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...]

Mogget’s Musings: Lesson 7 (Selections from Mark and Luke)

This week’s assigned readings are something of a potpourri of miracle stories: healings, exorcisms, nature miracles, and two resuscitations, that of the son of the widow of Nain and the daughter of Jarius. Since this is one of the first lessons to take significant material from the Second Gospel, I begin there. The first reading is from Mark 1:14-15 … [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...]

Mogget’s Musings: Lesson 6 (Luke 4:14-32)

This week I read from the assigned passages in Luke, beginning with Jesus’ visit to the synagogue in his hometown of Nazareth. These segments of Luke represents a shift from his source in Mark in a variety of ways, two of which are significant for my purposes. First, I read the passage as a whole, then I will return and focus specifically on the content of the passage from which Jesus reads.  … [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...]