Sunday, July 3, 2011

Yale Open Course: New Testament

I listened to the first lecture of Yale's free Intro to the New Testament course.

The prof comes out right away saying that the class will approach the New Testament using methods of historical inquiry and verification.  It will not, on the other hand, approach it using methods of faith or theology.  It will not approach it as if it's scripture.

I like this, because it seems to mean that the first priority of the class is to make conclusions based upon evidence, rather than upon faith, tradition, or the authority of spiritual leaders.  Additionally, the prof says he will not make an effort to unify the messages in the texts of the New Testament.

Some interesting bits:
  • The person who wrote Acts probably wrote Luke as well, however this author is unknown to us. (I thought it was thought that Luke did write them both.)
  • Some books of the NT may have been written as late as 150 CE.  (150 CE is later than I thought any of the books were written)
  • The book of Hebrews was a sermon that was meant to be addressed to gentiles.  (I thought it was addressed to Jews, possibly priests)

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