NT Lit. Study Guide I

1. Review:  know the Picture Scripture chapter titles for Matt. and
            memory verses:  Lord’s prayer, Mat. 6:33; 16:24; 7:12
    Note also the questions online for lectures 1-4 (by Tues.) I will pull from this
           question bank for the questions on those lectures.  



1. To what events do the dates 586, 333, 167 BC and 70 AD refer to?

2. Geography:  Where is:  Turkey, Babylon, Persia, Greece, Macedonia, Egypt,

            Israel, Syria, Lebanon, Tigris, Euphrates, Nile, Tyre, Athens, Damascus,

            Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem

3. Who overthrew the Babylonians (ca. 539 BC)? 

4. Discuss the reign of the Persian king Cyrus (BIBLE, Bible, Benevolence,

            3 empires=Babylon, Lydia, Egypt). What country is Persia today?

5. Who was Croesus and how did Cyrus defeat him? How did Cyrus take Babylon?

6. What addition did Cambyses make to the Persian empire? How did Cambyses

            treat the people he conquered?  Cambyses and the Apis bull. How did

            he die?

7. What did Darius (522-486 BC) do (GT BSSS)?

8. What did Xerxes [BEG] and Artaxerxes [NEE] do related to the world and the

            Jews?  What was the relationship of the Persians to the Greeks? Which

            one attacked Greece and was the one immortalized in the movie “300.”

9. What were the Peloponnesian Wars and what function did they play for the

Persian empire and for Greece?

10. Be able to trace the events of Alexander the Great (Granicus River, Issus,

esp. Tyre, Egypt, Siwa (Egypt god concept), Babylon, India). Who were Alexander's
            father and teacher?  What empire was his major opposition?  When did Alexander

11. What were some major contributions Alexander [Hellenism] made to the world

            of his day which would later impact Christianity?

12. How did Alexander's empire break up (Diadochi)? (Generals = CLAP[S])

            Who got the biggest chunk?  How did Seleucus get added into the mix?

13. What important factors developed during the Ptolemaic period? (FALS) 

            How did the Ptolemies treat the Jews?

14. Why is the LXX (Septuagint) translation important? How did it get

            translated (story behind it) under the Ptolemies?

15. When did the Seleucid's take over Palestine? What pressure was faced from


16. Discuss Antiochus’ IV (Epiphanes) relationship with Israel's high priests

            [OJM].  What types of atrocities did he commit against the Jews?  

17. How and when did the Maccabean revolt get started? How is Hannukah related

            to the Maccabean revolt?

18. In a sentence summarize the contribution of: Judas, poor Eleazar, Jonathan,

            and Simon Maccabee. What did the father Mattathias do to start the whole

            Maccabean revolt?

19. Who started the Hasmonean dynasty?  In the Hasmonean dynasty discuss the

            achievements and tendencies of John Hyrcanus (135-104 BC) (PECC),

            Alexander Jannaeus (102-76 BC)(F CAPE), Salome Alexandra (HA MEPS) (75-67

            BC).  What kinds of different responses did the Jews have to Hellenism?

20. How did Rome get involved in Palestine 63 BC? Pompey

21. How did Herod become king of Judea?  What did he do as king (family,

            Julius Caesar, Cleopatra, builder, wife Mariamne & sons)? What was his ethnic
            background? What great accomplishments did Herod leave behind?

22. What areas of cultural interface did the diaspora face? (What is the diaspora?
            What 4 responses to Hellenization did Judaism have in the first century?

23. What were the Pharisees, Sadducees, Zealots, and Essenes like

            (teachings/background/differences)? What are the Targums,

            Midrash, Mishna, Tosefta, Talmud? What is the difference between the

            Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha?  Where did some of the Essenes live? 

24. Discuss the origin, location and beliefs of the Samaritans, destruction of

            the temple and the importance and development of the Synagogue.  What was

            synagogue worship like?  
25. What was the Sanhedrin and who controlled it?

1. What are the four steps of getting the Word of God from God to us?

2. What scriptural statements support the doctrine of inspiration?  Why is that important?

3. What factors pushed for the formation of NT canon?
4. What five questions helped folks determine which books were to be put in the canon?
5. What early church indicators do we have for the shaping of the canon?  What was the canon fixed (what church counsel and what individual lists our 27 books?)?
6. What three types of manuscripts have come down to us?  What are the characteristics of each?

7. How many manuscripts for the NT do we have and how does that compare with the manuscripts for Plato or Aristotle? What is a lectionary? What early versions of the NT do we have?
8. What four manuscript families do we have and which is the best and worst? What is a manuscript family?
9. What are three “rules” for evaluating manuscript evidence?
10. What types of error did scribal copyists copying the NT make? What is homoteleuton, dittography, metathesis and conflation?



1. Discuss each of the major characteristics of the book of Matthew (MATTHEWS).

            Be able to state what each characteristic is and give support via the

            various sub-categories.

2. What 5 discourses are present in extended form in Matt.? How do the discourses
            fit into the literary structuring of the whole book? How does the structuring of
            Matthew around these discourses fit with the presentation of Jesus as the new
            Moses? Give an example where Mark is short and Matthew develops the story much
            more. How do Matthew and Mark relate on the telling of miracle stories? How does

            Matthew compare with Luke (gathering/scattering)?  At what points does Mat.
            parallel James?

3.  How does Matthew work with the concept of discipleship/apostleship?
            How is Peter portrayed in Matthew? Understanding, Obedience, Cost,
            Call, Righteousness, true/false (CCOURT). What are the qualities of a true disciple? 
            How does Matthew emphasize the notion of righteousness and obedience? 
            How do Matt. and Mark differ in portraying the disciples as understanding?
            Why the focus on Joseph in Matt. 1? What are the Peter stories in Matthew

            that are unique? Orthodoxy/orthoproxy.  How does Matthew differ in the portrayal
            of  the disciples from Mark? How does that fit into Matthew’s major theme of Christ
            as teacher? What is the cost of discipleship and how is it described in Mat.? Who
            wrestled with this unsuccessfully? How is the importance of works in salvation
            developed in Matthew in separating true/false disciples?

4.  What theology of Christ is presented in Matthew? To whom does Matthew compare
           Jesus?  Give examples.  How is Christ compared to Moses in Matt.? How does
           Matt. What two types of miracles stories are told? How is Jesus’ divinity
           taught in Matthew? How does Matthew emphasize Christ’s kingship? What does

            Emmanuel mean and how is it seen in Matthew?  How is Emmanuel featured

            in Matthew as a literary work?

5.  How does Matthew develop the concept of the “kingdom of heaven”?

            What is the imminence aspect and the future aspect? Where does

            Matthew connect the concepts of the kingdom and righteousness?

            What is unique about Matthew and the concept of the “church”?

            Why did Matthew use the term “kingdom of heaven” instead of

            the “kingdom of God” like the other gospel writers? How do you understand
            the concept of the kingdom as “already but not yet”?  What is the here and there
            sense of the kingdom refer to.

6.  How and where does Matthew use the Old Testament? In what different ways

            does Matthew cite the Old Testament? What are the five

            major discourses of Jesus Matthew develops? In what ways does

            Matthew focus on the future?
7.  What are some of the characteristic features of Matthew’s writing style?
8.  How was the book of Matthew shown to be addressed to a Jewish audience?
9.  How does Matthew highlight Gentiles in his book? 

10. Matthew Questions:
            b) How did critics use Mat. 16:28 and what was our response?
            c) In what ways is the Mat. 7:1 passage misused today? How did we understand
                        that passage?

            d) What is a hyperbole and when is it seen in Mathew?  Discuss the problem of
                        universalizing Jesus’ statements from the Sermon of the Mount and

                        problems with that? Give examples and link into hyperbole concept.


MARK (if we get this far on Tues.)

1. Demonstrate a knowledge of the background of the person of John Mark and his

            relationship with Barnabas, changing relationship with Paul, and Peter.

            How may that have shaped the themes of his book?

2. What internal features suggest that Mark is the author of the book of Mark

            (relationship with Peter; possible personal touches)?  Does Peter ever make
            that connection himself?  Give an example of two godly people who disagreed
            so strongly they separated in the NT? How is Mark usually dated (before/after)

            the other synoptic gospels?

3.  What stories ironically do not occur in the book of Mark regarding Peter?  Which ones


4.  Why was the book of Mark dated before AD 65 and why do some want it dated

            after AD 70?  What is vaticinium post eventu and what passage bothers

            those folks?  What kinds of things manifest a Roman/Gentile orientation of the
            book?  What two geographical “contradiction” are often cited in Mark and how were
            they handled?
5.  What book alone is called a “gospel” and what does that mean?

6. What are the characteristics of the book of Mark?  What example is there of

            each? – non-Jewish audience, geographical contradictions (problems

            and possible solutions), portrayal of Jesus, vividness of Mark, favorite

            word and tense?  How is the term “Son of Man” used in the Gospels

            (IASED)?  How is that term connected to Dan. 7:13 and 1 Thes. 4:16-18?