RS10 Life and Literature of the New Testament
Final Exam Study Guide and Essay Questions
Spring Term, 2004

Objective Questions

The objective portion of the exam will test your knowledge of the following areas:

1. Hebrews, General Epistles and Revelation, including the following topics:

  • Hebrews: authorship, theme, content of chapter 6
  • James: authorship; relationship to Jesus' teachings; relationship to Paul's teachings
  • 1 Peter: authorship; recipients; themes
  • Revelation: authorship; genre; content of chapters 1, 4, 5

2. The Lost Letters of Pergamum, pages 133-182, including the following topics:

  • benefaction (p.139)
  • Roman Crucifixion (pp.142-143)
  • Pilate (p. 144; cf. 109-111)
  • Demetrius’ conviction / death sentence (pp. 163-167)
  • Events of Pergamum games (pp.174-179)

3. The New Testament: know the books of the NT in canonical (Biblical) order

Essay Questions

Here are eight questions from which we will select four on the day of the exam. From those four, you'll choose two on which to write thoughtful essays. Please bring a Blue Book and a pen.

1. Fiction and the New Testament: discuss whether or not books like Theissen's Shadow and Longenecker's Pergamum are useful and appropriate for a course on the New Testament. Illustrate your claims, whether positive or negative, with specific examples.

2. The Birth of Jesus: compare the birth narratives of Matthew and Luke, describing their similarities and differences, discuss how each account emphasizes different parts of the story, and whether or not the two stories fit together. As you prepare, you would be wise to consult class notes and Gundry's text on the relevant passages.

3. Parables of the Kingdom: How should we go about interpreting Jesus' parables? Are there guidelines to follow? Are there wrong interpretations? Draw examples and evidence from the parables in Matthew 13, 20, 21, 22, 25 and Luke 15-16.

4. The Execution of Jesus: compare two Gospels and The Shadow of the Galilean in terms of the way each one explains the reasons for the death of Christ and the roles of key players involved. Is Shadow's version compatible with the New Testament? Why or why not? You may refer briefly to Gibson's film, if you saw it, but this question is about the Gospels and Theissen's Shadow. As you prepare, you would be wise to consult Gundry's text on the relevant passages.

5. The Day of Pentecost: discuss the significance of the events of Acts 2 for the early church, and show how this event connects both with Jesus' message (in Luke) as well as the mission of the church (in the rest of Acts). In preparation, you would be wise to consult Gundry's text.

6. The Journeys of Paul: trace at least one of Paul's journeys in terms of his relationship to Jews and Gentiles. Which groups are more receptive? What types of opposition does he encounter? What sorts of patterns do you see in Paul's missionary activity?

7. Jesus, Paul and James: compare the teachings of Matthew 7, Romans 4 and James 2 on the subject of faith and works. Would James and Paul get along? Are their teachings in conflict? How do faith and works relate? Support your claims with specific evidence from the New Testament. As you prepare, you would be wise to consult Gundry's text on the relevant passages.

8. Life in the Early Church: compare early church life in Acts 2--6, 1 Corinthians 11--14, and the two house churches in Longenecker's Pergamum. What similarities and differences do you see between these communities in Jerusalem, Corinth and Pergamum? What challenges did they face as they explored how to be the church in the world?