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New Testament Introduction - NT 101

Course Instructors: Dr. Ben Kimmell & Dwayne Searcy
Meeting Time/ Day: Sundays | 1:00pm - 2:00pm *according to the course schedule*
Meeting Location: Calvary Baptist Church, Worship Center

Class Resources


This course will provide an overview of the entire New Testament, placing every book in its proper first century context. Each book in the New Testament will be reviewed. The course will also examine the world in which the New Testament was born. Attention will be given to historicity of Jesus and the early church. It will examine elements of second temple Judaism and will guide the student toward a better understanding the New Testament in its world. There will be discussions concerning literary types, critical methods, methods of interpretation, analysis of the writing and theology of various authors, updates on New Testament scholarship, and more.

The course will be taught over a period of thirty weeks (not counting open weeks due to holidays—see attached course schedule). There will be weekly readings in the required text, viewing of the accompanying video, and responding to the companion workbook questions for the assigned chapters. When covering specific books of the New Testament, reading the relevant NT books will also be required.

The course will include 7 exams to assess the student’s apprehension and comprehension of the assigned material and classroom discussions The course may also include requirements for students to lead weekly discussion over assigned materials as the course instructors indicate.

This course is designed to provide an avenue for church leaders, teachers, and those who would aspire to those roles, to acquire a detailed overview of the New Testament at minimal cost and minimal disruption to students’ schedules. It will, however, require intensive and sustained effort as the course schedule is both lengthy and ambitious. Students who successfully complete the course will receive a certificate of completion.


Course Objectives:

  1. To gain an understanding of the importance and significance of the book we know as the New Testament.
  2. To understand the history, cultures, and 2nd Temple Jewish context of Jesus, the New Testament writers, and the early church.
  3. To understand the subject and importance of the “Historical Jesus”.
  4. To survey the life of Christ, his teachings, his focus on the Kingdom of God, new creation, his role as the Messiah, and his sacrificial death.
  5. To know the concepts of resurrection in Greek, Roman, and Jewish thought and compare them against the writings of Paul and the Gospel writers.
  6. To understand that the resurrection of Jesus is the only rational explanation for the birth and spread of Christianity.
  7. To become familiar with Paul’s life, background, ministry, and theology as well as his writings.
  8. To examine the four gospels, the authors, issues, critical matters, literary genre, and the story that they tell about the God of Israel coming to His people. Each gospel tells the story of Jesus from a slightly different perspective, the student will learn to discern and appreciate the differences. The works of Luke are considered as one unit in that Luke authored the Gospel of Luke and the book of Acts.
  9. The pastoral epistles are examined as documents that tell the account of the early church and the mission of God.
  10. To gain understanding of the literary type of the book of Revelation and the finality of Christ’s ultimate victory and rule.
  11. The student will be exposed to the discipline of “textual criticism” and will have an understanding of the Greek text that our New Testament is translated from.
  12. The student will be made familiar with the history, councils, and processes that lead to the canon of the New Testament.
  13. The students will be challenged as to how they will embody and share the New Testament’s teachings in their surrounding communities and the world today.

 Course Requirements:

  1. Purchase required textbooks.
  2. Complete the assigned reading.
  3. Attend classes.
  4. Participate in class discussions.
  5. Take and pass class exams.
  6. To be awarded a certificate of completion you must maintain an overall “C” average.

Grading Scale:

A 100 - 90
B 89 - 80
C 79 - 70
D 69 - 60
F 59 - 0
New Testament Introduction (NT 101) Required Texts
  • The New Testament in its World by N. T. Wright and Michael Bird, Zondervan Academic / SPCK publishers 2019, 987 pages. Hardback. (NTIIW)
  • The New Testament in its World Workbook by N. T. Wright and Michael Bird, Zondervan Academic / SPCK publishers 2019, 171 pages. Paperback. (NTWB)
  • Modern English New Testament such as the English Revised Version (ESV), Christian Standard Bible (CSB), New International Version (NIV), New Living Translation (NLT) or another contemporary translation.
Other Resources

The New Testament in Its World Video Lectures: An Introduction to the History, Literature, and Theology of the First Christians DVD. This is a collection of 4 DVDs / 37 lectures that were composed by N. T. Wright and Michael Bird. We will be viewing these as we go through the course. You will NOT need to purchase the DVD set.