Define and describe the main features of “gospels,” “acts,” “epistles,” and “apocalypses,”  giving examples of each. 

Christian Origins

Exam #1 

Directions: Answer three out of the four essay questions below, giving as much relevant detail as you can. This is an open-book, open-note exam. Please refrain from using any outside sources, as this is not a research paper, but a test on what you’ve already read. Plan on about 2 pages (typed, double-spaced) for each essay answer. I  expect the exams to be about 5-7 pages total. 

1) The main insight of literary criticism is that genre determines to mean. A  newspaper article is not read in the same way as a poem, for example. Define and describe the main features of “gospels,” “acts,” “epistles,” and “apocalypses,”  giving examples of each. 

2) Select ONE genre—either Gospels or Acts—and compare/contrast a canonical  (New Testament) and non-canonical (apocryphal) writing from this genre. Concentrate on the format and/or religious ideas, as opposed to storylines or other obvious differences. 

3) Select three passages from any of the assigned gospels, acts, letters, or apocalypses, and explain how they reflect the Jewish and/or Greco-Roman religious contexts in which the book was written. 

4) Early Christians had a lot to say about sexuality and virginity. Describe how this appears in two or three of the ancient texts we’ve read, and explain their positions.

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Define and describe the main features of “gospels” “acts” “epistles” and “apocalypses”  giving examples of each. 

MLA

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