Project #69160 - Matthew 2:1-12 Interpretation Project

Write a 3-5 page interpretation paper on a story from one of the Gospels.  The aim of this paper is to focus on a particular passage, interpret and explain its meaning, and then apply it to a real-world situation.  Students are expected to consult and document at least three scholarly sources in their paper.

 

The Major Sections of Your Paper Should Include:

Opening Paragraph and Closing Paragraph 

⦁Historical Context– Explain the historical details relevant to understanding the passage. Include what your readers need to know about the author, the original audience and their world in order to understand the meaning of the passage. Ask, does the language used in the passage have significance in the Greco-Roman or Jewish worlds? The goal is to list any historical or cultural detail necessary to bring light to the meaning of the passage.

 

Example: When putting the story of Jesus at the wedding in Cana (John 2.1-11) in historical context, it is important to know that for a host to run out of wine at a wedding would have brought public embarrassment for many years in that culture.

 

⦁Literary Context– Describe how the individual story connects with the larger story of the Gospel. Pay attention to the stories that come immediately before and after your selected story. Ask, how do the surrounding stories relate to the passage that you are examining?

 

Example: When placing the story of Jesus turning water into wine in its literary context, it is important to know that this is the first of seven signs that John writes about in order to ultimately show Jesus bringing the transforming power of God’s love into the world.

 

⦁Explanation of the Passage– This section represents the largest portion of your paper. Describe the details of the story in its historical and literary contexts. Include significant elements that you discover as you investigate the passage. Explain the meaning of critical words and concepts. Lastly, synthesize your own observations with those of the commentaries.

 

Example: When analyzing John 2.1-11, one detail you might include is that the “water jars used for Jewish purification rites are a sign that God is doing a new thing from within the old Jewish system, bringing purification to Israel and the world in a whole new way.”

 

⦁Application– The last section of your paper should explain how people today can live out the message of the story. In other words, how does the author’s intended meaning of the text apply to real issues in the world today? Be as practical and realistic as possible. Take the point of the Gospel story and turn it into a living word for your peers. Ask, what does this passage mean, or what should it mean, to those with whom you rub shoulders with on a daily basis?

 

Example: When applying John 2.1-11, one could say that the transformation from water into wine shows the effect that Jesus can have on the lives of high school students today when they bring their troubles to Jesus.



Writing Guidelines

 

⦁Thesis: Your introduction should include a thesis statement that summarizes the main point of your passage. The thesis should answer the question, what is the author’s main point in this section of Scripture?

⦁Title: The title of your paper should include a statement that captures the main point of your passage and identifies the passage that you are interpreting (example: “A Rabbi who Commands the Waves: Mark 4:35-41”)

⦁Formatting: Format and document according to MLA standards (i.e. “Works Cited” page, Bible references and in-text citations)

 

⦁Length: Use 750-1250 words (about 3-5 pages)

 

Subject General
Due By (Pacific Time) 04/30/2015 09:30 pm
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