetical approaches, etc. would you want to see discussed? Especially if you preach regularly, what have you found to be of the most enduring help when you look back on NT introduction courses?
I quickly dashed off the following without adding too many details – yet soon realised it was too much to cover in 10 sessions! Nevertheless, I will leave it unchanged and simply ask what would you alter, delete or add to the following:
Session 1: An overview of the Biblical Drama (A discussion on the basic trajectories of the biblical narrative(s), with an emphasis on the place of the NT in the unfolding drama; narrative criticism)
Session 2: Historical Jesus debate (The various modern approaches [Jesus as Cynic, restoration eschatology, etc.]. Testimony, historicity and theology – Bauckham)
Session 3: Matthew's Gospel (or Mark, or Luke?) – engaging in depth with one Gospel (what is a Gospel? the place of the Gospel story in the unfolding biblical drama; analysis of parables; the synoptic problem; miracles)
Session 4: The Olivet discourse, the passion and resurrection (including a look at textual and redaction analysis)
Session 5: Acts, and mission of the early church (historical criticism)
Session 6: Foundations for understanding Paul (epistolary and social scientific analyses, creation and covenant, Messiah, apocalyptic, monotheism, Paul's biography)
Session 7: Romans 1-11 (models of interpretation, Käsemann, Wright, Esler)
Session 8: 1 Corinthians (including a look at rhetorical analysis; Christology)
Session 9: Hebrews (middle Platonism or scripture? Intertextual analysis)
Session 10: Revelation (Apocalyptic and political subversion)
I would really appreciate any thoughts. For those of you who know what this is about, please don't say anything in the comments ...