religion paper

ZOO, Scripture anci Faith in Context
Second Essay
Due: October 22 (Sec B) October 23 (Sec A. C). 2013
Scenario
You are Silas. a Christian companion of the Apostle Paul. After both you and Paul were severely
beaten by a Jewish mob in Philippi. Paul has decided to send you on ahead of him to Thessalomca.
Paul wishes to teach about Jesus in the Jewish synagogue there, but the Jews in Thessalonica have
heard negative reports about Paul and his ‘gospel.’ Specifically, they have heard that Paul is telling
Gentiles that they need not be circumcised in order to become a part of God’s covenant family, the
family of Abraham. The Jews in Thessalonica are also puzzled about the rumors that a man
condemned by the highest Jewish authorities for blasphemy against God, and executed for treason
by the Roman governor ofJudea. is being proclaimed by Paul as the promised Messiah. Not only
are they troubled about Paul’s claims that a man condemned by the supreme Jewish council (the
Sanhedrin) is the Messiah. they are also concerned that Paul may be advocating an ‘anything goes,’
pagan kind of lifestyle with his insistence that Gentiles should not be circumcised. The Jewish
rabbis in Thessalonica have been trying to make full converts out of the many Gentiles who have
been attending the Thessalonian synagogue, and are deeply concerned that Paul will thwart their
efforts. Recently. one of the rabbis in Thessalonica proclaimed,
You have heard about the man named Paul who was ousted from our synagogue in Philippi.
He is coming here to Thessalonica. He claims to be a Jew and announces that the promised
Messiah has come. But his understanding of Torah is troubling, and the man he proclaims
as ‘Messiah’ was crucified under Roman law by the urging of highest Jewish authorities in
Jerusalem. Do not listen to this man, for he has abandoned the covenant which God made
with us through Abraham. He has no ethics. Rome still rules. He is dangerous.
Assignment
Your job is to write a speech/essay in which you, Silas, I convince the members of the Jewish
synagogue in Thessalonica that, on the basis of his credentials, Paul should be given a fair hearing;
I provide argumentation, ahead and in anticipation of Paul’s arrival, that Paul’s message about
Jesus is in full agreement with the Jewish Torah (Sacred Scripture)-both in respect to its claims
about Jesus and its teaching about Torah; I convince them that Paul is indeed a true Jew who
proclaims the real meaning of the covenant that God made with Abraham; I deal head-on with the
issue of Jesus’ crucifixion, and I present the basis for Paul’s claim that Jesus is the reigning Lord of
the universe before whom all must one day give account. You must I alleviate their fears that Paul
is advocating an ‘anything goes’ pagan kind of lifestyle, while at the same time I laying out Paul’s
understanding of the purpose of Torah and the basis of his ethics. Your essay should make
extensive use of the Pauline autobiographical material from the assigned readings and class
discussions, and Paul ‘s arguments as expounded in his Letter to the Galatians and other writings of
Paul as presented in class. The use of the intemet is not permitted.
Your essay must have a clear THESIS which is reflected and developed throughout the paper. The
paper must be submitted on Blackboard, and will undergo a check for plagiarism.
Nuts and Bolts
Length: Five pages (= at least one line on page five); 12pt Times New Roman font; 1.5 spacing
(including between paragraphs); l” margins.
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