BIB5400EN - Evaluating Jesus & Mission in the Shadow of Empire

Course description

Will examine the interaction between Jesus’ ministry and the Roman imperial context to learn how churches today can understand and practice mission. Students will explore imperial themes and patterns of dominion, economics, and cultural conformity, and gain insight for interpreting 21st century systems and relationships. Students will be engage in analytical discussions, research papers, and class presentations.

How this course benefits students

Bible students should be aware that the events of the Bible did not take place in a vacuum. Understanding the context of ancient empires, and particularly that of Rome, is important for proper exegesis, preaching, and teaching. Most critically, students should understand and be able to explain the relationship between Jews and Romans and how that affected the way Jesus spoke and did ministry. Understanding these contexts and relationships will enable the student to identify, understand, and address the different contexts and influences in contemporary ministry.

Why this course is important

This course will help students gain a general overview of how the New Testament developed in response to the influence some of the largest ancient empires had on the Jewish people. The course will prepare students to read and understand the Bible as a reaction to empire and to apply the biblical message as a response to imperial powers in every age.

Credit hours
3 hours
Subject area
Biblical Studies
Educational level
Learning type
Upcoming terms
* Schedule subject to change. Please contact the Registrar's office with schedule questions.

How this course relates to missional core values

Biblically based

This course will be based on a biblical worldview and will specifically focus on texts that portray Jesus’ ministry in the shadow of the Roman empire and its influence over the Jews like John 18:28-39.

Missionally driven

The course will help students better understand Jesus’ ministry and thus better prepare them to become missional leaders in their respective communities. They will understand God’s mission for man and be willing to avail themselves as His instruments for change and transformation.

Contextually informed

Students will be able to read the Bible as a reaction to empire and how to consequently respond to the biblical message to deal with imperial powers in every age and thus be able to apply this knowledge into their respective contexts so that they can practically serve their communities thereby meeting the unique needs of the people they have been called to serve.

Interculturally focused

This course will help students understand God as a supra-cultural God and how the New Testament message on how to deal with imperial powers could be applied in different cultures without robbing any of their cultural distinctive.

Practically minded

This course will give students the practical tools and insights that they would need to engage their communities towards social reform for God’s glory.

Experientially transformed

This course will not only focus on the ideas and concepts that are taught, but will also give students the opportunity to apply them and live them out in their respective communities. They will be able to volunteer with Christian non-profits, churches, etc. so as to gain hands-on experience about Christian social engagement for community transformation and for the glory of God.