Early New Testament Church

Jesus had died and been raised to life, appeared to the disciples, and finally ascended to the right hand of the Father. Before he left, Jesus gave his followers the gift of the Holy Spirit to empower them for the work of telling the gospel. The church was born—but not abandoned. The early decades of Christianity were intense as the church grew. Fearless proclamation of the gospel brought opposition, internal conflict and new questions about what it meant to follow Israel’s God. This foundational subject takes us through these formative years of the church via the books that record this exciting time. It equips us for studying the New Testament as we learn to interpret and apply the book of Acts and some of the New Testament letters, invaluable skills for ministry and personal Bible knowledge.
Please visit the timetable by clicking here for current information on subject availability.

Subject Details

Mode Online
Workload One semester, 12 credit points
Status Core
Subject Code NT002
Prerequisites None
Teachers Mariam Kamell, Lynn Cohick and Darrel Bock

Key points are formally enumerated for Acts, and we will also cover (at least) seven major New Testament epistles. The topics for both are common:

  • The Jerusalem church
  • Early Christian preaching
  • Stephen and the Hellenists
  • The Pauline mission and churches
  • The Council of Jerusalem
  • Schism, heresy and external threat in the early church
  • Romans
  • Corinthians (especially 1 Corinthians)
  • Colossians (and introductions to the other ‘Prison Epistles’: Philemon, Ephesians)
  • 1 Timothy (with 2 Timothy and Titus: the ‘Pastoral Epistles’)
  • Hebrews or James
  • 2 Peter and Jude (with 1 Peter)
  • Revelation

Main Presenters
This online subject includes video content developed for Ridley by some internationally renowned biblical scholars. Darrel Bock (Senior Research Professor of NT Studies, Dallas Theological Seminary) leads the section on Acts; Lynn Cohick (Professor of NT, Wheaton College) guides us through Paul’s epistles and Mariam Kamell Kovalishyn (Assistant Professor of NT Studies, Regent College) teaches Hebrews, James and 2 Peter/Jude.

All our online subjects are tutored by qualified and experienced tutors who will guide you through the online learning materials and interaction with other students.

Study Expectations
In this subject, you can expect to work through a variety of weekly learning activities which are designed to develop your understanding of and skills in the themes and passages covered by the syllabus. These usually include watching videos, reading, completing set learning tasks and contributing to online seminars and interacting with your peers. Allow 8-10 hours of study time per week for this introductory subject.


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Ridley College is an affiliated college with the Australian College of Theology, CRICOS Provider Code 02650E.
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