Critical Thinking

Critical Thinking

This assignment is based on the lectures covering the New Testament,the four gospels, the assigned scripture readings and the materials on the religious and political factions that existed in the time of Jesus. I recommend doing a split screen, one so you can look at the questions, and the other screen with a Word Document to write down your answers before submitting.

1. a) What does Mark focus on as evidence that God’s Kingdom had already begun? Read the passages from Mark that you can find in the Readings.

b) When does Mark assure his readers about the ‘eschaton?’

c) What does Mark tell his readers they should expect in this life – as Jesus did – and what reward will be theirs?

2. The Gospel of Matthew was directed to Jewish converts. How does Matthew draw parallels between the story of Moses and the evolving story of Jesus? Give four (4) examples between the ministries of Moses and Jesus (be specific).

3. Write a brief description/definition of the Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes and Zealots. Now, think in contemporary terms. Who would you think in our world, society, politics, hierarchies, would you describe as each one of these groups? (Exp: Sadducees: in our time they might be the pope, Wahhabi Sunni, Mormon leaders) (don’t use these examples in your answer)
4. What sense of the future does the original ending of Mark offer the reader of the 1st century ce? ( Mark 16: 1-8) What reason do you think explains the addition of verses 9-20? Why would that ending be unacceptable to later readers in the 2nd century?
5. Read Matthew 5:17-20 then Galatians 2:15-21 and 3:1-4.

Paul’s radical understanding of the Mosaic Law and the Gospels contrasted with what Jesus was to have said in Matthew. How are they contradictory?



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