BORG 9A and Crossan 4A
1. There are three items that scholars explore when introducing Paul. Offer a response that demonstrates your mastery of knowledge pertaining to each of the following: 1) The employment of the Book of Acts in the study of Paul’s life and teaching; 2)The life of Paul before he became a follower of Jesus; 3) The categorization of letters attributed to Paul in the New Testament.
2. When Paul set out as a missionary, where did he travel geographically? Describe the communities (churches) that Paul established. Finally, upon what group of people did Paul focus his preaching about Jesus?
3. According to Borg’s discussion, personal religious experience was an integral part of Paul’s life, both in his “conversion” to Jesus and as a follower of Jesus. In what specific ways did personal religious experience inform Paul’s understanding of himself, his mission, and Jesus?
Borg 9B and Crossan 4B
1. Borg discusses four themes to present an overview of Paul’s post-Easter understanding of Jesus: Jesus is Lord; In Christ; Justification by Grace; and Christ Crucified. Discuss each of these, with the exception of “In Christ.”
2. Offer a detailed discussion of Borg’s presentation of “In Christ,” incorporating, where relevant, features from the other themes that Borg presents.
3. How did social customs negatively impact, in Paul’s opinion, the gathering of the community at Corinth for the celebration of the Lord’s Supper and how did Paul address this issue?
4. The historical Paul, whom Crossan dubs “the radical Paul,” valued equality in Christ. What does the radical Paul’s letter to Philemon tell us about what he believed regarding slavery? How does this compare and contrast with the teachings of the one whom Crossan calls the “liberal” and “conservative” (or “reactionary”) Paul? Offer a critical reflection on Crossan’s analysis of “the Three Pauls.”
Crossan CHAP 4C
1. Summarize Crossan’s discussion of the teachings of the radical, liberal, and reactionary Paul on the matter of gender equality. Do not avoid the discussion of relevant biblical texts. Also, Crossan makes reference to a “Frescoed Wall at Ephesus,” the discussion of which you need to include in your summary. Include in your response your own critical thoughts on Crossan’s analysis.
2. Like many scholars, Crossan is a bit baffled by Paul’s insistence that women at Corinth should wear veils while praying and prophesying. He constructs a possible explanation for what is going on in Corinth, in the context of which he refers to the “Frescoed Wall at Ephesus”. Summarize Crossan’s interpretation of what lies behind the controversy at Corinth over the unveiled women and Paul’s advice on the matter.
3. Summarize key issues that Crossan discusses in the final sections of Chapter 4, The Challenge of “Already” and Justice as Love. Incorporate into your summary relevant features from Crossan’s discussion of Paul’s understanding of the resurrection (Paul and Resurrection). Reflect on this: Is this vision of life realistic and, if so, how? Or is it just a fantasy and, if so, what vision of life should people embrace?