NT 6301 Sample Questions


1. What is an "anthology"? What two angles of approach to the New Testament are suggested by recognizing it as an anthology?


2. Sketch the history of Christian teaching, oral and written, to which Luke 1:1–4 refers.

3. Discuss the dates of the books of the NT. Why is it significant that the letters of Paul are the earliest NT books to have been written?

4. List the disputed and undisputed letters of Paul. Discuss the criteria by which letters have been assigned to these categories.

5. How can we identify what Paul taught his churches in the course of founding them? What were the basic convictions involved in the Pauline gospel?

6. What is the typical structure of a Pauline letter? Compare the structure of Philemon to that of at least one other letter.

7. What is meant by "parenesis"? What are its principal elements? Discuss the parenetic features of one Pauline letter.
8. In which of his letters did Paul add a concluding greeting in his own hand? What is the significance of this greeting?\

9. What is a "partition" theory? About which Pauline letter(s) have scholars most often proposed partition theories? How can one best respond to such a theory?
10. What is an "inclusio"? How does the inclusio formed by 2 Cor. 2:17 and 12:19 affect our interpretation of the letter?

11. What are the three main concerns Paul addresses in 2 Corinthians, and how does he integrate them in the conclusion of the letter?

12. What is an "apologetic" letter? What is a "polemical" letter? What is a "parenetic" letter? If you could pick only one of these labels to describe most of Paul's letters, which one would you pick, and why?

13. How does the situation to which Romans is addressed differ from that of the other Pauline letters?

14. What is a "diatribe"? How does studying this kind of address help us understand Romans better?

15.  What is the earliest evidence we have for the life of Jesus and the character of his mission? How does it compare with the account of Jesus in the Gospels?

16.  Comment on the "high points" of Mark's story of Jesus. What chapter are they found in, and what do they tell us about Mark's message?

17.  Discuss the ending of Mark's Gospel. Of the four different endings we find in the manuscript tradition, which do you think represents Mark's original ending, and what was Mark intending to communicate by it?

18.  What are the most important differences between Matthew's Gospel and Mark's, and how do they help clarify Matthew's purpose in writing?