RELS 303

Exploring Christian Origins

4 Undergraduate credits
Effective May 8, 2019 – Present

Graduation requirements this course fulfills

How, and why, did Christianity begin; who wrote the New Testament, and why¿¿and how should we responsibly read these writings today? This course explores the rise of belief in Jesus of Nazareth as messiah in its historical context, and examines current academic methods of scriptural interpretation in contemporary society. Overlap: RELS 303T Introduction to the Christian Scriptures (the New Testament) Theory Seminar.

Learning outcomes


  • Know and analyze academic methods of scriptural interpretation.
  • Know historical and religious factors contributing to the rise of the writing and editing of the Christian Scriptures.
  • Know the Jewish and Greco-Roman context in relation to the writing of the Scriptures including Paul's theology and the emerging church community.
  • Understand and recognize the relationship between the Hebrew Bible and the Christian Scriptures.

Minnesota Transfer Curriculum

Goal 6: The Humanities and Fine Arts

  • Demonstrate awareness of the scope and variety of works in the arts and humanities.
  • Understand those works as expressions of individual and human values within a historical and social context.
  • Respond critically to works in the arts and humanities.
  • Engage in the creative process or interpretive performance.
  • Articulate an informed personal reaction to works in the arts and humanities.