General Objective: To assist students in a thorough study of the Synoptic Gospels and Acts. To introduce them to a theological understanding of the books.
Course Outlines: 1. Introduction. What is a Gospel? Oral tradition, writing books and believers in early Christianity. The quest for sources. The Synoptic Gospels and the historical-critical analysis. The Synoptic problem. 2. The Gospel according to Mark. Authorship. Date. Features. Community. Purpose. Theology. Reading and commenting. 3. The Gospel according to Matthew. Authorship. Date. Features. Community. Purpose. Theology. Reading and commenting. 4. The Gospel according to Luke and Acts. Authorship. Date. Features. Community. Purpose. Theology. Reading and commenting.
Textbook: Scholz, Daniel. Introducing the New Testament: Jesus in the Gospels and Acts. Winona: Anselm Academic, 2013. Bibliography: Aland, Kurt, ed. Synopsis of the Four Gospels: Greek-English Edition of the Synopsis Quattuor Evangeliorum. Stuttgart: German Bible Society, 1993; Brown, Raymond. An Introduction to the New Testament. The Abridged Edition. Edited and Abridged by Marion Soards. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2016; Fitzmyer, Joseph. The Biblical Commission’s Document “The Interpretation of the Bible in the Church”: Text and Commentary. Roma: Pontificio Istituto Biblico, 1995; Fitzmyer, Joseph. The Acts of the Apostles: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2010; Kilgallen, John. A Wealth of Revelation: The Four Evangelists’ Introductions to Their Gospels. Roma: Pontificio Istituto Biblico, 2009; Perkins, Pheme. Introduction to the Synoptic Gospels. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2009.
Learning Outcomes: Upon completion of the course, students are expected to achieve familiarity with the content of the Synoptic Gospels and Acts; to understand the background of the books and the process and the goal of their composition; to appreciate the contribution of each of the evangelists to the Gospel tradition and begin to sense their special literary, theological, thematic, spiritual, and editorial input; to explain the Synoptic problem and characteristics of each of these Gospels and Acts; to summarize the key theological themes.