Students will write an essay on a chosen passage and how it is relevant to their

Students will write an essay on a chosen passage and how it is relevant to their life
This essay will examine a particular teaching or prophecy from the Old Testament. Students should choose a relevant passage to their life, research some outside sources to decide if the meaning of the passage is influenced by the culture in which it was written, and figure out what that passage is asking them to do.
For this assignment, students will write an essay focused on one of the following passages:
The story of Gideon leading Israel to war against the Midianites in Judges 6:1-7:25
The story of King Saul only obeying part of God’s commands in 1 Samuel 13:1-14
The story of the Assyrian commander threatening Israel’s capital city in Isaiah 36:1-37:38
The story of Isaiah prophesying the day of the Lord’s favor in Isaiah 61:1-11
The story of Jeremiah purchasing a field even though he knows the country will be overrun by Babylonian armies in Jeremiah 32:1-44
The story of Ezekiel’s call to be a watchman in Ezekiel 33:1-20
The reminder to God’s people that humans reap what they sow in Hosea 10:11-15
Some of these passages are hard to understand because many characters’ actions or words were logical within their own cultures but may not make sense in other cultures. Once the passage is chosen, students should conduct additional research with outside reading. Students should use scholarly websites or books that discuss this chosen passage and read the information about it. Then, find out if these characters’ strange actions or words are essential in that cultural context. The actions of characters may make better sense in light of the bigger story.
When reading the outside scholarly resources, students should look for:
hints about the literary context that references earlier and later parts of the story;
the importance of the people or places that are mentioned;
whether or not any of these characters have previous relationships;
whether they were on good or bad terms with each other;
the last thing that happened to each of the characters before this story began;
whether or not those events affect that character’s mood or shape their thoughts;
what days or dates are mentioned;
whether or not those days hold any significance.
Understanding the literary context will help promote understanding of why characters use particular words or actions in the story that is being written about.
After reading at least five outside sources to gain an understanding of the passage, students should:
apply it to their own life;
consider what the Old Testament is asking them to do;
consider what part of this teaching challenges them;
consider what parts of their life would change and how they were to follow this Old Testament teaching.
Students will then write an essay that discusses the passage, its cultural and literary context, and its application to their life.
This essay needs to be between 1,000 and 1,500 words long and should be formatted according to the Chicago Manual of Style. This means that any references to specific Bible verses, books, or websites should be in Chicago-style footnotes. Furthermore, the essay needs to be professional, with no misspellings or grammatical errors. The first part of the essay should also not include any first- or second-person pronouns. The personal application paragraph, however, may include first- and second-person pronouns.
The essay will need to include three major pieces. Students should:
cite or quote at least three specific verses from the chosen passage when discussing the passage’s important aspects;
reference and cite at least five outside resources that were used for personal study;
have at least one paragraph about how this passage could be applied to their personal life. It must be specific (“I need to have faith that God will take care of me, even during my divorce”) and not merely a general statement (“I need more faith”) or two.
Students should NOT put their name on the document. The assignment will be anonymously graded.
Students should label their paragraphs by placing the paragraph numbers in brackets at the beginning of the paragraph like this:
Date the paper is submitted (month day, year)
Composition Title
[1] This is the first line of the first paragraph. It should be indented. Subsequent lines are
not indented, but the first line of any subsequent paragraph is indented.
[2] At the beginning of paragraph two, this should be indented as the first sentence to the
paragraph. Subsequent lines are not indented.

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