NBIB 4203: The Synoptic Gospels Course Introduction Dr. Steve Mathews
Your ProfessorYour professor for this course is Dr. SteveMathews. Dr. Mathews earned the D.Min.from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, andis a candidate for the Ph.D. from theUniversity of Pretoria. He has been active inpastoral ministry since 1997, and has beeninvolved in theological education since 2005.
Course OverviewThis course introduces the student to the study of the synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) of the New Testament. Students will study the differences between the synoptic gospels and the gospel of John, and the relationships between the synoptic gospels. Students examine the interpretation of the synoptic gospels, as well as the cultural and historical setting of the gospels.
Course OverviewStudents will examine key elements of the synoptic gospels, including parables, miracles, and discourses. Additionally, students will evaluate the application of synoptic gospel interpretation for preaching, ministry, and scholarship.
Course Competencies- Lesson One• The student will demonstrate an understanding of the basic structure of the gospel genre, the relationship of the synoptic gospels to the Gospel of John, and the historical and cultural context of the synoptic gospels.
Course Competencies- Lesson Two• The student will demonstrate a grasp of the primary hermeneutical methodologies used to interpret the Synoptic gospels, including historical criticism, social-scientific criticism, redaction criticism, form criticism, and textual criticism. The student will demonstrate an appreciation of the historical critical approach to the synoptic gospels.
Course Competencies- Lesson Three• The student will demonstrate a grasp of the cast of characters presented in the synoptics, including Jesus, the Pharisees, the Sadducees, the scribes, the Essenes, Romans, Jesus’ disciples, and the Samaritans. The student will demonstrate a grasp of the broad political, religious, and cultural setting of second- temple Judaism as a backdrop for the synoptic gospels.
Course Competencies- Lesson Four• The student will demonstrate the ability to analyze the content of the synoptic parables, to interpret these parables, and to apply an interpretation of the parables to the larger context of New Testament interpretation.
Course Competencies- Lesson Five• The student will demonstrate the ability to interpret miracle narratives in the synoptic gospels, in the broader context of Jesus’ messianic identity, the ‘messianic secret,’ and the gospel. Attention will be given to interpretations with affirm and those which deny the historicity of the miracle narratives.
Course Competencies- Lesson Six• The student will demonstrate the ability to interpret Jesus’ discourses in the synoptic gospels. The student will identify themes in Jesus’ discourses, such as the Kingdom of God, the ‘Day of the Lord’, heaven and hell, righteousness, etc. The student will demonstrate the ability to synthesize the synoptic discourse material into the broader context of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Course Competencies- Lesson Seven• The student will demonstrate the ability to apply the gospel message of the synoptic gospels to contemporary ministry and theological scholarship.
To Complete this Course• Each lesson contains readings and/or audio lectures, a learning exercise, and a test. The readings comprise the content of the lesson. The learning exercise is for the student’s personal benefit, and is not submitted. Each lesson test consists of questions which may appear on the final examination.
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