Unformatted text preview: Critical Study of the Gospels Gospels have been studied in two primary ways in modern times. Quest for the historical Jesus. This is the attempt to go behind the Gospels to discern what the historical Jesus actually did or said and not what the church later declared about him. Quest for the theology of the evangelists. This the attempt to understand the Gospels in their final form and to discern the significance Jesus had for the early church. Differences between the John and the Synoptics Scholars starting in the early eighteenth century attempted to construct one picture of Jesus from the four accounts about his life and ministry. They noted remarkable differences between John and the Synoptics (Matthew, Mark, Luke) John and the Synoptics only overlapp in 10% of their material Material that implies complementarity Baptism of Jesus by John Temptation story Exorcisms Parables Confession of Peter at Caesarea Philippi Gethsemane Matters crucial to the Synoptics but not in John: Matters crucial to John but not in the Synoptics: An early Judean ministry Characters such as Nicodemus, the Samaritan women, Lazarus and the beloved disciple Certain miracles (e.g., changing water into wine) Certain events (e.g., footwashing, Jesus' appearance to Thomas) Material the implies contrast Jesus' public ministry The cleansing of the Temple Synoptics: in Galilee except at the end when Jesus goes to Jerusalem John: Judea is Jesus' homeland and takes alternating trips to Galilee Synoptics: at the end of the narrative before Jesus' passion John: at the beginning of the narrative Synoptics: the cleansing of the Temple John: the raising of Lazarus Final cause of Jesus' death D. F. Strauss was the first to attempt to explain the differences between the Synoptics and John in such a way that preferred the Synoptics as the most reliable source of historical information about Jesus. Source Criticism Synoptic Problem
Mark Matthew Luke Microsoft Word Document Griesbach Hypothesis Two Source Hypothesis (Mark + Q)
Matthew Luke Mark + Q Luke Farrer Hypothesis Matthew Mark c. 80 AD Matthew Luke Mark + Q c. 60 AD Form Criticism
c. 30 AD Mark 2:13:6 Mark 4:134 Worship Preaching Apologetics Oral Traditions Death and Resurrection of We move from the quest for the historical Jesus to the quest for the theology of the evangelist. Redaction Criticism Literary Criticism Genre Criticism Focuses on the unique theology of each evangelist by how he used his sources and the overall meaning of the framework he gave his material. Focus is on the Gospels in their final form and studied like any other narrative literature (plot, setting, characterization, ect.) What do the Gospels mean as a whole? Ancient Mediterranean biographies meant to convey the essence of a significant person. They are not histories. They answer the question: "What sort of persons was he or she?" Conclusion We have four related accounts of the significance of Jesus canonized for the church. Each conveys a distinctive portrait of who Jesus is. The church preserved a theological portrait of Jesus not a historical record of his life and ministry. ...
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- Spring '08
- Gospel of Matthew, Gospel of Luke, synoptics, Galilee Synoptics, narrative Synoptics