Who Wrote the New Testament?: The Making of the Christian Myth Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Burton L. Mack
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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What did Paul stress was important, since they were "members of Christ"?

2. Why were issues such as homosexuality a source of cultural conflict?

3. What is the name of the form of mythmaking Mack notes these early Jesus people were engaged in?

4. What did Paul's argument do to Jews and Christians?

5. What is contained in the Gospel of Thomas?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is Mack's argument about why John wrote Revelations?

2. Describe the situation in the empire since the reign of Caligula, in terms of the political mood of the Jews.

3. Describe the two major aspects in which the Christ cult differed from the Jesus movements.

4. Explain Mack's view of how the writings of the New Testament were chosen, and why these choices created centrist Christianity.

5. What were Paul's arguments against the concept that Christians had to follow Jewish law, if they were claiming to be Jewish?

6. What does Mack give as his own fantasy about the Bible?

7. What two strong desires drove Christianity?

8. What are the four types of material within the letters to the Corinthians?

9. What are the three features of the text that indicate the Christ myth is based on the martyr myths?

10. Describe Mack's observations about James as an author in the first three centuries.

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Choose one of the five Jesus groups listed below and discuss their characteristics, and the primary teachings their movement brings forth. Be sure to include what they believed, and why, as well as their primary influence on the concept of Jesus and society in general.

-Community of Q

-Jesus School

-True Disciples of the Gospel of Thomas

-Congregation of Israel

-Jerusalem Pillars

Essay Topic 2

Discuss Mack's three arguments about why the Bible has survived unquestioned throughout history. Why does he say this has happened? Be sure to discuss Mack's views of the Bible as an oracle, the Bible as the ritual text of Christianity, and the Bible's function as an epic for the American dream. What are each of these, and why do they help to position the Bible in a high, unquestionable place of power?

Essay Topic 3

Discuss the Acts of the Apostles, in detail. What was the point of this document? Who is believed to be the author? When was it written? What stories are contained within the Acts, and what is their purpose to modern Christianity? What literary styles did the author use to create a cohesive history of gospel cohesiveness? What did the speeches within Acts attempt to convey, and were they successful? How did Acts relate to Judaism? Be sure to include information contained in the book in your answer.

(see the answer keys)

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