NT Gospel Doctrine Lesson 11: Matthew 13 and Parables

Matthew 13 is a series of long and short parables,  which furnishes us with a good opportunity to talk about parables in general, followed by a few specific comments. … [Read more...]

NT Gospel Doctrine Lesson 10: Matthew 11:28-12:13; Luke 13:10-17; 7:36-50

KJV "Ears of Corn." Public domain photo.

More stories today in the Gospels, including several Sabbath Controversies. In the following commentary, I assume that you've read the Matthew passages. … [Read more...]

NT Gospel Doctrine Lesson 9: Matthew 6-7

You recognize a tree by the kind of fruit it produces. My picture, from the Kidron Valley.

In keeping with Jesus' style of connecting seemingly-unconnected bits, I'm going to offer some short bits of disparate commentary today as we continue through the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 6-7. … [Read more...]

NT Gospel Doctrine Lesson 8: Matthew 5

Sundown over Galilee (my pic)

This begins the first of several weeks coverage of what's come to be known as The Sermon on the Mount. While well known to Christians today... few appreciate the richness of these sayings of Jesus: their radical promises and demands have often been blunted either through familiarity or as a result of a precipitate quest for immediate relevance.- Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels, "Sermon on the Mount" A few things about this.First, this sermon only appears in its fulness in Matthew, … [Read more...]

NT Gospel Doctrine Lesson 7: Mark 2:1-12

Each lesson covers a good number of stories. Today covers Mark 1-2, among others. Mark is generally thought to be the earliest gospel, though not the earliest NT book. Paul's letters were all written before the Gospels, with Galatians probably being the earliest book written. (NB: That's the date of composition, not the date of the events described nor the date of our earliest manuscripts.) Mark's gospel also uses rougher Greek, and a gospel of action. Note how many times "straightway" and … [Read more...]

NT Gospel Doctrine Lesson 6:

My photo of the synagogue at Capernaum.

My focus today is on a passage from Luke 4. In his hometown of Nazareth, Jesus gets up to read in the synagogue, and cites Isaiah 61 as being fulfilled. This goes over like a lead balloon as his once friends and neighbors "filled with rage...drove him out of the town, and led him to the brow of the hill... so that they might hurl him off the cliff." (Luk 4:29 NRSV)Jesus remarks that "no prophet is accepted in his own country" (KJV) or "no prophet is welcome in his home town" (NASB). The … [Read more...]

NT Gospel Doctrine Lesson 5: John 3-4

Today I focus on Jesus' conversation with Nicodemus, in John 3.Nicodemus was a "leader of the Jews" which strongly suggests he was a member of "the" Sanhedrin (Gr. synhedrion or "council"). The sanhedrin in Jerusalem, as it appears in the gospels, Josephus, and rabbinic literature, has been understood alternately as the high priests’ political council, the highest legislative body in Jewish Palestine, the supreme judicial court, the grand jury for important cases, the council of the P … [Read more...]

NT Gospel Doctrine Lesson 4: Matthew 3-4, John 1: 35-51.

In today's episode of Gospel non-harmony, let's examine how Andrew and Peter were called.Matthew's VersionJohn's Version4:18 As he walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea—for they were fishermen. 19 And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fish for people.” 20 Immediately they left their nets and followed him. 21 As he went from there, he saw two other brothers, James son … [Read more...]