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Mobile Ed: BI271 Interpreting New Testament Narrative: Studies and Methods (audio)
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Mobile Ed: BI271 Interpreting New Testament Narrative: Studies and Methods (audio)


Lexham Press 2015

Runs on Windows, Mac and mobile.


Using the methods described in Introducing Literary Interpretation (BI131), Dr. Jeannine Brown shows how to interpret the Gospel narratives—not with a piecemeal approach, but by understanding each Gospel narrative as a whole. Gain insight on the literary context, genre, and historical setting of the Gospels. Understand how the Graeco-Roman and Jewish cultures combined to create the unique setting that God chose to reveal Himself in. Explore the setting, characters, and plot in the Gospels, as well as literary devices like the arrangement of pericopes and different points of view in the story.

After describing interpretive methods, Dr. Brown applies them to specific passages, providing step-by-step guidance and giving you confidence to interpret the Gospel narratives yourself.

This is the audio only version of BI271 Interpreting New Testament Narrative: Studies and Methods. To purchase the full course click here.

Course Outline


  • Introducing the Speaker and the Course

Unit 1: What Are the Gospels?

  • Genre
  • A Formal Resemblance to Graeco-Roman Biography
  • A Substantive Resemblance to Graeco-Roman Biography
  • Using Louw-Nida to Study Geographic Settings
  • Distinctions from Graeco-Roman Biography
  • Implications for Interpreting the Gospels

Unit 2: Reading the Gospels as Wholes

  • Literary Context
  • Investigating the Textual Variant in Mark 16:9–20
  • The Two Levels of a Gospel
  • The Story Level
  • The Discourse Level: Themes
  • Discovering Repeated Terms in the Gospels
  • The Discourse Level: Sequencing
  • The Discourse Level: More Sequencing Strategies
  • The Discourse Level: Point of View
  • Finding Specific Characters’ Speeches
  • The Implied Reader

Unit 3: Other Methods for Reading the Gospels

  • A Range of Methods
  • Historical Criticism
  • Identifying Genres and Subgenres in the Gospels
  • Source Criticism
  • Form Criticism
  • Redaction Criticism

Unit 4: Reading the Gospels in Their First Settings

  • Two Potential Time Frames
  • The Two Worlds of the First Century
  • Political Background of First-Century Judaism
  • Roman Occupation during the Time of Jesus
  • Working with a Graeco-Roman Setting
  • Identifying Historical Figures in the Gospels
  • Rome and Jesus’ Crucifixion
  • Core Beliefs of First-Century Judaism
  • Expectations within First-Century Judaism

Unit 5: Examples of Working with a Jewish Setting

  • Torah Adherence in Exodus and the Psalms
  • Torah Adherence in the Prophets
  • Purity Laws
  • Pharisees
  • Messianic Expectations
  • Locating Early Interpretations of Isaiah 11:1–3
  • The Royal Messiah
  • Other Figures and Terms

Unit 6: Reading Matthew as a Whole

  • Keeping Three Values in View
  • The Title of Matthew’s Gospel
  • Genealogy as a Subgenre
  • Comparing Old Testament Genealogies
  • The Pattern of the Genealogy in Matthew 1:2–17
  • Breaks in the Pattern
  • Themes in Matthew 1:2–17
  • Themes Reiterated in Matthew 28:16–20

Unit 7: The Scramble for Status

  • An Example from Matthew 20:20–28
  • Backing Up Slightly: Matthew 20:17–19
  • Backing Up Further: Matthew 20:1–16
  • Backing Up to the Key Juncture: Matthew 16:21
  • Themes That Emerge
  • Checking Themes across Matthew as a Whole
  • Historical Assessment of Themes: Status Reversal
  • Historical Assessment of Themes: The Servant of the Lord
  • Returning to Matthew 20:20–28

Unit 8: John’s Prologue

  • A Look at the Passage
  • Themes
  • Historical Setting
  • John’s Prologue and Genesis 1
  • John’s Prologue and Exodus
  • Exodus and John 1:17


  • Tools to Use When Reading the Gospels as Wholes

Product Details

About the Instructor

Dr. Jeannine K. Brown has taught at Bethel Seminary for nearly two decades in the areas of New Testament, hermeneutics, and integration. Her books include Scripture as Communication: Introducing Biblical Hermeneutics, Becoming Whole and Holy: An Integrative Conversation about Christian Formation, and the forthcoming volume on Matthew in the Teach the Text Commentary series. She’s also associate editor of the Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels, 2nd ed..