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Note: Your final essay is worth more than your previous journal entries. It is worth 10% of your course grade and is to be longer in length. But like a journal entry, this is an essay and will be graded on the same criteria as the essay/journal entries. *Does your essay have a thesis statement and does the body of your essay answer the questions asked with understanding and engagement of the biblical text? A strong essay will also have a conclusion that nicely wraps up your essay and adds some of your own insights.

For your final essay, please address the following topic: Differing views of salvation.

Choose THREE BOOKS (see the categories below) and in FIVE DOUBLE SPACED PAGES (at least 4, not more than 6) address the issue of salvation in the New Testament.

Your FIRST BOOK needs to be one of the gospels.

Your SECOND BOOK needs to be one of Paul’s letters that we’ve read.

Your THIRD COMPARISON needs to be either the reconstruction of the historical Jesus or the Gnostic Jesus or Jesus as he appears in the Book of Revelation.

In constructing your essay, please pay attention to the portrait of Jesus in the various books and how this picture of Jesus relates to the good news which he brings: what does salvation look like? And then think in terms of problem / solution. What stands in the way of salvation: the main obstacle or face of evil in the book you are addressing? How is this obstacle overcome: what is the chief virtue of the book in question?

Some example considerations might include: Is it Jesus’ life, or his death, or his resurrection that is pivotal to salvation. Or is an emphasis placed on justification, sanctification, or resurrection: all three of which are ultimately involved in salvation? Does the book stress the “evil we suffer” and present a view of salvation as a *deliverance* from a problem that is external to ourselves. Is the problem “out there,” be it demons or illness and death or Roman and Jewish tyrants or social injustice, etc. Or does the book stress the “evil we do” and present a view of salvation as a needed personal *transformation*. The problem that keeps us from properly relating to God and to each other is not in the world, but is a problem with us, be it sin or hypocrisy or guilt, etc. Or some books balance these two approaches towards salvation. These are just questions to get your thinking started. How you approach the books you choose is up to you, but again, tell me who Jesus is, what he wants (the good news), what stands in the way (the face of evil), and how that obstacle is overcome (by Jesus and by us).

Your essay should reveal the unique characteristics of the books you choose, not just a generic or general sense of the good news as “Jesus brings salvation,” but the particular and detailed good news for each book. (Remember, I want you to show me that you understand the material and not just give simplistic answers! Simplistic or very general answers = lower grade, while precise, articulate, and detailed answers = higher grade.)

Also, while short quotes are useful, long quotes/passages are not as useful and do not count toward the overall page count. And when you use short quotations and paraphrases, please be sure to explain to me what they mean: why the passage is significant.

And of course, anything, however small, that is not original to you MUST BE CITED. And I would strongly encourage you to not copy and paste anything from the Internet (in general this information is too generic and frequently wrong), but if you do use anything that is not original to you, it MUST BE CITED. Passages from the Bible, the textbook, or DB or Instructor’s Comments can be cited in paranthetical citations at the end of a sentence (DB, Week 10, Walker, 7/12/2014, 5 pm). Or cite like this (John 2:4-5).

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