THE STORY OF JESUS:A SINGLE ACCOUNT IN THE WORDS OF THE GOSPELS
The Gospel of Mark is remarkably different from that of Matthew. A survey of the information in this book reveals that it is for a non-Jewish audience. The writer has to explain Hebrew traditions Mk. The Latinisms within the book indicate that he was writing for Roman readers see Mk. This, of course, explains why Mark does not appeal to the Old Testament as profusely only nineteen times as did Matthew. His narrative was likely written to encourage Christians in Rome who were feeling the effects of tribulation for the cause of Christ. He mentions persecution as the cost of discipleship at a point where both Matthew and Luke, in parallel contexts, refrained from using that term Mk.
Whereas Matthew emphasized the words of the Lord, Mark, while recording only one major sermon Mk. Mark is a strong advocate of the fact that Jesus is the Son of God. To that end, he records the testimony of God Mk. Luke is the solitary Gentile writer of the Bible, yet his dual books of the Gospel of Luke and the book of Acts constitute about one-fourth of the New Testament.
By training he was a physician Col.
As with the Gospel of Mark, it is clear that Luke is writing for non-Hebrew recipients. This is a treatise designed to reach the Greeks with the message of Jesus Christ. The Greeks were preoccupied with a consideration of man. It is not without purpose, therefore, that Luke focuses upon Christ as the perfect example of humanity.
John, the son of Zebedee and brother of James Mk. John was a part of that inner circle of disciples Mk. Of all the apostles, he was closest to the Lord Jn. This inspired record is in a class by itself. It is designed to appeal to all ethnic groups. Its basic purpose is to offer the evidence of certain signs which prove that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, which facts lead to eternal life Jn. In presenting his case for the divine nature of Jesus, John is very selective in the material he includes. Of the twenty-one chapters, containing verses, about thirty-six percent of the material seven chapters of verses involves only a twenty-four hour period.
Surely the abbreviated selectivity of one who was so close to his Lord is evidence of the fact that the Holy Spirit was guiding the production of the fourth Gospel. No New Testament book is stronger in arguing the case for the deity of Christ. Three examples of this theme will suffice:. The Jesus of history was such a unique person, mighty in word and miracles, that no one clean summary could do justice to this powerful, dangerous, and inspirational God man.
Thirdly, the truth is that Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John were written to different audiences. The point is that the historical Jesus was more than big enough to warrant these various approaches John , because he was, in fact, Christ the Lord.
Learn about Luke's amazing account of Jesus. | The Bible Project
Plato, Homer, Julius Caesar pales in comparison. BibleMesh aims to help people understand the big picture as well as important facts of the Bible. It utilizes an interactive quizzing tool that helps people remember what they have learned. This purpose is reflected throughout the Gospels, which are all about the twin themes of Jesus' identity and his work. For the Gospel writers, Jesus was the Messiah who came not only to heal and deliver, but also to suffer and die for people's sins.
- All 4 gospels focus on the story of Jesus;
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- The Crucifixion in the Bible's Gospels: Differences and Contradictions.
- Orchestrated Murder (Rapid Reads).
If it is important to realise, however, that while the Gospels are similar in purpose, there are some radical differences in content. Given the similarities in wording and order between the Synoptic Gospels, it is certain that there is some kind of literary link between them.
It is usually thought that Mark was the first Gospel to have been written, most likely in the late 60s of the first century AD, at the time of the Jewish war with Rome. It is unparalleled in its urgency, both in its breathless style and in its conviction that Christians were living in the end days, with the kingdom of God about to dawn.
Unlike Matthew and Luke, Mark does not even have time to include a birth narrative. Instead, he starts with a simple declaration that this is 'The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ.
It is worth thinking also about the word Christ. This is not Jesus' surname. In the Old Testament, it is the word used for both priests and kings who were anointed to their office just as David was anointed by Samuel as King of Israel ; it means someone specially appointed by God for a task. By the time that Jesus was on the scene, many Jews were expecting the ultimate Messiah, perhaps a priest, a king or even a military figure, one who was specially anointed by God to intervene decisively to change history.
While the Gospels clearly depict Jesus as having a special relationship with God, do they actually affirm what Christianity later explicitly affirmed, that Jesus is God incarnate, God become flesh? The evidence points in different directions. Mark, the earliest of the four, certainly believes that Jesus is God's Son, but he also includes this extraordinary passage:. As he was setting out on a journey, a man ran up and knelt before him, and asked him, "Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?
No one is good but God alone. Jesus appears to be distancing himself from God; it is a passage that at least puts a question mark over the idea that Mark would have accepted the doctrine of the incarnation. But the Gospels differ on this point as they do on several others. John, usually thought to be the latest of the four, is the most forthright. He speaks of the role played by the "Word" in creating and sustaining the world in a passage echoing the very beginning of the Bible, in Genesis:.
He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people.
If John's Gospel provides the clearest indication of early Christian belief in the incarnation, it is at least clear that the other Gospels believe that in Jesus God is present with his people in a new and decisive way. Right at the beginning of Matthew's Gospel, before Jesus has been born, we are told:. All this took place to fulfil what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet: "Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel," which means, "God is with us. The Gospels narrate the story of how God's relationship with human beings manifested itself in Jesus' life and death.
These books are therefore not just about Jesus' identity who Jesus is but also about his work what Jesus did. There are three key areas of Jesus' activity, his healing, his preaching and his suffering. Whatever one thinks about the historicity of the events described in the Gospels, and there are many different views, one thing is not in doubt: Jesus had an overwhelming impact on those around him. The Gospels speak regularly of huge crowds following Jesus. Perhaps they gathered because of his reputation as a healer.
Perhaps they gathered because of his ability as a teacher. Whatever the cause, it seems likely that the authorities' fear of the crowd was a major factor leading to Jesus' crucifixion. In a world where there was no democracy, mobs represented a far greater threat to the Romans' rule than anything else. Yet in spite of Jesus' popularity during his lifetime, the early Christian movement after Jesus' death was only a small group with a tiny power base in Jerusalem, a handful of Jesus' closest followers who stayed loyal to Jesus' legacy because they were convinced that Jesus was the Messiah, that he had died for everyone's sins, and that he was raised from the dead.
Ehrman's Statement: The New Testament Gospels Are Historically Unreliable Accounts of Jesus
It was a movement that received its greatest boost when the most unlikely figure joined it, the apostle Paul. The Gospels are a form of ancient biography and are very short. They take about an hour and a half, two hours to read out loud. They're not what we understand modern biography to be: the great life and times of somebody in multi volume works. They've got between ten and twenty thousand words and ancient biography doesn't waste time on great background details about where the person went to school or all the psychological upbringing that we now look for in our kind of post-Freudian age.
They tend to go straight to the person's arrival on the public scene, often 20 or 30 years into their lives, and then look at the two or three big key things that they did or the big two or three key ideas. They'll also spend quite a lot of time concentrating on the actual death because the ancients believe that you couldn't sum up a person's life until you saw how they died. In their death, very often, they would die as they lived and then they would conclude with the events after the death - very often on dreams or visions about the person and what happened to their ideas afterwards.
The four gospels are four angles on one person and in the four gospels there are four angles on the one Jesus. It was a wonderful insight of the early Fathers, guided by the spirit of God, who recognised that these four pictures all reflect upon the same person. It's like walking into a portrait gallery and seeing four portraits, say, of Winston Churchill: the statesman or the war leader or the Prime Minister or the painter or the family man.
Of course we actually have to do all sorts of historical critical analysis and try to get back to what this tells us about the historical Jesus. It also shows us the way in which the early church tried to make that one Jesus relevant and to apply him to the needs of their own people of that day, whether they were Jews as in Matthew's case or Gentiles as in Luke's case and so on. And so those four portraits give us a challenge and a stimulus today to actually try to work out how we can actually tell that story of the one Jesus in different ways that are relevant for the needs of people today.
Christology is literally 'words about the Christ.