This paper will be due at the time of the Final Examination (December 8, 1:00 P.M.). In your paper you will do a theological reading of a text in the context of the whole of Christian Scripture. More concretely, your paper should be guided by the question: “How does this text inform the Church who hears it as Christian Scripture?” You will want to deal with the text in its immediate context, in the context of Torah, in its larger Old Testament context, and finally in the context of the whole Bible, including the New Testament. You are required to use at least five commentaries and five secondary sources (books, journal articles, dictionary or encyclopedia articles, etc.) in the production of your paper. (Be very careful about on-line items, which are often insubstantial.) Consult Bible Dictionaries, Commentaries, Old Testament Abstracts and New Testament Abstracts, Encyclopedia entries etc. for both content and bibliography. All references and footnotes need to be properly formatted.
You are responsible for the selection of the text. This should be chosen no later than the start of the fourth week. Plan to study your text the remainder of the quarter (by returning to it over and over, even in smallish snippets of time, you will become increasingly familiar with it), creating copious notes (an extension of your ability to “observe”). Develop and consult your bibliographical sources. Generate a thesis or rubric to help you deal with, organize, and focus the material. Your paper should be 7-10 pages in length (this is not a hard and fast rule, but a “rule of thumb”). It should have a title, a thesis, an argument, a textual analysis, an awareness of the interpretive issues, perhaps some awareness of the history of interpretation.
The paper will be graded for creativity, readability, interest, cogency of argument, ability to articulate, awareness of issues, command of the text. 200 points are possible.