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Last modified: 25 Mar 2016 11:35

Course Overview

Early portraits of Jesus are found both inside and outside the New Testament. This course introduces the four canonical gospels – Matthew, Mark, Luke and John – and gives the opportunity for detailed study especially of the Gospel of Matthew. But it also introduces several of the later gospels, which were never included in the New Testament but which enjoyed widespread popularity within some groups. Beside detailed exegesis, the theological issues of early Christian orthodoxy and orthopraxy will be treated, as well as recently raised questions of lost Christianities and Scriptures. This course is essential in understanding early Christianity. Course guide

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 2
Session Second Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus None. Sustained Study No
  • Dr Tomas Bokedal

Qualification Prerequisites


What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • Any Undergraduate Programme (Studied)
  • Either Programme Level 1 or Programme Level 2

What other courses must be taken with this course?


Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

This course introduces the four New Testament Gospels, and explores each of their distinctive portraits of Jesus' life and teaching, highlighting their particular characteristics. The literary relationship between the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke) will be explored, as well as a comparison with the very different portrait presented in John. Selected Gospel passages will be studied in detail. The course also introduces some of the surviving, later, non-canonical gospels (eg the Gospel of Thomas), which enjoyed popularity within some groups, and it explores why they were not included in the New Testament.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

More Information about Week Numbers

Details, including assessments, may be subject to change until 31 August 2023 for 1st half-session courses and 22 December 2023 for 2nd half-session courses.

Summative Assessments

1st Attempt: 1 two-hour written examination (60%) and continuous assessment, 2,000 word essay (40%).

Admission to the exam depends on the submission of all coursework and each item's assessment at CAS 6 or above
Resit: 1 two-hour written examination (100%).
Admission to the exam depends on the submission of all coursework and each item's assessment at CAS 6 or above.

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.


Comments on the essays will be provided to students.

Course Learning Outcomes


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