Form Criticism and Social-Scientific Criticism Case Assignment Essay
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Form Criticism and Social-Scientific Criticism Case Assignment Essay
- Read the linked document: How NT Scholars Study ( click here )
Student 1: Jennifer Titteri
The methods of study that I find to be most useful and interesting are Form Criticism and Social-Scientific Criticism.
Form Criticism – This method of study focusses on the different types of text within the bible, such as poetry, letters or prayers. I find this interesting because often the context of the Bible is missed because of a misunderstanding of the structure. For example, Genesis is a book that is often confused due to its poetic form. If taken as a record of exact events, Genesis can be relatively confusing and is hard to relate to our world. If taken as a poetic or abstract interpretation of creation, the book can be opened up to different interpretations of creation, such as the presence of science within creation. As well, this method helps us to understand different ways in which we can read the bible, such as reading David’s Psalms as prayers, or understanding the historical context of a book, such as Leviticus.
Social-Scientific Criticism – This method of study focusses on the cultural effects of events within the time period as well as the importance of the cultural practices and mindsets that existed at the time, such as how family and lineage played into society. This method of study is interesting to me because of the mental and historical context to the Bible that is missed. For example, the importance of the mental distress Israel would have gone through after being in the wilderness for 40 years and how it would effect their view on the world at the time, and the resulting effect it would have on their writing.
One method that I am not interested in is deconstruction. This method seems to have the intention of completely disproving the value and message of the Bible. This method disregards the personal value that the Bible holds and the aspect of faith that is required to engage with the message.
I am guessing that both the professor and TA use the method of Historical Criticism.
Student 2: Alexis Money
The Text Criticism method seems like one of the most intriguing and logical ways to commit to the understanding of the New Testament. Throughout history, the creation of new translations such as the passion translation can often miss some of the key fundamental ideas from the original manuscripts. Attempting to recreate an accurate timeline can recenter the true meaning and context of what the manuscripts were remarking to. Ideological Criticism has piqued my interest due to how I personally interpreted the bible when I was young. Through a lack of education and leadership, the context of certain passages in the bible often created confusion in my readings. Coming to the realization that one single author does not tell the complete and full story of what other minorities were going through. Ideological Criticism challenges the traditional interpretations of the New Testament, creating room for voices that were never able to be heard and documented. The particular method that I truly would distaste to research would be Deconstruction Criticism. The idea that postmodern philosophy was born under secular conditions and leads to rejecting any value and belief seems unappeasable. Therefore, dissecting the New Testament with this criticism would take the belief in God out of it and that is not an idea I care to learn about.
Student 3: The top two approaches that interest me the most are Archaeology and Reader-Response Criticism.
Archaeology is very interesting to me because it involves finding physical evidence that helps provide context to some of the texts in the New Testament. It would be very cool to discover and study artifacts or old documents to help yourself come to a better understanding of historical events or texts.
The second approach that interests me is Reader-Response Criticism. This fascinates me because it focuses on interpretation and allows for different understandings of the same text. It takes race, age, gender, socioeconomic status, and more into account and allows the reader to interpret it in their own way.
My least favorite approach would have to be Source Criticism because it focuses on hypotheses and not facts.
I would predict that my instructor and TA research Historical Criticism because they seem to have an extensive knowledge base on the history of Christianity which allows for a better understanding of what Christianity is today.
- Read the short article: “PUNCTUATIONINTHENEWTESTAMENT.” ( Click Here )
Student 1: Jordyn Matthews
In my opinion, the most significant claim in the New Testament is quotation marks. Quotation mark is punctuation used to indicate that the following words are someones exact language (spoken or written), which can represent the exact beliefs of the indiviudal or indicate to the reader that these words indicate some thing more then shown on the surface. Often times in the New Testament quotation marks are used to identify exact language from individuals such as Jesus or others. When quotations like this arises it gives readers insight into that individuals exact thoughts and beliefs which can influence the lines significance to the reader as it backs and proves exact beliefs of individuals during the time original scripts were written. Secondly, it can indicates to the reader that there is more meaning behind this quote then the words that appear. Causing the reader to think and interact more with what they are reading so they are able to internalize the text, and connect deeper with the line being read as it hold more meaning then what comes to the eye. So, this claim I feel like is the most significant as it influences the readers experience of the New Testament as it boost the significance and meaning of lines within the text and influences individual connection to the New Testament.
Student 2: Ruge Li
The most significant claim the article makes for understanding and interpreting the New Testament is about quotation marks. First of all, having the quotation marks help the reader to identify whom the content is addressing to. In the 1 Corinthian 7:1, the author uses quotation marks to emphasize the part that Paul disagrees with Corinthian. If the quotation is removed, readers will not be able to quickly recognize if the part was Paul’s response, his own interpretation or it is a statement that Corinthian already said to Paul. Nowadays, people still use quotation marks to demonstrate who said what to whom in their essays or writings to help demonstrate the context. Even though quotation marks do not always help to translate exactly what the original text is, it is still a significant part when the author needs to make clear of the person whom the content is addressing to which will help the reader to understand the context of the story or words efficiently. Moreover, quotation marks lead the readers to clearly recognize one’s speech. In chapter 1 of Acts, the author uses quotation marks to differentiation “Peter’s speech and the author’s own words”. If the quotation mark is removed, the reader will have a hard time identify which is the part that Peter states and which is author’s statement. Nowadays, this is commonly used when writing books as it shows the part that narrator explains and the part that other character says. This is an essential part not only in the context of Acts but in all places where the authors needs to differentiate the dialogues between the main character and the narrator.
Student 3: Shemaiah Abatayo
In my opinion, the most significant claim the article makes for understanding and interpreting the New Testament is the quotation marks, this is very important because it helps us understands the New Testament more in depth. Having the quotation marks can help us determine who said those exact words, this is very important for all of us to determine where the direct statement is coming from. The quotation mark will help the words stand out, rather than just looking at different words, where it is possible we can get confused. This way we can read it and be able to tell the difference between a word or a direct statement coming from either a book, bible, or a letter. Quotation marks can show us and represent the exact word that was used, said, and written. Lastly, we can use a quotation mark as evidence, and an argument for understanding the New Testament. For example, we can use a word in the New Testament, and we are able to provide the evidence that this was written on the New Testament with “”. We are using quotation marks in our everyday conversation, but we do not notice it as it is not written on a piece of paper. Without quotation marks we would not be able to tell the difference in the New Testament
Read “‘Lost Gospels'”—Lost No More” article ( click here ).
Student 1: Abiah Krause
This question is an interesting one and definitely made me think. I think the Apocrypha at large fails to uphold the characteristic of being authoritative. Though regarding inspirational status, I think it could very well be that some Apocryhypical texts were inspired. However, I take that these texts aren’t on an equal playing field as canonical gospels and should rather be considered as a potential resource (through exercising careful observation).
Regarding authoritative status, I think the Apocrypha’s failure to meet the criterion for canonization is a reason supporting an understanding of the Apocrypha as non-authoritative. This careful and tedious process followed the criteria of a given texts’ measure of apostolicity, catholicity, orthodoxy, and traditional usage. I believe each of these categories worked to include only Christian writings that were theologically sound, used and acknowledged across the empire, apostolic, and relevant to the church at large. I believe the Apocrphycial texts could be said to lack the quality of being authoritative based on their failure to meet these standards. As such, I think it’s best such texts are considered with caution, but nonetheless could serve as a beneficial resource to complement our biblical reading of the New Testament.
Concerning inspirational status, I think that it’s possible some Apocryhypical texts could have held this characteristic. After all, inspiration isn’t a criterion for canonization. Yet, I think even if some apocryphal texts held an inspired status, this does not make them equal to scripture–as per the argument I made above.
Student 2: Landon Fuller
In the article 34 Gospels, I am convinced that all Christian Apocrypha are authoritative or inspired. I believe they were all inspired and should not be considered “used to deceive the simple-minded.” I can understand why selected texts were not canonized. For reasons such as missing text or different perspectives that did not show to be as valuable. However, uncanonized texts, such as writings from Q, were used in gospel writings, showing how authoritative these texts can be. The article states, “they were valued not only by “heretics” who held views about Christ that differed from normative (or “orthodox”) Christianity, but also by writers within the church who did not hesitate to promote and even create apocryphally texts to serve their own interests”. In my understanding, it shows that these ancient texts are being used now and still hold a level of authoritative credibility, expressing that they should not be viewed as invaluable texts. In conclusion, I consider the Christian Apocrypha as authoritative and inspired text. The Apocrypha may benefit Christians in the studying of the material. Furthermore, should not be disregarded as they still hold value.
Student 3: Christian Rossi
This discussion regarding the Christian Apocrypha text is very intriguing and after reading the “Lost Gospels” I believe that the texts mentioned in the article were not authoritative. In addition, I believe the texts do not provide any inspirational factor or have more authority in comparison to the canonical gospels.
The reason I believe the Christian Apocrypha texts are not as authoritative as the canonical gospels are because Christianity started with numerous different voices and narratives but it was the Roman Church with the canonical gospels who emerged on top and had their voice heard. Due to this, we are familiar and have grown with the teachings in the canonical gospels so it is only right to believe that these texts are our priority and no other texts should have the same authority or influence. We know these texts to be the word of God and it would be wrong to go against the canonical gospels and believe in the Christian Apocrypha texts.
Likewise, this means Apocrypha texts also have no inspiration factor because some of the words written in the Christian Apocrypha were contradicting of some of the teachings in the canonical gospel. It would be wrong to take inspiration from a text that has contradicting points from our main canonical gospels that the people believe in. Even if the section we refer to in the Apocrypha text is not contradicting, we must look at the work as a whole when deciding if we should pick out certain sections and believe in the teachings or not.
- Watch the PBS series: “From Jesus to Christ: The First Christians.” There are four programs, but these are viewed in two parts. Part one will be complete here, and part two in the next reflection forum.
- Watch Video for Part One link
Student 1: Jasmine Obogbaimhe
1a) The documentary reveals that Jesus had proximity to a sophisticated urban environment. The idea of Jesus’s social class and his job as a carpentry is being questioned and the fact that Jesus might not have been a peasant was brought to light.
I find this discovery interesting because I grew up with the impression that Jesus was a humble (poor) carpenter. This image of Jesus growing up was almost taught to create the image of a Son of God who comes from a humble background yet is the Son of the ‘Most High’. The idea that this might not be the case is a bit hard for me to accept.
- b) I have learnt that the Esseneswhere a very conservative group of the Jewish sect, but I did not realise the extent to which they tried to set themselves apart – It was mentioned that they went to the dessert to get away from the worldliness of Jerusalem and the worldliness of the Temple.
This is very interesting to me because I was a Jehovah’s Witness and Jehovah’s Witnesses try to set themselves apart from “Babylon the Great” (the term used to refer to this world). They also believe they are the true form of Christianity which I find very similar to the Essenes and their description as an Apocalyptic sect who thought of themselves as the true form of the Jewish religion.
2a) I believe the Romans killed Jesus
- b) It makes a difference as to who killed Jesus because it was assumed that the Jews killed him which creates so much controversy. However, through the crucifixion, we have evidence that it was the Romans which clears the air around the misconception that the Jews might have done it.
1a) There was no barrier between Jews and Gentiles in the Jewish synagogues during worship.
I find this really interesting because the Bible states various contrast between Gentiles and Jews. And Jesus states a time that will come in heaven when the Jews dine with the Gentiles, implying that they were not really ‘friends’ in his time on earth.
- b) It was interesting to see how people such as the Gentiles were attracted to the rituals of the Jesus Movement such as baptism and the memorial which led them to covert to Jews.
It reminds me about Christianity today and how converts are drawn through invitations to celebrations like Christmas carol service or Easter Sundays. The things we do as Christians go a long way in the way we appeal to others. I believe these rituals in the early days where one of the factors that contributed to the spread of Christianity.
2) The Roman roads/paths enabled Paul travel to various cities in Rome. He believed the cities where the natural environment for Christianity to thrive. Through his visit to these cities, Christianity began to spread quickly.
QUALITY OF RESPONSE NO RESPONSE POOR / UNSATISFACTORY SATISFACTORY GOOD EXCELLENT Content (worth a maximum of 50% of the total points) Zero points: Student failed to submit the final paper. 20 points out of 50: The essay illustrates poor understanding of the relevant material by failing to address or incorrectly addressing the relevant content; failing to identify or inaccurately explaining/defining key concepts/ideas; ignoring or incorrectly explaining key points/claims and the reasoning behind them; and/or incorrectly or inappropriately using terminology; and elements of the response are lacking. 30 points out of 50: The essay illustrates a rudimentary understanding of the relevant material by mentioning but not full explaining the relevant content; identifying some of the key concepts/ideas though failing to fully or accurately explain many of them; using terminology, though sometimes inaccurately or inappropriately; and/or incorporating some key claims/points but failing to explain the reasoning behind them or doing so inaccurately. Elements of the required response may also be lacking. 40 points out of 50: The essay illustrates solid understanding of the relevant material by correctly addressing most of the relevant content; identifying and explaining most of the key concepts/ideas; using correct terminology; explaining the reasoning behind most of the key points/claims; and/or where necessary or useful, substantiating some points with accurate examples. The answer is complete. 50 points: The essay illustrates exemplary understanding of the relevant material by thoroughly and correctly addressing the relevant content; identifying and explaining all of the key concepts/ideas; using correct terminology explaining the reasoning behind key points/claims and substantiating, as necessary/useful, points with several accurate and illuminating examples. No aspects of the required answer are missing. Use of Sources (worth a maximum of 20% of the total points). Zero points: Student failed to include citations and/or references. Or the student failed to submit a final paper. 5 out 20 points: Sources are seldom cited to support statements and/or format of citations are not recognizable as APA 6th Edition format. There are major errors in the formation of the references and citations. And/or there is a major reliance on highly questionable. The Student fails to provide an adequate synthesis of research collected for the paper. 10 out 20 points: References to scholarly sources are occasionally given; many statements seem unsubstantiated. Frequent errors in APA 6th Edition format, leaving the reader confused about the source of the information. There are significant errors of the formation in the references and citations. And/or there is a significant use of highly questionable sources. 15 out 20 points: Credible Scholarly sources are used effectively support claims and are, for the most part, clear and fairly represented. APA 6th Edition is used with only a few minor errors. There are minor errors in reference and/or citations. And/or there is some use of questionable sources. 20 points: Credible scholarly sources are used to give compelling evidence to support claims and are clearly and fairly represented. APA 6th Edition format is used accurately and consistently. The student uses above the maximum required references in the development of the assignment. Grammar (worth maximum of 20% of total points) Zero points: Student failed to submit the final paper. 5 points out of 20: The paper does not communicate ideas/points clearly due to inappropriate use of terminology and vague language; thoughts and sentences are disjointed or incomprehensible; organization lacking; and/or numerous grammatical, spelling/punctuation errors 10 points out 20: The paper is often unclear and difficult to follow due to some inappropriate terminology and/or vague language; ideas may be fragmented, wandering and/or repetitive; poor organization; and/or some grammatical, spelling, punctuation errors 15 points out of 20: The paper is mostly clear as a result of appropriate use of terminology and minimal vagueness; no tangents and no repetition; fairly good organization; almost perfect grammar, spelling, punctuation, and word usage. 20 points: The paper is clear, concise, and a pleasure to read as a result of appropriate and precise use of terminology; total coherence of thoughts and presentation and logical organization; and the essay is error free. Structure of the Paper (worth 10% of total points) Zero points: Student failed to submit the final paper. 3 points out of 10: Student needs to develop better formatting skills. The paper omits significant structural elements required for and APA 6th edition paper. Formatting of the paper has major flaws. The paper does not conform to APA 6th edition requirements whatsoever. 5 points out of 10: Appearance of final paper demonstrates the student’s limited ability to format the paper. There are significant errors in formatting and/or the total omission of major components of an APA 6th edition paper. They can include the omission of the cover page, abstract, and page numbers. Additionally the page has major formatting issues with spacing or paragraph formation. Font size might not conform to size requirements. The student also significantly writes too large or too short of and paper 7 points out of 10: Research paper presents an above-average use of formatting skills. The paper has slight errors within the paper. This can include small errors or omissions with the cover page, abstract, page number, and headers. There could be also slight formatting issues with the document spacing or the font Additionally the paper might slightly exceed or undershoot the specific number of required written pages for the assignment. 10 points: Student provides a high-caliber, formatted paper. This includes an APA 6th edition cover page, abstract, page number, headers and is double spaced in 12’ Times Roman Font. Additionally, the paper conforms to the specific number of required written pages and neither goes over or under the specified length of the paper.
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