Course explores lesser known biblical letters

Course explores lesser known biblical letters

A course offered at United Theological College this Semester will explore some of the lesser-known and “overshadowed” letters of the New Testament.

Rev. Dr Alexandra Robinson is teaching the course, Hebrews and General Epistles.

“What I love about this course is that it is dedicated to the books of the New Testament that are so often overlooked. Hebrews, James, 1 and 2 Peter, 1, 2, and 3 John and (my own area of specialty) the epistle of Jude,” she said.

According to Dr Robinson, all of these books, “undoubtedly stand in the shadows of Paul’s letters and the four Gospels.“

“This course, however, offers students an opportunity to dive deeper into these books of the bible and explore imagery and references like Melchizedek, fallen angels, the day of the Lord and disputes with the devil, that surface in these texts,” she said.

The course will examine each of the ‘general’ epistles, exploring their background, themes, overarching message, theological ideas and various nuances within the text.

“While there will be some discussion regarding the relationship between these texts and other parts of the New Testament, the aim is to look at these writings on their own terms,” Dr Robinson said.

Authorship will be another theme that the course explores, as there are various theories regarding who wrote what letter.

“We will raise questions around pseudonymous writings, the diaspora, persecution within the early church, eschatology, the relationship between the new and old covenant, and the significance of utilising ancient rhetorical devices within each of these texts,” Dr Robinson said.

“This is a wonderful course and one that I thoroughly enjoy teaching. It provides space for fascinating discussions and draws on excellent resources such as Karen Job’s book Letters to the Church: A Survey of Hebrews and the General Epistles, which is an accessible and excellent text for understanding these New Testament books.”

The course is still available for audit students for free. It can be accessed in-person or via Zoom.

For more information, visit United Theological College’s official website.


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