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BIBL 102 (Sp '15) T20 - The Gospels

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Hartmut Scherer

on 25 March 2015

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Transcript of BIBL 102 (Sp '15) T20 - The Gospels

Pay careful attention to direct discourse.
- Do
include a detailed
psychological analysis
of Jesus
2 purposes of the Gospel writers:
What are the Gospels?
from modern biographies
- Variation in order of events
2. Saying something important through

individual stories of Jesus
Stories of Jesus drawn from the personal experience of his followers, especially his apostles
Gospels are ancient biographies rather than modern biographies
obsessed with strict

- Variation in wording
Christ-centered or
Christological biography
1. To tell individual stories of Jesus
Here we turn the two purposes of the Gospel writers into two interpretive questions:
2. What is the Gospel writer trying to say to his readers
by the way he connects the smaller stories?
What is this episode telling us about the main character?
Episode 1 Episode 2 Episode 3
What is the Gospel writer trying to communicate to his readers by the way he connects these stories together?
Luke 10:25-27

Love should transcend all human barriers.
Luke 10:38-42

Doing good things for God can sometimes cause us to miss God.
Luke 11:1-13

Jesus teaches us how to communicate with God through prayer.
Common theme is relationships. Followers of Jesus need to relate rightly to their neighbors (service), to their Lord (devotion), and to their Father (prayer).
Luke 10:25-37 Luke 10:38-42 Luke 11:1-13
How should we read the Gospels?
Our method of reading the Gospels must match the means God used to inspire them.
1. What is the main message of this particular story?
Episode 1
What is this episode telling us about the main character?
Episode 2
What is this episode telling us about the main character?
Episode 3
Question 1: How do we read
individual stories?
Question 2: How do we read a
series of stories?
Role of key characters
Look for connections
- Do
cover the
whole life
of Jesus
- Often
events and sayings
y rather than
- Give a lot of attention to the
last week of Jesus’ life
Ask the standard story questions:
E.g., Who? What? When? Where? Why? How?
Look for interpretive clues from the author himself.
Take note of anything that is repeated in the story.
Common themes or patterns
Logical connections (e.g., cause and effect)
How stories are joined to together (transitions, conjunctions)
– two or more lines of text
that are intended to be read together
– questions
designed to make a point rather
than retrieve an answer
- contrast between what is
expected and what actually happens
The Gospels
(Adapted from Zondervan Academic Resources for "Grasping God's Word)
Four Gospel accounts, i.e., four different versions of the one story of Jesus
= called Synoptic Gospels
("see together")
Gospels in the NT
1) What are the Gospels? (literary genre)
2) How should we read the Gospels?
Two main concerns:
Special literary forms in the Gospels?
– a truth is overstated
for effect
“If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.” Matthew 5:29
Two interpretive questions:
a) What is the main message of each
b) What is the Gospel writer trying to say
to his readers (and to us) by the way
he connects the smaller stories?
(theological truth)
Gospel “good news”
- implicit comparison
“You are the salt of the earth.” Matt. 5:13
“You are like whitewashed tombs.”
Matthew 23:27
- explicit comparison (look
for "like," "as")
Narrative Irony
“And I'll say to myself, “You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.” “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you.’” Luke 12:19-20
Rhetorical Questions
“Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” Matthew 6:27
Contrastive – second line contrasts with the first
Developmental – second line advances thought
of first
Synonymous – lines say basically the same thing
What kind of parallelism is the verse below?
“Ask and it will be given to you;
seek and you will find;
knock and the door will be opened to you.”
Matthew 7:7
– a story with two levels of meaning,
where certain details in the story stand
for other things
A story with one main point for each main character
A story where every detail stands for something else?
A story with only one point?
Rebellious son
Forgiving father
Resentful brother
Sinners may confess their sins and turn to God in repentance
God offers forgiveness for undeserving people
Those who claim to be God’s people should not be resentful when God extends his grace to the undeserving.
Gospels are the good news of Jesus Christ
Four versions of the one story of Jesus
Christological biography
Luke 15:11ff (example)
Note the setting within which the parable is placed (immediate context and audience)
Principles for interpreting Jesus’ parables:
Look for one main point for each main character or group of characters
The main points should be the ones that Jesus’ original audience would have understood
Relate the point(s) to Jesus’ kingdom teaching and to the basic message of the individual Gospel account
Apply the central truth(s) to similar situations in modern life
Preach the parable holistically, not point-by-point
Interpret the parable of the unjust judge and the persistent widow in
Luke 18:1-8
according to the interpretive principles explained in the chapter NT Gospels of our textbook.
Class exercise:
Full transcript