The Birth of Christianity, Reli 208

Final Exam Questions


Your final exam is scheduled for Thursday Dec. 9 at (ugh…) 8:00 a.m.  It  will consist of ten short answer identification questions and two essays. The exam will be closed book, closed notes, and open mind.


The Identifications


The i.d.’s will be terms that we have covered during the semester, either in the reading or in the lectures.  You will be allowed up to 100 words to answer each i.d.

As examples, you could be asked to describe:  “Canon,” “Anchorite,” “Perpetua,” “The Gospel of Mary.”

You will be given some choice for the i.d.s – for example, I may ask twelve from which you are to answer ten.  You should plan on devoting no more than an hour to this part of the exam.



The Essays


You will then have two essay questions , and should plan to devote about an hour to each.  In this case, unlike the i.d.s, I am providing (below) the entire range of potential questions.  I will choose two of these at random.   On the final they will be worded exactly as they are here.

Please make your essays as full, informative, and well-written as you can, basing them on both the reading for the class and the class lectures.


Structure of your essay:

The best essays will state your thesis at the outset.  The thesis is the major point that you will want to argue in the essay.  It should be short and to the point.  The rest of your essay will try to demonstrate your thesis.

For example, if your essay was about the New Testament Gospel of John (which it will not be!) you could state a thesis such as this:  “The Gospel of John is different in significant ways from the Synoptic Gospels” or “The Gospel of John does not present a historically reliable portrait of Jesus” or “The Gospel of John presents the most advanced theological understanding of Christ in the New Testament.”

Once you state your thesis, whatever it is, then you begin to present the data and evidence that support it.  Make sure that one point/idea flows clearly to the next, and that the entire essay is well organized.

There will be brownie points for (correct) details: names of authors and books, dates, and anything else that seems to contribute to the case you are trying to make.


Possible Questions:

These are the options from which I will choose two, possibly by rolling dice. Hey, wanna see if you would pass my class?  Or see if you know enough about early Christianity?  Join the blog and see what it would take!  Click here for membership options