The New Testament

A Historical and Theological Introduction


4. The Gospels as Historical and Theological Documents

Questions for Review

  1. What does the word “gospel” mean? What additional nuances can be gleaned by understanding this word in its Roman context?
  2. How did the first four books of the NT change how the word “gospel” was understood?
  3. Compare and contrast the different options regarding the genre of the Gospels.
  4. Explain what Martin Kahler meant when he said that the Gospels were “passion narratives with extended introductions.”
  5. What evidence is there that the earliest Christians greatly valued the history surrounding and inspired by Jesus?
  6. How are the canonical and apocryphal Gospels different from one another?
  7. How did Marcion and Tatian attempt to solve the “problem” of having four Gospels?
  8. What is meant when it is claimed that “the Gospels are more like paintings than photographs”?
  9. Give a few examples of how the Evangelists arrange their material in ways that are not chronological.
  10. What can be learned about how the Gospel of Luke was written from the prologue in Luke (1:1–4)?