Religion & Philosophy at Lyon College

New Testament Survey
Study Guide

1. You may see questions from previous exams and quizzes on the final--a good way to prepare for those is to review your previous exam and quizzes.

2.  When was Romans probably written?  From where?  For what purpose?   What group seems to make up most of the church in Rome?  What is the Greek word for faith?  How does Paul understand faith?  How does Paul understand the relationship between Jews and Gentiles?  What does that relationship have to do with justification through faith?  Be prepared to discuss one of the passages from Romans covered in class.

3. Why, in ancient times, did people use pseudonymous names for the authors of various writings? What are the reasons why scholars think 2 Thessalonians, Colossians, Ephesians and 1 Timothy were not written by Paul?  What reasons are given for why they may have been written by Paul?

4. What are the main themes of 2 Thessalonians, Colossians, Ephesians, and 1 Timothy? Be prepared to discuss the meaning of passages covered in class or in your text book.

5. Which writings are usually called the "catholic epistles"? How do the catholic epistles differ from Paul's letters?

6. What do we know about the authorship of James? What are the arguments against authorship by James? What is the probable audience of James? What is the Didache? Why is it important to understanding the New Testament?

7. Be prepared to discuss specific passages from James covered in class. What does James' teaching about the poor tell us about what was happening in the Christian community at the time? What is James' view of faith and its relationship to works? Be able to discuss how James is similar to and/or different from Paul. What is James' view of wisdom?

8. When was most apocalyptic literature related to the Bible written? What other writings in the Bible are apocalyptic? What are some of the characteristics of apocalyptic literature?

9. What is Patmos? Why was John there? When was he probably writing? What was going on among Christians at that time? What is the probable purpose of writing in apocalyptic symbols?

10. What are some theories about who the woman is in chapter 12 of Revelation? Who is the great whore of Babylon in chapter 17 according to Ehrman?  How does he support that interpretation?  Who does the beast probably symbolize? What is the mark of the beast and how does Ehrman interpret it? What is "gematria" and how does it relate to the mark of the beast?

11.  Be prepared to identify or define the following terms and names: hermeneutic circle, insula, diatribe, deutero-Pauline writings, pseudonymity, bishop, deacon, catholic epistles, apokalypsis, apocalypse (literary form), apocalyptic dualism, Roman emperor cult, Domitian, Alpha and Omega, Lamb, Dragon, four horsemen, Armageddon, Michael, the beast, gematria, Nero, millennium, wedding of the Lamb, a new heaven and a new earth, beatific vision.

12. There may be a comprehensive essay question that will allow you a chance to offer present your own views in light of what you have learned in this course.

Return to Syllabus