New Testament Questions

Specs: 8-page paper, 12-point Times Roman font, double-space, 1inch margins on all sides. Cover sheet (not included in 8-page count) with Name, Title of paper, class name introduction to the New Testament, Date. Pages numbered at the bottom, and essay stapled. All papers must cite at least five recent (i.e., post-1975) scholarly sources (this does not include class textbooks, the Bible [or study Bible notes], or anything you find on the internet.) John Holberg in the Library is a fount of knowledge in finding good sources. Bibliography page (also not included in page count) at the end, giving the sources cited in your paper. Value of the essay is equivalent to one exam, so a very good paper could be worth up to a whole letter grade, depending on your current grade in the class.

Possible Topics:

One choice: Book Study: Pick a New Testament book and

1) cover issue of date, authorship, and provenance, giving the evidence and arguments for different answers to these questions.

2) Discuss the major themes/emphases of the book.

3) Pick a particular passage or two from the book and discuss how this passage develops or resonates with one of the major themes/theological emphases of the book, and how it fits in its immediate context and the context of the book as a whole.


Second Choice:   Thematic Study: Pick a particular theological or ethical theme and

1)           Define it, taking into account its theological development in the history of the church and noting differing definitions or disputes surrounding this theme.

2)           Pick two or three passages in the New Testament relevant to this theme. Demonstrate exegetically how these passages develop/articulate this theme.

Choose only one choice above one or second choice

Then writing an essay step: Structure: You should write an outline of your essay beforehand to give yourself a roadmap of what you are going to say. At beginning, end and transition points in your essay the structure should become explicit. Practically, this means having and introduction that says what the paper is about, having a conclusion that summarizes what the paper said, and having transitional statements that say what is going to happen next (for example, “Now we are going to look at how Paul’s develops the theme of justification in Romans 3:21-31.”). Writing a paper is like guiding a blind person through a maze; you need to tell them when the turns are coming.

Citing Sources: Whenever you take even a single word from a source, your dependence on that source must be acknowledged. Failure to do so is plagiarism, which is both theft and deceit, stealing from someone else and passing it off as though you wrote it. Plagiarism is surprisingly easy to spot. When you borrow a phrase or sentence from a source it should appear in quotation marks with a footnote that gives the bibliographic date and page number(s). For bibliographic formatting see: Kate Turabian’s Manuel for Writers, which is available at the Reference Desk in the Library. Quotations longer than one sentence should appear without quotation marks, as a single space and indented paragraph.

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