Introduction to the Synoptic Gospels
• Who is Jesus?
o Is He real to you?
o Look to the Gospels!
• What is a Gospel?
o “Life” of Christ
o Varying portraits of Jesus with different emphases
o “Synoptics” and John
• Follow-up from OT (starting NT with Matthew)
o Cultures: Semitic, Hellenic, Roman
o Hebrew to Greek (Alexander the Great)
• Composition of Gospels (DV 7-8, 17-19, 24; CCC 51-53, 65-67, 74-79, 124-127)
o DV 19
o Words and works of Jesus (years 1-30)
o Apostolic preaching (years 30-60)
• Controversies with Jews
o Think synagogues, St. Justin (+165)
• Apostolic mission
• Catechesis in the Church
Redaction of Gospels (60-90 AD)
• All written for Christians
o Matthew in Palestine
o Mark in Rome
o Theophilus (Greece) for Luke
o Asia Minor for John
o Don’t forget Catholic biblical interpretation (author’s intent, HS and author, genre, canon, analogy of faith)
o ≠ fundamentalism!
• Content of Gospels: kerygma (1 Cor. 15:1-4,14, 17)
o Acts 10: 37-43 show principle characteristics of Gospels
° Talk about what Jesus did “in Judea and Jerusalem, beginning in Galilee” (place) “after the Baptism of John” (time)
° What happened: Anointing of Jesus at His baptism, public activity, (healing and doing good), death, resurrection, and preaching of apostles
o Beginning, Prep for public ministry, public ministry, turn toward Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Paschal Mystery
• Historical Jesus? Christ of Faith?
o Ratzinger, Jesus of Nazareth I, Foreword