Write a five page paper (with header and pagination, one inch margins, 12 point Times New Roman font and perfect grammar) in which you respond to one of the following prompts. If you consult or use the general arguments or phrasing of a source other than the Bible itself, you must cite the text and in many cases use quotation marks where the phrasing is not your own. Failure to do so will result in failure of the assignment. A Works Cited will be required, in MLA format, for all sources except the Bible. Let the Writing Guide on Blackboard guide your citation habits. Above all: Do not summarize but quote and analyze the text in order to make a strong case.
1.) GENRE / AUDIENCE / AUTHOR’S INTENTIONS: Defend a thesis in which you answer the question, “How are Paul’s and Mark’s articulations of the ‘gospel’ different, and why?” NOTE: ONLY use Paul’s work in Galatians and 1 Corinthians, please. You will want to attend to such important features as genre, audience, and intention. Find specific portions of the text that seem to you to be central to the articulation of their understanding of “the gospel,” and show how those articulations are shaped by their specific intentions. (Hint: your introductions will be helpful in establishing audience and intention.)
2.) SYMBOLISM: The Gospel of John is a highly symbolic book. Choose ONE of the following elements below and show how John uses it as a symbol as a means of expressing the themes he lays out in his prologue. You might
• Men and Women
• Jerusalem / The Temple
• Judaism (Passover, The Feasts of Unleavened Bread and of Tabernacles, and other Jewish rites)
3.) CHARACTERIZATION: The gospels of Mark and John present Jesus in different ways. Defend a thesis in which you describe how EITHER gospel (but not both!) portrays Jesus, and specifically analyze how that characterization does or does not effectively support the gospel’s intentions. (Note: John and Mark have different intentions, so be specific about what those are.) Pay attention to the specific phrasings of the gospel, present them, and analyze them to defend your thesis.
4.) INTERTEXTUALITY: The term “intertextuality” refers to the way(s) in which a text is in conversation with other texts, through allusion, shared imagery, certain key phrases or whatever. The gospels refer almost constantly to other texts. Choose ONE gospel and show how it makes use of texts from the Hebrew Bible. Your thesis should explain why the gospel writer self-consciously relates his text to other texts. You should look at specific places where the gospel intentionally calls to mind other texts (explicitly or implicitly), and you should wonder about how the gospel writer manipulates texts that were written in other contexts to serve his own ends. We need not be critical of the gospel writer, as he was likely doing what all good readers were doing, but we should understand how he uses (for instance) the Hebrew Bible.
*The New Oxford Annotated Bible, Third (College) Edition. (The “College Edition”
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