Contents
FORUM 1. 2
Question #1. 2
The element of the canon that is most important to this writer is element one. 2
Question # 2. 2
Later Acceptance. 3
Forum.. 3
Question 1: The Three Quests. 3
Two Contemporary Challenges. 4
Question 2: The Criteria of Authenticity (COA). 4
Forum 3. 5
Question # 1: Synoptic What are the Synoptic Gospels?. 5
“Synoptic Problem”. 5
Forum # 4. 6
Question # 1: How important is the book of Acts in this [the Chronology of Paul] procedure?. 6
Paul’s Journeys. 7
Question 2: Who sparked the “New Perspective” on Paul, and what is the title of his major work?. 7
What is the label this scholar affixed to first-century Judaism?. 7
What has the “New Perspective” correctly emphasized, and how should it be critiqued?. 7
Critique. 7
Explain Paul’s basic gospel message. 8
Forum #5. 8
Question 1: 8
Occasion and purpose of 1 & 2 Thessalonians. 8
Opponents in Thessalonica. 8
Opponents’ teaching and Paul’s response. 8
Question 2. 9
Interactions. 9
What events led to the writing of 2 Corinthians?. 10
FORUM # 6. 10
Questions 1. 10
Ephesians: Occasion. 10
Ephesians: Purpose. 10
Question # 2; Why did Paul write these letters?. 11
1 and 2 Timothy & Titus: The Occasion. 11
Timothy the Occasion. 11
Titus The Occasion. 11
I, 2 Timothy & Titus Purpose. 11
Timothy the Purpose. 11
Titus the Purpose. 12

 

FORUM 1

Question #1

The word “kanon”, is derived from its Hebrew equivalent “kaneh” and means a “rule or “standard” (KKQ, 3). Today the word canon describes the Christian Scripture as a whole.  The text pointed out the relevance and importance of the timeline and closure of the canon as being, “moot” (KKQ, 3). The fact that the New Testament (NT) canon was closed the date the last book of the was written solidifies this point; however, the NT canon began with the writing of the first books in the late forties and concluded sometime in the latter part of the first century (KKQ, 3). The Christian church did not recognize most of the NT as “Scripture” until the late second century (KKQ, 7).

The four listed of criteria of canonicity were; (1) “was apostolicity, that is, direct or indirect association of a given work with an apostle”; (2) “The second criterion was orthodoxy; that is, whether a given writing conformed to the church’s ‘rule of faith”; (3) “The third criterion was the book’s antiquity”, and (4) “ecclesiastical usage” (KKQ, 8. 9, 10).

 

The supplication for books that “conformed to” the teachings of the apostles was needed for study and congregational worship; this spurred the establishment of an “authoritative list of Scripture” (KKQ, 8).

 

The element of the canon that is most important to this writer is element one.

The early church needed unification of thought and doctrine as members were fulfilling the great commission. They needed to be clear and unified gospel message.  Element one established eyewitness confirmation or personal teaching from The Lord.

The least important element, not that this writer believes that any of the elements are unimportant, would be the last element. This element lends itself to “popular acceptance of a book’ becoming part of a popularity contest rather than being a book inspired by God for spiritual edification. This concern is one that the church is currently experiencing.  The culture of the times indicates that the same need for “mental titillation” existed then. Paul stated, “For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal (1 Cor3:4-6 NIV)?”

 

Question # 2

The traditional evangelical position affirms God’s inerrant authorship of the canon through the Holy Spirit was settled by the early church fathers and that its closure occurred when the last book of the NT was written (KKQ, 3, 4).  The Christian position also believes in the inerrancy of Scripture.

 

Contrary to traditional evangelical thought, recent scholastic developments indicated that scriptural documents existed then even if they were not included in the original canon because the canon was not closed until the third or fourth century when the church councils made the formal announcement of its closure; this thought negates inerrancy and the authority of Almighty God in the canonicity of Scripture (KKQ, 2, 14)

 

Sundberg proposed that the OT was not closed in the first or second century due to evidentiary proof of the completion date being the fourth century; he also iterated that the early church received the OT canon before the establishment of the acceptance of the statutory criteria (KKQ, 13).

 

Later Acceptance

Hebrews, James, 2 Peter, 2-3 John, Jude, and Revelation were slower to receive universal acceptance (KKQ, 3). The delayed acceptance of the book of James was a surprise.  His discourse on Christian living somewhat mirrored the beatitudes. Relationally it addressed OT teachings on our responsibilities to each other. The late acceptance of the book of Revelation was not surprising.  The reader must be proficient in their understanding of OT prophecies to grasp this book.

 

 

Bibliography

Köstenberger, Andreas J., L. Scott Kellum, and Charles L. Quarles. The Cradle, the Cross, and the Crown. Nashville: B & H Pub. Group, 2009, Google Books.

 

Forum

Question 1: The Three Quests

The first quest was initiated by Reimarus’ and presented a Jesus that mirrored the mindset of the questers who presented him as a man who taught about the brotherhood of man, the fatherhood of God, and a death that was self-giving rather than redemptive (KKQ, 111). It emphasized the “Jesus of History” and ended in the first decade of the twentieth century: source criticism was the tool of inquiry (111).

“The Abandoned Quest” (1906-1953) spearheaded by Schweitzer’s book entitled “The Quest of the Historical Jesus” utilized “form criticism” as it research tool and deemed the historical Jesus an unnecessary appendage, but emphasized a Jesus of Faith (KKQ, 116). This quest had no theological significance (KKQ, 116).

The students of  Bultmann began the second quest 1954 and used noncanonical documents as its research base; it is still ongoing (KKQ, 113). Mack and Crossan, proponents of this quest, presented Jesus as a “cynical, nonapocalyptic, subversive, who was a social reformer” (KKQ, 116). The tools of redaction and tradition criticism were used instead of form criticism as in the “Abandoned Quest, or source criticism utilized in the first quest (KKQ, 116).  The research community has not accepted the theological construct of this quest (KKQ, 116).

The third quest, launched in 1965 by Caird, formulated a construct of Jesus as “an actual historical figure” placed within the cultural context of first century Judaism (KKQ, 114). The researchers directed the process through the use of “Social-scientific and a retooled tradition criticism” (KKQ, 116). The deity of Jesus was not an important part of this research ideology. The concept behind the research was theologically neutral (KKQ, 116).

Two Contemporary Challenges

Jesus the Sage: Witherington proposed that Jesus a sage or teacher of wisdom, “who regarded himself as the embodiment or incarnation of God’s Wisdom” (KKQ, 121).  The evidence offered included a discourse on a deity that “pre-existed man, created, and came to earth to call God’s people to repentance, was accepted by some and rejected by others, and returned to heaven” (KKQ, 122).  KKQ asserted that Witherington’ did not extend the construct enough; it needed more evidentiary proof (122).

Jesus the Marginal Jew: Meirer presented Jesus as a carpenter who abandoned his profession and proclaimed himself a prophetic iterant minister who did not adhere to the Jewish customs Judaic practices of his religious sect (KKQ, 122). Meirer proffered his execution demonstrated that he was considered marginal by both the political and religious leaders of his time (122).

Accurate historical information is used for research and aids in the reliability of the Gospel message.  However, researchers use historical data based on their own assumptions, but believers walk by faith.

 

Question 2: The Criteria of Authenticity (COA).

  1. Multiple Attestation or Forms: materials are authentic and found in more than one source.
  2. Palestinian Environment or Language: literal translation of Semitic Idiom into Greek.
  3. Dissimilarity: Sayings or deeds attributed to Jesus are dissimilar to the expected Judaic practice of His day.
  4. Coherence: early and authentic if judged consistent with material based on other criteria (KKQ, 152).

These criteria aid in the establishment of the historical reliability of the Gospels’ presentation of Jesus activities such as exorcisms, miracles, and culminating in his resurrection (KKQ, 153). The burden of proof was placed on the Gospel material (152).From a philosophical construct, utilizing the tools of COA) to defend the historical Gospel lends authenticity to the argument.  Critics accept evidence provided by researchers and do not require “belief” on their part.

 

 

Forum 3

Question # 1: Synoptic What are the Synoptic Gospels?

 

The Synoptic Gospels are the books of “Matthew, Mark, and Luke” (KKQ, 158; BB, 45).  Historical researchers considered them “synoptic” because there are so many “similarities” between the writers’ presentations of the “life, teachings, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ” that researchers concluded that the Gospels must have a correlation between the writers (158).

 

 “Synoptic Problem” 

 

The “Synoptic Problem” refers to the “unique literary phenomenon” of similarities and differences between the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke (BB. 3; KKQ, 158).

 

 Do the differences found in the Synoptic Gospels present a threat to their validity for understanding the ministry and teachings of Jesus Christ or the historical events concerning his life and resurrection?

 

The differences do not constitute a threat to the validity or reliability of the Synoptic Gospels presentation of the history, ministry, and teachings of Jesus Christ. According to KKQ “early non-Christian sources” lend credibility to the historical existence of Jesus Christ, his teachings, and ministry (110). Regardless of the theory utilized to determine which Gospel was written first, second, or third, neither hypothesis negates the fact that Jesus came as the Savior of humanity, completed His ordained purpose, and is the resurrected Savior (BB, 10-20, 140-143). Employing the “Criteria of Authenticity” to facilitate the validity/reliability of the Synoptic Gospels proffered historical evidence of the existence of Jesus Christ (KKQ, 153). 

Question #2 

Define the following terms and explain from whom they originated:

The Augustinian View: KKQ declared that this view gave priority to Matthew as the writer of the first Gospel; it also proposed that Mark utilized Matthew as a source for his Gospel, and Luke acquired source materials from both Matthew and Mark to write the Gospel of Luke (164). The term originated from “Augustin” and so did “literary dependence” (KKQ, 164; BB, 16-17).

 

Literary Independence: The presented explanation for “literary independence” stated that authors of the Gospels wrote independently of each other under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit which is consistent with the inerrancy of the Gospel (BB, 19; KKQ, 164).  Literary independence also demonstrates the Gospel writers’ fidelity as they reported what they saw concerning the life, ministry, death, and resurrection of The Lord (KKQ, 164).  KKQ does not consider “literary independence” to account for the similarities in the literary content of the Gospel writers (164). Neither BB nor KKQ identified a theorist for this term.

 

Markan Priority: This priority determined that Mark wrote his Gospel first, and Matthew and Luke utilized it to write their Gospel. Some points of reference to support this hypothesis are: 

  1. The fact that Mark is a “shorter Gospel”;
  2. Mark offered Aramaic phraseology that is absent in the others writer’s Gospels 
  3. Mark provided some passages that were more challenging to the reader; such as  “Mark 10:17: 19:17” and the other Gospel writers were led to clarify them.
  4. Matthew and Luke rarely argued against Mark in phraseology (KKQ, 167).

The Two-Gospel Hypothesis (or “Theory”) “or Oxford Hypothesis”: J. J. Griesbach is the author of this theory. He advanced a theoretical construct of Matthew is the first Gospel, but Luke was second and did not use Mark as his source material (KKQ, 164-165). Moreover, he further contended that Mark wrote the last Gospel and used Matthew and Luke as artifacts from which Mark penned The Gospel of Mark; this is the reverse of the Augustine theory (BB, 46-48; KKQ, 164-165).  Contemporary researchers who support Griesbach’s theory iterated that Luke developed his Gospel utilizing Matthew (KKQ, 165). This theory should not be confused with the “Two-Document Hypothesis” and demonstrates literary interdependence (KKQ, 164).

 

Forum # 4
Question # 1: How important is the book of Acts in this [the Chronology of Paul] procedure?

The book of Acts provided additional material for dating Paul’s persecution of the church, his conversion, the beginning of his missionary journeys, the beginning of his mission to the Gentiles, his visit to Jerusalem. Offer a brief overview of Paul’s life and his missionary activities (KKQ, 397-398).  [All references in this section are from KKQ.]

As previously stated, Paul was a Roman Jew and a Pharisee, and well versed in the law due to his training under Gamaliel (Acts 22:3 NIV). His relentless persecution of the Church did not convey his teacher’s position on the followers of Christ, but it denoted his zeal for the law (Acts 5:34-39; Phil 3:5-6). His conversion occurred around during 34-36 AD (390). Paul’s historic visit to Jerusalem and acceptance by Peter and James happened three years after his conversion; the missionary journey to Syria and Cilicia followed this historic visit to Peter and James (391).

Paul’s missionary travels spanned between 34-58 AD (392). First Paul visited Arabia and experienced his first push-back to The Gospel; He returned to Damascus but avoided imprisonment due to the accusations of the Jews (392). Paul went to Jerusalem and visited with Peter and James – it is probable that he learned about Jesus’ life, ministry, death and resurrection from them (392). The next journey took him to Syria and Cilicia where he witnessed for several years (392).

Paul’s Journeys

  1. First Missionary Journey (47-48) to Pisidia, Antioch, Iconium, Pystra, and Derbe located in Galatia from where he probably penned the letter to the Galatians (392).
  2. Second Missionary Journey (49-51): Paul traveled through Anatolia, Macedonia, and Achaia; and created churches in Philippi, Thessalonica, and Berea after his disagreement with Barnabas due to Mark’s abandonment of the team during their first missionary journey (393; Acts 15:38). KKQ documented that several of the Pauline letters addressed to the Gentile churches were written during this period (393).
  3. Third Missionary Journey (51-54): Paul focused on Ephesus during these years and the books of Romans and 1 and 2 Corinthians (393-394).
  4. Paul’s final years included relief work for Jerusalem; his trial before Felix, his arrival in Rome where he wrote the books of Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, I and II Timothy, Titus and Philemon (395). Church tradition dictated that Nero beheaded Paul (396).
Question 2: Who sparked the “New Perspective” on Paul, and what is the title of his major work?

KKQ identified Sanders as the scholar who sparked the “New Perspective” when he wrote, “Paul and Palestinian Judaism” (KKQ, 379).

What is the label this scholar affixed to first-century Judaism?

“Covenantal nomism” is the label that E. P. Sanders attached to first-century Judaism (379).

What has the “New Perspective” correctly emphasized, and how should it be critiqued?

The “New Perspective” correctly emphasized early Christianity’s “contextual relationship” with Judaism; warned against “presumptive/misleading caricatures” of Judaic beliefs; some first-century Jews may have embraced the “works-righteousness for salvation (386). It is best not to generalize and group “everyone” in just “one pot.”

Critique

Sanders’ attempt to find a single “pattern of religion” in first-century Judaism sometimes led him to downplay the vast differences between various sects and theological perspectives within Judaism” (KKQ, 383). Critique of this perspective would require exegesis of Paul’s letters that provide evidentiary proof or refutation of the above assertions.

Explain Paul’s basic gospel message

Paul’s Gospel rendered humanity guilty of rejecting God and his authority’ the impact of universal sin; the only avoidance of God’s just judgment was acceptance of Jesus Christ through faith, not works (396). The Gospel of Paul focused on the incarnate Jesus who fulfilled the requirements of the Judaic law; adherence to the law was no longer necessary due to the indwelling of the Holy Spirit (396). The deity of Christ and the unity of the Godhead was also evident in Paul’s Gospel; one body, one spirit, one Lord and one faith (397).

Forum #5
Question 1:

 

Discuss the occasion and purpose for the writing of 1 & 2 Thessalonians. Who were the opponents of Paul in Thessalonica? What was the nature of the opponents’ teaching and how did Paul respond to it? Should church leaders today apply Paul’s responses in their respective ministries? If so, how?

Occasion and purpose of 1 & 2 Thessalonians

 

KKQ cited several reasons for the first letter to Thessalonians: (1)Encouragement to endure the persecution”; (2) a defense of Paul’s rationale for his mission to the area; (3) an expression of the urgency of spiritual purity and a life free from sexual immorality ; (4) to provide the Thessalonian Church with a picture of what a “Christian work ethic” looked like finally (5) an admonishment to the believers of their financial responsibility to the leaders of the faith (445).

The second letter qualified the construct of “The Day of the Lord” and it significance for believers; exhortations regarding the necessity of prayer, and a revalidation of the concern regarding idleness (447-448; 2 Thes 3.11).

Opponents in Thessalonica

 

Acts 17:5 asserted that the opponents were Jews; however they incited the “bad characters” to escalate the dissension when they, “formed a mob and started a riot in the city.” (KKQ, 443).

Opponents’ teaching and Paul’s respond

 

The opponents asserted that Paul’s mission was self-motivated; the opponents alluded that Paul abandoned the fledgling church after he caused a riot even though the persecuted church needed the apostle (471). The detractors criticized him for leaving the church to endure the persecution that started because of the riot initiated by Paul started (KKQ, 471).

Paul apparently learned from Timothy that some opponents of the church were challenging the motives of the ministry.  Paul responded by expressing his love for the congregation; expression of love alleviated the congregants’ fears (KKQ, 451). Paul thanked God for the Thessalonian church; the apostle referenced their love of God and obedience by destroying their idols; their election as God’s people was peppered by miracles, thus solidifying the work of the Holy Spirit through the apostle in Thessalonica.

Question 2

Describe the various interactions of Paul with the church in Corinth (include both visits and letters). What events caused his writing of 1 Corinthians? What events led to the writing of 2 Corinthians? What are the three major theories concerning Paul’s opponents in 2 Corinthians? Using Paul as an example, should Christian leaders today respond to their opponents in this way? Why or why not? What principles do you think we can learn from Paul in dealing with church conflict?

KKQ documented the sequence of Paul’s journeys and letters as follows:

  1. First visit: Paul planted the church in Corinth
  2. Paul wrote the “previous letter.”
  3. Paul wrote 1 Corinthians from Ephesus in
  4. Second visit: the “painful visit.”
  5. Paul wrote the “severe letter.”
  6. Paul wrote 2 Corinthians from Macedonia
  7. Third visit (Acts 20:2) (470).
Interactions

Paul established the Corinthian church during his “second missionary journey” (471).  According to KKQ, scholars purport that Paul wrote other letters to the leaders in Corinth (464).  KKQ indicated that the letters were personal letters of instruction, direction and or exhortation to the spiritual leaders in Corinth (464). Scholars attest that I Cor is a compilation of ten letters written by the apostle due to the “fragmentary” nature of the prose; however, Paul was addressing specific points of contention and fluidity of prose would not be evident due to the nature of the discourse (466). While in Ephesus, Paul received “oral” reports of immorality, dysfunctionality, division, and factions in the church; Paul penned 1 Cor to address these concerns (474).  2 Cor praised the church for solving the concerns raised in the first letter (464). It postulated a defense of the “apostolic” nature of Paul’s authority over the church and detailed the theology of the “new covenant,” encouraged “sacrificial giving” to the relief effort, and challenged the claims of false apostles” (464).

What events led to the writing of 2 Corinthians?

The book of 2 Corinthians purposed to; (1) encourage the Corinthians for the manner with which they handled his directives in the first letter and (2) to defend his apostleship (482). Furthermore, it was written to (3)  ensure the Corinthians that he was not inconsistent in keeping his word and would indeed be visiting them; (3) to restore a member who had experienced church discipline, and finally to encourage the Corinthians to examine the authenticity of their faith (482).

“Unless otherwise stated all references are from KKQ and the New International Version of the Bible.”

Unless otherwise noted, all biblical passages referenced are in the New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2015)

FORUM # 6
Questions 1

Discuss the occasion and purpose for the writing of two of Paul’s letters from Prison (Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon). Who were the opponents (if any) of Paul in these areas? What was the nature of the opponents’ doctrine and how did Paul respond to it?

 Ephesians: Occasion

KKQ expressed that the occasion for the letter to the Ephesians is not clearly identifiable (580). However, C. E. Arnold specified that the pagan practices of the Asia Minor region would “necessitate” guidance for living a Christ-centered lifestyle (C. E. Arnold as cited by  KKQ, 588).

Ephesians: Purpose

Scholars agree that the purpose of Ephesians defined “cosmic reconciliation” in Christ while addressing the need for a unified church that demonstrated a clearly Christian ethic while recognizing the need for an awareness of spiritual warfare in a society plagued with paganism (589). The body of the letter proffers an explanation of the unity of the Godhead mirrored in the congregation; and Paul’s doxology once again reiterates the theme of unity (590-591; Eph 3:18 and 21). This letter defined the nature of the church, the place of the Trinity or “trinitarian ecclesiology”, as well as the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and the unity afforded through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit (597).

 Question # 2; Why did Paul write these letters?

Paul wrote these letters for the expressed purpose of providing his apostolic delegates (Timothy and Titus)  with the instruction needed to navigate the stormy waters of threats from without and within, as well as preparing both delegates for the roles of  “apostolic delegates” (KKQ, 637). The theme of the letters is securing the church for the “postapostolic” period of church history (Ibid). KKQ postulated the historical importance of pastoral letters; the letters presented the framework for church governance and administration and the criteria for positional leadership within the church. It is apparent that Paul was aware that the pastoral letters, though not written to Timothy or Titus as pastors, would be his last communique of this type to his delegates (638).

For the sake of space, the occasion and purpose for the pastorals will be combined

1 and 2 Timothy & Titus: The Occasion
Timothy the Occasion

 

Paul admonished Timothy to address the false teachers and specifically identified Hymenaeus and Alexander (1:3-11; 2:1-316). The same Judaic concerns with the eating of meats were evident in 1 Tim 4. Myths and fables were also a concern addressed 1 Tim 4 as it pertains to the latter days. The threat of the false teachers was not a basic one Paul addressed it more than once as he concluded letter. 3:14-16 spoke of Timothy’s demeanor and role as a leader: Paul’s parting words to him were to avoid controversy and espouse to the simplicity of the gospel, “God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory” (3:16). KKQ referenced that Paul’s intention was to refute the heresies (KKQ, 664)

Titus The Occasion

 

Titus’ biggest challenge was from Judaic influences; specifically about circumcision (Titus 1:10).  Titus also had a need to appoint qualified elders, but he was opposed but the Cretans (KKQ, 658).
I, 2 Timothy & Titus Purpose
Timothy the Purpose

 

1 Timothy was directed to handle the congregational concerns of prayer for all men, leadership within the church, the role of women in the church, how one should conduct themselves, and the qualifications of male overseers, deacons, and to prevent certain people from preaching doctrine (647). 2 Timothy’s purpose was to preach the Christian gospel (KKQ 647-648).

Titus the Purpose

 

Titus: Titus’ dictum was “to appoint elders in every town”; Titus received various instructions on how to correct the enemies of the gospel while keeping himself stayed above the fray (KKQ, 647). Titus delivered the apostle’s directive of Christian deportment “adorn the teaching of God our Savior in everything” (2:10);  to devote themselves to “every good work” and adherence to the Christian doctrines  (3:1: KKQ, 647).

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