We live in an increasingly diverse and multi-cultural world. Once, one rarely encountered anyone who did not know who the Apostle Paul was and, indeed, did not already possess considerable information about him. That is not as true today. What we know, or think we know, about the Apostle Paul derives from many different sources: what we learned in church, what we have read in the New Testament, what the popular culture says about him, and so forth. All of this information gets folded into our contemporary understanding of Paul. As a backdrop for our serious inquiry into Paul, Apostle of Jesus Christ, it is important to have a clear and self-conscious portrait of who we understand Paul to be now, before we begin our serious study of Paul in the primary sources, Luke’s Acts of the Apostles and Paul’s own writings. Following a serious study of Paul in the primary sources, we might discover that our portrait of him has changed, or not. Either way, our current portrait of Paul becomes a “benchmark” of sorts for the study ahead.
Imagine you are a reporter for your local television affiliate reporting for the 6 o’clock news. Using your cell phone, tablet, or camera-equipped computer, video yourself doing a “field report” on “The Apostle Paul” to a television audience that is hearing about him for the first time through your report. Set the video in your time (today), not in the first century. You can shoot the video either “in the studio” (your home or office, etc.) or “in the field” (with a church for a backdrop, for example). Include in your report what you consider to be the irreducible minimum of information your television audience must know about Paul in order to know who he was. You decide what that is. Keep in mind that you are describing Paul as you currently understand him. This is not a “research project” on the Apostle Paul. Because you only have three (3) minutes in which to capture Paul for your audience, you may wish to compose a short script to memorize or a set of bullet points from which to work, as television reporters do.
Note: If there are compelling reasons why the student cannot complete the assignment as described, contact the instructor and they will provide an alternative method for you to complete the assignment.
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