Thursday, March 4, 2021


Please read all of Ephesians. Choose one of the questions below and select a verse that particular helps in answering that question. Please explain your choice.

1. What seem to be the most import ethical challenges the Ephesian Christians are facing?

2. In what ways does Ephesians seem different than Romans and I Corinthians?

3. What specific standards does Paul set for servants, masters, children, wives, and husbands? Is he right is saying that the husband is the “head” of the wife? How do Paul’s ideas differ from those of contemporary society?

4. What is Paul’s advice to leaders on handling ethical problems?

Sunday, February 28, 2021

Jude and II Peter (extra credit)

Please read *all* of Jude and II Peter (only four chapters total) and respond to *both* of the following prompts:

1.  In what ways are Jude and I Peter similar?  How are they different?  How do you account for these similarities and differences?

2.  Pick out one verse from Jude and one verse from II Peter that you find particularly interesting, important, or hard to understand, and comment below on what you find interesting, difficult, or important in those verses.


Please read as much as you can of Paul's letter to the Romans. Focusing on Chapters 1-3 and 12-15 will work well.

From the chapters you read, pick out a verse or two that you think is a particularly important part of Paul's recipe for helping Jewish and gentile believers get along with one another. Cite also a verse you find particularly puzzling and explain why you find this verse hard to understand.

Alternatively, you might take a stab at explaining the verse another student found difficult/confusing or at answering one of the study questions.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

I Corinthians

For Thursday, February 25, Please read as much as you can of I Corinthians. If you are short of time, read Chapters 1-3, Chapters 6-7, and Chapters 12-13. Choose any one verse in I Corinthians you think particularly interesting, important, or hard to understand, and explain why you think this verse interesting, important, or hard to understand.

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Acts--Discussion II

For Tuesday's class, please read Chapters 13-28 of the Book of Acts.  Then pick out two or three of the "keys to the success of a religious movement" we talked about in class Thursday.  Note what the Book of Acts has to say about how the church of the AD 30-64 period matched up to these "keys to success."

If you missed class (or even if you didn't) you might find it useful to look at the list of elements helpful to the survival and spread of a religious movement on the History 424 Web page before you begin your readings.

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Acts of the Apostles--Discussion I

In the introductory lecture, I noted that the main theme of this course is the investigation of one of the most important turning points in history, the transition from Pagan Rome to Christian Rome.  The years right after the time of Jesus are critical in understanding that period, and that's what we'll be concentrating on for the next 1/3 of the course. The Book of Acts is a good place to start, giving us a good overview of this period.  

Please skim the first 12 chapters of Acts, then go back and read more carefully one or two chapters.  Pick out three or four things in the section you read that seem to you worth discussing in class as we talk about the surprisingly rapid growth of the church.  What's going on that helps the church grow?   What obstacles to growth you see here?

Monday, February 8, 2021

Gospel of John--Discussion II

Please read Chapters 11-22 of John's gospel. As always, I prefer you read for quality rather than quantity, though, in this case, skimming through all 11 chapters and then gong back to read some chapters more carefully might work best.

Your 4th MT study question notes that, while the Gospel of John is in some ways very different from the synoptic gospels, it often complements and supplements the synoptics, sometimes in surprising ways. 

Choose a verse or passage from the assigned chapters and a "parallel" verse or passage from one of the synoptics on the same subject (e.g., money, leadership, faith, etc.). Compare and contrast the two verses or passages.

A gospel "synopsis" or a harmony of the gospels can help you find parallel passages. The  online synopsis I suggested you use for the earlier extra credit assignment might make this assignment a bit easier.