The Four Gospels. Overview. A modern publisher would say ‘you’re fired’ to all four evangelists. The Gospels are not like modern biographies. They’re about the ‘good news’ of Jesus Ministry. The fragment beside is taken from his Letter to the Ephesians Ephesus – modern day Turkey.
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A modern publisher would say ‘you’re fired’ to all four evangelists.
The Gospels are not like modern biographies.
They’re about the ‘good news’ of Jesus Ministry.
The fragment beside is taken from his four evangelists.Letter to the Ephesians
Ephesus – modern day Turkey
St Paul’s letters are among the earliest
Particularly his Letters to the Thessalonians
C. 50 ADThe earliest NT writings
Fragment of St Matthew four evangelists.’s Gospel
Fragment of St Luke’s GospelFour Canonical Gospels
Fragment of St Johns’s Gospel
The fragment is of the so-called four evangelists.‘gospel of Thomas’
Simon Peter said to them: Let Mary go forth from among us, for women are not worthy of the life. Jesus said: Behold, I shall lead her, that I may make her male, in order that she also may become a living spirit like you males. For every woman who makes herself male shall enter into the kingdom of heaven.
This fragment is from so-called ‘sayings of Jesus’
Egyptian papyriApocryphal Writings
Canonical four evangelists. = according to the rule of the Church
This means that they are accepted as authentic
Divinely inspired and therefore accepted as part of Holy Scripture
Apocryphal = not approved by the rule of the Church
This means that they are not accepted as wholly authentic
Not accepted as part of Holy ScriptureTerminology
Christians accept the Torah, Wisdom, History and Prophecy of the OT as canonical
Inspiration according to four evangelists.Islamic understanding
Muhammad’s receiving of the Qu’ran
Grace sidesteps nature?
Inspiration according to Judeo-Christian understanding
The various author’s talents, abilities and even limitations are engaged
Grace builds on natureInspiration – 2 understandings
Process by which the gospels came about four evangelists.…
Christian oral tradition
Use of written records now lost
Comparison of the above to correct distortionsGospel formation
St. Matthew's Gospel four evangelists.
The Apostle Matthew (Levi)
For people who were Jewish converts to Christianity.
Jesus' Jewish background and Jewish customs are explained.
Many quotations from the Jewish Scriptures to show that Jesus was the fulfilment of God's promise to the Jews about the Messiah.Evangelists: St Matthew
St. Mark's Gospel four evangelists.
Concentrates on the last week before Jesus died.
Shows how Jesus accepted suffering and won final victory.
To encourage the Church in Rome which was suffering persecution.
Message was to keep faith in Jesus in spite of troubles.Evangelists: St Mark
St. Luke's Gospel four evangelists.
Gentile writer for a Gentile church.
Includes many stories to show that Jesus is the saviour of the whole world.
Shows how Jesus had time for the outsider, for people in society who were normally on the margins - women, the poor, foreigners, the sick and sinners.Evangelists: St Luke
St. John's Gospel four evangelists.
The Apostle John
Many differences between St. John's Gospel and the other three.
Only Gospel in which Jesus openly claims to be the Messiah.
‘I am the Light of the World’, ‘I am the Bread of Life’ are in this Gospel.
This Gospel has a very ‘spiritual’ feel.Evangelists: St John
Christian oral tradition
Mark's gospel - 676 verses (16 chapters)
Memories of Peter
Stories from first disciples
Written in Rome about A.D. 65
Luke's gospel - 1149 verses (24 chapters)
about 350 verses from Mark
about 600 verses from sources known to Luke
about 250 verses from a source known to
Luke and Matthew
Written in Syria (?) about A.D. 70-80?
Matthew's gospel - 1068 verses (28 chapters)
about 600 verses from Mark
about 218 from sources known to Matthew
about 250 verses from a source known to Luke and Matthew
Written in Antioch (?) about A.D. 70-80?
The Synoptic Gospels are about a mysterious reality four evangelists.…
The Kingdom of God
The Reign of Darkness is on the way out
The miracles and the parables ‘unpack’ this reality for the people
Many of the parables of Jesus begin with:
‘The Kingdom of God (Heaven) is like this …’Kingdom of God
For the ordinary people, miracles show evil (sickness, death) being defeated
The back-up the claim the Jesus is the Messiah
Exorcisms (driving out demons) was a dramatic sign of defeat of the Evil One
Very important ministry in the early ChurchWhy miracles?
Some miracles are death) being defeatedhealing miracles
…demonstrating the Messiah’s power over sickness, evil & death
Some miracles are called nature miracles
… demonstrating the Messiah’s power of natural processesTypes of Miracle
Parables explain the unfolding reality of God death) being defeated’s Kingdom using simple comparison stories
Parabolos = throw alongside
Simple, everyday stories were thrown alongside …
the mysterious reality of the Kingdom of God
To help make sense of this mysteryParables
Some parables are death) being defeatedallegorical
An allegory is a ‘coded message’ that relates through the code to reality
E.g. Parable of the Sower
Some parables are eschatological
This means they talk about the ‘end times’
E.g. The Parable of the Last JudgementParables continued …
St Luke’s G
St Matthew’s G
St Mark’s G
The Synoptic Gospels …
Are mainly about the Kingdom of God/Heaven
A mysterious reality unpacked through …
Kingdom of God
Christian oral tradition
Jesus was opposed by death) being defeated‘the religious authorities’
Their main objections were about
Interpretation of the law especially about the Sabbath and work
Mixing with ‘outcasts’ (sinners, tax collectors, pagans, etc.)
Suspicions of blasphemy
Behaviour in TempleOpposition
Some points of agreement with Jesus
Not ‘full-time’ religious – had jobs
Clear differences, too
Very strict Jews – fasted twice a week, prayed regularly etc.
Ordinary Jews respected them
Some belonged to the Pharisee party
Literally means ‘writer’
A.k.a. ‘lawyers’ or ‘teachers of the law’
Made copies of the sacred Torah
Debated finer points of law – prone to legalism
Gradually came to be seen as experts in the Jewish Law
High Priest, chief priests were Sadducees
Wealthy priests who controlled the Jewish Temple
Doctrinal differences with Pharisees
Were on reasonably good terms with the Romans
Jesus clearing of the Temple a direct challenge to them
Not that well liked by many ordinary Jews
These were also known as ‘publicans’
Sometimes worked on the Sabbath
They were seen as collaborators
Levi/Matthew & Zacchaeus
They were outcasts from respectable Jewish society
They earned their money by overcharging
These were freedom fighters or terrorists, depending on whose side you were on
Simon the Zealot
Believed pagan Romans had to be driven out of the land, by force if necessary
Their motives were religious
Masada – the Zealots’ last stand
Herod the Great
Blood of the Lamb
Canaan via Red Sea
Eternal Life via Baptism
Blood of Jesus, the Lamb of God
Various witnesses whose stories couldn’t agree
Mood to find guilty rather than give fair trial
A hasty gathering of the Sanhedrin
Torah ruled that false witnesses should receive the punishment of the accused
Jesus’ ‘I am’ secures the blasphemy charge
High Priest asks whether Jesus is the Messiah
They put it to him that Jesus was an unauthorised king
In this way a blasphemy charge could be switched to treason
Pilate had already been primed by the Chief Priests
Jesus is condemned to be crucified – but is first scourged, mocked and crowned with thorns
Pilate’s not convinced, he offers the people a deal
The people go for Barabbas
Crown of Thorns
Replica made using local thorny shrubs
Might have been a ‘cap’
Small handle with leather or rope strands
Bits of metal or sharp bone tied in the strands
Joseph of Arimathaea
Central doctrine of Christianity death) being defeated
Without it, Christianity is worthless, St Paul wrote
Easter is the greatest feast of the Church
Every Sunday = mini-Easter
All the gospels are clear on the fact of the bodily resurrection
Although none except St Matthew’s give us any clue as to how it happenedResurrection
St Mark death) being defeated’s Gospel gives clues
First, the death must be real
Abuse, scourging, etc.
Simon of Cyrene
Pilate’s astonishment at early death
Details about the burial provide further clues …
No signs of life during deposition
Large stone to cover the entranceEvidence …
St Mark tells us that women watched the whole thing death) being defeated
Mary Magdalene, another Mary and Salome
St John tells us that Jesus’ mother Mary was by the cross
St Mark tells us that the women took note of where he had been buried (cf. 15:47)
They needed to return to anoint the body after the Sabbath
On that Sunday dawn they were worried about who would remove the stoneWitnesses …
The stone had been rolled back death) being defeated
They saw a young man ‘dressed in white’– angelic presence
Tells them of the news of Jesus’ resurrection
St Mark tells us that the women ran away terrified
St Matthew tells of how Jesus spoke to them
St John gives details of two visits to the empty tombWhat they saw …
Psychological state of the Eleven death) being defeated
Fear & disbelief
St Mark tells us that the risen Jesus told them off about this
St Mark (epilogue) tells us of the bodily Ascension of Jesus
Love is stronger than death
Preparation for the Descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost
Church = Christ’s bodily presence on earthOther evidence