1 x 3-hour lecture weekly
Tutorial presentation; Tutorial participation; Major paper.
Topic description
This topic introduces the central issues raised through a critical study of one of the Synoptic gospels (Mark, Matthew or Luke) including its sources, provenance and distinctive theology. Through a range of exegetical methods, the topic will look at the literary design of the specified Gospel situated in the broader cultural and sociological context of the first century CE. The contemporary missional and pastoral implications of that Gospel will also be explored.
Educational aims
This topic aims to allow students to:

  • develop an understanding of the issues surrounding synoptic studies

  • read a synoptic gospel critically

  • appreciate the historical and cultural context of this gospel

  • understand the narrative dynamic of the gospel and the portrait of Jesus, the disciples and the early community that it offers

  • develop exegetical skills in interpreting the gospels

  • communicate the significance of this gospel in ancient and contemporary contexts.
Expected learning outcomes
On completion of this topic, participants should be able to demonstrate:

  • clear thinking in the presentation of argument, communication of ideas, and quality of discussion
  • critical reading of a gospel from the 1st Century CE
  • the significance of the cultural and social context of an ancient Christian community
  • exegetical and hermeneutical skills in interpreting an ancient text
  • improved research skills, by identifying, accessing and understanding relevant primary and second sources
  • hermeneutical sensitivity to the implications of the study of a gospel