June 23 – Apocalypse(s)

How is the account Lawrence Wright provides in “Letter from Jerusalem: Forcing the End” (e-reserve reading) related to Crossan’s argument in his chapter “The Jordan is Not Just Water” (chapter 2 of his book) and to Fredriksen’s argument in the e-reserve reading you did from Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews?

June 22 – Paul and the Early Christian Community

Do ALL: 1. The event Christians call “Pentecost” is described in Acts of the Apostles, ch. 2; the word literally means “count to 50” (so a feast marking 50 days). In Judaism (Leviticus 23:15-21 and elsewhere) this harvest festival takes place fifty days after the Passover, which makes it, in a sense, a feast of […]

June 18 – Crucifixion and Resurrection

Do 1 OR 2; and then do 3 OR 4: 1. Looking at the accounts of Jesus’ arrest in just Mark and John (obviously, you should feel free to consider Luke and Matthew as well, but you don’t have to address their versions in your writing), discuss how the very different portraits of Jesus that […]

June 16 – the Jesus Story (parables and miracles)

Do ALL: 1. Explain Crossan’s understanding of “radical egalitarianism” and “open commensality” as manifestations of the Kingdom of God. 2. Explain Crossan’s distinction between healing and curing an illness / disease. 3. Do either A or B: A. Look at Crossan’s discussion of the exorcism of the Gerasene demoniac (pp. 88-91). Tell me how you […]

June 15 – beginning the New Testament

Do ALL (but you don’t have to go into great detail on each response): 1. How is Luke using a type scene? 2. How are Matthew and Luke using the early life of Jesus (whether this is fictionalized or not) to imagine or reimagine the Jewish notion of the Messiah? 3. Make a quick list […]

June 11 – Ruth

Do ONE: 1. The text from Ezra (9-10:15) includes the ban on marriage to foreign wives. How is that ban in dialogue with the Book of Ruth? (You might want to think about this in relation to Alter’s argument about the “type-scene,” Art of Biblical Narrative, ch. 3.) 2. Here’s a question from June 1st […]

June 4 – Kings and Psalms

1. What are some of the ways in which the narrative of Kings is a continuation of the story begun in 1 and 2 Samuel? Conversely, what are some of the main differences between Samuel and Kings? Feel free to refer both to specific narrative details, and to more abstract literary features like style and […]

June 2 – 2 Samuel

(David and Absolom, by Marc Chagall) First, and this is not a homework question, but it is something you will need to pay attention to in your reading, the first few chapters of 2 Samuel are rather confusing: basically David is working to consolidate the kingdom, which is divided into the Northern Kingdom of Israel […]

June 1 – 1 Samuel

Here are some homework questions for 1 Samuel (do all the questions for your homework). Enjoy this book–it’s the beginning of an incredible story. Remember that Alter has a great section on the two different introductions we have to David: reread that carefully from The Art of Biblical Narrative (pp. 147-53). 1. In a Jewish […]

May 28 – Judges

1. There’s a very memorable story in Chapter 4 of Judges involving two women, and one in particular: Jael. Is she a hero in the text? What do you think? 2. Specifically about Judges 11: what are the Biblical echoes or repetitions you detect in this story? What do you do with them? And what […]