Most scholars believe Mark was the first of
the Gospels to be written. This Gospel was written around 70 AD after the fall
of Jerusalem and the destruction of the second temple. It is generally believed
that Mark the Evangelist, a companion of St. Paul, was probably the writer.
Mark includes the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist.
The Gospel of Matthew, most historical
scholars will agree, was the second Gospel written. This Gospel was probably
written around 70 to 80 years after Mark.
This book was probably written to a gentile based Christian congregation
living near Antioch. Matthew is the second of the three synoptic gospels.
Most historical scholars are in agreement that
Luke and the Acts of Apostles have the same author. It is believed that Luke
was a doctor and traveled through the eastern Roman Empire with St. Paul. This Gospel was probably written shortly
after Matthew, around 150 C.E., but the writer of Matthew had little to no
influence on Luke. Luke borrowed heavily
from Mark and filled all his story gaps with educated conclusions. While
Matthew treated Jesus as the new Moses, leader of the Jews, Luke went to
another level. Luke treated Jesus as if he were the new Adam, father of all
Scholarly consensus is that the Gospel of the
John is the fourth Gospel. This Gospel was general attributed to John the
Apostle, one of Jesus Christ’s Twelve Apostles. Some scholars believe that the
same writer wrote the Book of Revelation.
It was probably written near Jerusalem.
Some scholars argue that this book must have been written near the time
of Mark, because of no mention of the destroyed second temple. The essence of
the Gospel of John is the Jesus is the Son of God, the messiah for eternity.
scholars frequently identify a concern for outcast and marginalized people as
one of the dominant characteristics of Luke-
Luke is a book with an
eye on its gentile audience. Jesus of Nazareth is above all at the right hand
of God in the Gospel according to Luke.
Luke is very strong in his methodology and incluse of other authors.
Jesus is very focused on sinners or those who were “marginalized, poor, cast
out, orphaned, diseased, or widowed”. Jesus not only promises salvation to such
sinners, but goes so far as to call their poverty itself “blessed” throughout
the Gospels. At many points in Jesus’s ministry, he shocks mainstream Jews by
associating with, ministering to, and healing people who are cast out, poor,
and sick. Some have argued that a prominent theme in the Gospels is Jesus’s
good news to such people and an invitation to the rich to join them
Summarize Raymond Brown’s highly influential
reconstruction of the Johannine Community behind the Gospel of John.
the treatment of the resurrection in Matthew with that in Mark.
Matthew was written primarily to Jews. As such it contains many more Old
Testament references. Mark was probably written to the Roman world and
takes on a much more pragmatic view of Jesus’ ministry, emphasizing His works
Some have said Matthew is the Gospel of the
Jesus the King, whereas Mark is the Gospel of Jesus the Servant.
the significance of Thomas’s post-resurrection encounter with Jesus in John
Thomas’ response to the information/witness offered by the other
disciples, includes in an emphatic way the very same verb of sight: “Unless I
see in his hands the print of the nails … I will not believe” (John. 20:25).
Thomas without “explicitly dismissing out of hand the other disciples’
confession,” refuses, nonetheless, to believe that Jesus is risen, unless he
sees him with his own eyes. The condition imposed by Thomas is clear and
absolute: personal verification by sight, direct access by eye contact and
nothing less. Thomas even intensifies his terms by adding the need not
only to see but also to touch Jesus at the very marks of his crucifixion:
“Unless I see in his hands the print of the nails, and place my finger in the
mark of the nails, and place my hand in his side, I will not believe” (John
20:25) The Appearance of the Risen
Christ to Thomas
The event occurred eight days after the appearance of
Jesus to the other disciples. As they were gathered in the house, behind closed
doors, the risen Christ came and stood among them (John
20:27). This time Thomas was with them. Jesus, after greeting them with the
traditional, “Peace be with you,” without any delay turns to Thomas and
addresses him: “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand
and place it in my side, and do not be unbelieving but believing” (John.
20:27). Obviously, Jesus accepts the challenge, if not the provocation, of
Thomas and invites him to proceed with the demanded test. The unbelieving
disciple already sees Christ, but he is now asked to complete the test by
adding the touching of the hands and of the side.
He does not, however, complete the test with a giant step
he moves from the state of unbelieving to the state of believing. Suddenly he
is convinced that the one whom he sees, is the risen Lord, the very same Jesus
whom he knew, after having been with him for three years. Unhesitatingly,
without any other words, explanations or apologies, he responds with an
astonishing confession of faith: “Thomas answered him, ‘My Lord and my God'” (John
20:28). This declaration of faith is unique. No other disciple in the Gospel
narratives has used such an advanced creedal formula for expressing his faith
in Christ who is now called Lord and God.
Rudolph Bultmann’s existentialist interpretation of the Gospel of John.
Jesus is a walking oracle. He is always
tossing out prophecies, many of which actually come true in the course of the
narrative. He speaks in poetic parables. We’re probably supposed to think that
several others will be fulfilled beyond the story’s end in 16:8, too (for
example, 13:1-37 and 14:28). In some cases, these prophetic words have their
source in the scriptures (9:12; 14:21, 27), which are read as authoritative
guides for the future (1:2-3).