Who Wrote the New Testament?: The Making of the Christian Myth Test | Final 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 became an interest for early third century scholars?

2. Why are the Epistles of Peter and Jude called the Catholic epistles?

3. What does Mack argue the Gospel of Matthew is a document for?

4. What does Mack claim both Marcion and Valentinus offered?

5. When do scholars place the writing of the Gospel of John?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What were the two key arguments that the centrists tried to use against the non-centrist positions of Valentinus and Marcion?

3. What evidence does Mack put forth that the attempts to move into mainstream Christianity worked?

4. What two strong desires drove Christianity?

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

6. Describe Matthew's depiction of Jesus.

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

8. What are the major points of the sermons contained in the Acts, according to Mack?

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

10. What was Valentinus' story of the tragedy of the birth of the world?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

Explain and analyze the two forces that Mack claims drive Christianity. What are those two forces? How do those forces move Christianity along? What tensions are involved in these forces? when did these forces begin to have an effect on Christianity? Where else did Biblical influence become apparent? Why are these factors important when examining the construction of the Christian bible?

Essay Topic 3

Explain the cultures of the Greco-Roman times in the Eastern Mediterranean, as explained by Mack in Chapter 1. Be sure to include concepts of the Jewish temple-state, the Greek city-state, and the Roman republic. What were the similarities of these groups? What were the differences? How did these cultural clashes help to form a breeding ground for new social ideas and experiments? What types of social experiments were done? How did these contribute to the creation of a new society?

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