Assessment Guide for INBX204 | Second Epistle To The Thessalonians | New International Version

Essay Assessment Task Pick ONE!

– Due Sept 30
‘Imagine you were...’ Essay (1500 words)
Examine an episode or parable in the Gospels (select from the list below). You must retell the story but from the perspective of a character other than Jesus. Do not simply re-hash the biblical text – instead, try to add an understanding of the culture, traditions, customs, law codes, relationships, history, geography, clothing, etc, that are relevant to a proper understanding of the story. All of the characters involved in the passages below are „marginal‟ characters, which is what makes the story interesting. Consult at least eight (8) books or other sources of research. This essay tests both research ability and imagination in putting it together. Mark 5:1-20 (tell it from the perspective of the demon-possessed man) Mark 5:21-34 (tell it from the perspective of the sick woman) Luke 7:36-50 (tell it from the perspective of the sinful woman) Luke 17:11-19 (tell it from the perspective of the Samaritan leper) Luke 19:1-10 (tell it from the perspective of Zacchaeus) John 4:1-42 (tell it from the perspective of the Samaritan woman)

OR Bible Explanation Essay (1500 words)
Explain a passage from the first letter of Paul to the Thessalonians. Your aim is to understand what the passage meant within its original context, by examining how the passage within its historical and literary context. There is a detailed guide at the back as to how to do this.

Detailed explanation for these essays is provided in the pages following.

How to do the “Imagine you Were” Assignment
Task: Examine an episode or parable in the Gospels (select from the list below). You must retell the story but from the perspective of a character other than Jesus. Do not simply re-hash the biblical text – instead, try to add an understanding of the culture, traditions, customs, law codes, relationships, history, geography, clothing, etc, that are relevant to a proper understanding of the story. Consult at least 4 books or other sources of research. This essay tests both research ability and imagination in putting it together. Mark 5:1-20 (tell it from the perspective of the demon-possessed man) Mark 5:21-34 (tell it from the perspective of the sick woman) Luke 7:36-50 (tell it from the perspective of the sinful woman) Luke 17:11-19 (tell it from the perspective of the Samaritan leper) Luke 19:1-10 (tell it from the perspective of Zacchaeus) John 4:1-42 (tell it from the perspective of the Samaritan woman)

Start: Read the passage for yourself a number of times, and make a preliminary attempt to telling the story without looking at any other resources.  It is likely you will be wrong on some things, but on other things your imagination will serve you well. This way of doing things allows you to think original thoughts first.

Then: Research your passage using background resources: Craig Keener, Bible Backgrounds Commentary (find the passage) – this book is in Closed Reserve, under 225.7 KEE. Additional copies in Reference section under 225.7 KEE Clinton Arnold (ed.), Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backcegrounds Commentary (find the passage) – in Reference section under 225.7 ARN Everett Ferguson, Backgrounds of Early Christianity (use index to find topics like women, demon-possessed, Samaritans, etc) – in Closed Reserve under 270.1 FER.

J.J. Pilch, Biblical Social Values and the Meaning (use the index/contents to find topics relevant to your passage) in Closed Reserve 225.9503 PIL Kenneth Bailey, Jesus through Middle Eastern Eyes (use the index to find topics) in Closed Reserve under 232.9 BAI J. Green and S McKnight, Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels (use the index to find topics) in Reference 226.03 GRE. For commentaries on Matthew, Mark, Luke or John, see the section 226 in the library.

Good commentary series – Tyndale New Testament Commentaries

Bible Speaks Today commentaries

IVP New Testament Commentaries

How to Research the Bible Essay on 1 Thessalonians

1. Read the passage in the NIV or TNIV. 2. Read the passage in another translation – either NASB, ESV, or NRSV. If you notice any major translation differences, make a note of them. 3. Now read the whole letter in the NIV or TNIV several times. Make a short summary outline of what you think the whole argument of the book is, and also include questions you might have. If stuck, try and answer these questions a. What is Paul trying to achieve by writing the letter – correct a viewpoint? – change behaviour? – defend his honour? b. Does the letter tell us what is going on – i.e. the situation for him or for them – that has called forth the letter? 4. Read up on the historical background to the letter in The Lion Handbook to the Bible or the New Bible Dictionary. The Lion Handbook will have a section on each biblical book, sorted in the order that the Bible is sorted. The New Bible Dictionary will have lots of articles, alphabetically listed. So if looking for the article on Paul‟s first letter to the Thessalonians, look up entries under “T”. 5. Read the whole letter in the NIV or TNIV again, and see if you can understand more of it in light of the reading you have done. 6. Read someone else‟s outline of what they think the whole book is saying – I recommend Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart, How to Read the Bible Book by Book. This has a chapter on each and every biblical book, sorted in the order that the Bible is sorted. So find the chapter on 1 Thessalonians. 7. Now read the passage you are studying again, paying close attention to its specific words and phrases. 8. Consult multiple commentaries to explore the meaning of each and every sentence. Are there special words that need to have their meaning unpacked? 9. Start to draw some conclusions about what the passage means within context.

Suggested Passages from 1 Thessalonians
1 Thess 1:2-10 1 Thess 3:6-10 1 Thess 4:1-12 1 Thess 5:1-11

Bibliography (all of these should be in reference or Reserve)
Bible Dictionaries
New Bible Dictionary Anchor Bible Dictionary (very good, but very detailed and complex)

Suggested Commentaries (E=Easy; I=Intermediate; A=Advanced)
(E) L.M. Morris, The First and Second Epistles to the Thessalonians (Tyndale) (E) I. H. Marshall, 1 and 2 Thessalonians (New Century) (E) G.K. Beale, 1 and 2 Thessalonians (IVP Commentaries) (E) D.J. Williams, 1 and 2 Thessalonians (New International Biblical) (E) J.R.W. Stott, The Message of Thessalonians (Bible Speaks Today) (I) G.L. Green, The Letters to the Thessalonians (Pillar) (I) M. W. Holmes, 1 and 2 Thessalonians (NIV Application Commentary) (A) F.F. Bruce, 1 and 2 Thessalonians (Word Biblical Commentary) Writing Up the Bible Essay

1. Give the passage you are explaining in the translation you are using (i.e. if your main translation is the NIV, print it in the NIV, if ESV, print ESV). It is assumed you have used more than one translation, but there will be one you prioritise. 2. Give a brief introductory paragraph that summarises what you think the basic point of the passage is. Of course, this point that you are making is what you are going to prove in the remainder of the essay, but here I want to know, right up front, what is the basic point of interpretation of this passage. 3. Give the historical context of your passage. So for you, that means attending to details like when 1 Thessalonians was written? To whom was it written?

What was going on in the church to provoke what Paul wrote? This is where your research on historical background will come into play. 4. Give the literary context of your passage – which means providing some sort of indication as to where your passage comes in the whole letter. What has Paul been arguing about just before your passage? What about straight after? How does this passage fit into the larger scheme of the letter? Does your passage represent a climax to an argument? Is it preparation for a later argument? 5. Give a detailed commentary on your passage. Here you should work systematically through the parts, commenting in as much detail as space will allow. At the end, you should give a short conclusion to sum up your commentary. 6. Give an application of the passage to the present day. Your application should show some connection to the work you have done in the previous sections. So, even though we live in a different context, show the core principles that apply across cultures.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful