Encountering the New Testament, 4th Edition

A Historical and Theological Survey

series: Encountering Biblical Studies

Materials available for professors by request only


1. Why Study the New Testament?

Discussion Questions

  1. Ask the students to relate stories from their personal experiences about how the Bible has been in demand on mission fields.
  2. Ask: What is the value of studying the New Testament as opposed to merely reading it in a devotional manner?
  3. Ask: What modern application should be made from the text in Acts 17:26, “From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the time set for them and the exact places where they should live”?
  4. Ask the students to contrast the following interpretations of the New Testament: (a) devotional, (b) literary, (c) political.

Assignment Ideas / Class Activities

  1. Have students research news sources, the internet, or reflect on personal examples of improper interpretation of the New Testament.
  2. Let students find various media sources—songs, movies, plays, books—that show a dependence or influence on the New Testament and have them reflect on what would be lost by not understanding the influence of the New Testament.
  3. Bring an assortment of Bibles to class to illustrate the importance of Bible translations, including (a) a variety of translations of the Bible (e.g., King James Version, New International Version, New King James Version, New American Standard, Revised Standard Version) and (b) a variety of Bibles translated into different languages.
  4. Use copies or photographs of uncials, miniscules, and lectionaries to provide illustrations.
  5. Assignments for Groups
    a. Have a group present a ten-minute panel discussion on the work of Bible translators.
    b. Present a fifteen-minute debate on the topic, “Resolved: The Culturally Literate Person Must Be Knowledgeable About the Bible.”
    c. Present a fifteen-minute round table discussion of why it is important to study the New Testament.