GOSPEL OF MARK
Earliest "synoptic" gospel (after 70 CE give or take five or ten years)
synoptic gospels are called such because they contain a similar "synopsis"
of the story of Jesus.
right out of the gate we have two very different takes on JESUS.
Paul died before this book even came out (or the temple was destroyed). he
died in 65 CE
The Temple starts to crop up as being incredibly important.
In all synoptic gospels there is something called the "SYNOPTIC
APOCALYPSE" where Jesus says something about the temple being
these are part of the way we actually date the writings of these books so...
***remember that these gospels don't get their titles (mark, matthew, luke,
john, etc) until second/third century
Mark is first canonical gospel.
audience seems to be persecuted Jews, persecuted because of their christian
beliefs because they see their tradition as being threatened. ***when the
temple was there you could have all these weird permutations of Judaism but
once the temple is destroyed, the mainstream jews start to be worried about
all these offshoots.
Jesus really focuses on SUFFERING. he's the suffering saviour. if you
tough it out though, everything will be fine.
in Mark there is a KINGDOM OF GOD that will come at the end of history,
we just gotta hold out till this happens. eventually this idea turns into a place
you go when you die.
it is through his suffering that he becomes the "adopted son of god" at his
baptism. in mark, he is not born as God like he is in John. because he suffers
he is proved the son of God.
his crucifixion account is most vivid in Mark.
Jesus suffers in the same way the audience of Mark is suffering when this is
when he retuns, he will be the judge that punishes the people persecuting
the marken community.
GOSPEL OF MATTHEW glen is not interested in dates (accept for the temple)
roughly 80 CE
interested in seeing the followers of Jesus adhere as strictly as possible to
reaching out to Jews.
MATTHEW 5:18: for truly i tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not
one letter, not one stroke of a letter, will pass from the law until all is
Jesus is portrayed as the uberrabbi
He is NOT proclaiming a separation from Judaism
Jesus is NOT interested in having a different religion.
Jesus was like a NEW MOSES.
Painted as Jewish
not as oppressed as Mark community
MORE JEWISH of Gospels
GOSPEL OF JOHN
weirdest gospel in the NT. it is a record of the theological and spiritual ideas
of the community
Jesus is not only the Son of God, but IS God
Doesn't offer teachings, just reveals that he is the REVEALER
audience is disenfranchised and feel alienated from the world around them.
they must have felt as though they lived in a very dualistic universe
no set agenda. doesn't try to promote anything. you get the impression that
the group who wrote it just want to be left alone.
jesus is quite literally the son of god and he is equated god.
you can directly experience god. if you saw jesus, you saw god.
it makes it easier to be a christian, you don't have to follow kosher laws or
anything else, you just have to see Jesus.
Johannan (check spelling) community wrote this or were written this, look it
he does in some sense sacrifice himself, he goes to the cross, he dies. but it
is portrayed almost like a coronation. he seems like a figure of divine wisdom (Sophia) like the female deity
wisdom of the old testament if you recall.
the beginning of John even has a hymn
the people Jesus talks to mostly don't believe him and leave him thinking he
is a fool but a small remnant always hears him speak and realizes he is the
son of god. this reflects the way the Johannan community felt. marginalized
but having a knowledge that ignoramuses don't have.
these earlier followers would see themselves as in continuity with
hebrew bible was still their bible, not just a book they've moved on
from. they were using the stories from it to validate this new religion (in
antiquity, people did not take new things seriously, things need to be seen
as though always extant)
a lot of Christians, though, didn't buy that Jesus had anything to do with the
MARCION OF SINOPE 100150 CE
VERY INFLUENTIAL CHRISTIAN living in modern day Turkey.
his dates are unsure
what we know is that Marcion understood jesus as NOT having anything to
do with JUDAISM, a brand new thing that had not been predicted in any
his understanding had no link to this ancient pedigree.
Jesus was utterly new and novel
Jesus appeared on teh scene like a magic trick, no birth or child hood story.
Marcion was the first christian to develop a NT 200 years or so earlier: 10
letters of Paul and Marcion's Gospel (whatever that happens to have been)
He was a Christian but Jesus was considered unrelated to Jud