An introduction to the literary, social, historical, and religious contexts of the New Testament writings. Focus will be on reading primary texts (in translation), e.g. The Golden Ass, 4 Maccabees, Toxaris; on learning about the political, economic, and social circumstances of ancient communities; and on understanding how and why early proclamation of Jesus came as "good news" to ancient hearers. COURSE DOES NOT MEET ON FEB. 27, 2015. WILL MEET ON MARCH 20, 2015.