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NT Final: Essay Questions
Terms in this set (10)
describe the genre of biography? what is unique to this genre? what are important factors in interpreting a book with this genre?
biography: telling of someone's exemplary life
unique: main focus is to retell the events of that person's life (unlike other genres)
factors: remember it is from a specific POV (ex: gospels - Matthew, Mark, John tell similar things about Jesus' life but all in their own way, emphasizing different themes)
describe the genre of historiography? what is unique to this genre? what are important factors in interpreting a book with this genre?
historiography: understanding the arch of history and putting ourselves in that arch of history
unique: this genre seeks to give people an identity and shape a person's character
factors: certain culture/context/time/etc in which you need to consider when interpreting books of this genre (ex: read the Bible understanding that they said that or did that for a certain reason. Jesus washed his disciple's feet bc it was the lowliest job in society which is why it was so significant. readers put themselves in that historical context to let it shape their interpretation of the Bible)
describe the genre of letter? what is unique to this genre? what are important factors in interpreting a book with this genre?
letter: written to a specific person/church about something
unique: intended for a specific audience to be understood within a specific context
factors: consider the context/place/time/etc of which it was written (ex: Paul's letter to the church in Corinth talking about waiting for each other for communion bc the rich would eat all the food)
describe the genre of apocalyptic literature? what is unique to this genre? what are important factors in interpreting a book with this genre?
apocalyptic literature: Revelatory literature written in a narrative frame, often mediated by an otherworldly being (angel)
unique: Shows us a reality that we normally can't see (heaven); shows eschatological judgement/salvation; centered around fight between good and evil
factors: shine a new light of the present circumstances of readers -> help them be faithful; the symbolism could also apply to the current context of when it was written
(Beast = emperor of Rome; fall of beast = fall of Rome); Written to give hope to oppressed people and to induce fear in oppressors
Summarize the two sides of role of women in the church and offer critical engagement with each.
complementation (hierarchical male authoritative leadership): women can have positions of leadership in the church but not have direct authority over men (women are gifted more for nurture so leadership would compromise that)
egalitarian: women can have direct authority over men; men and women leaders lead a church of men and women; leadership is a gift that God can give to men and women as it is not inherent in males
The book of Revelation can be interpreted in a variety of ways. Offer a description of three of the possible options with examples.
Preterist (past): historical and scientific approach; focuses exclusively on the past (Revelation is a document in its own time in the story); symbols relate only to first century world of author; visions are fulfilled by historical events (Ex: beast = emperor and its defeat = fall of Rome)
Predictive (future): Most common approach; Focuses exclusively on the future (what is going to happen at the end of time); Symbols relate to the world of the reader; Gives a way to interpret the world around us (bc we're 2,000 years closer to the end of the world than the author was) (Ex: John recounts wars, plagues, specific occurrences that will happen before Christ's second coming)
poetic/theopoetic approach (little bit of both): Spiritual type of reading; Communicates great truths in poetic language; Revelations is timeless (applies to both past and future); An ideal type of communication (Ex: things that have happened in the past that will also happen in the future
Which of Paul's letters are considered by (many) biblical scholars to be pseudonymous. What are the issues involved in this determination and how might those issues be alternatively explained. What is at stake in this debate?
Ephesians, 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus
issues: There were false pseudonymous letters written with the intent to deceive (they were rare tho); Do they preserve, appropriate, and authorize the truth? Do they center the truth? (How do we know that we can trust them?)
what's at stake: should they have authority in the biblical canon?
What is the book of 1 Corinthians about and how does 1 Cor 11:17-34 fit into its larger co-text? How does Paul's vocation as a tentmaker help us to understand his theology? (notes from lecture)
1 Corinthians is primarily Paul addressing the church in Corinth about major issues they struggle with like sexual immorality, marriage and divorce, etc while upholding his main message of the church as one body in christ - unity.
1 Cor 11:17-34: Paul addresses the abuse of the Lord's supper. the rich arrive earlier and eat everything while the poor come late and eat what's left. Paul tells the church that their body is divided and that the rich should eat something before and wait for the poor so they can all eat together as one body.
Paul's job: Paul chose to support himself;
Working with your hands is the least honorable option for paying your way; Paul had a high value on work; He wants to distance himself from those who abuse their rights (People were defrauding churches for support); Embodying the gospel (The way of "washing the feet" of the people around him);
What is the Christ hymn in Phil 2:5-11 about? Where do we see traces of this in Paul's other writings (give specific examples)? (do a little more work on your own, also mentioned in lectures)
imitating Christ's humility in that we should not count ourselves higher (or lower) than anyone but be humbled as Christ was humbled: he was the Son of God yet became a human and died the most shameful way. Adam tried to be equal with God and failed, whereas Jesus succeeded and therefore did what Adam could not.
ex: Paul tells the church in Rome to "live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited." (we should humble ourselves to live in harmony with each other as Christ humbled himself to live in harmony with us. We were so much lower than he was yet, in humility, he chose to associate with us)
What are the three "compass points" outlined in the lectures that may be helpful in navigating discussions on social ethics in relation to biblical texts? Describe each and give examples.
What is the relative amount of emphasis given a subject in the bible?
How much was it discussed in the bible?
If it is only discussed once, we might not have to place much emphasis on that topic
Doesn't mean we dismiss it, but we can place less emphasis on it
Ex: head coverings on women (1 Cor 11)
To what degree are the biblical witnesses (across cultures) uniform and consistent?
Cultural contexts determined different teachings on different topics
What is important to each cultural context?
Is there a need to stand apart from everyone else?
Is there a need to show love to others around you?
How would they show love? How would that change how they lived?
Ex: eating meat sacrificed to an idol (Revelations wants to stand apart so don't eat; Paul's teachings is less about standing apart; however, if eating the meat means showing love to others, then eat the meat in 1 Cor 8)
To what degree does a writer's cultural situation provide them with only one option?
There is not always a way to culturally get rid of something ingrained into the Christian and non-Christian culture
Things that we do that are not good, but it is the way that the culture operates
We don't have much of a choice if we want to live in this culture
Find way to navigate and help us to move in the right direction even if we have one option
Slavery: can't just not have slavery bc one book says it
Bible be like: "don't have slaves, but if you do, treat them well" (Ephesians 9)
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