The New Testament

A Historical and Theological Introduction

Materials available for professors by request only


4. The Gospels as Historical and Theological Documents

Questions for Research and Discussion

  1. There are four portraits of Jesus presented by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Explain why this is a not a bad thing but is, in fact, a boon for the readers of the NT.
  2. How does the freedom with which the writers of the Gospels wrote their narratives of Jesus affect the way you understand the Gospels?
  3. Why is it unfair to judge the Gospels in light of modern historiography? How might we judge them instead?
  4. How would you go about discussing the discrepancies between the Gospels with a skeptic? Where would you begin? How would you proceed?
  5. How does the way you see the historicity of the Gospels change knowing that each author wrote and organized material based on his own purposes?