Jesus and the Gospels Final Exam Preparation Guide
You will be required to answer two of the following questions, but you will be given a selection of six divided into two categories. You will be required to answer one from each category. You will be expected to devote an entire hour to each question. You may bring your Bible and one 5X7 file card with notes into the exam.
1. What problems are posed if one treats Jesus as one who procalimed reprentence in anticipation of the coming judgment and the problems posed if one treats Jesus' kingdom as sapiential and his ministry as purely about teaching a social ethic? How do you balance Jesus' apocalyptic teachings and his social ethic?
2. Describe the ways and means by which Jesus invites his followers to turn the notion of kingdom on its head.
3. Explain the various ways Jesus' eating with sinners is a threat to social order. Include references to the political, social and religious implications and use both the conceptual vocabulary for first century Judaism and modern critical theory.
4. How is the temptation scene related to Jesus' mission?
5. Explain how the Kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed, how this parable works and why allegorical interpretations of the parables are flawed.
6. Which parable do you consider to be the most illustrative of Jesus' style of teaching and his proclamation? Explain your choice.
7. Explain how Matthew and Luke subvert or alter various Messianic images or symbols so that they point to Jesus' messianic identity as opposed to conventional messianic expectations.
8. Describe the various episodes and aspects of Jesus' ministry (including his early relationship with John the Baptist) that point to an anti-temple polemic. Explain why they suggest that Jesus rejected the temple sacrificial cult.
9. Imagine yourself Jesus' defense attorney at his trial and provide a summation that argues that Jesus is innocent of the charge of sedition and what is more is a law abiding Jew.
10. Paul proclaims Christ crucified, "a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to the Gentiles" (1 Cor. 1:23). Explain how the synoptic Gospels make Paul's meaning clear and describe the various ways they seek to overcome this problem.
11. Describe the nature of exceeding righteousness based upon Jesus' teachings and actions.
12. Provide a commentary for the Lord's Prayer that explains how each line is illustrated in Jesus' preaching and ministry?
13. Explain the following statement: In the Synoptic Gospels, Jesus brings the eschatological blessings; in the Gospel of John, he is the eschatological blessing.
14. Explain how Isaiah 25:6-10 is programmatic for Jesus' ministry and for the language of ekklesia in the Gospel of Matthew.
15. Why are Jesus' miracles so provocative? What do the miracle stories point to in the Synoptic tradition? Illustrate your point with reference to both exorcisms and healing miracles. What purpose do the miracle stories serve in the Gospel of John?
16. The Gospel of John places great emphasis upon being a witness. Give three distinct examples of different ways the Gospel allows us to see through its careful crafting of narrative? What view points or kinds of vision does it give us?
17. What does it signify that Jesus referred to himself as the 'son of man'? In order that it make sense that we continue to refer to him as Son of God and Christ, what do we need to keep in mind about Jesus' references to himself both in the Synoptic tradition and the Gospel of John?