Reading the Gospels (Diploma)

Field: New Testament
Unit Code(s): BN0509T (Online)
Unit value: 18 points
Level: Diploma (AQF 5)
Delivery mode: Online only
Prerequisites: None

This unit provides a study of the Gospel of Mark. The focus is on the structure, narrative shape, characterisation and other literary devices which make this Gospel unique. Attention will be paid to the priority of Mark and the history of its interpretation. The unit will also explore questions of authorship, place and dating, and examine the community setting out of which the Gospel arose. It will explore the theological and spiritual themes which arise from the Gospel narrative.

Learning Outcomes:

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

  • Outline the history of interpretation of Mark’s Gospel, and the rise of belief in the priority of this Gospel.
  • Describe key aspects of the Gospel, including questions of authorship, dating and venue.
  • Explain core theological themes of the Gospel, including its Christology, its understanding of discipleship, its apocalyptic focus, the role of women, and the emphasis on the cross and suffering.
  • Articulate the way this gospel communicates core Markan themes.
  • 1,000-word essay (25%)
  • Online forums, equivalent to 1,000 words (25%)
  • 1,500-word essay (50%)
Recommended Reading:

*recommended for purchase
*NRSV Study Bible such as Harper Collins
Boring, M. E. Mark: A Commentary. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2006.
Byrne, B. A Costly Freedom: A Theological Reading of Mark’s Gospel. Collegeville: Liturgical, 2008.
Hooker, M.D. The Gospel According to Saint Mark. Peabody: Hendrickson, 1993.
Moloney, F.J. The Gospel of Mark: A Commentary. Peabody: Hendrickson, 2002.
Witherington, B. The Gospel of Mark: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2001.
*Wright, N. T. Mark for Everyone. London: SPCK, 2001.