Chapter 17: The New Testament UNDERSTANDING THE SCRIPTURES
1. The Organization of the New Testament (pp. 306-307) ANTICIPATORY SET If there was no New Testament, What familiar Old Testament stories would become tragedies? What Old Testament promises would be unfulfilled?
1. The Organization of the New Testament (pp. 306-307) BASIC QUESTIONS What is the relationship between the Old and New Testaments? How are the Old Testament and the New similarly organized? Where is the New Law found? KEY IDEAS The New Testament does not replace the Old but fulfills it. The New Testament is organized like the Old Testament: law, history, wisdom, and prophecy. The Gospels are the New Law; each tells the same story from a different point of view; the first three are similar and called synoptic; all four reveal who Christ is and what he did.
1. The Organization of the New Testament (pp. 306-307) GUIDED EXERCISE A focused reading of Jeremiah’s prophecy (31:31-34) based on the following question: What essential feature of the New Covenant did Jeremiah foresee?
1. The Organization of the New Testament (pp. 306-307) FOCUS QUESTIONS What is the essential relationship between the Old and New Testaments? The New Testament does not replace but fulfills the Old. What would the Old Testament be without the New Testament? It would be a collection of tragic stories and unfulfilled promises. What is the Old Testament in light of the New? It is the story of the gradual unfolding of God’s plan of salvation, which reaches its climax in the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Christ.
1. The Organization of the New Testament (pp. 306-307) FOCUS QUESTIONS What is an Evangelist? Literally, messenger of good news; an Evangelist is the Sacred Author of one of the Gospels. Extension: The word comes from the Latin evangelium, meaning good tidings. What does synoptic mean? Synoptic is from the Greek for see together. The Gospels of Sts. Matthew, Mark, and Luke all view Christ from a similar perspective. Why are the synoptic Gospels so similar? Scholars speculate Sts. Matthew and Luke may have used St. Mark’s Gospel as a source and they may have had an additional collection of Christ’s sayings. What does each Gospel reveal? Each tells us who Christ is and what he did and said.
1. The Organization of the New Testament (pp. 306-307) GUIDED EXERCISE The Catechism, no. 1964 (p. 306), is an important but difficult statement about the relationship between the Old and New Testaments. Complete a paragraph shrink to understand its meaning.
1. The Organization of the New Testament (pp. 306-307) GRAPHIC ORGANIZER Complete the table to compare the four types of books in each Testament.
1. The Organization of the New Testament (pp. 306-307) CLOSURE Using the Graphic Organizer above, write a well‑organized paragraph comparing the two Covenants.
1. The Organization of the New Testament (pp. 306-307) HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT Study Questions 1-5 (p. 317) Workbook Questions 1-4 Read “The New Law: The Four Gospels” through “John” (pp. 307-311)
1. The Organization of the New Testament (pp. 306-307) ALTERNATIVE ASSESSMENT To help understand the parallels among the synoptic Gospels: read the Parable of the Sower in each synoptic Gospel (Mk 4:1–20, Mt 13:1–23; Lk 8:1–15); and write a paragraph explaining how the parable is the same in each Gospel, as well as the differences.
2. The Gospels (pp. 307-311) ANTICIPATORY SET Read the prologue to St. Luke’s Gospel (1:1-4). The name Theophilus, the person St. Luke addresses, means lover of God. In a literal sense, St. Luke likely addressed his Gospel to a person of this name; in a spiritual sense, he addressed it to anyone who loves God.
2. The Gospels (pp. 307-311) BASIC QUESTION What are the basic features of the Gospels of Sts. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John? KEY IDEAS 1. St. Matthew, writing to Jewish Christians, showed Christ is the heir to David’s kingdom. 2. Drawing on his close relationship with St. Peter, St. Mark wrote his Gospel for Roman Christians to show Christ is the leader of a New Exodus. 3. St. Luke may have benefited from knowing the Mother of Christ when composing his Gospel for Gentile Christians. 4. The Gospel of St. John was written for Jewish Christians and emphasized Christ is the incarnate Word of God.
2. The Gospels (pp. 307-311) FOCUS QUESTIONS Who was the Sacred Author of St. Matthew’s Gospel? This Gospel was written by the Apostle St. Matthew, also called Levi, who was a tax collector before having been called by Christ. Who was St. Matthew’s primary audience, and how did he write for them? His Gospel was written primarily for Christians who had been Jews; therefore, he showed how Christ fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies concerning the Messiah. St. Matthew often quotes extensively from Christ, letting him “speak for himself.” What is the primary example of this? The Sermon on the Mount comprises three chapters of Christ’s words without any interruption from St. Matthew as the narrator.
2. The Gospels (pp. 307-311) FOCUS QUESTIONS What was the relationship between Sts. Peter and Mark? Sts. Peter and Mark had a kind of father‑son relationship. St. Mark followed St. Peter to Rome to assist him. Who comprised St. Mark’s primary audience? He probably wrote to Gentile Christians in Rome. What scholarly theory underlies St. Mark’s composition? Some scholars think it is the earliest written. Some also think Sts. Matthew and Luke used his as a source for their own Gospels.
2. The Gospels (pp. 307-311) FOCUS QUESTIONS What seems to have been St. Mark’s main interest? St. Mark emphasized what Christ did rather than what he said. Why did St. Mark include the unique incident of the naked young man in his Gospel? Most scholars believe it is a reference to St. Mark himself, which would give him eyewitness credibility to those events. Why is it relatively easy to read St. Mark in one sitting? It is the shortest Gospel and reads quickly. Extension: A number of actors have memorized this Gospel and perform it in one-man shows.
2. The Gospels (pp. 307-311) FOCUS QUESTIONS With which Apostle was St. Luke closely associated? He traveled with St. Paul, who called him the beloved physician. What is known about St. Luke as a writer? He was well educated and had mastered the literary techniques of the best writers of the day. Extension: The prologue to his Gospel is an example of his skill. Who was St. Luke’s primary audience, and how did he write for them? He wrote for Christians who had been Gentiles, so he emphasized Christ’s ministry to all peoples.
2. The Gospels (pp. 307-311) FOCUS QUESTIONS How did St. Luke get information about the early years of Christ’s life? He likely received it directly from the B. V. Mary, his Mother. What did St. Luke reveal about the Blessed Virgin Mary’s life of prayer? She reflected on her experiences with Christ, “ponder[ing] them in her heart.” According to the Catechism, no. 2600, what did St. Luke reveal about Christ’s life of prayer? He prayed before every major event of his mission.
2. The Gospels (pp. 307-311) GRAPHIC ORGANIZER Complete the following table about probable reasons St. Luke wrote his Gospel.
2. The Gospels (pp. 307-311) FOCUS QUESTIONS Who wrote the Gospel of St. John? The Apostle Christ loved, St. John, wrote it. When was St. John’s Gospel written? He lived to an advanced age; it was written about AD 90-95. Why may St. John’s Gospel have been written for Jewish Christians? His Gospel has allusions to events in the Old Testament and symbols Jewish readers would have understood.
2. The Gospels (pp. 307-311) GRAPHIC ORGANIZER Complete the following table on the audience and aim of each Evangelist.
2. The Gospels (pp. 307-311) CLOSURE Use the Graphic Organizer above to write a well‑organized paragraph about the Evangelists’ aims.
2. The Gospels (pp. 307-311) HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT Study Questions 6–16 (p. 317) Practical Exercise 1 (p. 317) Workbook Questions 5–24 Read “History: The Acts of the Apostles” through “Prophecy: The Revelation” (pp. 312-314)
2. The Gospels (pp. 307-311) ALTERNATIVE ASSESSMENT Show a clip from a filmed life of Christ, perhaps from the Sermon on the Mount, especially if this passage was used to compare the synoptic Gospels.
3. History, Wisdom, and Prophecy (pp. 312-314) ANTICIPATORY SET Read the prologue to the Acts of the Apostles (1:1-5), and then discuss the following question: How is the prologue of the Acts of the Apostles similar to the prologue to St. Luke’s Gospel?
3. History, Wisdom, and Prophecy (pp. 312-314) BASIC QUESTIONS What is the Acts of the Apostles? What is the purpose of the Epistles? What is the message of the Book of Revelation? KEY IDEAS St. Luke followed his Gospel with the Acts of the Apostles, an extraordinarily accurate history of the primitive Church, some of which he witnessed firsthand. The Epistles—the wisdom literature of the New Testament—addressed problems the primitive Church faced by those living holy lives in a secular environment. The Book of Revelation promises the final fulfillment of the New Covenant.
3. History, Wisdom, and Prophecy (pp. 312-314) FOCUS QUESTIONS Why did St. Luke write the Acts of the Apostles? It is a sequel to his Gospel. What have archaeologists and historians confirmed about the Acts of the Apostles? Every detail of St. Luke’s narrative that can be verified has turned out to be exactly correct. This shows him to be an extraordinarily careful historian. Why does the narration in the Acts of the Apostles switch from they to we? The shift in pronoun indicates St. Luke began to travel with the Apostles.
3. History, Wisdom, and Prophecy (pp. 312-314) FOCUS QUESTIONS Who wrote most of the Epistles? St. Paul wrote most of them. Who was St. Paul? He was an intelligent, educated Roman citizen, Jewish by birth, who had a thorough education in the Scriptures and Greek philosophy. How are the Epistles of St. Paul arranged? They are arranged generally from longest to shortest, not chronologically.
3. History, Wisdom, and Prophecy (pp. 312-314) FOCUS QUESTIONS What is the purpose of the Epistle to Philemon? St. Paul wrote to ask a convert, Philemon, to receive his runaway slave, Onesimos, as a brother Christian. What is the importance of the Epistle to the Hebrews? It shows how the Old Testament was fulfilled in the life of Christ. What are the Catholic Epistles? They are letters written to the whole Church rather than to a particular church or person.
3. History, Wisdom, and Prophecy (pp. 312-314) GUIDED EXERCISE A think / pair / share using the following question: What is the overall purpose of the Epistles? GUIDED EXERCISE A paragraph shrink on the paragraph “The Revelation, traditionally...” (p. 314). GUIDED EXERCISE A focused reading of Revelation 21:1-8 using the following question: In this vision of the climax of history, what is the promise and the warning?
3. History, Wisdom, and Prophecy (pp. 312-314) CLOSURE Write a paragraph about the purpose of the Acts of the Apostles, the Epistles, and Revelation.
3. History, Wisdom, and Prophecy (pp. 312-314) HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT Study Questions 17-21 (p. 317) Practical Exercises 2-3 (p. 317) Workbook Questions 25-31
3. History, Wisdom, and Prophecy (pp. 312-314) ALTERNATIVE ASSESSMENT Read the excerpt from St. Jerome Against Jovinian(p. 315) and then identify the four Evangelists’ symbols in the illustrations on pages 314-316.