Reflection on the Course Material: Gospels

This assignment is meant to give you more practice at understanding our course material, particularly if the first and second midterms have left you feeling uncomfortable.

The review guide for the midterm asked you to study each chapter of our reading for (a) a sense of what it is for, (b) familiarity with its main lines of argument, (c) an understanding of basic terms and concepts and their significance to the whole chapter, (d) an appreciation of what is at stake (in other words, "So what?"), and (e) a sense of its connections with other course material.

Choose one of the four gospels and write out answers for each of these five areas of understanding. Emphasize the area(s) where you need the most improvement: If you are having a hard time understanding the basic argument or concepts in the course, stress the first three; if not, stress the final two. You will of course draw on the biblical book itself, its corresponding chapter in Johnson, Theissen or Bauckham as applicable, and whatever other secondary readings also treat it.

If you find this exercise helpful, consider doing something like it for all the major readings of the course (or perhaps working as a group and distributing those responsibilities among your members). I recommend that you do this right after we have covered the material rather than the night before the next midterm! Hey, you could organize the study group now, distribute the readings, and each of you could get extra credit! Get 'em while they last!

You may write either a prose outline or a standard essay. Follow the directions in my handout for writing papers insofar as they apply. Remember, I want to see proper style, clear writing, a thorough answer to the question, and explicit citations of course materials.

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