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 way did ethnic or cultural groups create small social units within the larger culture they found themselves in?

2. What did early people think their society was based on?

3. Who were the super apostles at Corinth?

4. What two notions was Paul caught between in the question of what to do with those already dead?

5. Why does Mack claim the Bible is constantly consulted?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What does Mack give as the three reasons humanity has not wondered about the reality of using the Bible for social policy?

3. What are the standard writing conventions used in the Acts of the Apostles?

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

5. What does Mack say about the "overwhelming concern" in the Didache about the practice of alms, gift giving, and supporting those who ask for hand outs?

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

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

8. What were the common values contained in both the temple system of sacrifice and the family system of rituals that allowed the translation of one into the other?

9. What are the significant differences between the Pauline and Johannine traditions, as discussed by Mack in chapter 8?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Explain the Didache, in detail. What is it? Where was it located? What is it a part of, and why? What does it contain? What features does Mack note are of particular interest? How does the Didache relate to Judaism? Why is this important to understanding the state of Christianity in the early second century?

Essay Topic 2

Discuss Mack's interpretation of Paul's argument to the Thessalonians in terms of the question of those who had already perished. What was the original intent of the question, according to Mack? How did Paul respond? What were his arguments? How did he alter the message of the Christ myth to fit his argument? Why was the question of a concern for the dead a common issue in the Easter Mediterranean? Why does Mack argue that Paul's response to the question indicates the question was really about belonging? How did Paul's answers lead to an idea of eternal life?

Essay Topic 3

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?

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