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The Diverse Gospel Authorship Develops Distinct Theological Themes

Kimberly I. Jones Grand Canyon University: BIB 502 April 27, 2011

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1 .the relational dynamics of the trinity and salvation. The first Gospel. Mathew was written by a man of Jewish descent and through his Gospel his perspective and motives are revealed.Gospel Theological Themes TheGospels of Matthew. The purposes of the Synoptic Gospels vary from authorship nested in Jewish tradition trying to relate Jesus back to the Jews toattempts to edify the Christian gentiles. he used Old Testament terminology. affluence. The Gospels of Matthew. The purpose of the book of Matthew was to show Jewish readers that Jesus was the Messiah that was promised in the new covenant. derived out of unique differences offers a universal appeal to 21st century evangelism. he discussed Mosaic Law and he used parallelism and allusion to nest the story of Jesus into Old Testament history. in order to do this he showcased Old Testament prophecy. and age. The holistic acceptance of the varying emphasis on different theological themes and concepts brings Christian theology into harmony among diverse believers that transcends culture. The Gospels are significant theological framework because through their historical account of Christ they emphasize concepts relating to Jesus¶ fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy and law. Mark. the requirements of the Messiah. The nature of this complexity lies in the distinct theological themes that very between the Gospels. language. This theological harmony. Diverseauthorshipformed the Gospel. this diversity resulted in the illumination of different concepts and themes. Mathew appears to be a Jewish man who hasaccepted Jesus as his savior and is reaching out to an audience of primarily Jewish people. Luke and John are four separate accounts that reveal Jesus Christ through four different perspectives. Luke and John culminate into complex Christian theology in the New Testament of the Bible. It is through the perspective of the authors and their varyingattempts to reach their audience that the theology of modern Christianity is formed. Mark.

The nature of Matthew creates a Christian theology grounded in Judaism. resembling the Torah which is composed of five books. but maintains correlation between Israel and Jesus through Jewish parallelism.´(KJV. he also preaches five sermons. to the Sermon on the Mount. but takes a religion that has flourished in Western Society and returns it to the Middle East.1324-1326) The book of Matthew is concerned with the relationship between the church and Israel. The relationship between Christianity and thr history of Judaism in the Middle East presents opportunities of shared history and commonalities that can be cultivated and further developed when sharing the Gospel with between Middle Eastern Society. God with us. to even to the way that Jesus dies. p. In order to do this he must prove to the Jewish people that Christ fulfills the prophecies and is the Messianic hope they have been waiting for. 2010. 1998) The parallelism and allusions of Matthew transcend literary style and indicate the center of the matter. from the killing of the babies. and shall bring forth a son. which being interpreted is. ³There are a lot of elements in this story that resemble Moses' traditions. as martyrs to their prophetic calling. Like Moses.Gospel Theological Themes The Gospel of Matthew showcased Old Testament prophecy through Chapter 1:2223´Now all this was done. Matthew is a man of Israel and Jewish tradition who has placed his faith in the Messiah and wants to present the story of Jesus to the Jews. ³ (Mellowes. and they shall call his name Emmanuel. in the birth narrative. 2 . The Christian commitment to Judaism not only ties Christianity to the creation of the world. just like some of the prophets died. Jesus goes on the mountain to talk about the law. saying. Matthew does not place an emphasis on following ritual commandments. a virgin shall be with child. that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet. Behold.

1998) The Gospel of Mark presents powerful theological concepts demonstrating Jesus as the ³son of God´. This book was intended to ³strengthen the faith of believers´ amidst an antagonistic culture. 1998) 3 . Mark weaves together Jesus¶ life and presents his miracles. 2010) The Gospel of Luke focuses on key theological points essential to Christian belief: the Gospel is universal and open to all. God has a concern for injustice and the social outcasts. Mark was speaking to Gentile Christians who were most likely unaware of Jewish customs. (White. Luke. Mark was not. 1998) The Gospel of Luke is known for its comprehensive nature and style. (Koester. (KJV. 2010) The Gospel of Mark is believed to be a disciple of Peter. (KJV.was known as physician because of his sophisticated writing and understanding of Hellenistic culture.he has to die. a follower of Paul. (KJV.´ (Koester.´ the son of Man´. This Gospel is also a more dramatic narrative with a death centric focus. but they are all pointing to one event. The Gospel of Mark places strategic importance on revealing the Messiah as someone who is more than a miracle worker and ³marked for death´ in order to fulfill prophecy.Gospel Theological Themes The Gospel of Mark presents the story of Jesus to a drastically different audience than Matthew. 2010) Luke also fully evolves Jesus as a perfectly divine human being. as a pious martyr really should do in a suffering death. (KJV. a model for suffering´ and the Savior for all those who believe.´ the Messiah. when he is on the cross he dies as a martyr should. 2010) To present these themes. Jesus does not question his persecution instead ³Jesus dies commending his spirit into the hands of the father. repentance and the ethical aspect of wealth. Where Matthew was reaching out to converted and unconverted Jews who understood Judaism.his eventual suffering on the cross. Due to his Gentile audience he only quoted Old Testament law once because his audience was not familiar with Jewish customs and laws.

Jesus actually goes to the cross on the day that the lambs are slaughtered in preparation for Passover. one of the main reasons is it was written to unbelievers and believers who were struggling with Greek philosophy that did not view Jesus as fully human but did recognize him as the Messiah. (White. 1998) This attempt to neutralize controversy between the early church and the Roman Empire has survived history and is apparent in modern Christian politics. Even in countries where Christianity is banned. but instead the last supper meal before Passover begins. Although. The Gospel of John stresses that Jesus was the Messiah and the Son of God-both fully human and fully divine. Only when the system in place forces Christians to compromise their beliefs do they tend to grow unruly. modern Christians try to navigate the political systems in place to survive and evangelize. the ultimate authority is always God. discrete prayer and commitment to faith. Throughout the Gospel of Luke. 2010) One of the most profound thematic differences is that Jesus doesn¶t¶ have the Passover meal. instead they follow the lead of Jesus¶ in Luke. (White. through this incident John illuminates one of the most important themes.Gospel Theological Themes Luke¶s writings differ from the other Gospels because they are self-conscious and concerned with their representation as citizens. there is an attempt to convey that the early Christians are not revolutionaries and can abide within the current government-/political regime. followers are not openly defiant. (KJV. that Jesus is the Lamb of God. give what they must to the government and then create covert secret networks that advance the Gospel through close knit communities. 1998) 4 . The Gospel of John is distinct from the synoptic Gospels for multiple reasons.

And the light shineth in darkness. The same was in the beginning with God. (Moloney. The language also indicates that the word and God are unique.Everything Jesus did radically altered the course of history. 1991. (Carson.The Gospel of John explains that it is not only by revelation. The Gospel of John shows salvation was plotted from pre-existenceinto humanity through Jesus and this is the primary message of the Gospel of John. 1998. John begins with the notion of Jesus being incarnate in the preexisting word that was with God during creation. p34) John chapter one. but that it is through Jesus¶ death and resurrectionthat humanity is released from the bondage of sin. and the life was the light of men. but it was the manner in 5 . and the Word was God. and the Word was with God. p96) Understanding the various theological perspectives presented in the four Gospels enables the disciple of Christ to reach people of diverse cultures and heritage with the Gospel in the 21st century. and the darkness comprehended it not. but share an intimate relationship.´ (KJV. 2010.Gospel Theological Themes One the primary differences between the Gospel of John and the Synoptic Gospels is organization. All things were made by him.In the beginning was the Word. p1485) The language used in this scripture in the Greek language reveals that the ³word´ preexisted not for God but in relationship with God. The relationship between Jesus and God is established in the Gospel of John to illuminate the most important theme-the concept of salvation. and without him was not anything made that was made. (Moloney. 1998. the Synoptic Gospels being with Jesus¶ birth. but the Gospel of John begins with a significant theological concept. p34-35) This scripture has significantly impacted the theological development of the Holy Trinity. verses one through eighteen details this mysterious relationship. verses one through five provided a condensed summary ³. In him was life.

Although. 6 . but rather the mental process in which Christ is perceived. the Gospel has unwavering truths that cannot be compromised the different styles of the Gospels do not change the truth of Christ. This allows the mind to understand and find commonality with Christ as the Spirit intervenes and draws the soul to God. The Gospels are uniquely derived from authors from different religious and cultural backgrounds. this diversity rooted at the core of Gospel authorship allows missionaries to evangelize from multiple perspectives in order to relate to people. the Gospels relate the salvation story to different people of various backgrounds around the world. From different perspectives.Gospel Theological Themes which his spirituality and connection with eternity was captured that evolved Christian theology into what it is today. through different styles and with varying emphases.

Retrieved from Frontline website: http://www. April). J.).(2010) King James Version. M.com/books?id=GMT4cHbjywC&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false Koester. The Gospel of Luke. MI: Zondervan Carson.pbs.html Moloney. Harrington (Ed. A. D.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/religion/story/Luke. M. Retrieved from Frontline website: http://www. (1998). The Gospel of John. J. The Gospel of Mark.html Koester.html 7 . (1998.google. Sacra PaginaThe Gospel of John.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/religion/story/John. H.google.The Gospel According to John. Grand Rapids. Retrieved from Frontline website: http://www. The Gospel of Luke. H. Retrieved from Frontline website: http://www.html Mellowes. (1998. (1998.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/religion/story/mark.html White. Retrieved from Frontline website: http://www. Retrieved from http://books. April).org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/religion/story/Luke.Gospel Theological Themes References Archaeological Study Bible.pbs.pbs. April).com/books?id=2xDRFYKldboC&printsec=frontcover&dq=gospel+o f+john&hl=en&ei=pUm4TfDWH4KtgeVoPneBA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2&ved=0CF0Q6AEwAQ#v=o nepage&q&f=false White. April).org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/religion/story/Matthew.The Gospel of Matthew. D.pbs. (1998. Retrieved from http://books. (1991). M. (1998.pbs. April). F.

Retrieved from Frontline website: http://www.pbs. M.Gospel Theological Themes White. The Gospel of Mark.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/religion/story/mark. April). (1998.html 8 .