The Letters to the
Seven Churches
of Asia


The Letters to the Seven Churches of Asia and their place in the plan of the Apocalypse with special attention to the historical background, literary analysis, theological emphases, and traditional interpretations.

Trinity College of Biblical Studies-Free Online Bible College 

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This course is designed to introduce college students to the basic scholarship and interpretations of the The Letters to the Seven Churches of Asia. Although one commentary will be used, supplemented with the outside readings, students are encouraged to consult other commentaries and sources that differ from the text. Theories about the inspiration and writing of the Bible, the original readers for various books and the context of Bible passages will be considered. 




 ONE RESEARCH PAPER of five or more pages will be assigned for the semester. It must explore some Letters to the Seven Churches or Apocalyptic Literature Passages as this is the purpose of the course. It will cover: 1) a Biblical theme or 2) a character or 3) the approach to the Bible of a religious group of your selection and include their interpretation of the passages most significant to them or 4) a movie, a book or play which brings in issues which to which the Bible seems to speak or 5) anything else you can relate to the Bible. It will be reedited and presented to the class during the last few class sessions.


Use centered headings for each section of the Term Paper.   Use the ([author's name, PAGE NUMBER(S)] ) style of citing any idea you borrow (or summarize) from any book or article !! !!. Append a complete Bibliography of resources used to do the paper. USE AT LEAST FOUR OUTSIDE RESOURCES.  Papers will be graded according to depth of research and understanding of the New Testament passages covered. Grammatical and spelling errors will have to be corrected so use the "Spell Check", if you use a computer. 

EXAMINATIONS: Three tests will consist of a choice of one long and one short question plus identification of several major Biblical terms or persons. Prior to each test students will receive review questions to prepare for the review of that section of the text. The tests themselves will be open book tests as they are designed to show the student' s understanding of the biblical interpretations studied, not how well they can memorize. Students will often be asked to give their own opinion as part of an essay. Always respond to all of the question when answering questions. The identification questions part of the test will be answered during the class before each main test. There will be no cumulative, final examination.

EVALUATION: Grades will be based mainly on test grades. The research paper will count as much as one test (50 points). The take home test based on the supplementary text will count 40 points. Essays on tests will have to be, clearly understandable and important terms must spelled correctly or else points will be taken off of the test. Research papers will be graded on grammar and spelling as well as content. The re-edited version of your research paper will have to be almost error free to be accepted. This paper will be presented at the end of the course, possibly getting extra credit for presentation and answering questions.

General Studies Goals Implemented In this Course:

General Education Areas of Emphasis (Criteria and Outcome)

Requires sufficient readings (in terms of volume and content) to provide fundamental knowledge:   Texts are required in this and all other Philosophy and Religion courses.

Emphasizes critical thinking and problem solving skills (scientific, mathematical, social, and/or personal:   This and all other Philosophy and Religion courses place particular emphasis on the development of critical thinking skills.  Logic is a branch of philosophy and is foundational to all other disciplines.  The critical approach is taken and expressed through writing and/or discussion. 

Writing and/or other forms of composition in multiple formats are integral parts of this course:   This and all other Philosophy and Religion courses require writing of some sort.

Students will learn to access information and use the information effectively and ethically:   The Student Code and all conventions relevant to the discipline are enforced.

Philosophy/Religious Studies Goals

1. Improve Critical Reasoning Skills by analyzing, evaluating and presenting sound arguments--  Students will discuss a variety of theories about the writing of the new Testament and a variety of interpretations that differing denominations make of key texts. Students and the instructor discuss these interpretations and the examine the arguments for them.

2. Discover, refine, reflect on and critically examine beliefs on personal, philosophical, religious or ethical or public policy issues--  Study and discussion of the New Testament with the help of commentaries or other scholarly sources definitely leads students to critical examination of  personal, philosophical, religious or ethical or public policy beliefs and positions

3. Practice Writing Skills—Students will write essays as part of their tests and they will write a research paper using outside resources.


Required Reading

The Letters to the Seven Churches of Asia

Commentary for the Letters to the Seven Churches of Asia




Maps of the Seven Churches



Archaeological Exploration of Sardis


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