Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Syllabus: Teaching Paul in One Class Period

Mary C. Moorman
Proposed, Southern Methodist University
Fall 2006

Required Reading:

1. The Holy Bible: Acts 1-10, The Epistle to the Galatians.
2. E.P. Sanders. Paul: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press, 2001.
3. N.T. Wright, Saul the Persecutor, Paul the Convert and Good News for Israel. From What St. Paul Really Said. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997.

Class Outline:

I. Paul the Jew: Explore the contemporary Jewish expectations and tenets that Paul believed.
a. Covenant
b. Obedience to the Law/sacrifice as covenantal bond; here emphasize themes of -
i. Monotheism, sin, and moral responsibility.
ii. Cultic sacrifice for atonement.
iii. "Hilasterion."
iv. Concepts of inclusive substitution in Israel’s theology and practice.
c. Messiah as Covenant Keeper; here emphasize relevant lore on the nature of the Messiah.

II. From Persecutor to Preacher of Christ: Explore the defining beginnings of Paul’s Theology on the Damascus Road.
a. Define "Christophany" and its relevance to Paul’s self-identification as an “apostle.”
b. Discuss the Damascus Road experience, as interpreted by Paul in Galatians, and by Luke and the church community in the book of Acts.
c. Explain Paul’s re-evaluation of the Cross and Jesus’ Messiah status on the basis of His Resurrection.

III. Jesus of Nazareth as Israel’s Messiah- Implications: Grace become universal, inclusion of the Gentiles, Climax of the Covenant.
a. Paul’s reading of Jewish promises in the Gospel narrative.
b. Paul’s reading of the Law and the Gospel.

IV. Paul’s Message Then and Now: Universality of Sin, Liability to Judgment, and Salvation/Justification in Christ. Briefly discuss Paul’s theological legacy in the history of the Church, focusing on these themes:
a. Grace as the sheer gift that seals God’s Covenant.
b. Cross as the revelation of the God who loves sinners and Gentiles.
c. The Scandal of the Gospel of the Crucified Messiah.


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