The Gospels as Literature


I. Sacred and Secular Texts: The Language of the New Testament

  1. The Mediterranean World at Christ’s Birth
  2. Aramaic, Hebrew, Greek, and Latin
  3. The Q Text and Wisdom Literature
  4. “Many are called, but few are chosen.”
  5. Let he who has ears to hear, let him hear.
  6. The King James Translation


II. The History of the Gospels

  1. Paul and the Founders of a New Church
  2. The Failed Zealot Revolt: 66-70AD
  3. Mark, Luke, Matthew, and John
  4. The Creation of the Canon


III. Luke 2: Christ’s Birth and Youth

  1. A Decree from Caesar Augustus
  2. The Lineage of David
  3. “A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel”
  4. The Youth in the Temple


IV. Matthew 5-7: The Sermon on the Mount

  1. The Beatitudes
  2. The City on the Hill
  3. “First, be reconciled to thy brother…”
  4. “Turn to him the other also…”
  5. The Lord’s Prayer
  6. The House Built Upon a Rock


V. Luke 15 and Matthew 13: Parables

  1. Conflict with the Pharisees
  2. The Lost Sheep
  3. The Lost Piece of Silver
  4. The Prodigal Son
  5. The Fatted Calf
  6. “Why speakest thou unto them in parables?”


VI. Matthew 26 and 28: The Betrayal and the Resurrection

  1. The Betrayal
  2. The Last Supper
  3. The Trial
  4. The Denial
  5. Pontius Pilate Washes His Hands
  6. The Crucifixion
  7. The Resurrection


VII. A World Transformed

  1. The Rise of Christianity
  2. The Salvation of the Dispossessed
  3. The End of the Classical World
  4. The Beginning of the Christian Era