Galatians and James

Field: New Testament
Unit Code(s): BN3200T (Class based)
Unit value: 15 points
Level: Undergraduate (Level 3)
Delivery mode: Face-to-face
Prerequisites: An introductory unit in New Testament

This unit provides an in-depth exegetical study of the New Testament epistles known as Galatians and James, with a particular focus on the themes of mission and identity. The study of these letters will begin with an examination of the social setting from which they emerged, examining them as literary arguments for a particular theological understanding of emerging Christian identity and early Christian mission. This unit will also consider how these letters continue to offer a model for the contemporary church.

Learning Outcomes:

Upon successful completion of this unit, it is expected that students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an awareness of the dating, authorship, social setting, key themes, and literary genres of Galatians and James.
  • Critically interpret passages from Galatians and James in conversation with secondary scholarship and with an awareness of the hermeneutical principals involved.
  • Critically articulate the issues relating to identify and mission in the first century setting of Galatians and James.
  • Identity and evaluate the model(s) of mission in Galatians and James as possibilities for the contemporary church and alongside modern scholarship.

Class based:

  • 1 x 3,000-word exegetical essay OR 2 x 1,500-word papers (50%)
  • 3,000-word thematic essay (50%)


  • 1 x 2,500 word exegetical essay OR 2 x 1,250 word papers (40%)
  • 2,500 word thematic essay (40%)
  • Tutorial engagement across 6 forums, equivalent of 1,000 words (20%)
Recommended Reading:

* recommended for purchase

Betz, Hans Dieter. Galatians (Hermeneia). Philadelphia: Fortress, 1979

Boer, Martinus de. Galatians: A Commentary. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2011.

Davids, Peter H. The Epistle of James: A Commentary on the Greek Text. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1982.

Dibelius, Martin. James : A Commentary on the Epistle of James. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1976.

Guder, Darrell. Called to Witness: Doing Missional Theology. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2015

Martyn, J. Louis. Galatians: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary. New York: Doubleday, 1997.

Moo, Yarbrough and Stein. Galatians. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2013.

Nissen, Johannes. New Testament and Mission: Historical and Hermeneutical Perspectives. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang International Academic Publishers, 2006.

 Lecturer: The Revd Dr Robyn Whitaker
 Timetable: Offered in 2016 in Semester 2 only.