Romans 8:28-39 “If God is for us, who can be against?”
EXEGESIS PAPER: EXPLAINING A NT PASSAGE
Assignment: Explain / interpret a Bible passage.
The purpose of this paper is to acquaint students with some of the resources available to do biblical research.
This assignment will receive two grades: 85 points for content and 15 points for grammar, spelling, sentence structure, meeting the requirements, use of a standard style sheet, etc. The two grades will be added into a final grade worth 100 points.
If anything is unclear, please consult with me. I am happy to help you and to see to it that you do well on this assignment.
1. Length: Five (5) pages (not counting bibliography or title sheet), standard margins, double-spaced, 12 pt. font.
2. Use endnotes or footnotes – not in-body notes. SAVE PAPER: print back-to-back!
3. NOTE WELL: For this project, you may NOT use any website without my prior approval.
4. Choose a Bible passage from the suggestions listed below. If you would like to choose a passage not listed, please consult with me first. These suggested passages are important statements of theological beliefs dealing with the importance of faith, the Law, the identity of Jesus, the Eucharist, and so on. Your job is to explain what the passage means and why it is important.
5. You MUST consult at least two (2) Bible commentaries. Some of the standard commentaries are: Some of the standard commentaries are: The New Jerome Biblical Commentary, The New Interpreter’s Bible (12 volumes), the New International Bible Commentary, HarperCollins Bible Commentary, the Women’s Bible Commentary, or volumes from serial commentaries such as The Anchor Bible Commentary, Sacra Pagina, Interpretation, and others found in the library. A “serial commentary” is a series of volumes by the same editor and publisher in which each book of the Bible is discussed verse-by-verse and section-by-section; each biblical book is treated in one or more volumes.
6. You MAY also consult Bible dictionaries. Some of the best are: The Anchor Bible Dictionary (6 volumes), Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible; The New Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible (5 Volumes), Harper’s Bible Dictionary; Women in Scripture: A Dictionary of Named and Unnamed Women in the [Bible], all of which are available in the library. Please note: all of these have signed entries/articles. Be sure to include the author and title of the article you are citing. You will receive 2 EXTRA POINTS for each dictionary you actually use and cite in the body of your text.
8. Format notes properly:
a. Use the summary of Turabian’s style sheet that is provided
b. Place notes either at the bottom of the page or the end of the paper but not in the body of the paper.
c. Notes must indicate both the author of the entry/article and the editor of the dictionary. Be sure to include the volume number and the page(s). Consult the style sheet on how to do this.
HINT on using the dictionaries effectively: look up the topics that are discussed in the passages. For example, look up “justification,” “faith,” “baptism,” “resurrection,” and so on. Look up “Paul” and the article may be subdivided into sections treating major themes such as faith and justification, etc. Look up the name of the letter, e.g., “Romans, Letter to the” and the article may me subdivided into sections treating major themes.
Suggested Passages: some of these are quite long because the entire context is important for understanding the main point. It is not necessary to comment on the entire passage.
So I do have some articles that I got from my schools database… because I am not allowed to use ANY websites… Please let me know if you need any information
STYLE FOR BIBLIOGRAPHY AND NOTES
Below is an example of how to cite a Bible: check to see which version of the Bible you are using for your paper and list the editor of that edition. For example:
Coogan, Michael D., ed. The New Oxford Annotated Bible: New Revised Standard Version with the Apocrypha. New York City: Oxford University Press, 2007.
Bible references are placed in the body of the paper, not in footnotes. They are enclosed in parentheses and include the book, chapter, and verse, not the page number. Thus: (Gen 2:23-25).
• All other references are placed in footnotes, not in the body of the paper (unless the directions for the assignment permit it).
• Notes are sequential: each reference or quote is numbered in order, e.g., 1, 2, 3, etc., not 1, 3, 2, 1, 3, etc. Each note gets its own number, i.e., there cannot be two or more notes each with the same number.
• When quoting from a dictionary or commentary cite the author’s name, not the book title, e.g., “According to Richard Clifford…” not “According to the Anchor Bible Dictionary….”
SIGNED ARTICLE IN A BIBLE DICTIONARY OR COMMENTARY:
NOTE: in dictionaries, the author’s name appears at the very end of the article. Generally in commentaries, the author’s name is under the title of the book or entry.
Clifford, Richard. “Isaiah, Book of.” In The Anchor Bible Dictionary, ed. David Noel Freedman, 3:490–501. New York: Doubleday, 1992.
Note: In the above example, 3:490–501 refers to volume 3, pages 490-501 and refers to the entire article.
22Richard Clifford, “Isaiah, Book of,” in The Anchor Bible Dictionary, ed. David Noel Freedman (New York: Doubleday, 1992), 3:492.
Note: In the above example, 3:492 refers to volume 3, page 492, the specific page on which your quote or reference is found.
Book with One author:
Trible, Phyllis. Texts of Terror: Literary-Feminist Readings of Biblical Narratives. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1984.
1Phyllis Trible, Texts of Terror: Literary-Feminist Readings of Biblical Narratives (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1984), 27.
If the next note is from the same book:
“Ibid.” is an abbreviation for “ibidem,” which means, “in the same place.” Because it is an abbreviation, it always has a period. If the reference is on the same page, don’t repeat the page number; if it is on a different page (as in this example) indicate the new page.
If there are intervening notes, just the author’s name and page number are given:
If there is more than one book or article by the same author, use an abbreviated form of the title to indicate which source is being cited:
9Trible, Texts of Terror, 48.
Many authors or editors:
Kugel, James L. and Rowan A. Greer, Early Biblical Interpretation. Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1986.
8James L. Kugel and Rowan A. Greer. Early Biblical Interpretation (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1986), 124-125.
12Kugel and Greer, Early Biblical Interpretation, 131.
Article in, or chapter of, an author’s own book:
Muffs, Yochanan. “Who Will Stand in the Breach? A Study of Prophetic Intercession.” In Love and Joy, 9-48. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1992.
16Yochanan Muffs, “Who Will Stand in the Breach? A Study of Prophetic Intercession,” in Love and Joy (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1992), 87.
Article in, or chapter of, an edited book:
Holladay, John S. “Assyrian Statecraft and the Prophets.” In Prophecy in Israel: Search for an Identity, ed. David L. Peterson, 122-43. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1987.
18John S. Holladay, “Assyrian Statecraft and the Prophets,” in Prophecy in Israel: Search for an Identity, ed. David L. Peterson (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1987), 124.
Article in a journal or periodical:
Bibliography: Component parts:
Author. “Title of Article.” Name of Journal or Periodical Volume number (year): pages.
Dozeman, Thomas B. “The Wilderness and Salvation History in the Hagar Story.” Journal of Biblical Literature 117 (1998): 23-43.
26Thomas B. Dozeman, “The Wilderness and Salvation History in the Hagar Story.” Journal of Biblical Literature 117 (1998): 24.
Note: this is a one-page example of an exegesis paper. Study carefully how the footnotes and references are formatted. Your paper will be 5-pages and should have many more notes.
[Jesus proclaimed:] “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news” (Mark 1:15).
These are the first words spoken by Jesus in the Gospel of Mark. According to Daniel Harrington, this verse is a “summary of Jesus’ preaching [that] will frame all that he says and does in the rest of the Gospel.” Jesus first notes that the “time is fulfilled.” This is typical of apocalyptic expectation that the end of the present age is at hand. When the present age comes to an end, the Kingdom of God will appear. The “Kingdom,” however, is not a place. One commentator translates this phrase as “the dominion of God.” This translation puts the focus on “the fact that he rules or the power by which he manifests his sovereignty.” God’s kingdom stands in opposition to the kingdom of the devil, whom Jesus had already confronted in his temptations in the wilderness. This sets up one of Mark’s persistent themes: the clash between the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of the devil. Jesus will defeat the devil and God’s Kingdom will emerge triumphant.
Because the end has come near, people must “repent.” This means more than feeling sorry for sins. The Greek word “repentance” literally means “a change of mind.” What this change requires is indicated by the final phrase, “believe in the good news.” People are to change their minds by believing in the good news (i.e., gospel) that Jesus will proclaim in his preaching and manifest by his mighty deeds. “Believing” is more than intellectual assent; it demands personal commitment to Jesus and his gospel. There is urgency to this double command to “repent and believe.” Time is running out: the kingdom is at hand!
Choose only one of the ethical dilemmas below to address in your essay. The questions at the end of each dilemma are intended for you to reflect on. For your paper you must organize your writing using the sections and underlined titles listed on the assignment page. Do not copy the case study into your essay.
TJ secretly enjoys pornography. He gets a great deal of gratification out of viewing Internet pornography and masturbating, though he always acts behind closed doors and believes that his actions have no effect on others. He justifies his behavior by saying, ‘Who am I harming?’
Then he discovers a statistic onthe Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking website (http://www.unglobalcompact.org/docs/issues_doc/labour/Forced_labour/HUMAN_TRAFFICKING_-_THE_FACTS_-_final.pdf) stating that 43% of human trafficking victims are used for forced commercial sexual exploitation, of whom 98% are women and girls, and that the pornography business is a multibillion dollar industry (Global Initiative, n.d.).
His freedom to view pornography is now at odds with harm to himself (addiction) and others (abuse through forced trafficking and media exploitation). (More information can be found at http://www.lifeissues.net/writers/may/may_17pornographycost.html, which is a report by William May called“The Social Costs of Pornography” provided by the Witherspoon Institute out of Princeton [May, 2010].)
How should PJ respond? Should he maintain his lifestyle because of his freedom of choice or should he change his behavior because of the harm done? What is his responsibility for the harm that the pornography industry can cause, even if he himself is not directly harming someone else?
Joni was 17 when she was swimming with friends in the Chesapeake Bay. She dove into the water, misjudging the depth, and fractured her vertebrae. This left her a quadriplegic, paralyzed from her shoulders down. As mightbe expected, she went into severe depression, even having serious thoughts of ending her life. Her quality of life was severely diminished.Her future looked horribly bleak. What could she ever hope to accomplish as a human being in such a weakened state? Why should she be forced to endure a life of suffering and hardship, and be a burden to her family? Should her wishes to be euthanized be granted? What do you think?Should someone in her condition be permitted to have her life legally terminated?
3. Religious Tolerance
In September 2014, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship was “derecognized” by the 23 public California State University schools because the Christian organization requires its leaders to hold Christian beliefs. Tina is a volunteer leader of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship at a particular public university. The new university policy requires that recognized campus groups have a nondiscrimination policy that says an organization cannot require its leaders to hold any particular beliefs (Stetzer, 2014). Being a recognized group is important to Tina, since it affects such circumstances as free access to meeting rooms, advertisements at University sponsored events, and official engagement with faculty and students. Tina believes that student leaders must hold to essential Christian beliefs for the sake of the group’s purpose, though InterVarsity has always welcomed anyone from any faith background to be a part of the group. Yet the University system requires all recognized campus groups to sign a state-mandated nondiscrimination policy stating that both membership and leadership positions are open for anyone, whether they support the beliefs of the group or not (Winston, 2014). How should Tina respond to the university leadership, if at all? What changes should Tina make to her chapter of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, if any?
After trying for many years, Susan finally gets pregnant. Unfortunately, a blood test confirms that her baby has Down syndrome, and her doctors suggest she abort the fetus. Susan has a successful career and wants to maintain a healthy balance between her career and family. Yet she feels very uncomfortable with abortion. She seeks some advice from Richard, an influential professor of evolutionary biology who has spent his career seeking to further human potential and minimize human suffering. When Susan asks Richard if she should abort the fetus or give birth to a baby with Down syndrome, Richard replied that human beings should increase happiness and decrease suffering in this world, and that therefore he would suggest that she abort, though he also stated that she must make this choice for herself. Richard emphasized the lifelong suffering of both the child with Down syndrome and Susan as the child’s caretaker and stated that it may be immoral to bring a baby into the world if she knew the kind of suffering the child would experience. In fact, Richard suggested that perhaps the most ethical course of action would be to prevent this baby from living a life full of suffering. (This scenario is based on the following article by Richard Dawkins (2014): https://richarddawkins.net/2014/08/abortion-down-syndrome-an-apology-for-letting-slip-the-dogs-of-twitterwar/). How should Susan respond? What decision should she make if her baby would suffer with Down syndrome, yet she wants to have a baby?
5. Performance Enhancing Drugs
As a successful young athlete, Paul has been working hard in the weight room and on the field, and he has earned a starting position on his team. As his team develops, some members of his team have been experimenting with a new performance enhancing drug and have seen remarkable results. The drug is not a banned substance, largely because it is not widely known, and Paul has seen it work for several of his teammates, who remind Paul of the remarkable fact that this drug cannot be traced by any drug test available. Paul wants to succeed but is finding he may be left behind by those whoare getting bigger and faster. The coach seems to be aware of the drug use but has turned a blind eye to it because the team hasbeen winning so far and the drug is technically not an illegal substance yet. Paul was just told by his coach that some changes may be taking place and he may lose his starting position. His friend offered him a sample of the drug to “catch up” with the others. What should his response be in regard to legal, physical, and spiritual implications?
Dawkins, R. (2014, August 21). Abortion & Down syndrome: An apology for letting slip the dogs of Twitterwar. Retrieved from https://richarddawkins.net/2014/08/abortion-down-syndrome-an-apology-for-letting-slip-the-dogs-of-twitterwar/
Gianna Jessen abortion survivor in Australia part 1. (2008). Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kPF1FhCMPuQ
Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking.(n.d.). Human trafficking: The facts. Retrieved from https://www.unglobalcompact.org/docs/issues_doc/labour/Forced_labour/HUMAN_TRAFFICKING_-_THE_FACTS_-_final.pdf
May, W. E. (2010). The social costs of pornography. Retrieved from http://www.lifeissues.net/writers/may/may_17pornographycost.html
Stetzer, E. (2014, September 6). InterVarsity “derecognized” at California State University’s 23 campuses: Some analysis and reflections. Christianity Today. Retrieved from http://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2014/september/intervarsity-now-derecognized-in-california-state-universit.html
Winston, K. (2014,September 10). InterVarsity, college Christian group “de-recognized” at California State University campuses. The Huffington Post. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/09/intervarsity-sanctioned-california-state-university_n_5791906.html
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