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 were the disciple teachers known as?

2. What was Valentinus' claim about what Christ made possible, in terms of knowledge of God?

3. How many miracles occur in the Gospel of John?

4. When does Mack argue Mark's gospel was written?

5. What did Clement argue about the "new song" of Christianity?

Short Essay Questions

1. What two strong desires drove Christianity?

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

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

4. 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?

5. Explain the observations Mack claims are important about Mark's use of the pronouncement stories.

6. Explain Mack's discussion of when the Epistles of Peter and Jude were written. What references does he use to attempt to date the pieces?

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

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

9. Explain the conversion of Constantine, and why it was pivotal in the creation of the Bible.

10. What are the three concerns underlying the treatise to the Hebrews?

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

Describe why Mack believes his book can help view Christianity in a new way, and what he fantasizes about in terms of an honest discussion of the Bible, and Christianity as a whole. What does he think we should do, in terms of religion? Why does he think his book can help humanity begin to question Christianity as a source for social order? Do you agree? Why or why not?

(see the answer keys)

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