Format: Typed double-spaced. Your response should be at least a 450-word essay. Cite all works quoted and paraphrased. Refer to the essay writing guidelines for further guidance.
Choose any ONE — from the selections below.
- The Apocrypha – Utilizing the readings (Oxford Study Bible), and lecture, discuss why the ‘outside’ books should be known and studied by both scholars and nonprofessional students of the Bible. What factors do you see at work that has forced these works out of mainstream study? What is so threatening about another Gospel that was written by a contemporary of Christ, or even on of the original disciples?
- Inter-textual: The New Testament has a complex inter-textual relationship with the Old. On the one hand, it seeks to replace the Old with the new covenant; on the other hand, it depends upon the Old for its own authenticity, since it sees Jesus as the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy. Similarly, although the New Testament primarily uses different literary forms from the Old (gospels and letters) it also uses many literary elements from the Old, both borrowed and quoted such as: parables, Hebrew poetic forms, miraculous births, genealogies, apocalyptic imagery, didactic history, angelic visitations, meetings at wells, prophecy, and law or teachings. Thus, this choice is essentially: Discuss how the authors use the concepts reflected in the examples below to incorporate literary elements of the Old Testament (as reference above), and in what ways does their use of the literary elements reflect their theological relationship with the Old Testament? For example, Matthew quotes heavily from the prophets throughout, and in 5:17-20 he quotes Jesus as supporting observance of Jewish law. Luke, on the other hand, argues that the old law is not relevant, yet his gospel is perhaps the closest of the four to the Old Testament in terms of style and the use of certain kinds of stories. Why? How does the theological relationship inform the literary connection?
3) Social Justice: “Come now, you rich people, weep and wail for the miseries that are coming to you. Your riches have rotted, and your clothes are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver have rusted, and their rust will be evidence against you, and it will eat your flesh like fire…Listen! The wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts.” (James 5: 1-4). Although much of the focus of the New Testament is on the divinity of Jesus and the coming Resurrection, it also contains a great deal of ethical teaching and criticism of social injustice.(Assignment)
5). The Book of Revelations: Most scholars agree that the author of The Book of Revelations was experiencing the events of 70-89 AD as the time he wrote the book. This is not the traditional format but something unique. First, Why does John use language that only certain people or groups would understand? AND How does John propel the reader from vision to vision utilizing the theme of ‘sevens’? Today we call that ‘Chinese Boxes’ where one opens up a box to discover another box. How does this literary tool create a sense of urgency for the ancient reader, in whose mind we must travel to understand this text? In your assessment, how does this sense of urgency lead many of the early Church to believe that Christ was returning soon? (Soon is relative here).
Hints for success:
- Address ALL aspects of the assignment, (what does the instructor ask you to do)?
- Review your work carefully
- Follow the guidelines below as a checklistWriting an Academic EssayBegin by identifying the key elements; locate the information to support your response. This involves rereading lecture notes, reading assigned texts and brainstorming.What does the assignment ask you to do? Describe, analyze, discuss, form an opinion, assess, etc.Page Length – have you operated within stated guidelines? Introduction, a key part of your essay, and one that sets the tone for the reader; it should unravel the question, create threads, define key terms, AND give an indication of how you intend to answer the question. An introduction is read first but should be completed last, when you know the direction your answer has taken.Development: this is the main section of your essay, where you set out your response, mixing argument with supporting evidence (facts, examples, lecture quotes, text quotes). Try to see it as a series of points, each to be developed in a separate paragraph, though there should be an overall thread linking the points in a thematic way. Sometimes you will find a national theme; at other times you may need to put a more artificial framework on your work.Conclusion: another key part, where you pull together and restate, SUBTLEY, the main points of your essay and make an overall statement in response to the question.Introduction Check List Have you got one?Does it take your reader straight from the question into your answer?Does it unpack/interpret/frame the question as necessary?Does it broadly signpost your essay? Tell the reader where he/she is going? Main Section Check ListIs your essay in paragraphs?Does each paragraph express and develop a single idea?Does each follow logically from the last, with no sudden breaks or shifts of topic?Have you dealt with all the issues posed in the question?Have you explicated important concepts/ideas, using examples where appropriate?Have you substantiated all your arguments with fact/evidence/opinion/
quotations?Have you sidetracked anywhere, gone off on a tangent? Conclusion Check ListDo you have one?Have you drawn together the main threads of your essay? Can you restate them without just restating the question?What general inferences can you draw from your argument? (Conclude don’t just summarize) Where do you stand in relation to the case/position?Have you placed your conclusion in a broader context? General PointsVocabulary: should be varied, precise and apt; not vague and cliché ridden (got, sort of, kind of, like); nor too overblown, pedantic and repetitious.Spelling: check technical, specialist terms and proper names in particular;Grammar: Sentence structure should be varied; not too simple, nor too convoluted (complex sentences do not always signify complex thought)Have you used signpost words (but, however, although, etc.) appropriately to give your essay cohesion.Have you generally signposted where you are taking your reader: For example: (There are two points here…, Now to move on to…’ Having covered…’)?Punctuation: Make sure it is used correctly; beware of overworking commas and dashes.Bibliography/References: Have you done citations correctly; have you developed a bibliography page if required? Website below provides correct MLA citation format