To notice how some aspects of popular culture today are influenced by the
Bible and by non-biblical traditions.
To learn how to carefully distinguish between what is and what is not actually
recorded in the New Testament.
Reread the "Infancy Narratives" of Matt 1-2, Luke 1-2, and
the entire Gospel of James (in C & D, 101-110).
Make a list of some details that are mentioned ONLY in Matthew, ONLY in
Luke, and ONLY in James; also think of some details of popular modern depictions
of the "Christmas Story" that are NOT mentioned in any of these texts.
Choose either ART or MUSIC as your focus:
a) ART: find paintings on the internet, in magazines, or on Christmas
cards (I have lots in my office, if you need some)
b) MUSIC: use some traditional Christmas Carols or modern Christmas
songs (get copies of the exact texts)
Choose up to four different art works (or songs) that include some of the
details you listed earlier; carefully analyze the art (or music) in comparison
with the ancient Christian texts. Find at least
one example for
category (only in Matt, only in Luke, only in James, not in any of
these), although one piece of art or music may give you details for two
or more categories.
Write 1½ to 2 pages summarizing the results of your research.
Carefully explain which details in the art (or music) are related to which
Gospels. For clarity, label your four main paragraphs separately:
Matthew, Luke, James, Other.
Always give explicit references (cite chapter & verse numbers), not
only when you quote, but even when you refer to texts!
For an "A" grade, you obviously need to go beyond the minimum, i.e.
provide more that just four details (one in each category). But do not
go over two pages total, so keep your writing clear and succinct!
Append photocopies or print-outs of the artworks (or music pieces)
that you chose to use.
As usual, please also pay very careful attention to the quality
of your writing, even in short papers:
- Write in standard essay format (very brief introduction,
structured 4-part main body, very brief conclusion);
- Please proof-read your paper carefully and use a computer
- Please also follow the other "GENERAL
GUIDELINES" given for all our written exercises.