REL 209: Final exam
1) terms (40%): identify 20 of 25 terms for which a brief description will be given (a list of all the terms will be provided)
2) passage identifications (20%): for 5 of 7 passages identify the NT book from which they are quoted and discuss the main issues in them
3) short-answer Qs (20%): more details the better; you may be given some options from which to choose
4) 1 essay or 2 essays (20%): more details the better; you may be given some options from which to choose
Midterm exam (NB the R-drive file with answers)
review the texts assigned in the Project / texts column on the syllabus
highlighted terms on the R-drive
Questions you should be ready to answer (see the R-drive file for more information & tips):
What does “apocalyptic” mean? What are some characteristics
of Jewish apocalypticism? Where in Paul can we see the apocalyptic worldview
expressed? What significance does the apocalyptic worldview have for
understanding Paul’s letters? Be as specific as possible.
Paul’s phrase pistis tou Christou may be translated into English as “faith in Christ” (Christ as the object of faith) or “faith(fulness) of Christ” (Christ as the subject of faith). What difference in theology, christology, soteriology, etc. would these two translations make?
Discuss the main themes or arguments in Rom 9–11. What’s the problem? What’s Paul’s hope? On what basis? What’s Paul’s theology proper (i.e., his understanding of God) in this passage? Include related theological concepts and issues.
What does Gal 5.1, mean for Paul? In your discussion include: Paul’s understanding of the gospel (i.e., the meaning of Christ); your understanding of Paul’s arguments in Rom 4 and Gal 3; 1Cor 6.12 (10.23); what Paul means by the “truth of the gospel” (Gal 2.5, 14).
Discuss the problems that arose in the earliest Christian communities as a result of the mission to the Gentiles, especially as they are portrayed in Acts, Romans, and Galatians. What were the controversies, decisions, and compromises? Be as detailed as possible, using biblical examples to illustrate your points.
What does J. Christiaan Beker mean by coherence and contingency in Paul’s letters? Show your understanding of this problematic in Pauline interpretation by providing specific examples from Paul’s letters. You might include what Beker considers to be the center or core of Paul’s theology and what that center in Paul has to do with coherence and contingency.
What is meant by “the indicative and the imperative”? What other expressions articulate the tension indicated by this phrase? What is Paul’s perspective on this problematic? What view of human life, the world, and time informs Paul’s position? Refer to Paul’s own claims as much as possible.
In what ways is James 2 a response to Pauline theology? Why was this response thought to be necessary? Where in Paul’s letters themselves do we see him dealing with the concern that James expresses regarding faith and works? What is your assessment of Paul and James (how do they compare), and how would you defend your reading of these perspectives? Be able to discuss Paul’s and James’s interpretation of the justification of Abraham.
In what ways does Käsemann disagree with Bultmann? In what ways does he agree? Show your understanding of the Käsemann’s emphasis on apocalypticism, christology, and soteriology (especially in terms of the justification of the ungodly), as opposed to Bultmann’s emphasis on demythologization, anthropology, and existentialism. Include also the Käsemann’s critique of ecclesiology. (One hint: Käsemann concludes his essay “Justification and Salvation History in the Epistle to the Romans” with the following: “For our God would then be once more the God of the ‘good’ and would cease to be, as the Father of Jesus Christ, the God of the ungodly.” Discusss what he means. What are the main issues? (Tip: see what Keck says about justification.)
As Tina Turner put it, what’s agape got to do with it? What’s so great about agape? What does Paul mean by agape? Why does he talk about this in his letters? What does he mean by agape in 1 Cor 13? Be as specific as possible. Discuss at least 1Cor 12–14; 16.13; Gal 5; Rom 13.8–10.
What are Paul’s claims about the law in Rom and Gal? What do you make of Paul’s claims? What does Räisänen make of Paul’s claims?
What does Gal 3.28 mean? (Cf. Rom 10.12 and 1Cor 12.13) What’s Paul’s point? Include a discussion of Rom 2–3.
In what ways does an egalitarian ethos emerge or come to expression in Paul’s letters? What are some of Paul’s points and on what does he base his argumentation? Be as detailed as possible, using biblical examples to illustrate your points.
Accoring to Gabler’s inaugural address, what is the “proper distinction” and relationship between biblical theology and dogmatic theology? What are true biblical theology and pure biblical theology? In what ways or concerning what issues may we apply Gabler’s methodology to Paul’s letters? Show your understanding of Gabler and Pauline issues by applying Gabler’s approach to specific examples from Paul’s letters.
What does Meyer mean by the issue of “faith and history”? How does he propose that we understand all the gospel claims about Jesus as the Christ? What does he mean by “synthetic judgment”? What does he mean by “analytic judgment”? What does he mean by “language game”? What is his proposal in contrast to the former 3 approaches?