QuestionQuestion

1. What common themes do you notice between Luke’s Gospel (especially 1:1 and 24:44-53) and Acts (especially 1:1 – 2:4)? What are the indications that both books are the products of a single author?

If a friend asked you to summarize the main events or themes in Acts, what top three events would you recommend for them to read? Why those three and not some of the other events?

2. Pick one of the following:

(a) One suggestion is that the original version of Mark was actually longer than 16:8 but that the original ending after v. 8 was lost. Starting with Mark 16:8, write your own ending for Mark’s Gospel incorporating some of the common phrases or themes elsewhere in Mark’s Gospel (underline or otherwise indicate the Marcan phrases or themes in the text). 150 word minimum (not counting v. 8).
In a separate section, you should also include an additional explanation regarding how you think your ending fits well with the rest of Mark’s Gospel (e.g., how does it reflect themes in Mark’s Gospel). 150 word minimum

or

(b) How would you explain the similarities in the parallel story about Jesus’ True Kindred (Matt 12:46-50 // Mark 3:31-35 // Luke 8:19-21; see parallel versions posted on Moodle)? Which version do you think is the original and in what order do you think they were written? Are there any potential problems regarding your proposal for the order of composition? What changes did the other two make to the original story and why do you think they made those changes (e.g., what concerns or themes elsewhere in their specific Gospel might explain the changes)? 300 word minimum

3. Birth of Jesus Proposal

Write your own proposal for dating the birth of Jesus and who was in power during that time period. A template has been provided on Moodle. For the essays, you should have a minimum of 100 word answers for each essay. You should also use all the following sources and cite where appropriate, both in the Data Chart and in your essays. To cite from any of these articles or the recommended book (Brown), you just need the author’s last name and page number where you found the information in parentheses. If you get information from the NOAB4, you may cite it as the NOAB4 followed by a comma and the page number. No other sources should be used, including websites.

4. Pick one option below:

(1) Write a 300 – 500 word essay about whether you think Jesus' Last Meal in John’s Gospel was a Paschal meal or an ordinary meal. You must use the following two articles on Moodle (to cite them in your essay, you can just include the author’s last name and page number in parentheses), though you are welcome to use additional sources as well (please include full citation information in a footnote following Chicago/Turabian style):

Torrey, Charles C. “In the Fourth Gospel the Last Supper Was the Paschal Meal.” The Jewish Quarterly Review, New Series 42 (1952): 237-250.
Zeitlin, Solomon. “The Last Supper as an Ordinary Meal in the Fourth Gospel.” The Jewish Quarterly Review, New Series 42 (1952): 251-260.
or

(2) John and one of the authors of the Synoptic Gospels (pick one) have been asked to be interviewed on a talk show regarding some of the major differences between their Gospels regarding one of the following topics:

Role or portrayal of women (in general or specific ones)
Importance of Peter
High vs. low Christology
Last Supper narratives
Crucifixion narratives
Resurrection narratives
Write a 300 – 500 word transcript of the talk show interview between John and the other evangelist (Matthew, Mark, or Luke). Include biblical and other citations where appropriate.

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1. What common themes do you notice between Luke’s Gospel (especially 1:1 and 24:44-53) and Acts (especially 1:1 – 2:4)? What are the indications that both books are the products of a single author?

If a friend asked you to summarize the main events or themes in Acts, what top three events would
you recommend for them to read? Why those three and not some of the other events?

The author of Acts clearly suggests that his book is a continuation of an earlier account: “The former account I made... of all that Jesus began both to do and teach.” (Acts 1:1). Further, the author of Acts links the beginning of his new book to the concluding themes of the Gospel of Luke, namely, a farewell address to the disciples from Luke 24:44-53.

One more detail that both books share is the brief preface where the author places his work within a literary perspective and explains to his readership the purpose of his work. Both such prefaces, in Luke's Gospel and in Acts address some Theophilus, apparently a learned early Christian.

The three central events in the Book of Acts I would recommend my friend to read are:
The day of Pentecost (entire Chapter 2). That day if often called the birthday of the Christian church. Prior to that day there were disciples of Christ or his listeners, but there was no church as an organization dedicated to mission and service. The day of Pentecost is an important Christian holiday in most denominations. It is particularly significant for the Pentecostal denomination which claims to adhere to the original apostolic doctrine and practice of speaking in other tongues as a sign of presence of the Holy Spirit....
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