The Challenge of the Gospels

Victory University Course // February 2-23

Same story, different style.

The New Testament begins with four biographies of the life of Jesus, called “Gospels”. All four Gospels tell the story of Jesus’ life, his death, and his resurrection. But each Gospel tells the story of Jesus from a different perspective. In fact, sometimes they even seem to contradict each other. 

In this class, we will look at the differences between the four Gospels and what unique story each of them is telling. We will find that these accounts are not meant to be harmonized, but to be read and enjoyed as historical literature that reveals Jesus and speaks to our hearts.

This class has already started. Check below for links to each course on our YouTube channel.

Week 1 (February 2) - The Gospel of John Mark

In this session, we will look at John Mark, the man behind the Gospel of Mark. We will see that he was a disciple of Paul and probably a disciple of Peter. We will look at how such leaders might have influenced his writing. And we will find clues that mark this Gospel as the earliest Gospel, which became the template for the Gospels of Matthew and Luke.

Week 1: The Gospel of John Mark

Week 2 (February 9) - The Gospel of Matthew

In this session, we will see how Matthew’s Gospel was written to an audience with a deep understanding of the Hebrew Scriptures. Matthew formats his Gospel in five parts, just like the five books of the Torah. He portrays Jesus as a new kind of David, Moses, and Israel. He quotes from the Old Testament more than any other Gospel. All of this he does so that his audience would see Jesus as the one and only fulfillment of the promised Messiah and the hope of Israel.

Week 3 (February 16) - The Gospel of Luke

In this session, we will learn how Luke - a doctor, historian, and travel companion of the Apostle Paul - carefully investigated the life of Jesus so as to write his own captivating biography. We will see that Luke gives us some background information at the start of both his Gospel and his second volume, the book of the Acts of the Apostles. We will also see Luke’s distinctive focus on the poor, marginalized, and outcasts. He also focuses on the work of the Holy Spirit. Hopefully, after taking this class, we will be more full of the Holy Spirit as well.

Week 4 (February 23) - The Gospel of John

In this final session, we will look at John’s Gospel, which differs from the first three Gospels in many ways. We will discuss how this Gospel was probably written later on after the first three Gospels had been in wide circulation. John seems to focus on Jesus’ discourses as well as the underlying motivations of Jesus’ followers and his enemies.