The “Secret” Sayings of Jesus
Discussion Forum Instructions and Guidelines
Instructions for writing your post
1. Review all of the resources that have been posted for the section.
2. Post your writing by the deadline.
Word count: Minimum of 350 for original post
3. Post your response to TWO classmates by the deadline.
Word count: 50 – 75 each response
[Note: You can access a very helpful grading rubric by clicking the gear icon in the upper right corner of the Discussion Forum page. The rubric breaks the assignment down into points possible for each section.]
Guidelines for formatting your post
You do not need to use a formal essay format. However, you DO need to do the following:
1. Use your best writing skills: complete sentences, appropriate punctuation, etc. Proofread before posting!!
2. Break up your writing into paragraphs to make it easier for others to read – especially me! 🙂
3. Include a couple of well-chosen quotes from the resources to support your writing. However, do not overload your writing with quotes!
[Note: NO works cited page is necessary, but please give me a one or two word clue as to which resource you are quoting. Example: (Human Journey) or (Frontline; then the first two words of the title of the article. Example: (Frontline: Jesus Was)].
4. Be specific with your writing! Don’t use generalizations like “Jesus was a great guy.” “He was born in Bethlehem.” “His mom’s name was Mary.” Get right to the writing prompt right away.
5. In your responses to classmates: Don’t just simply agree with everything they say. Ask questions, add something more to their ideas, or (respectfully) explain how your ideas are different than theirs.
Please summarize your understanding and your feelings about the interpretations contained in the video called “The Lost Gospel of Thomas: Unknown Teachings of Yeshua” (listed as #3 on our list of resources for this section). The teachings in the “secret” gospels can be very difficult to understand (as you will see when you read through them in your textbook), but this video explains a bit more clearly what these teachings might be saying. (Hint: It will greatly improve your ability to understand the video and your overall understanding of these kinds of teachings if you go through the other resources before watching the video.)
NOTE: It will not help your grade in the slightest if you simply reject the gospels not contained in the Bible based on your beliefs. If you wish to reject them, that is absolutely fine, but you must do it based on information found in the scholarly resources. Remember that Jesus said in all four New Testament Gospels that he gave secret teachings to his followers, and these gnostic gospels have been authenticated to the time and place of his early followers. While the orthodox church did not approve of these texts – based on the church’s own understanding and agenda – many of Jesus’ followers found them to be very meaningful and closer to their own understanding of his teachings.
As always, please include direct quotes and/or references to the video if you wish to receive a higher grade.