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Synoptic Gospels

Synoptic Gospels

Four one-hour sessions taught by Sung Cho, PhD. 


This course explores the shared traditions of the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, and some theories that explain the complex relationships between them. The goal will be to learn how to read the three Gospels synoptically while sampling the salient feature of each work. Satisfaction is guaranteed.


Session 1

What is a Gospel?

What does "synoptic" mean? 

Double and triple traditions

The historical development of the Gospels

What is "source criticism"?

What is "form criticism"?

What is "redaction criticism"?


Session 2

How many Gospels are there?

What is the chronological order of the Gospels?

Who was Matthew?

The Two-Gospel Hypothesis


Session 3

Who is Mark?

The message of Mark

The idea of Marcan priority

The two source (Mark and Q) hypothesis


Session 4

The Temptation of Jesus (synoptically)

Who was Luke? What was his message?

"Q" and the composition of Luke

"On dispensing with Q"

Luke ch. 11 reorders Matthew thematically

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