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. Why does Mack claim that the Jesus cult succeeded?

2. Why does Mack believe the stories in the New Testament were chosen to be included?

3. What was the Greek concept of civilization?

4. In the temple-state model of civilization, what system does the priest represent?

5. What is an epic according to Mack?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why does Mack believe early Christians were excited about the concept of the kingdom of God?

2. What is the fourth Jesus movement discussed in the book, and what is/are the primary components of the movement's teachings?

3. What is the fifth Jesus movement discussed in the book, and what is/are the primary components of the movement's teachings?

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

5. Explain why Paul is so important to views of Christianity, according to Mack.

6. Explain the findings of Carsten Thiede, Mack's response, and what this argument shows.

7. Describe the concept of the polis.

8. Explain why Mack believes Galilee was the perfect place for social experimentation.

9. What is the first Jesus movement discussed in the book, and what is/are the primary components of the movement's teachings?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss the letter by Paul to the Galatians. Why is it important? What happened to entice the letter from Paul? What question was Paul trying to answer? What was his argument, in terms of how the Christians could receive the same blessings as the Jews? Explain that argument in detail. What issues does Mack see, in terms of the validity of the argument? Was this argument continued by Paul in later letters? Why or why not? What does this say about Paul's own opinion of his argument?

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

List and discuss the four "proofs" from scripture that support the idea that the history of Israel can be read as the story of the Christian God. What are the four points? What do they mean? How do they tie together to create the idea of a scripture that supports the Christian God, rather than a Jewish God? Be sure to mention concepts such as the spirit of prophesy, the logos, and the idea that the history of Israel did not end with the Jews.

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