This course introduces the student to the gospel in the early Church (first and second centuries). It stresses the message of the gospel, rather than the books that contain this message. The course also looks at the development of these writing into a canonical collection of writings that became useful in worship and daily life just as the scripture we now call the Old Testament. The student will be introduced to many of the terms and ideas that are used in the study of the characteristics, history of interpretation (including patristic writings), hermeneutics, and canonical use of the lectionary within the Orthodox Church. The course will encourage close reading and interpretation of the weekly assigned scriptural readings. This course is not writing-intensive, but stresses the acquisition of concepts in biblical studies, early Christian theology, and the practice of reading of scripture.