This Bible course is taught by Dr. Patrick Stefan.
How can we read the Gospels wisely? This course will address this question by carefully analyzing the Gospels, using Mark as paradigm. Students will be introduced to several means of criticism in Gospel studies in order to understand the purpose and meaning of each narrative as distinct from the others. Finer points of nuance in the Gospels will be brought to light such as narratival elements, to include plot, characterization, and drama; social-scientific elements, to include economics and politics; and theological elements, such as the use of the Old Testament in the Gospel narratives. Attention will also be given to the Gospels as they reside in the social settings of Second Temple Judaism and the early Roman Empire. Students will come away with a well-formed set of questions to bring to the text, thereby shaping exegetical methods in order to create a wise reading strategy of God’s narratival proclamation of Good News.
Dr. Stefan (Ph.D, University of Denver) served as an associate pastor for a Reformed Presbyterian Church in Longmont, CO and a reserve Army Chaplain for a Combat Operational Stress Control team (2011-2014). Following this he served as a lead pastor for a Reformed Presbyterian Church in Rochester, NY and a reserve Army Chaplain for Civil Affairs (2014-2018). Patrick’s primary research interests are in Pauline theology, Gospels, material origins of Christianity, early Jewish-Christian relations, religion and cultural change, the Bible and its history of reception. He is the author of The Power of Resurrection: Foucault, Discipline, and Early Christian Resistance (Fortress Academic, 2020).
Online only, runs 10 weeks, meeting 2 hrs./wk. via videoconference + online discussion board. Register to reserve your spot and schedule will be set after a poll of participating students; if the class time does not fit your schedule, you will be eligible for a full refund. Note: all classes are offered dependent on demand and require a minimum of four participating students.