Tutorial 1 - Koester Chapter 1.docx

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Religious Studies
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Stephen Westerholm

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Tutorial 1 – Koester Chapter 1: Intro [email protected] Main Points - First section: Introduces theology, theological shape of the Gospel – how everything is put together in order to communicate the message - Second section: brief overview; history of theology, answered in diff ways Weekly Questions 1. What factors suggest the intended readers were familiar with Jewish traditions? o Familiarity with the prophets, allusions, traditions and customs that were unexplained showing the expectation that the reader should understand the allusions o Distinct mentions of monotheism and speaking in a monotheistic way o Talks about Jewish festivals and celebrations that aren’t mentioned in the synoptics in Jerusalem o Ongoing issues with the synagogue – specific tension John speaks of - But intended for other audiences too o John explains some certain Jewish customs or specific words – in 1:38 he explains what rabbi means, meaning it wasn’t completely aimed at a Jewish audience, aimed towards some other audiences as well o Water from wine miracle, he explains about the stone vessels, explains the Jewish rituals  stone doesn’t implicate impurity  Stone vessels: used because they don’t implicate impurity • Used in more communal groups or communal settings - Some things are explained, some are not – not specifically aimed at any audience 2. Interpret and preserve tradition? o After the resurrection, things are made clear  interpretation o What actually happens at the resurrection is that the Spirit will make things clearer, work within the community of believers, to provide insights o Preservation – basic facts that occurred when people didn’t fully understand 3. Different views and perspectives? o Discussions about who Jesus is, no short pithy sayings – much larger discussions o Result in different ideas and dominant points of view on who Jesus is, who he’s going to be, supposed to be o Insights clarify these, show certain dominant views to be wrong o No one view fully encompasses who Jesus is 4. “Born again” been understood? o Two distinct ways of interpreting this in history  1) Ritual enactment of born again happening through baptism, sins washed away and new life is given  2) More General reform – more metaphorical, one has a faith commitment to be born again and reform their life Theological Shape of the Gospel Meaning of theological shape and how is it important to theology? - Genre: historical, narrative - Theology presented through a narrative via: o Historical questions o Literary questions - One method is to look at poetics – the building blocks of the text, how it is being presented / puts everything together - RHETORIC – a literary way of presenting an argument; pejorative, negative sense o Eg. Taking on propaganda.. o One can be fooled with rhetoric.. arguing a case for somebody o Rhetoric isn’t necessarily bad, trying to present something to the reader - “Both writers and readers of history should focus not just on the description of events, but also on what occurred before, during, and after the events. For it history fails to address questions such as why and how a given event happened, and for what purpose, and whether there was anything usual about the outcome, what is left is a prize essay without educational value, something that affords short-term pleasure, but is not help at all for the future” - Polybius How do we know the gospel was shaped in a specific way to present a certain POV? - Wordplay o Playfulness to it, showing a sense of i
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