New Testament Survey at Camp

Dr. Steve Kinnard will be teaching this MTA session at Camp Hope for Kids on May 22-25. 

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Below you will find the NTS Syllabus for Dr. Kinnard's class.  [Download the Word Document Here] 


Description.  New Testament Introduction focuses on the authorship, date, audience, major themes, and critical questions of the 27 books of the New Testament. It introduces the student to the New Testament world beginning in the InterTestamental period and continuing to the end of the first century A.D.  

Objective.  To equip the student to "correctly handle" the books of the NT (2 Tim. 2:15).  By the end of this course, the student should have a general knowledge of the contents of the 27 books of the New Testament.   


Required Reading: 

1.  The entire New Testament (preferably in a good study bible).  For example: Harper Study Bible, Oxford Study Bible, Life Application Study Bible, etc.  

2. One comprehensive NT Introduction.  For example:

Carson, D. A. and Douglas Moo, An Introduction to the New Testament. Second Edition.   Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2005.  

DeSilva, David A. An Introduction to the New Testament: Contexts, Methods & Ministry Formation, 2004.

Tenney, Merrill. New Testament Survey (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1985).

Or, John Drane, Robert H. Gundry, Donald Guthrie.

Read the material for each book of the Bible.  Other chapters are optional.  

3.  Watch assigned videos for each class.  Come to class ready to discuss the videos.  

Exam:  No written exam.  Instead, each student must develop an outline of each book of the NT that includes: (1) Authorship (2) Date and place of Writing (3) Audience (4) Purpose of Writing (5) Characteristics (6) Major Theme or Themes (7) Critical Questions (8) Difficult Passages (9) Monumental Passages.  



Session One (Sept 24):

1.  Mark's Gospel.

                a.  Intertestamental History.  23 minutes.  Dr. R. C. Sproul


                b.  Herod the Great.  10 minutes. 

2.  Matthew and Luke.

                a.  The Synoptics.  Who wrote the gospels?  5 minutes.  Dr. Michael Kruger.

b.  Two source theory for the synoptics.  16 minutes.  Spring Arbor University.

Session Two (Oct. 8):

3.  The Gospel of John.

a.  Intro to John.  Dr. Joel Beeke. 7 minutes.

b.  Gnosticism.  N.T. Wright.  9 minutes.

c. The historical Jesus.  Craig Evans.  20 mins.



a.  Herod the Great.  50 mins.

4.  Acts

a.  Paul’s Journey.  3 mins.

c.  Greek Philosophers.  7 mins.

Session Three

5.  Early Letters--James, Galatians, 1 & 2 Thessalonians

James.  Andrew Rees.  7 mins.  

Galatians.  NT Wright. 7 mins.  

1 & 2 Thess.  Malcolm Cox. 7 mins.

6.  Paul's Longer Epistles-Romans

Romans.  NT Wright.  20 mins.  

Session Four

7.  1 & 2 Corinthians

Corinth.  14 mins.

8.  Prison Epistles.  Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Philemon.  

Ephesians.  24 mins.

Philippians.  6 mins.

Session Five

9.  The Pastorals

1 & 2 Timothy.  8 mins.

Titus.  4 mins.  

10.   Hebrews.  8 mins.  

Session Six

11.  The General Epistles (minus James and Philemon)

1 Peter.  2 mins.

12. Revelation.  8 mins.  


Template for Outline of Each Book:

The Gospel of Mark

1.  Authorship.

    John Mark.  Cousin of Barnabas.  Accompanied Barnabas and Paul on first missionary journey.  Went back home to Jerusalem.  Paul decided not to take John Mark on his second journey.  Barnabas and Paul didn’t agree on this and went on separate journeys.  Later John Mark became useful to Paul.  John Mark was with Peter in his last days in Rome.  Mark recorded Peter’s recollections of Jesus in the gospel of Mark.  

    Papius, (c. 115) as quoted by Eusebius, “And John the Presbyter also said this—Mark being the interpreter of Peter, whatsoever he recorded he wrote with great accuracy, but no, however, in the order in which it was spoken or done by our Lord, for he neither heard nor followed our Lord, but as before said, he was in company with Peter, who gave him such instruction as was necessary, but not to give a history of our Lord’s discourses: wherefore Mark has not erred in anything, by writing some things as he has recorded them; for he was carefully attentive to one thing, not to pass by anything he heard, or to state anything falsely in these accounts.”  

2.  Date and place of Writing. 

    Around 65 a.d. From Rome.  Time of Nero’s persecutions in Rome.  

3.  Audience. Readers.  

    Romans.  Gentiles.  

4.  Purpose of Writing. 

    (1) To tell the gospel of Jesus, Mark 1:1, “The beginning of the gospel about Jesus Christ, the Son of God.” To safeguard the gospel.

    (2)  To guide and strengthen Christians who were suffering due to Nero’s persecution.

    (3)  To tell the story of the cross.  Martin Kahler call Mark, “a passion narrative with an extended introduction.”

5.  Characteristics. 

    (1) First gospel to be written.

    (2) Speaks to a Roman audience.  

    (3) Style—brisk, energetic.  Mark’s favorite word = euthus, immediately. 

6. Major Theme or Themes. 

    Major Theme:  Discipleship includes a cross.

    Disciples follow Jesus.  The footsteps of Jesus lead to a cross.  Discipleship includes suffering for Jesus.  

    Other Themes:

    (1) Gentiles are included and accepted by Jesus.  Centurion, Syro-Phonecian woman (Mark 7).  

    (2) Messianic secret.  

7. Critical Questions.

    What is the Messianic Secret?  How does Mark use this theme in his book?

    Which ending of Mark’s Gospel belongs at the end?  

8.  Difficult Passages. 

Mark 4:10-12.  Jesus speaks in parables so the crowds won’t understand him.

Mark 10:10-12.  Divorce and Remarriage. 

Mark 13.  Apocalyptic section. 

9.  Monumental Passages.

Mark 8:22-11: