Luke 1:26-56 and 2:1-20—the birth narrative.

Length of biblical text: Your Analysis should not focus on more than one or two biblicalchapters if narrative; if the story of your analysis crosses more than one or two biblical chapters, simply allude to the elements in the other chapters in the Intertextual section (however, do not neglect to include in the Intertextual section comparisons with other texts we’ve studied, besidesthis story!). If you choose a psalm or prophetic oracle or parable in the New Testament, you will need to do two Psalms, two oracles, or three parables to amount to enough material.

Outside sources: Also in the final paper, you will integrate outside references/library sources (at least one commentary required and journal articles), either using the citation in parentheses format within the body of your paper (author, page #), or footnote format, using MLA style. You will need to add a final Works Cited page (not to be counted as part of the paper’s 10 double- spaced pages). In order to qualify to earn an A on the final paper, it must include at least threeoutside academic sources (commentaries and/or journal articles; not websources; the only online sources for counting the 3 are pdfs found online of academic journal articles). Use your outside sources for relevant information on analyzing this text, i.e, how a scholar analyzes or interprets or gives information on a particular verse, verses, or a scene, or poetic text, about the historical context, or overall interpretation of the text. See the recommended bibliography attached here and on the BB page for possible sources (please use from these listed as they are most recognized by the scholarly community; these obviously are not all the good academic sources,however, so if you see or know of one you’d like to use, run it by me so I can make sure it is arecognized, reliable academic source). Further, searching for journal articles on biblical sources always goes through the ATLA database on religion on our library homepage; see directions on how to use this on my recommended bibliography handout.

Contemporary relevance section. Also, please spend the last one or two pages of your paper addressing how this biblical text, in your view, relates to any contemporary cultural, social, or religious issues. For this contemporary relevance part, you do not need to research this, but youmay (though not required) include references or statistics that illuminate the contemporary issue by using reliable, factual website sources [these source(s) not to be included in the 3 required].

Paper organization. Make sure your paper opens with a solid Introductory paragraph that deals with the kind of historical information related to your biblical text that we’ve considered during the semester (ie, the historical questions asked at the top of your charts). This should address the context, the date of the setting of the narrative or oracle, as well as the date a consensus of scholars suggest when the text may have been written down (these dates may be of a particular century, or more specific years). This info you will find in your textbook, or in the introductionto the biblical book in the Study Bible, in its footnotes, or in one of the biblical commentary’s

opening sections on ‘historical background.’ It is also a good idea to give a paragraph as part ofthe Introduction to your paper that quickly summarizes in a nutshell what happens in the text your are analyzing.

Then the major body of your paper should go through discussing what you found in the usual elements of critical analysis from your chart, depending on whether it is a poetic or a narrative text (characterization, repetition, cultural issues, irony, intertextuality, theology), or for poetic oracles, use a different poetic analysis chart, which I will give you; it essentially looks for things like genre, metaphors, theology, etc). Spend as many paragraphs as is necessary to be thorough on each element. After your Introductory paragraph(s), you may organize your paper to address each of the above by going through them one by one, or you may follow the flow of the narrative or poem addessing all the above as you go. But if you take the latter organizational approach, be careful not to fall into simply re-telling the story(!) and be very thorough in including all elements.

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