Biblical Theology of the New Testament

Course Syllabus

142 | Biblical Theology of the New Testament
Two Credits
Course begins 01/21/14; ends 05/09/14
Meeting times: TBA

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Professor:

Dr. Gerald Bilkes is the professor for this course. Dr. Bilkes is Professor of New Testament and Biblical Theology at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary. He completed a Ph.D. (2002) from Princeton Theological Seminary. He was recipient of the United States Information Agency Fellowship at the Albright Institute (ASOR) in Jerusalem during the 1997-1998 year. He has written several articles on biblical-theological themes and given addresses at several conferences. His areas of special interest include hermeneutics, the history of interpretation, and conversion in the Bible.

Purpose of the Course:

As pastors and teachers of the word of God, it is necessary to systematize the truths scattered throughout the Bible and present them to people in a coherent, logical form (M.Div 3&4). In order to do this accurately, it is first necessary to listen to the text and discern its teaching (M.Div 1). One step in this method is to trace God’s revelation throughout the different eras of biblical history. That is what this course aims to accomplish especially in terms of God’s revelation to the New Testament authors. How did the New Testament authors understand the history of Israel and what system of theology emerges from their writings?

Description of the Course:

This course introduces the student to the fundamental principles of New Testament Biblical Theology with a special focus on the teachings of Jesus. The course is a blended course which means that instruction is delivered using a combination of online materials and direct instruction.

Objectives of the Course:

Upon successful completion of the course requirements, the student will:

  1. commune with the Triune God through His Word; a Deo docetur, Deum docet, ad Deum ducit.
  2. understand the value and limitations of the discipline of New Testament theology for faith and ministry;
  3. be able to use, analyze, and evaluate major evangelical New Testament theology books;
  4. admire the intricacy, beauty, and glory of the Scripture’s teaching, and its relevance for spirituality, theology, and mission;
  5. be equipped to train others to understand the coherence of the main teachings of the New Testament more productively;
  6. discern the principles of New Testament Theology for understanding the issues of mission, prayer, headship, Pentecostalism, and preaching.

Text:

The following materials need to be purchased.

  • Course packet for 241 Biblical Theology of the New Testament.
  • Leon Morris. The Apostolic Preaching of the Cross, Eerdmans, 1955.
  • Andreas J. Kostenberger, L. Scott Kellum, Charles Quarles. The Cradle, the Cross, and the Crown, B & H Publishing, 2009.
  • William Gurnall. The Christian in Complete Armor, Hendrickson, 2010.

Grade Breakdown:

Worksheets:Interact:Writing:Discuss:

Each reading is accompanied by a worksheet.

37 hours

50% of final grade.


5 one hour seminars; 3.5 hrs of total prep time

8.5 hours

10% of final grade.


There are two essays to write.

6 hours

30% of final grade.


There are nine discussions which require your input.

16 hours

10% of final grade.

Philosophy of Learning

The Capacity for Knowledge
God’s Word tells us that we have the capacity to know God since we’ve been created in the image of God. Though that capacity has been radically corrupted through the fall, when God works in grace, he principally and gradually restores it by his Spirit, as the Spirit reshapes us after the image of Christ. Thus by grace in Jesus Christ, and through the illuminating work of God’s Holy Spirit, we can once again know God and his glory, know truth, know each other, and know everything we need to know to live to the glory of God.

God uses His self-revelation in the twin books of nature and His Word to that end. For us fallen creatures the Scriptures are the only path towards true knowledge. The Scriptures are the Word of God, infallibly down to the very words. The Word of God is the touchstone of truth. Thus we must have a thorough-going disposition of teachability, in order to receive this Word of God, its content, and come under its claim.

The Connectivity of Knowledge
God’s Word also tells us that alongside our capacity for knowledge, we have the capacity for righteousness and holiness. We can distinguish these capacities, but we cannot separate them. Right knowledge tends to righteousness and holiness, just as righteousness and holiness are based on true knowledge. Knowledge that does not tend towards righteousness and holiness is false or formal knowledge, and destructive. Accordingly, I teach knowledge with an eye to show the connectivity of knowledge to practice and piety.

The Components of Knowledge
As I teach any subject – whether exegesis, hermeneutics, biblical theology, etc.—I’m aiming that the student makes fundamental gains in:

1. Discerning the Relevance of the subject;
2. Grasping the Content of the subject;
3. Accessing the Sources of the subject;
4. Practicing the Skills related to the subject;
5. Pursuing the Implications flowing from the subject;
6. Engaging the Debates involved in the subject; and
7. Radiating a Passion fitting the subject.