About this Class
Our goal in this class, simply put, is to understand the basic theological message of the New Testament both in its diversity of expression and in its fundamental conceptual unity. To accomplish this goal, the course will pursue three objectives. We will begin by laying a historical and philosophical foundation for our understanding of the theology of the New Testament. We will then examine the major theological themes of the three parts of the New Testament canon. We will, finally, study the theological themes that bind the entire New Testament together as a conceptually unified book.
An overview of the history of New Testament Theology as a discipline, emphasizing the role of the Reformation.
Comparing and contrasting pietist and rationalist approaches to the study of New Testament Theology
Emergence of the four gospels, summary of their major differences, and efforts of the early church to harmonize them.
How the early church emphasized the unity of the four gospel accounts in proclaiming the "one gospel," and considered them authoritative sources for the life and ministry of Jesus, as opposed to the Gnostic gospels and other writings circulated at the time.
The four gospels each record the life and ministry of Jesus from a unique perspective while staying true to a single "gospel" message. This lecture focuses the common message and the central themes included in all of the four gospels.
A discussion of how Matthew portrays Jesus as fulfilling the traditional expectations of the Messiah as well as ways in which he went beyond the traditional expectations. Also, a discussion of specific examples in the four Gospels indicating by the Jewish leadership of Jesus as Messiah.
A discussion of why the Jewish leadership rejected Christ, from the perspective of the book of John. Also, an explanation of the meaning and significance of Christ's death.
Luke emphasizes how Jesus, in his ministry and death, identified with the "suffering servant" prophesied in Isaiah. Although Luke affirmed the atoning aspect of Jesus' death, he focused on how Jesus' death fulfilled the role of the suffering servant. Jesus' death not only established His church, but, much like the role of the servant in Isaiah, the church's central mission was to gather the nations. This lecture also addresses the type of response each gospel writer attempts to elicit from us as we read it.
Paul's writings show that his theology is coherent. Passages in his letters that show different aspects of his theology were written to address specific concerns, not an indication that his theology was in the process of changing. Also, a discussion of the "center" of Paul's theology.
The 5 major theological themes in Paul's letters are based on Pastoral issues that emerged in congregations of believers to whom Paul was writing. By examining these themes, we can understand Paul's theology more clearly, and get a glimpse of what it was like to be a Christian in the first century. This lecture covers the first two themes.
The 5 major theological themes in Paul's letters are based on Pastoral issues that emerged in congregations of believers to whom Paul was writing. By examining these themes, we can understand Paul's theology more clearly, and get a glimpse of what it was like to be a Christian in the first century. This lecture covers the third and fourth of the 5 themes.
The fifth of five theological emphases in Paul's letters is how he addresses false teaching. This discussion begins by examining how Paul deals with the proper relationship between the visible and invisible world. The second part of the lecture focuses on the basic structure of Paul's theology, as well as some of the similarities and differences in content and style of the last nine books of the New Testament.
The last nine books of the New Testament address some critical issues that the early church was facing. These books were written by different authors and from different perspectives but are in fundamental agreement on foundational teachings.
Beginning with point 2b, Dr. Thielman focuses on five theological themes that are emphasized throughout the New Testament.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who are the programs intended for?
The Foundations program is intended for everyone, regardless of biblical knowledge. The Academy program is intended for those who would like more advanced studies. And the Institute program is intended for those who want to study seminary-level classes.
Do I need to take the classes in a specific order?
In the Foundations and Academy programs, we recommend taking the classes in the order presented, as each subsequent class will build on material from previous classes. In the Institute program, the first 11 classes are foundational. Beginning with Psalms, the classes are on specific books of the Bible or various topics.
Do you offer transfer credit for completing a certificate program?
At this time, we offer certificates only for the classes on the Certificates page. While we do not offer transfer credit for completing a certificate program, you will be better equipped to study the Bible and apply its teachings to your life.