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  • Term Mode
  • Semester 2Online Scheduled


THBS501 Biblical Studies OR THBS562 Introducing the Scriptures

Teaching organisation

THBS602 is a fully online unit that involves 150 hours of focused learning, or the equivalent of 10 hours per week for 15 weeks. 

Unit rationale, description and aim

As ancient texts, the writings of the New Testament require interpretation via the application of specific historical knowledge and interpretive skills. This unit focuses on the development of early Christian belief regarding the identity and mission of Jesus Christ. Students will explore the contexts and development of pre- and post-resurrection interpretations of Jesus and the salvation he brings, including the portraits of him found in the canonical Gospels and other New Testament texts. 

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

Learning Outcome NumberLearning Outcome DescriptionRelevant Graduate Capabilities
LO1Use various sources to identify, analyse and assess cultural, historical and social factors influencing the development of Christology in the New TestamentGC1, GC2, GC3, GC7, GC9
LO2Interpret biblical texts for contemporary audiences by focussing on the distinctive Christological themes and concepts they containGC1, GC2, GC7, GC9
LO3Elaborate the variety of portraits of Jesus in the New TestamentGC1, GC7, GC9, GC11, GC12


Topics will include:

  • Methodologies and sources for studying New Testament Christology;
  • The pre- and post-Easter interpretations regarding the identity, nature, and work of the Messiah/Christ;
  • The diverse portraits of Jesus in the canonical Gospels;
  • The Christology of selected New Testament texts, such as the Pauline and Deutero-Pauline epistles, the Johannine literature, and Hebrews.

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

The curriculum for THBS602 has been designed to build students’ capacity and competency in reading, interpreting, teaching and/or preaching the Christology of the New Testament texts

THBS602 is a fully online unit that involves 150 hours of focused learning, or the equivalent of 10 hours per week for 15 weeks. Formally structured learning activities, such as lectures, tutorials and workshops, will be presented in an online environment using video-conferencing or supervision. The remaining hours typically involve reading, research, and the preparation of tasks for assessment THBS602 is designed to encourage students’ autonomy and facilitate students’ capacity in the development and application of the necessary knowledge and skills within the context of their personal and/or professional lives.

Assessment strategy and rationale

In this unit, all activities, direct teaching, structured learning, assigned readings and collaborative tasks build towards the assessment of students’ attainment of the learning outcomes. The three assessment tasks are designed to provide progressive engagement with key New Testament writings, focusing on different contextual situations. Each of the three assessment tasks has been designed to assess students’ developed and developing capacity to understand and interpret NT Christology, .

The first task requires students to describe, assess, and apply sources and methods for the study of New Testament Christology. It is designed to allow students to demonstrate their achievement of LO1.

Assessment task 2 is designed to allow students the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to critically analyse biblical texts and to develop meaningful interpretations of the distinctive Christological themes and concepts they contain. It is designed to allow students to demonstrate their achievement of LO1 and LO2. 

The final task will provide students with the scope to demonstrate their attainment of all three learning outcomes via a research essay in which they are asked to compare and contrast the Christologies of various New Testament texts.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning Outcomes

Short introductory research task: Requires students to describe and evaluate major sources or methodological issues related to the study of New Testament Christology.


LO1, LO3

Critical analysis task: Requires students to critically analyse one or more New Testament texts, focussing on the insights it yields into the development of New Testament Christology.


LO1, LO2

Major research task: Requires students to research and give a critical account of the Christology or Christologies reflected in one or more New Testament text/s


LO1, LO2, LO3

Representative texts and references

Aran Murphy, Francesca and Troy A. Stefano, The Oxford Handbook of Christology, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015.

Bergsma, John. Jesus and the Dead Sea Scrolls: Revealing the Jewish Roots of Christianity. New York: Image, 2019.

Dunn, J.D.G. Jesus Remembered. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2003.

Elgvin, Torlief. Warrior, King, Servant, Savior: Messianism in the Hebrew Bible and Early Jewish Texts. Eerdmans. 2022.

Gathercole, S. The Pre-existent Son: Recovering the Christologies of Matthew, Mark and Luke. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2006.

Knohl, Israel. The Messiah Confrontation: Pharisees versus Sadducees and the Death of Jesus. University of Nebraska Press, 2022.

Porter, Stanley E. Andrew W. Pitts, Johannine Christology. Leiden, Brill. 2020

Rowland, Christopher, and Christopher Tuckett, eds. The Nature of New Testament Theology. Malden, MA: Blackwell Pub., 2006.

O’Collins, G. Christology: A Biblical, Historical and Systematic Study of Jesus. 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009.

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