General Objectives: This course seeks to familiarize students with the Pauline Letters, the Catholic Letters and the Letter to the Hebrews in order to be able to employ them effectively in academic, pastoral and liturgical contexts as well as for personal reading and meditation.
Course Outlines: 1. Introduction. Classification of the New Testament letters. Hellenistic epistolary form. Hellenistic rhetorical style. 2. The Pauline Corpus. The letters of undisputed Pauline authorship. The so-called Deutero-Pauline Letters. The Pastoral Epistles. 3. The Catholic Letters: James. 1-2 Peter. Jude. 4. The Letter to the Hebrews.
Bibliography: Cousar, Charles B. The Letters of Paul. Interpreting Biblical Texts. Nashville: Abingdon, 1996; Dunn, James D. G. The Theology of Paul the Apostle. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2006; Gorman, Michael J. Apostle of the Crucified Lord: A Theological Introduction to Paul and His Letters. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2003; Gray, Patrick. Opening Paul’s Letters: A Reader’s Guide to Genre and Interpretation. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2012; Koester, Craig R. Hebrews. The Anchor Bible. New York: Doubleday, 2001; Koester, Helmut. Paul and his World. Minneapolis: Fortress, 2007; Marchal, Joseph, ed. Studying Paul’s Letters: Contemporary Perspectives and Methods. Minneapolis: Fortress, 2012; Meeks, Wayne A. The First Urban Christians: The Social World of the Apostle Paul. 2nd ed. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2003; Murphy-O’Connor, Jerome. Paul the Letter-Writer: His World, His Options, His Skills. Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 1995; Vanhoye, Albert. A Different Priest: The Epistle to the Hebrews. Series Rhetorica Semitica. Miami: Convivium, 2011.
Learning Outcomes: Upon completion of the course, students will be capable of carrying out a responsible exegesis of passages from these NT texts, identifying and interpreting their literary aspects, and analyzing and explaining their major theological themes. Students will be aware of the historical context from which these writings came and familiar with key resources and commentaries for ongoing study.