Analysis Paper Assignment

Flow Chart for Preparing the Paper

Last revised: 2/26/07

The following represents a sequence of study and research that needs to be followed in order for the Analysis Paper to achieve a maximum learning goal, and thus a better grade.
Flow Chart Request Scripture Passage
OT Classes --- NT Classes
Phase One: 
Translation Analysis
Phase Two: 
Commentary Analysis
Final Draft of Paper

*The Translation Analysis assignment [phase one] 

*The Commentary Research Analysis assignment [phase two]Click on to access a sample paper created using MS Word.-----Click on to access a sample paper created in html.\

*The Completed Paper
Activity to be completed:
  • Request and secure an assigned passage for the paper. 
  • Secure copies of a minimum of four modern translations (excluding the King James Version; it may only count as a fifth translation) representing the range of different approaches to translation method according to the guidelines set forth. You will be required to turn in a printed copy of these translations on the day of the first major exam. These translations can be secured online by clicking on  and following the instructions for bringing up a passage of scripture via a specified translation.
  • The best format for doing the study below is to set up a computer document with a column for each translation so that the translations can be studied side by side, along the lines of the example comparing the triple tradition account of the temptation of Jesus. Set the 4 columns up with the category 1 translation(s) on the left, category 2 translation(s) in the center, and category 3 translation(s) on the right; this is very important and will make the analysis easier and more accurate.
  • Identify the sentences for the entire passage in each of the translations. Using the sentence division in the category 1 translation(s) as the basis, specify the number of rows according to the number of sentences, plus one for the Heading row. For example, if your scripture passage in the category 1 translation has 6 sentences, then you would specify 7 rows and 4 columns in the table in your document file. Most likely, the category 3 translation(s) will have many more than 6 sentences; place the multiple sentences that relate to each category 1 translation sentence in the same row.
  • Compare the wording of each parallel sentence in the translations, making notes on similarities and differences among the translations.
  • List questions arising from your translation comparison along two lines:
    1. Questions over differences of wording in the translations
    2. Questions reflecting key ideas developed in each sentence of the scripture text.
  • List the translations used in the Translations subdivision of the SOURCES CITED, using the correct Turabian format.
  • Identify the marginal readings of words, phrases, clauses and sentences in the footnotes of the translations. For an explanation of the footnote system in the New Revised Standard Version see the New Oxford Annotated Bible, pp. xvii-xx. These reflect the different wording of the underlying biblical language manuscripts as they have been identified through the procedure of textual criticism. Check commentary discussions of these variant readings of the biblical text and develop an argument for the most likely original reading of the biblical text. 
  • Identify the literary genre of your biblical passage. From commentaries and Bible dictionaries study the nature and implications of this literary form for interpreting your biblical passage. This will become a part of the second section of the Introduction of your paper.
  • Analyze the thought structure of your biblical passage. Use paragraph divisions from the translations, commentary discussion etc. to determine the major divisions of thought. Your conclusions here will form the basis of your outline of the passage, which in turn will be the structure of the body of your paper. Write out a tentative one level outline of the passage using simple, complete sentence headings (no phrase or key word headings!).
  • Identify a possible key theme of the passage. Use a Bible concordance to trace out key words in your passage in order to see how this central theme of your passage is developed elsewhere in scripture.
  • Identify the interpretative issues present in your biblical text from your study of translation differences and checking of commentary discussions. Draw a conclusion regarding the preferable understanding of each issue.
  • Note the time and place references found in your biblical passage. Using Bible dictionaries identify all personal names and geographical references found in the passage.
  • Identify the external history issues related to your passage. This will become the first part of the Introduction of your paper.
  • Identify the literary setting of your passage in the biblical document in which it occurs. This will become the second part of the Introduction of your paper.
  • Write out a rough draft of your paper in the following sequence: (1) title page, (2) body, (3) introduction, (4) conclusion, (5) sources cited.
  • Verify from the Evaluation Key chart that you have included everything required in the paper.
  • After setting the project aside for a couple of days begin doing needed revisions to put the paper in correct form.
  • Do final polish work on the paper to get it ready to turn in.
  • Turn in the paper at Dr. Cranford's office (LND 232) by 5:00 pm on Friday of week 15 (week 5 of summer terms).
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