RELN 225: NEW TESTAMENT
This exam is a take-home exam. It is expected that you will not collaborate with other students in studying for or writing this exam. Everyone will write one essay for section A, and choose from two essays under section B. The Final Exam must be typed and double spaced and should not be more than 6 typed, double-spaced pages. It must be turned in no later than 6:30 PM on Tuesday, May 6, to eitherPam Sheasby, Religion Department Assistant, in Ascension 19 (basement), or posted on my office door (there will be a manila envelope). That is the time the regularly scheduled exam would end. Please provide a cover sheet with your name on it. At the bottom of your paper please type and sign the following statement:
In accordance with Kenyon College's Standards of Academic Honesty, I attest that in this Final Exam I have not collaborated with any other student and that the work I am submitting is my own.
A. Essay one: 60 points
1. The distinguishing mark of the first Christian generations is . . . not the wholeness, perfection, or completeness. . . Rather, it is the incompleteness, openness, and newness that strike us." -Robert Wilken, The Myth of Christian Beginnings
Write an essay assessing the value of Wilken's statement in studying the New Testament. What examples of openness, incompleteness, and newness have you found in studying the New Testament this semester? Whether you agree or disagree with Wilken, make sure you provide specific examples from other scholars in support of your arguments. You should include writings from the gospels, Paul's letters, and at least one other New Testament text.
B. CHOOSE ONE OF THE FOLLOWING: 40 points
Choose an essay about a topic different from the one in which you participated.
1. Using the Biblical citations provided by each group as well as material learned in class, is it possible to articulate a definitive New Testament stance about one of the following topics: anti-Semitism, women, the family, and war? Why or why not? Provide specific examples from a variety of material from the class as well as the presentation to back up your points.
2. Reading the New Testament, some Christian groups have come to the following conclusions:
a) The New Testament mandates peace, non-violence, and passive resistance
b) The New Testament excludes women from leadership
c) The New Testament champions an unchanging view of a hetero-normative family with male in charge
d) The New Testament supports the claim that Christianity is the fulfillment of Judaism
Choose one of the above stances and explain how that group views the New Testament as well as which New Testament
texts the group cites for their argument. Are there New Testament texts the group has to ignore or downplay in
order to maintain their stance? Are there ways of approaching the New Testament that allow for societal change
or that make such accommodation difficult?