WHAT DO I HAVE TO DO FOR THE EXEGETICAL ASSIGNMENTS

▪       WHAT DO I HAVE TO DO FOR THE EXEGETICAL ASSIGNMENTS? Each student will select a passage 8-12 verses in length from either Luke or Acts, and spend substantial time analyzing this passage, researching the passage in secondary sources like commentaries, journal articles, or other scholarly books, then compose a paper analyzing the passage and assessing the strength of different positions expressed in secondary literature. See further below.

▪       WHEN ARE THE EXEGETICAL ASSIGNMENTS DUE? For due dates, please see Course Calendar.

▪       HOW DO I SUBMIT THE ASSIGNMENTS? Submit the paper in .DOC, .DOCX, or .PDF format on our course Sakai page.

▪       HOW MUCH ARE THE ASSIGNMENTS WORTH? 200 points

NOTE: UNINTENTIONAL PLAGIARISM WILL BE TREATED AS SERIOUSLY AS INTENTIONAL PLAGIARISM, AND PLAGIARIZED PAPERS WILL RECEIVE AN “F” GRADE (0%) ON THE PAPER FOR THE FIRST OFFENSE AND AN “F” (0%) IN THE ENTIRE COURSE FOR THE SECOND OFFENSE. Please carefully review the Academic Integrity Policy in this syllabus to ensure that your paper has no plagiarism events.

 

Each student will need to select a passage of about 8-12 verses in length from either Luke or Acts, and spend several weeks analyzing the passage, with reference to biblical commentaries and other secondary materials.

Students should analyze their passage with reference to the following considerations. Not every one of the below elements will be equally relevant to a given passage, so students should be judicious about choosing the most relevant and interesting elements to discuss in their paper. Secondary sources like biblical commentaries (see bibliography below) will be helpful in answering many of these questions, but students should base their analysis, first-and-foremost, in the text of Luke or Acts itself, and their careful reading of the text based on the skills we have learned in this course:

 

i.               Genre: What kind of material is this, and how might that shape how we read it?

Examples might include narrative, parable, prophecy, genealogy, poem, etc. Also consider whether this passage is embedded within material of another genre, such as a parable within a narrative

 

ii.               Do you notice any important words or motifs in the passage?

Does the passage include repetition of ideas, words, phrases, or similar grammar patterns?

 

iii.      How would you outline the structure of the material or development of its argument?

How would you divide this passage into sections? How do those sections relate to each other? Do certain verses seem to be most important? Does the passage use parallelism?

 

iv.             Theme: What is this material fundamentally about?

 

v.              What in this passage do you find striking? Puzzling? Offensive? Surprising? Why?

 

vi.            How is this passage shaped by material elsewhere (esp. earlier) in Luke/Acts?

 

vii.         Who are the major characters in this passage? How are they characterized?

 

viii.          What elements of historical and cultural context do you see in this passage?

 

ix.             How do social considerations factor into this passage?

Are there groups? Insiders and outsiders? Transfer of membership? Power dynamics? Privilege? Wealth?

 

x.              How does this passage interact with the Old Testament?

Does an NT passage reference the OT? Does an OT passage reference earlier OT passages?

 

xi.            How would this passage likely influence a person of faith whose thinking is shaped by a thorough and thoughtful appreciation of it?

Would such a person be more likely to serve others? Condemn others? Recycle? Something else?

After spending time analyzing the passage in light of the aforementioned considerations, students should compose a paper of 5-7 pages (1” margins, Times New Roman 12 pt. font, no title page, heading single-spaced, text double-spaced) that includes the following sections:

 

i.             Introduction – In a paragraph or so, give an overview of the text and what you think is important about it.

ii.             Body – The body of the paper should discuss interesting issues related to your passage, based on your analysis and supplemental secondary readings.

·         Use reasonable, clear organization and appropriate transitions between topics.

·         If you use information you got from a secondary source, cite it in a footnote. The body of your paper should include footnotes from 5-10 different sources, which may include biblical commentaries, scholarly journal articles, or other pertinent books. See the bibliographical information below for suggested resources.

·    At least one topic you cover should include an assessment of two or more different opinions that you found in your secondary reading, and you should use the skills you have learned in this course to assess the strength of each position and argue for why you prefer one view over another.

·         Remember that the fact a scholar says something doesn’t necessarily mean it is true. Even if you draw information from a scholarly book or article, make sure you show me why what you are claiming is true, using the text of Luke/Acts.

iii.           Synthesis – In 1-3 paragraphs, summarize the key points of your analysis, and if appropriate, draw out some of the larger implications of your analysis (e.g., for the church, public life, or something else).

iv.          Works Cited – List bibliographical information for the works you cited in the body of your paper. This should not be included in your page count.

 

Papers should use good writing style, punctuation, spelling, transitions between paragraphs, and strong, clear argumentation. Avoid phrases like “I think” or “I feel.” Instead, I will assume that you think/feel everything you say in your paper. ​

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