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REL 150 Exam 2 Study Guide

March 19, 2020


Be able to define or describe the following terms in a sentence or two and/or highlight two or three key points (such as might be included in a multiple-choice or matching-type question).

CatechesisPost-resurrection appearancesLaw of End-stress Jerusalem
ParousiaHellenistic Jews“Palestinian” Jews Antioch
Priesthood of BelieversMagnificatHellenistic Jews “Christian”
PseudonymityBenedictusThe Twelve Samaritans
PericopeKingdom of GodThe Seven God-fearers
Messianic SecretRich and PoorStephen “Better”
SufferingHoly SpiritPhilp Cultus
GethsemaneLukan Travel NarrativeJerusalem ConferenceDefilement and Purgation
Golgotha/CalvaryParableCircumcision Pilgrimage
Empty TombMashalPaul’s “Missionary Journeys”Apostasy

Points to Ponder

Below is a brief summary of the major topics we have discussed in class.

  1. What challenges did the audience of 1 Peter face? Why does 1 Peter use the imagery of the “people of God” to describe these Gentile converts? What practical advice does 1 Peter offer for faithful living in a hostile culture?
  2. Describe some of the unique features that set Mark apart from the other three Gospels. How does Mark tell the story of Jesus? What themes are central to his depiction of Jesus? What does he have to say about discipleship? About suffering?
  3. How does Mark tie the themes of suffering and discipleship into his account of Jesus’ death and resurrection? Discuss the various endings of Mark. How might ending the Gospel at 16:8 have served Mark’s literary purposes?
  4. How does Luke depict Jesus as a “universal Christ”? What barriers does Jesus cross in Luke, and what is the significance of this behavior?
  5. Discuss the kingdom of God as the central theme of Jesus’ message in Luke. What does this term mean and how does Jesus teach or enact his message about the kingdom?
  6. What does Luke’s Jesus have to say about the relationship between rich and poor in the church? In society? What are some foundational texts for understanding Luke’s emphasis on wealth and poverty?
  7. What is a parable? How should the parables of Jesus be interpreted? Be able to discuss at least two of the parables in Luke 14–16 to show how they advance Luke’s particular themes.
  8. Describe the significance of Hellenistic Jews in the early Jerusalem church. What made Hellenistic Jews different from Palestinian Jews? Name two prominent Hellenistic Jewish leaders and the role(s) they played in the expansion of Christianity.
  9. Be able to list the key turning points in Acts: events, controversies, and the persons involved. To whom did Paul minister during his three “missionary journeys”? (And why is this term an inadequate description of Paul’s missionary work?)
  10. How does Luke describe the reception of the message of Jesus among the following groups: Hellenistic Jews? Samaritans? Gentiles?
  11. Why is the book of Hebrews considered “the riddle of the New Testament”? What is the thrust of Hebrews’ depiction of Jesus and his saving work? How might this depiction address the felt spiritual needs of the book’s first-century audience?

Format of the Exam

Part I. Thirty-five multiple-choice questions worth four points each, based on the key terms listed above and assigned Scripture readings (140 points).

Part II. One essay question (60 points). You will have a choice between two of the following questions:

  1. Provide a basic introduction to either the Gospel of Mark or the Gospel of Luke. Discuss the distinctive features of this Gospel in terms of its organization, style, and depiction of Jesus.
  2. Discuss 1 Peter as a possible example of early Christian catechesis. What themes in this letter would be particularly relevant for first-century believers preparing for baptism?
  3. Discuss Jesus’ use of parables in the Gospel of Luke. Give examples of how at least two of the parables in Luke advance the Gospel’s particular themes.
  4. Discuss the various cultural, ethnic, and religious barriers Jesus’ followers confront in the book of Acts. What were some of the important turning points in the early expansion of the church? Who were the key figures in guiding the church through these turning points?
  5. Describe how the author of Hebrews uses the imagery of sacrifice and priesthood to argue for the superiority of Jesus. Why might a first-century audience embrace this imagery?


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