Welcome and Intro Notes
I want to welcome you to NT Intro- Online! I know that this is probably a new venture for many of you,
but hang in there and we will get through together. I hope you have looked at the syllabus. Let me know
of any questions you have. I am working on making sure the message boards are set up correctly for you
to post homework assignments and questions. If the Discussion Boards don’t work let me know.
Are you ready? Let’s begin. One of the first questions that arises in a required course is often “Why do I
have to take this class?” This is especially true of a religion class. I have been teaching at the
college level since 1978 and teaching religion classes since 1981. OK, I’m over 50. I have found this
question scenario to be common. You may have wanted to take a religion class at some point, but
because it is required, some will wonder why they have to take it. Let me give you a few reasons:
1) We are humans, and as humans, we ask questions about beginnings, endings, and other issues. We
wonder about the beginning of the world, our lives, new eras in life- and the Bible deals with questions
of beginnings. We often wonder about endings in life, of the world, of eras and relationships- and the
Bible deals with questions of endings. Most of our lives are spent wondering how to live in the ordinary,
mundane, areas of life, and the biblical writers fill the text with ordinary things because they recognize
that God is God of ordinary times, too. So, as long as we are humans, the Bible and religion are relevant
and worthy of serious study.
2) The Bible can be approached from nearly every vocation or area of study and it has some relevance
for each of them. You may be an English major and will find that the Bible is the most quoted and
paraphrased document in literature. You may be a biologist or anthropologist, and the Bible has a point
of reference for you. History, sociology, theology, etc., all find points of relevance in the Bible.
3) Regardless of what some espouse, much of western society’s laws, morals, systems, etc., have
foundations in Judeo-Christian teachings.
We could list others, such as the Bible is the foundational document for understanding God, people and