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Choose 3 stories (parables or accounts) from Luke that

 Choose 3 stories (parables or accounts) from Luke that are related to the Gentiles (non-Jews), and that can also be found in either Matthew, Mark, or John. What are the differences in Luke’s description and emphasis? What can they tell you about the focuses of Luke (and Acts) when it comes to Gospel and the Gentiles?

Class 8 – – The Gospels and the Synoptic Problems – The Gospel of Mark – The Essay questions

RELG 102

The Four Gospels

•  The “Gospel” of Jesus: The Kingdom of God/Heaven is here •  The “Gospel” of disciples: Jesus, raised from the dead, is the


•  The “Gospel” of Paul: Jesus, killed and raised from the dead, is the Messiah for all – Jews and non-Jews.

•  The “Gospel” of the Evangelists: Jesus is the Messiah, as can be witnessed by His life.

The Gospel  

The Four Gospels  

Catholic tradition: Matthew = Angel – the human side of Jesus Mark = Lion – the royal side of Jesus Luke = Ox – the sacrificial side of Jesus John = Eagle – the spiritual side of Jesus  

More accurately from the perspective of the meaning of the books: Matthew – Jesus as the fulfilled Jewish Messiah Mark – Jesus as the humble Son of Man Luke – Jesus as the Saviour of both Jews and non-Jews John – Jesus as God and Saviour of the World

The Four Gospels  

•  The Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke

•  They have similar stories of Jesus recorded, but there are slight differences about the content.

•  The “synoptic problem” is to understand why there are different versions of Jesus’ stories (e.g. for Mark’s stories where there is one person, in Matthew there are often more than two)

•  The synoptic problem gave rise to critical studies of the Gospels: form criticism, source criticism, and redaction criticism

The Synoptic Gospels  

•  Form criticism – tries to understand the Gospel stories as individual “flowing” stories, especially in its oral tradition form

•  Source criticism – tries to understand the Gospel stories as original written sources, which gives rise to the 2-Source and 4- Source hypotheses.

•  Redaction criticism – tries to understand how the Evangelists made use of the written sources, as a redactor (editor).

The Synoptic Gospels  

2-Source Hypothesis  

The Synoptic Problem

4-Source Hypothesis  

The Synoptic Problem

The Synoptic Problem

•  There were other “gospel” accounts of Jesus in existence, but the most reliable and widely used/quoted Gospel books are these four

•  The Church was very well aware of the synoptic problem when they decided to include all of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, showing that they felt it more important to have differences in the accounts of Jesus, than neglecting any one of these Gospel books.

•  The “problem” can in large part be understood by the translated nature of the Gospel books, as well as the Evangelists’ editorial selection process and purposes.

The Synoptic Problem  

•  Most believe it was the earliest Gospel book written, though it likely came after the earlier of Paul’s works.

•  Some of the evidence is that Mark is the shortest among the 4 Gospel books, and when it comes to sentences that the Synoptic Gospels share, Mark’s version is usually the simplest and most unelaborated.

Gospel of Mark  

The Son of Man (人子) concept:

•  It can mean “son of man” – an average person, a John Doe; or •  It can mean “Son of Man” – a title used in the OT to describe the

coming Messiah (Daniel 7:13-14)

Gospel of Mark  

The Son of Man (人子) concept:

In  my  vision  at  night  I  looked,  and  there  before  me  was  one  like  a   son  of  man,  coming  with  the  clouds  of  heaven.  He  approached  the   Ancient  of  Days  and  was  led  into  his  presence.  He  was  given   authority,  glory  and  sovereign  power;  all  na?ons  and  peoples  of   every  language  worshiped  him.  His  dominion  is  an  everlas?ng   dominion  that  will  not  pass  away,  and  his  kingdom  is  one  that  will   never  be  destroyed.  

Gospel of Mark  

•  The “Son of Man” usage is an important Messianic Secret approach used by Mark

•  The Messianic Secret is Mark’s attempt to explain why Jesus’ Messianic identity was not obvious to the people around him at that time – Jesus chose not to reveal his identity too early to allow His ministry to continue, and He wanted to change people’s expectation of how Messiah should be.

Gospel of Mark  

The Messianic Secret

The Messianic Secret  

Mark 9 – The transfiguration  

Mark 15 – Jesus’ trial & crucifixion  

Jesus tells of His pending death

…  and  Jesus  healed  many  who  had  various  diseases.  He  also  drove   out  many  demons,  but  he  would  not  let  the  demons  speak  because   they  knew  who  he  was.  (1:34)     Whenever  the  impure  spirits  saw  him,  they  fell  down  before  him   and  cried  out,  “You  are  the  Son  of  God.”  But  he  gave  them  strict   orders  not  to  tell  others  about  him.  (2:11-­‐12)     He  gave  strict  orders  not  to  let  anyone  know  about  this  (He  rose  a   girl  from  dead),  and  told  them  to  give  her  something  to  eat.  (5:43)    

The Messianic Secret  

A  few  days  later,  when  Jesus  again  entered  Capernaum,  the  people   heard  that  he  had  come  home.  They  gathered  in  such  large   numbers  that  there  was  no  room  leS,  not  even  outside  the  door,   and  he  preached  the  word  to  them.  Some  men  came,  bringing  to   him  a  paralyzed  man,  carried  by  four  of  them.  Since  they  could  not   get  him  to  Jesus  because  of  the  crowd,  they  made  an  opening  in  the   roof  above  Jesus  by  digging  through  it  and  then  lowered  the  mat   the  man  was  lying  on.      

The Messianic hint: Mark 2: 1-12  

When  Jesus  saw  their  faith,  he  said  to  the  paralyzed  man,  “Son,   your  sins  are  forgiven.”       Now  some  teachers  of  the  law  were  siVng  there,  thinking  to   themselves,  “Why  does  this  fellow  talk  like  that?  He’s  blaspheming!   Who  can  forgive  sins  but  God  alone?”      

The Messianic hint: Mark 2: 1-12  

Immediately  Jesus  knew  in  his  spirit  that  this  was  what  they  were   thinking  in  their  hearts,  and  he  said  to  them,  “Why  are  you  thinking   these  things?  Which  is  easier:  to  say  to  this  paralyzed  man,  ‘Your   sins  are  forgiven,’  or  to  say,  ‘Get  up,  take  your  mat  and  walk’?  But  I   want  you  to  know  that  the  Son  of  Man  has  authority  on  earth  to   forgive  sins.”  So  he  said  to  the  man,  “I  tell  you,  get  up,  take  your   mat  and  go  home.”  He  got  up,  took  his  mat  and  walked  out  in  full   view  of  them  all.  This  amazed  everyone  and  they  praised   God,  saying,  “We  have  never  seen  anything  like  this!”     Ques?on:  which  is  easier?    

The Messianic hint: Mark 2: 1-12  

Answer:  the  SAME       Which  is  easier:  to  say  to  this  paralyzed  man,  ‘Your  sins  are   forgiven,’  or  to  say,  ‘Get  up,  take  your  mat  and  walk’?    

The Messianic hint: Mark 2: 1-12  

•  The Transfiguration  

The Messianic confirmation: Mark 9  

•  Jesus started talking about his pending death and resurrection after the transfiguration.

•  It was very hard for the disciples to understand too, and Jesus had to keep teaching them about the idea of the suffering King.

•  At the trial Jesus spoke to confirm who “Son of Man” really was:  

Prediction of death, trial and resurrection  

Again  the  high  priest  asked  him,  “Are  you  the  Messiah,  the  Son  of   the  Blessed  One?”     “I  am,”  said  Jesus.  “And  you  will  see  the  Son  of  Man  siVng  at  the   right  hand  of  the  Mighty  One  and  coming  on  the  clouds  of  heaven.”     The  high  priest  tore  his  clothes.  “Why  do  we  need  any  more   witnesses?”  he  asked.  “You  have  heard  the  blasphemy.  What  do   you  think?”      

The full Messianic revelation – Mark 14:61-64  

1.  Given your understanding of Jesus’ ministry and themes of preaching, what are the main points of the Beatitudes (Chinese translation: 八福) in Matthew 5:1-12. Also compare it with the shorter version found in Luke 6:20-23, and determine what is Jesus’ main focus in these “blessings” sayings.

Essay topics  

2. Choose 3 stories (parables or accounts) from Luke that are related to the Gentiles (non-Jews), and that can also be found in either Matthew, Mark, or John. What are the differences in Luke’s description and emphasis? What can they tell you about the focuses of Luke (and Acts) when it comes to Gospel and the Gentiles?

Essay topics  

3. How does Paul use the example of Abraham to explain his theology of faith and salvation? Use at least two passages of Paul (e.g. Galatians 3, Romans 4) to explain the main reasoning of this teaching of Paul.

Essay topics  

4. Compare between 1 Corinthians 12-13 and Romans 12 – what does Paul say about the Church? What does he suggest that the believers should see themselves in order for the unity of the Church to be maintained and secured?

Essay topics  

1.  Have a theme, and use what you have read in the selected passages to argue for it.

2.  Higher marks can be scored if you use more outside references (i.e. in addition to the Bible, such as Tom’s book or my lecture notes).

Essay requirement  

3. Citation is required, e.g. 1 Thomas Hatina, “Module Seven: The New Testament Canon”, Introduction to the New Testament, Section 7.2. 2 Clement Tong, RELS 102 Class PPT Slides, Week 7.

(A citation style guide will be attached on Moodle) 4. Include a small section of your personal thoughts 5. No plagiarism!! (To be submitted through Turnitin)

Essay requirement  


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