The course covers the cultural, literary and ideological background of Palestinian Judaism into which Jesus Christ was born, emphasizing the conflict between Judaism and Hellenism, Torah Religion, Sects and Parties, the Rabbis and their influence in first century Judaism, the Temple and it Rituals, Basic Religious Institutions in first century Judaism, the sacred writings and apocalyptic literature, the message and method of apocalyptic as they relate to the New Testament. The problem of the Tradition of the Elders during the time of Jesus is examined.

The course examines the geography and climate, roads and hill paths, towns and villages, Houses, Clothes, food and Drink, Education, flowers and birds of Palestine during the time of Jesus. Two centres of Jesus’ Ministry – Capernaum and its neighbourhood, as well as Jerusalem (the last week) are examined. This will help the student to appreciate why some critical statements were made by the New Testament characters.

This course discusses the movement and development in early Christianity up to the close of the writing of the canonical books of the New Testament. The place of the New Testament for Christianity is taught. Biblical criticisms, Jesus of history and Christ of faith, the New Quests are explained. How the need for Church Government and discipline, pseudoepigraphy and heresy became a major and critical issue in the early Church.

This course focuses students’ attention on the beginnings of Christianity emphasizing development of theological thoughts on the Kingdom of God, Synoptic kerygma and Christian self-awareness as a distinct community, the socio-ethical problems associated with  the Church changing from a religious movement to religious institution, their failure to win the Jews, the Fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD, Hellenistic Christianity and Jewish Christianity,    factors that helped the spread of Christianity, re-interpretation of Jesus traditions in the light of Easter experience are taught.