Jesus and His Teachings
Study Guide for First Exam

[For the second Exam, focus on questions 27 ff.]

1. What is meant by the "three worlds of the Bible"? Be able to explain the differences between them. What is textual criticism? What are "autographs"? Where are the autographs of the gospels? What are some of the issues associated with reconstructing the original autographs? What does the word "gospel" mean (give both English and Greek roots)?

2. According to early Christian traditions, who produced the gospels? According to modern scholars, how did the gospels come into being? What are two major types of translations? How do they differ? What are examples of each type?

3. What are four contemporary views of Jesus mentioned by Tatum? What is a gospel? What word do we find used in the Bible for gospel and what is its literal translation? What Anglo-Saxon word did our word "gospel" come from and what does it literally mean?

4. Be able to define source criticism, form criticism, and redaction criticism. What is the synoptic problem? What is the Griesbach hypothesis? What is the two source hypothesis? Why do most scholars favor the two source hypothesis? What is Q? What is the four source theory? Be prepared to find different sources in a parallel and discuss the significance of the differences.

5. What are some major differences between Matthew's and Luke's account of Jesus' birth? What do these differences suggest about the different perspectives of the gospels?

6. Whom do scholars generally think that Mark's gospel was written for?

7. When was Mark's gospel probably written? What would have been going on among Mark's original readers at that time?

8. What is the significance of the first verse of Mark's gospel?

9. What is the basic structure of Mark's gospel?

10. Why do most scholars think that Mark 16:9-20 was not written by the author of the gospel?

11. What is the "messianic secret"? How is it related to the theme of the first half of the gospel?

12. What are some of the major ironies presented in the first half of the gospel?

13. What is the climax of the first half of the gospel? What is the climax of the second half of the gospel? What is the significance of the ending of the gospel? What seems to be the theme of the gospel?

14. When do scholars generally think that the Gospel of Matthew was written? For whom? Where? What was going on at that time in that community?

15. What is the theological significance of the five part structure of the gospel?

16. Be able to explain how various passages, e.g., the mention of women in the genealogy, and the sermon on the mount, attempt to present Jesus as the fulfillment of Jewish hope. How might this theme of fulfillment be related to the historical situation in which this gospel was written?

17. What is the significance of the phrase "kingdom of heaven" vs. "kingdom of God"?

18. What is meant by the "law and the prophets"?

19. In what ways does the sermon on the mount appear to be a manual or handbook (enchiridion)?

20. When do scholars generally think that the Gospel of Luke was written? For whom? Where?

21. What is meant by Tatum's title "Universal Christ"? In what way does this title fit the Gospel of Luke's portrayal of Jesus?

22. How is the theme of universalism illustrated in this gospel? E.g., what stories or Lukan versions of stories point to universalism. Be prepared to discuss the meaning of stories such as the good Samaritan in light of this theme.

23. How is the theme of social justice for the oppressed illustrated in this gospel? Again, especially be prepared to compare Lukan versions of stories with Matthew or Mark.

24. How is the importance of women illustrated?

25. What seems to be the importance of the Holy Spirit for the author of Luke-Acts? Be able to give specific examples.

26. What is the three-fold division of Luke? What does Luke organize the gospel around?

27. When do scholars generally think the Gospel of John was written? By whom? For whom? What were the issues or problems which may have been going on in the community of the first readers?

28. What are the major similarities between the Gospel of John and the synoptic gospels? What are the major differences?

29. What is christology? What sort of christology do we find in the Gospel of John as compared to the other gospels?

30. What is gnosticism? What are some of their major beliefs? What things in the Gospel of John suggest gnostic influence? In what way can the gospel be understood as a refutation of gnosticism?

31. What are the connotations of the term "word" or "logos" in the Gospel of John? How does "logos" relate to "sophia"?

32. What are some of the theories about who the "beloved disciple" was?

33. In what ways does the Gospel of Thomas show gnostic influences? What is the major difference between the Gospel of Thomas and the canonical gospels? Why do scholars think the Gospel of Thomas is as old, if not older, than the Gospel of Mark? What is the relationship between the Gospel of Thomas and "Q"?