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Rel 104 Final Paper
You must use the criteria’s of embarrassment, dissimilarity, multiple attestation and coherence to back up the authenticity of your points.
Write a paper in which you create a credible portrait of the historical Jesus using appropriate scholarly methods. Must include in the paper a discussion of:
1.the historical, social, cultural, and religious factors that make it difficult to understand the ancient world of Israel/Palestine at the time of Jesus,
2.the methodology used to discover the sayings and actions of the historical Jesus, including strengths and weaknesses
3.the likely reason for Jesus’ execution
4.the beginning of Jesus’ ministry including his relationship with John the Baptist,
and miracles of Jesus,
6.the sayings of Jesus including the sayings about the Kingdom of God and the parables. For instance: 1) the parable of the talents, 2) the parable of the unmerciful servant, and 3) any one of the following: the parable of the sower, the parable of the wheat and weeds, the parable of the leaven, the parable of the mustard seed, the parable of the treasure, and the parable of the pearl (note that I am using the traditional titles that I have used on the syllabus):
In this essay, discuss the shape of the original parable. For instance, if you are writing on the parable of the sower, you will need to compare the Markan version of the parable with the Thomas version. Note that even if a parable is only attested once, it is still not necessarily clear where it originally parable began or ended. In addition, talk about the meaning of each parable and how it relates to the meaning of the other parables that you address in your essay. Finally, discuss how Jesus’ use of these parables fits into his larger agenda.
Back up each element of your paper appropriately with evidence from primary and secondary literature. The primary texts (i. e., biblical or other relevant historical texts like Q, Thomas, etc.), and secondary written material that we have considered (i. e., Bovon, Francois Title: The Last Days of Jesus, Charlesworth, James H. Title: The Historical Jesus: An Essential Guide, Crossan, John Dominic Title: Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography, Horsley, Richard A. Title: Jesus and Empire, and VanVoorst, Robert E. Title: Jesus Outside the New Testament ). Make sure that you appropriately cite primary and secondary sources.
While you may choose the primary material that you want to discuss (e. g., the sayings, parables, and accounts of healings and exorcisms
), make sure that the portrait that you create can account for all of the Jesus material that is likely authentic.
Imagine that your paper will be read by a panel of faculty consisting of:
• A scholar of early Christianity in the Religion Department
• A scholar of early Judaism in the Judaic Studies Program, and
• A random GW student (not in this class!)
This is meant to be a piece of scholarly writing but it is meant to be accessible to educated people who may not know much about the specific subject matter.
• Length: no more than 20 pages
• Font: Times New Roman 12 pt.
• Spacing: double spaced
• Pages should be numbered
• All biblical citations or citations of secondary literature (i. e., the books that we are using in class) should follow the SBL Style sheet (found in the “files” section of the Blackboard site).
Criteria for Assessment:
Your paper will be assessed based on how well it meets the goals and objectives for this assignment.
•Goal: To write a scholarly paper that creates a credible portrait of the historical Jesus
oTo demonstrate an understanding of the various problems faced by scholars who try to create a portrait of the historical Jesus
oTo demonstrate an understanding of the various criteria that have been established for the discovery of the historical Jesus
oTo explain the meaning of the sayings of the historical Jesus (including his sayings about the Kingdom of God and his parables)
oTo explain the meaning of the actions of the historical Jesus (including at least: his time with John the Baptist, his exorcisms
, any miracles that you find credible, his itinerant lifestyle, his action in the temple) in his ministry
oTo supply a credible reason for Jesus’ execution,
oTo demonstrate the ability to write a scholarly paper in the field of religion using appropriate argumentation and citation.
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