Banner Image

New Testament Epistles

Module Detail

New Testament Epistles

  • Union Module Code: NTEp
  • Queens Module Code: THE2011


Year 2




Next to Jesus himself, the most important figure in the New Testament is Paul.

This course introduces students to his letters, life, mission and theology.

Letters. We will discover how ancient letters “work”, read two in detail – Philemon and Philippians – and take soundings from the rest.

Life. The course will attempt to set Paul’s call to take Good News to the Gentiles in the framework of his life as a first-century Jew.

Mission. The course will explore how Paul’s letters illuminate his itinerant preaching and the Churches produced by it, for which he continued to care.

Theology. Key topics to be explored include Paul’s Christology or his view of human beings – always with one eye on the contexts of his correspondents. 

Building on level-1 work in New Testament the course helps students develop the right exegetical skills and tools for reading Paul’s letters carefully. Interactive exegetical workshops on Philemon and Philippians are reinforced by tutorials where students’ efforts at interpretation are further encouraged and improved through individual worksheets and group discussion. Formal lectures address key general topics, helped by a few short reading assignments from books on Paul written with students in mind.


Assessment for 2016-17 comprises three elements, spread across the semester: a review of an academic journal article (1,000 words: 20%); an exegetical assignment (2,000 words: 40%); and a topical assignment on a key issue in the interpretation of Paul (2,000 words: 40%). There is no exam.

Learning Outcomes

Successful students will: develop their exegetical skills; acquire and practise skills for reading Paul and relating his writing to life today; gain an understanding of the main issues arising in recent specialised study of Paul's Letters, with critical awareness of core issues and of differing assessments of Paul by scholars.

LECTURE DAY & TIME: L1 Wed 9am; L2 Wed 10am.

TUTORIAL DAYS & TIMES: T1 Thurs 3pm; T2 Thurs 3pm; T3 Thurs 9am.

NOTE: This module runs in the Autumn Semester.