The Historical Jesus of the New Testament



In this class we will interview internationally known New Testament scholar, Craig Evans, about the contemporary state of historical Jesus research. We’ll also discover Jesus – the historical Jesus – as found in the pages of the New Testament.

About the Course

For just over 200 years, critical scholars have been saying that there is a big difference between the historical Jesus and the ‘Christ of faith’. This has led to all sorts of new approaches that attempt to uncover what Jesus really said and did. Theories have come and gone as scholars in each new generation have tried to explain away the portrait of Jesus found in the New Testament. Recent scholarship has focused on both the Jewish background of the life of Jesus as well as ancient methods of documenting history.

In this course we will focus on the historical Jesus of the New Testament and on the historical and cultural context in which Jesus lived. Our discussion with Dr. Craig Evans will reveal that the four canonical Gospels are not only reliable sources, but are the best place to discover the historical Jesus.

Course Objectives

After completing this course, the student will have a better understanding of:

  • the critical research of the past 200 years
  • the Jewish background of the Gospels
  • the life and times of the historical Jesus


For Personal Enrichment The student is guided through the teaching videos and reading material, and encouraged to take the short quiz at the end of each section in order to reinforce the information. The reading assignments are optional. Students are welcome to complete additional written assignments, but they will not be graded on them.

For Academic Credit This course is eligible for 3 academic credits. In order to pass the course successfully, the student is required to submit all coursework within six months from the day of registration, and obtain a final grade not lower than 60. Course grades are based on quizzes, mid-term exam, and the final paper.


Lesson 1 – Overview and Origins

Lesson 2 – Historical Context

Lesson 3 – The Gospel Texts, Part I

Lesson 4 – The Gospel Texts, Part II

Lesson 5 – His Birth

Lesson 6 – His Teaching

Lesson 7 – His Identity

Lesson 8 – His Miracles

Lesson 9 – His Arrest and Trials

Lesson 10 – His Crucifixion and Burial

Lesson 11 – His Resurrection

Lesson 12 – Extra Biblical References

Lesson 13 – Archaeology

Lesson 14 – The Contemporary Quest


    • Dr. Craig A. Evans
    • Professor David Mishkin


      • The course consists of 3 units that comprise 14 lessons. Each lesson contains a video lecture and assigned reading.
      • This is a Self-Paced Online Course. The student is required to complete the course within six months from the day of registration, but is free to do so in his/her own pace and may review video lectures at any time during the course.
      • At the end of each unit there is a short quiz to help reinforce the material studied. For those who take this course for personal enrichment only, all of the course assignments and examinations are optional.

Required Textbooks

Students need to purchase: Craig S. Keener, The Historical Jesus of the Gospels, Grand Rapids: Eerdman’s, 2009

Additional Readings will be available on itslearning, in PDF format.



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