Textual Analysis Paper
Each student will write a 5-7 page paper offering comparative textual analysis on two out of these
three texts: (1) The Gospel of Mark (or one of the other canonical gospels), (2) Athanasius, On the
Incarnation (excerpts), and (3) either the Gospel of Thomas or the Gospel of Peter. Here are some
guiding questions for your argument: What is this text’s presentation of Jesus? Who is this text trying to make Jesus out to be? Where does each text place theological emphasis; what does each text seem 6 of 8 to regard as theologically unimportant? What literary and argumentative techniques are employed to depict Jesus and what is their effect? What are the most important differences between the two texts
that you have selected?
In a paper of this length, it is wise to focus your comparative analysis on some narrower aspect of the
texts rather than the text as a whole. Students are encouraged to focus on a narrower topic or theme
that is of interest to them. Please come by office hours if you would like help coming up with a
theme for your paper.
In doing research for this paper, students should read (and cite) at least one scholarly secondary
source for each of the primary texts that they analyze. An excellent analysis/argument will likely
require more than one secondary source per text.