New Testament Synoptic Gospels and Acts

The gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John provide us with our best historical record of Jesus when he walked the earth. Each of these books has its own historical and theological objectives, so they differ in which aspects of Jesus’ life and teaching they include. We can gain from studying each book as a separate literary work, and also by “harmonizing” the four accounts into one “Life of Christ” record.

This is a model of Jerusalem about the time of Christ. The city of David is the small walled in area to the right, leading up to the Temple Mount. Note the steepness of the surrounding Kidron [right] and Hinnom [front] valleys. There is a shallow Central Valley between the City of David and the newer parts of the city.

Matthew 1.23 NET: “'Look! The virgin will conceive and bear a son, and they will call him Emmanuel,' which means 'God with us.'"

Languages in NT Palestine [1 page]
Brief consideration of whether Jesus and his disciples were tri-lingual

Hope in 2nd Temple Judaism [1 page]
Brief consideration of what the intertestamental literature tells us about sustained hope in Second Temple Judaism

Jewish Sects in NT [1 page]
Brief outline of the Jewish sects operating in Jesus' day

Intertestamental King and High Priest [2 pages]
Thoughts about the impact of combining the offices of King and High Priest in the Hasmonean period