Archive for January 16th, 2011

Paul: A Pre- and Post-Test

Sunday, January 16th, 2011

Just for fun, I started the semester with some version of the following true/false “pre-test” in my courses on Paul’s letters and theology, one in the (Catholic) seminary and the other in the Ecumenical Institute of Theology. Although I do not give final exams in either course, after a semester of study, it could make for an interesting essay or take-home exam. Each question is meant to be a bit of a trick question, or at least to have a twist or two.

1. Paul was a Christian.

2. Paul was a Jew.

3. Paul was converted after falling off a horse on the road to Damascus.

4. Saul changed his name to Paul after his conversion.

5. Paul wrote Romans.

6. Paul wrote Ephesians.

7. Paul wrote Hebrews.

8. Catholics like Jesus, but Protestants like Paul.

9. Paul was a misogynist.

10. The center of Paul’s thought, and his abiding contribution to Christian theology, is the doctrine of justification by faith.

Each question provoked a few minutes of give and take that made the “obvious” answers look  simplistic and the questions appear–rightly–more complicated than they seem at first.