Compare the following biblical passages that contain eucharistic overtones and/or describe celebrations of the Eucharist: (a) The Feeding of the Five Thousand (Luke 9:10-17) (b) The Last Supper (Mark 14:22-25; Matthew 26:26-29; Luke 22:14-20) (c) The Appearance on the Road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-36) What kinds of meals do these events seem to describe (e.g., […]

“Why be martyrs? For God? To be heroes? To prove we’re the best?” The monks must decide whether to leave their monastery (to guarantee their safety) or stay in their community in solidarity with the people they serve.  How do the monks’ values and experiences shape the options they explore and their ultimate decision to […]

Identify and briefly explain what you think are the strongest two or three arguments in support of your team’s assigned debate position.  (Draw on arguments from Scripture and/or theological reasoning–especially as found in the writings of Arius or Athanasius–to support your position.) The main questions formed at the Council of Nicea were, “Is Jesus fully human?  Is Jesus […]

Pick ONE of these ancient accounts of martyrdom and analyze how the martyr(s) in the story imitate(s) Christ’s Passion, citing specific examples from the text to support your answer.  How does the martyr view his/her impending death?  How might the example of the martyr’s courage, calm—and even joy—in the face of death have encouraged and […]

What do you learn about the leadership of the early Church from the Didache?  What problems does this particular church seem to be facing, and how does it deal with them?  How effective do you think these strategies might have been in real life, and what changes might have been necessary to promote and maintain […]

The earliest manuscripts of the Gospel of Mark end with Mark 16:1-8.  (Most biblical scholars think that the material in Mark 16:9-20 was added by a later editor.)  If Mark 16:1-8 is read in isolation, what is not described in Mark’s account that is found in the resurrection narratives of Matthew, Luke, and John?  Why […]

Choose one event from the Passion narrative that is described by both Mark and John, comparing and contrasting Mark’s version and John’s version of this event.  How might the differences reflect the authors’ characteristic portrayals of the person of Jesus?  Possible points for analysis include: Jesus’ last meal with his disciples (Mark 14:17-31 / John 13:1-38) […]