Let’s see how you do on my Final Exam!   Yesterday I gave the final for my Introduction to the New Testament class.   Here it is.   My sense is that as for every course, unless you actually take it, even if you know a good bit about the subject matter, it would be very hard to do well on the final, since, well, the final is geared specifically to the course.   But some of this is more or less “common knowledge” for those well versed in the field.

The exam had three sections that were equally weighted: the first is a string of identifications, the second and third were essays.   I allowed some choice in what to answer to provide some flexibility.   Students had three hours to complete the exam.  Some students finished in an hour and a half, a few stayed till the very end.

So … how would you do?



Reli 104 New Testament 

Bart D. Ehrman

Spring 2016


Final Exam



Define ten of the following terms in fifty words or less (Do NOT write on this sheet, but state each term and define it in your bluebook).   Be concise, but provide as much information in the space allotted as possible.

  1. Alexander the Great
  1. The Beloved Disciple
  1. Dead Sea Scrolls
  1. Criterion of Dissimilarity
  1. Marcion
  1. Socio-historical Method
  1. Sadducees
  1. Q
  1. Muratorian Fragment
  1. Sethians
  2. Ignatius
  1. Epistle


Extra Credit I.D.’s

  1. Robert Stephanus
  1. Demiurge
  1. Haruspex



Write an essay on two of the following questions, one from Section A and one from Section B (you may not write an essay on two from the same section).  Provide as much information as you can in your answer, giving as many details as possible.  Work to make your essays well-conceived and well written.


Section A

  1. Choose one of the Gospels and discuss in detail the evidence that has led scholars to doubt the historical accuracy of some of its traditions.
  2. Discuss the information about Jesus that can be gleaned from sources found outside the four Gospels of the New Testament (Christian, Jewish, and pagan).


Section B

  1. Choose one of Paul’s undisputed letters (with the exception of Romans) and discuss the following issues: how was the church to which the letter is addressed founded, what problems have emerged since Paul left the community, and how does Paul deal with the problems?  Brownie points for specific details.
  1. Discuss the rise of “orthodoxy” in early Christianity, paying special attention to the beliefs that came to be embraced by the orthodox Christian movement and to the strategies that it used to oppose those who appeared to take aberrant views.  (Include a discussion of the Eusebian model for understanding orthodoxy and heresy, and the views of Walter Bauer.)

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