The semester is over at my university, but since I’m on leave, it hasn’t affected me much. But I was thinking about it this morning — final exams, grading, wrapping up the term — and I remembered that some years ago on the blog I posted the final exam I gave to my Introduction to the New Testament course, to see how you’d do!
I thought it would be fun and interesting to repost it. Check it out. Can you nail it?
So, classes are officially over here at UNC, and we are in the Final Exam period. Today I gave my final for the Introduction to the New Testament class. As some of you may recall, back in January 2014 I posted on the blog the pop quiz I give the first day of class for this course. It is here, in case you’re interested: https://ehrmanblog.org/new-testament-pop-quiz/ When I give this quiz on the first day, I tell the students that even if they bomb it (which most of them do), it’s nothing compared to what they’re going to be learning in the class over the course of the semester. Looking at the Final Exam in comparison with this introductory pop quiz pretty much shows it. Anyway, comparisons or not, I thought you might be interested in the exam, to see how you would do. And so I give it below in its entirety.
For the i.d.s, anything they’ve read or heard during the semester is fair game. I don’t give them a list of terms ahead of time to study. They have to know every term covered in the reading and that I’ve given in class. For the essays: two weeks ahead of time I gave them fourteen possible essay questions for the exam, and told them I would choose two of the fourteen for the final. I decided to give them some choice, as you’ll see, so they could have some leeway about which essay to write.
I won’t be able to correct your wrong answers or even to tell you the right ones, since each i.d. could take up to 50 words, and the essays took most students about an hour to write. But I thought you might like to look it over and test your NT knowledge against… some 19 year olds. 🙂
Here’s the exam:
Reli 104 New Testament
Bart D. Ehrman
Define ten of the following terms in fifty words or less (NOT 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.
- Alexander the Great
- Criterion of Dissimilarity
- Infancy Gospel of Thomas
- Literary-Historical Method
- Markan Priority
- Nag Hammadi Library
Extra Credit I.D.’s
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.
- 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.
- Resolved: The Historical Jesus was an Apocalyptic Prophet. Take either side of this resolution and argue your case, appealing to the evidence preserved among our early Gospels.
- Compare and contrast the views of Judaism that are presented in any two of the following early Christian writings: the Gospel of Matthew, the Gospel of Luke, the letter to the Galatians, the book of Hebrews, the letter of Barnabas.
- 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.