Coordinator, Ancient Near Eastern Studies
Professor of Ancient Scripture
Offices: 2015 HRCB (Kennedy Center); 365-F JSB
Phone: 801-422-3359
Twitter: @EricDHuntsman

Religion A 122:
Acts - Revelation

Course Description

Winter 2011 Syllabus

Rel 212 is a survey study of the writings of the second half of the New Testament. We will examine the Book of Acts, the various epistles, and the Apocalypse both as scripture and as ancient texts, setting them in their ancient historical and cultural contexts while examining their doctrinal contributions. Many of these writings were actually compiled before the New Testament gospels and thus represent the earliest Christian accounts of who Christ was, what he did for us, and how we should live as his disciples.

Course Objectives

This section of Rel 212 has three major objectives

  • First, to increase the student’s knowledge of the Book of Mormon—that is, to familiarize him or her with the basic storylines, characters, and concepts in this book of scripture.
  • Second, to help the student read, discuss, and write about the Book of Mormon as both a source of scriptural knowledge and as a sacred text by asking basic historical, literary, and theological questions (a process known as "exegesis").
  • Third, to strengthen individual testimonies of sacred truths, particularly of Jesus Christ and the doctrines of the Restoration.

Class discussions, quizzes, and exams will all be formatted with these three overarching objectives in mind

Links and Bookmarks

Lecture Outlines and Presentations


Unit 1: Acts

  • 3. Introduction to Acts; Acts 1.Luke’s (Sub)prologue. The Early Christian Community (1:1–26). Forty Day Ministry, Apostolic Commission, and the Ascension of Jesus. Reconstitution of the Twelve. Acts 1:1–26. Also read: "Acts of the Apostles" and "Luke," BD 603–604 and 726; Matthews, "Unto All Nations (Acts)," 24–44 (packet, section 2); excerpt from "Acts," JCWNT, 154–158 (packet, section 3). Look at the outline for Acts (packet, section 7).
  • 4a. Appeal to All Israel (Acts 2:1-4:22). The Coming of the Spirit at Pentecost; The Apostolic Kērygma and Other Pre-NT Sources; Peter’s First Speech and the Results of Pentecost; Peter and John’s First Trial; 4b. Life and Trials of the Jerusalem Church (Acts 4:23-8:1a). Life and Trials of the Jerusalem Church; Seven Chosen to Serve; Martyrdom of Stephen. Acts 2:1–8:1a. See also: Hall and Welch, charts 13.6, 13.11 (packet).
  • 5. Missions in Samaria and Judea—Preparing for the "Turn to the Gentiles." Persecution Scatters the Church; The Gospel Preached in Samaria; Philip and the Ethiopian Official; The Gospel Preached in Samaria; Simon and simony. Philip and the Ethiopian Official. The Preparation of Saul; Saul’s Vision on the Road to Damascus. Peter’s Demonstrations of the Power of God; Cornelius and Extension of the Gospel to the Gentiles. The Church in Antioch; Herod Agrippa Renews Persecution of the Jerusalem Church. Acts 8:1b–12:23. See also: Hall and Welch, chart 15.17 (packet). “The Later Herodians,” JCWNT, 157 (packet, section 3).
  • 6. Missions of Barnabas and Saul. Barnabas and Saul Called: The "First" Mission to Cyprus and Central Asia Minor. "Paul" Takes Center Stage. Psidian Antioch; Paul, Jews, and Gentiles; Lystra. Success among the Gentiles and the Jerusalem Council. Acts 12:24–15:35. See also: "Paul," BD 742–43. “Paul’s Name,” JCWNT, 185 (packet, section 3). Take-home quiz #1 distributed.
  • Quiz 1 Materials
  • 7. Missions of Paul to Asia Minor and Greece. Paul’s "Second" Mission. Timothy Joins Paul and Silas. Philippi; Paul and Silas in Prison; Thessalonika and Berea. Athens; Paul’s Speech on the Unknown God. 18 Months in Corinth. Ministry of Apollos. Paul’s "Third" Mission: Ephesus, Macedonia, Greece, and Back to Asia; the Raising of Euthychus; Farewell. Return to Caesarea and Prophecy of Agabus. Acts 15:36–21:14. See also: Hall and Welch, chart 15.4 and 7 (packet). Take-home quiz #1 due.
  • 8. Paul’s Arrest in Jerusalem, Trial in Caesarea, and Journey to Rome. The Riot in the Temple and Paul’s Defense to the Sanhedrin; the Plot Against Paul; Trials Before Felix, Festus, and Agrippa. Paul’s Difficult Sea Voyage; Healed and Healing in Malta. Paul Preaches under Guard in Rome. Acts 21:15–28:31. See also: Hall and Welch, charts 4.6–7, 15.4 (packet). “The Later Herodians,” JCWNT, 157 (packet, section 3).
  • Exam 1 Materials
  • Exam 1: F28–Sa29Jan; late M31Jan in Testing Center

Unit 2: Pauline Epistles

  • 9. Life, Ministry, and Theology of Paul. The Three Worlds of Paul; Paul’s Family and the Roman Citizenship. Working Pauline Chronologies. The Pauline Corpus: Writing Ancient Letters, Paul’s Fundamental "Christ Message," and Pauline Concerns. See also: "Paul," BD 742–43; Anderson, "Paul’s Preparation: ‘Fire on Earth,’" 19–38, "Appendix A: Chronology of Paul’s Life," 390–98, "Appendix B: Two Descriptions of Paul," 399–402; Hall and Welch, charts 15.2, 15.7 (packet, section 1). “The World of Paul,” JCWNT, 178–87 (packet, section 3); Huntsman, “The Occasional Nature, Composition, and Structure of Paul’s Letters,” Sperry 2006, 190–207 (packet, section 4). For Further Background: Richards, "Preparing a Letter: Time and Costs" and "Letters and Inspiration" (online excerpt from Paul and First-Century Letter Writing, 161–170 and 224–29).
  • 10. Paul and the Church at Thessalonika. Background. The Parousia and the "Rapture." "As a Thief in the Night." "Except Their Be A Falling Away First," Early Forgeries and False Teachers. 1–2 Thessalonians. See also:  “Pauline Epistles—Epistles to the Thessalonians,” BD 743; “Scribal Additions to New Testament Manuscripts” and “The Coming of the Lord,” JCWNT, 207 and 223–24 (posted online); J. Seely, “Hope for the ‘Children of Light’ as the Darkness Descends (1, 2 Thessalonians),” 146–64 (packet, section 2). Look at the outline for 1–2 Thessalonians (packet, section 7).
  • 11. The Challenges of the Judaizers and the Libertines at Galatia. A Speech Within a Letter: Justification by the Faith of Christ over the Works of the Law. 6 Proofs. Ethical Exhortations. Galatians. See also:  “Pauline Epistles—Epistles to the Galatians,” BD 744–45; Horton, “Concern, Correction, and Counsel for Converts (Galatians),” 83–106 (packet, section 2); “Faith and Works in Galatians,” JCWNT, 219–21 (posted online). Look at the outline for Galatians (packet, section 7).
  • 12a. Paul’s Joy in the Philippians. An Early Christian Hymn. Warnings against False Teachers. 12b. Onesimus and the Issue of SlaveryPhilippians and Philemon. See also:  “Pauline Epistles—Epistles to the Philippians; Philemon,” BD 745–46; “Prison Epistles,” JCWNT, 244–45 (posted online). Look at the outlines for Philippians and Philemon (packet, section 7).
  • 13.Paul’s Corinthian Correspondence; Factionalism and Division at Corinth. Background: Paul’s Visits and Letters to Corinth. Factions. Who Were Paul’s Opponents? "Jesus Christ, and him crucified." 1 Cor 1:1–4:21. Read also: "Pauline Epistles—Epistles to the Corinthians," BD 743–44; D. Seely, "‘Is Christ Divided?’ Unity of the Saints through Charity (1, 2 Corinthians)," 5768 (packet, section 2); Huntsman, "‘Your Faith Should Not Stand in the Wisdom of Men.’ Greek Philosophy, Corinthian Behavior, and the Teachings of Paul," 1–8 (online); "The Foolishness of the Preaching of the Cross," JCWNT, 232 (posted online). Look at the outline for 1 Corinthians (packet, section 7).
  • 14.Problems of Behavior at Corinth; Correct Christian Worship. Glorify God in Body and Spirit. Chastity in the Body of Christ. Problems of Marriage and Celibacy: General Principles of Marital Intimacy; Advice to Specific Groups; the "Present Distress." Christian Freedom and Its Abuse: Problems for Those Strong in the Faith. The Veiling of Women and Grooming of Men. The Lord’ Supper. 1 Cor 5:1–11:34.  Read also: D. Seely, "‘Is Christ Divided?’ Unity of the Saints through Charity (1, 2 Corinthians)," 68–72 (packet, section 2); Huntsman, "‘Your Faith Should Not Stand in the Wisdom of Men.’ Greek Philosophy, Corinthian Behavior, and the Teachings of Paul," 8–26 (online); "Time and Culture Specific Directions," in  JCWNT 215 and 224–26 (posted online).
  • 15. Spiritual Gifts in CORINTH; Doctrinal Correction: the Nature of the Resurrection; Housekeeping. Misunderstanding and Misusing Spiritual Gifts. Hymn to Love/Charity. Gift of Prophecy and Tongues—Need for Orderly Worship. Doctrinal Correction: the Resurrection and the Resurrected Body. Paul’s Plans and Commendations. 1 Cor 12:1–16:24.Read also: D. Seely, “‘Is Christ Divided?’ Unity of the Saints through Charity (1, 2 Corinthians),” 71–72 (packet, section 2); “Spiritual Gifts in Corinth,” and “Pagan Temples and Shrines” (esp. in regard to meat markets) in JCWNT 224–26(posted online).
  • Quiz 2 Materials (lectures 9-14)
  • 16. The Bond with Paul Renewed and Again Challenged. Reason for His Change in Travel Plans. The Apostolic Ministry: Treasure in Clay Jars. Ministry of Reconciliation Appeal for Love Between Ministers and People. Paul’s Joy at the Corinthians’ Repentance. The Jerusalem Collection. Paul Again Defends His Apostolic Authority. The Man in Christ "Caught Up to the Third Heaven." Benedictions. 2 Cor 1:1–13:13. See also:  D. Seely, "‘Is Christ Divided?’ Unity of the Saints through Charity (1, 2 Corinthians)," 72–82 (packet, section 2); "The Word ‘Atonement,’" JCWNT, 261 (packet, section 3). Look at outline of 2 Corinthians (packet, section 7).
  • 17. Righteousness by Faith Revisited. Paul’s “Introduction” to the Church in Rome. Pauline Salvation Models. God’s Righteousness and the World’s Unrighteousness. Reconciliation through Christ by Faith. Dead to Sin, Alive in Christ. Two Analogies: Slavery and Marriage. Romans 1–7.  Read also: “Pauline Epistles—Epistles to the Romans,” BD 745; Millet, “The Just Shall Live by Faith (Romans),” 45–56 (packet, section 2); “Pauline Salvation Models,” JCWNT, 199 (posted online) and again “The Word ‘Atonement,’” JCWNT, 261 (packet, section 3). Look at outline of Romans (packet, section 7).
  • 18.  Becoming Joint Heirs with Christ; God’s Promises to Israel. Future Glory as Joint Heirs with Christ. Predestination? God’s Love in Christ Jesus. God’s Election of Israel: Supersession? Exhortations on Christian Living. Relations Between the Strong and the Weak. Paul’s Plans. Romans 8–16. Read also: Millet, “The Just Shall Live by Faith (Romans),” 45–56 (packet, section 2); “Supersession,” JCWNT, 205–207 (posted online).
  • 19. Towards Encyclical Letters: the Epistle to the Colossians.
  • 19b. Epistle to the Ephesians
  • The Church at Colossae. Another Early Hymn on the Lordship of Christ. Being "Risen with Christ" in This Life: a Participation Model. Christian Practice—Virtues, Vices, and the Household Code. Epistle (or Letter) to the Church at Ephesus. Predestination (or Election) Again and the Holy Spirit of Promise. Saved by Grace and Created unto Good Works. Developing Pauline Terminology and Insights. Towards a Unity of the Faith: "Some Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists . . ." the Christian Household—husbands and Wives, Parents and Children, Masters and Slaves. The Armor of God. Colossians and Ephesians. See also:  "Pauline Epistles—Epistles to the Colossians; Ephesians," BD 746; "The Historical Situation" and "Prison Epistles," JCWNT, beginning on 243 and through 245.
  • Exam 2 Materials

Unit 3: Hebrew, Catholic (General) Epistles, Johannine Writings, Apocalypse

  • 20. The Pastoral Letters. Church Orders or Regulatory Letters. Titus: Elders and Bishops; "Teach According to Sound Doctrine": Household Code Again; Warnings Against False Teachers. 1 Timothy: Qualifications of Bishops and Deacons; Merry Widows and Gossiping Women; False Teaching and Greed. 2 Timothy: Timothy’s Family Background; Current and Coming Apostasy; Inspired Scripture; "I Have Fought the Good Fight." Titus. 1–2 Timothy. See also: "Pauline Epistles—Epistles to the Titus; Timothy," BD 747–48; Anderson, "Letters to Leaders," 310–314.
  • 21. A Glorious Conundrum—Epistle/Homily/Treatise to the Hebrews. Genre Question: What is It? Proposal on Authorship. "God hath spoken to us by his Son . . ." Israel under Moses. Superiority of Jesus’ Priesthood. Melchizedek and Christ. Hebrews 1–7. See also: "Pauline Epistles—Epistles to the Hebrews," BD 746–47; J. McConkie, "Jesus Christ, Symbolism, and Salvation (Hebrews)," 192–206.
  • PALM SUNDAY. Matt 21:1–17; Mark 11:1–11; Luke 19:28–48; John 12:12–19.
  • 22. Jesus the Great High Priest. Superiority of Jesus’ Sacrifice and Ministry. Jesus and the Day of Atonement. Availing Oneself of Jesus’ Priestly Work: Faith and Endurance. Hebrews 8–13.
  • 23. Counsel from "The Brothers of the Lord."  Background of the "Epistle" of James; Genre and Focus. The Role of Wisdom in Trials and Temptations. Practical Religion: Words and Deeds. Faith and Works. Sins of Speech: Taming the Tongue. James and the "Jesus Tradition." Prayer of Faith. Ungodly Intruders Lead Jude to Contend for the Faith. James and Jude. Read also: "James," "James, Epistle of," "Jude," and "Jude, Epistle of," BD 709–710, 719; Huntsman, "Faith and Works in James."JCWNT, 271 (posted online). Look at outlines for James and Jude (packet, section 7).
  • THE LAST SUPPER AND GETHSEMANE. Matthew 26; Mark 14; Luke 22; John 13:1–18:27.
  • GOOD FRIDAY. Matthew 27; Mark 15; Luke 23; John 18:28–19:42; 3 Nephi 8.
  • EASTER. Matthew 28; Mark 16; Luke 24; John 20:1–18
  • 24. Petrine Writings. Affirmation of Christian Dignity. Christian Behavior in a Pagan World (another Household Code!). Christian Behavior in the Face of Hostility. Gospel Proclaimed to the Dead. The Fiery Trial: Suffering as a Christian. 2 Peter: a Testament or Pseudonymous? The More Sure Word of Prophecy. Delay of the Second Coming. Peter on Paul. 1–2 Peter. See also: "Peter" and "Peter, Epistles of," BD 749–50.
  • 25. The Johannine Epistles. Authorship, Audience, and Intent: The Writings of John and the "Johannine Community. Areas of Dispute: Christology, Ethics, Eschatology, Pneumatology, and Ecclesiology. The Word of Life. Children of God in the world. God is Love. Warnings about False Teachers. The Struggle between Gaius and Diotrephes. 1–3 John. See also: "John" and "John, Epistles of," BD 715; Mackay, "The Epistles of John (1, 2, 3 John)," 236–43.
  • 26. Apocalyptic Literature and the Revelation of John. Authorship and Genre. The Revelation of Jesus Christ. The Words of This Prophecy. Messages to Seven Churches. Revelation 1–3. See also: "Revelation of John," BD 762–63; Draper, "As a Flaming Fire and a Ministering Angel," "The Revelation of St. John the Divine," "Appendix A: The Structure of Revelation," and "Appendix B: Six Elements of John’s Writing Style," 1–24, 249–56; Hall and Welch, charts 17.2–3, 5; Huntsman, "Apocalyptic Literature" and "Revelation," 1–5. Take-home quiz #3 distributed.
  • 27. The Revelator's "Inaugural" Vision. Interpretative Approaches to Revelation: Preterist, Historical, Futurist, Symbolic, and Eclectic. LDS Approaches to Revelation. Vision of the Heavenly Court. The Scroll and the Lamb. The Seven Seals. Opening the First Six Seals: White, Red, Black, and Pale Horses; Martyred Saints and Events to Come. Seventh Seal and the Seven Trumpets—the Plagues and the Plagues of Egypt. Two Digressions: The Mighty Angel and the Little Scroll; The Two Witnesses and the 1,260 Days. The Seventh Trumpet: the Kingdom of the Lord begins on Earth. Revelation 4–11; D&C 77:1–15, 130:8–9. Take-home quiz #3 due. Read also: Hall and Welch, chart17.5 (packet, section 1); "The Book of Revelation," JCWNT, 288-191 (packet, section 3). 
  • 28. Further "Portents in Heaven". The Woman, Child, and Dragon. The Demonic Trinity: Dragon and Two Beasts. The Lamb and His 144,000 Servants. The Messages of the Three Angels. Seven Plagues and Seven Bowls. The Great Whore and the Beast; Judgment on Babylon, the Great Harlot. Victory of Christ. New Heaven and New Earth. Epilogue and Blessing. Revelation 12–22. Exegetical Paper due. Read also: "The Book of Revelation," JCWNT 291-97 (packet, section 2, including text box on Imperial Cult on p. 285).
  • Final Exam Review

Announcements and Upcoming Events

Recent Lectures

September 12: “Sitting at the Feet of Jesus,” Time Out for Women, Denver

August 18-21 “Worship: Encountering and Being Transformed by God,” BYU Education Week

August 17 “LDS Christology and the Gospel of John,” BYU Education Week

August 5-11 Aspen Grove Family Camp

April 22: “Grateful for Grace: Appreciating the Saving and Transforming Power of Jesus Christ,” YSA 18th Stake Fireside

April 30: Womens Conference 2015 "Wells of Trust Fanning Flames of Faith"

May 8–9:   “The Search for the ‘Real’ Jesus of Nazareth: The Jesus of Faith, History, and Revelation,” Miller-Eccles Study Group, Fullerton and La Cañada, California

Upcoming Lectures

September 24 Second John A. Widtsoe Symposium, “Religion in the Public Square,” 7:00-9:00, tutor Center Ballroom, USC, Los Angeles (with the following link:

October 9 “The Footsteps of Jesus: Remembering His Miracles,” Cruise Lady Learn Our Religion Series, 7:00, 9118 S Redwood, West Jordan

November 8: “Sitting at the Feet of Jesus,” Time Out for Women, St. George

November 14: “Sitting at the Feet of Jesus,” Time Out for Women, Portland