A thematic study of the earthly life of Christ, tracing in detail the major movements including his presentation, authentication, opposition, instruction and rejection. This study focuses primarily on the Synoptic Gospels.
This course will seek to engage each of the four Gospels at the level of the imagination. We will seek to uncover the backgrounds of the authors, as far as they are discernible. We will also try to reconstruct the life situations of each Gospel for the purpose of better understanding the unique perspective of each one. Keeping in mind the unique nature of each Gospel, we will then attempt to integrate the four perspectives into an integrated statement on the Jesus of the Gospels.
The students who successfully complete this course will—whenever talking about, reading, or using the Gospels—be able competently to:
- Become familiar with what is known about the four Gospels, specifically from primary sources.
- Listen to the text in a fresh way with an informed imagination.
- Express in a term paper an integrated view of Jesus of Nazareth.
- Appreciate more fully the life and ministry of Christ to enhance biblical integration in the classroom and all of life.
These course objectives and outcomes require critical thinking and biblical studies, which are two of JWC’s institutional objectives. They also fulfill the program goals of Christian Studies, such as to “think critically about the relationship of the Bible’s teachings to other academic disciplines and to classic works in the Western Tradition and be able to apply biblical principles and narratives to contemporary situations;” and to “become more Christ-like as manifested in love for God and others and in a mature heart that is superbly suited to fulfill various Kingdom-functions.