Exegesis is the process of interpreting a given text, book, or passage. Examples of exegetical analysis include, among others: 1) tracing themes from a single passage throughout the entirety of the text, 2) doing an in-depth analysis of the structure or argument of a passage or part of a passage, 3) interpreting the theology of a passage in light of the overall intent of the text. In an exegesis paper it is important to ask why and so what. Why did the author shape this text in this way? What was the purpose and effect of this passage on those who heard/read it at the time of composition? What is the point of this passage? How has this passage been interpreted today and is this interpretation consistent with the original intent of the author? Etc.
Students have two options for their exegesis paper:
1) Select one pericope from the Gospel of Mark, Matthew, or Luke with a parallel version in at least one other gospel. Carefully analyze your passage and compare it with its parallels, noting where the material has come from (triple or double tradition? Mark or Q?, etc.) andpoints where the versions differ. Offer a compelling argument for the differences based on what you now know of the character of each gospel and support your argument with an appeal to scholarship (two sources).
- Select a passage (should be around 6-10 verses)
- Compare it to parallels
- Note the differences
- Make an argument for the differences
- Support your argument with scholarship
2) Select one of the following passages (or another if approved by instructor) and exegete it.Analyze the structure of the passage;note rhetorical devices (repetition, inclusio, etc.);explain the passage’s coherence with themes of the overall gospel. Explain the function of the passage in its immediate context and in the greater context of the gospel as a whole. Since we have carefully analyzed these passages in class, students who chose this option should expect to be evaluated with a higher degree of expectation.
- Mark – blind man inclusio (Mark 8:22-10:52)
- Matthew – Law in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:1-7:29)
- Luke – Programmatic passage (Luke 4:14-30)
A Paper – Meets all of the criteria above, containsone’s own insightful interpretation of the text, buttresses this interpretation with careful argumentation, supports this argumentation with an appeal to scholarship. Excellent writing, clear argumentation and structure, few or no grammatical or typographical errors.
B Paper – Meets most of the criteria above, containslimited individualinterpretation, supportsinterpretation with argumentation from scholarship. Writing is clear with few grammatical or typographical errors.
C Paper – Meets some of the criteria above, does not containone’s own interpretation of the text, relies on scholarship for both interpretation and argumentation. Writing is not clear or well structured, contains several grammatical or typographical errors.
D Paper – Does not meet the criteria enumerated above, does not containone’s own interpretation, does not consult commentaries. Writing is poor, contains many grammatical or typographical errors.
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