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CHRISTIANITY JESUS IN THE GOSPELS MOSAIC: “COMPOSITE PORTRAIT” OF JESUS Mosaic: (small glass tiles melted together) “Composite Portrait” of Jesus. Jesus is like mosaic. We don’t know who he is. All religions have interpretations about him and we have joined every piece to have a composite picture of jesus.  THE TWO COMMANDMENTS - Christianity offers 2 commandments having to do with Love LOVE FOR GOD We should focus on repenting and loving one another and loving God To be Christian one must have faith in the existence of God One shows their faith through conduct and affirmation of doctrine To give thanks to God for sacrificing His only son so that our sins can be forgiven We love God because He is our creator, but also for saving us from our sins for all eternity LOVE FOR ONE’S NEIGHBOUR Jesus places emphasis on forgiveness more than any other religion Jesus commands that we forgive and accept our enemies as well as our friends SPIRITUAL VS. POLITICAL KINGDOM Spiritual Through traditional Christian events, we are able to bond with our families and friends and build a community. We are able to rejoice about the good news together and celebrate our love for God. Forgiveness, atonement and loving others Political Christianity has to face the non-spiritual elements used at present day on a worldwide scale, of their traditional events. But they must also face pluralism today as well. With today’s multicultural world, people of all ethnicities may believe in more than one element of more than one religion. Christians must recognize this as today’s reality and accept it. Historically, and possibly currently, Christians accused individuals of other religions, of their denial of the existence of Jesus. Christians accused other religions of simply being a part of the Christian religion if only they acknowledged Jesus. This is not very Christian of them if they did not accept and respect the differences of other religions. EARLY CHRISTIAN BELIEF AND HISTORY MISSIONARY COMPONENT Christianity is one of the world’s greatest missionary religions (travelling around, talking to people and getting them to join) Concerned about other humans Started as a Jewish sect and grew to a Christian movement Judaism not a missionary religion; do not go out to convert PENTECOST Marks the emergence of the Church as a missionary movement with a message for all people. Occurs on the 50th day after Easter, commemorating the day when Jesus’ followers experienced the Holy Spirit and the ability to preach and be understood in different languages. On this day the descendents sat together and decided what to do after Jesus’ death. They knew many languages so they went out and shared the good news Marks the Jewish festival Shavouth, the Feast of Weeks ALL ROADS LEAD TO PAUL Principal figure to shape the direction of the early church (master coordinator of Christianity) He was a Pharisee from the Diaspora, from the Jewish community in Tarsus He wrote letters (liturgical blessings and questions of theology) before the gospels were written JEWISH AND GENTILE CHRISTIANITY Paul had a vision of the post- resurrection Jesus Paul refers to himself as the apostle of the gentiles (non-Jew) In order to follow Jesus, NO circumcision and dietary laws needed He says that salvation is obtained through faith of Jesus as the Messiah or Christ This frees people of bondage of the Law of Moses CHRIST: AS REDEEMER (from sin and death (not hell)) Paul states that people are not saved through morally correct action, but through trusting faith Liberation of human’s sinful nature, as human beings are inherently self-willed and sinful, is what God intended by sending Jesus to die a self-sacrificing death From Paul’s context, we accept Jesus as a Redeemer from sin. Sin leads to death, so there is a connection between the two. Accepting Jesus as our redeemer we get life. THE STRUCTURE OF THE NEW TESTAMENT Text: pp. 203-213 PERSPECTIVES ON THE CHRISTIAN BIBLE Christian literature demonstrates the existence of a community of faith that preached the message of Jesus as the risen Lord. Each gospel in the New Testament comes from an author with a particular interpretation and an intended readership. INERRANCY Perspective that the bible does not contain error (infallible). Translated without error How? The bible is believed to be of divine revelation, transformation from divine LITERALISM Accepting each incident and speech as actually occurring Stories not just metaphors for life If were puts truth of religion into question If doubt it maybe doubting authority of religion; fundamental perspective HISTORICAL-CRITICAL Analytical approach Not looking to criticize but critically analytical GOSPELS IN FOCUS Mark, Matthew, Luke and John are called evangelists; people who proclaim the good news Gospel means “Good news”. It is a German word. The good news is that the Messiah is coming. It is a cosmic headline. It is referred to German and Greek: Evangellion. 190 CE: The gospel of Peter says that Jesus was not resurrected and was not sent to heaven. This is similar to the Islamic view. The Gospels are a sacred biography of Jesus’ life from an academic perspective. MARK (WINGED LION) Lion – courage, monarchy Written 65-70CE Shortest gospel Describes Jesus’ adult career and activities, not birth Stresses Jesus actions over his teachings Destruction of temple in 70 CE Begins with Jesus’ baptism by John who is preaching “like a lion roaring” The 12 disciples are chosen. With them he heals and teaches He disputes with religious authorities and Judas Celebrates Passover with his disciples the night before his crucifixion Does not deny that he is the king of the Jews and offers no defense Executed in 33 CE Before the beginning of the Sabbath he is placed in a tomb, sealed by a large stone Three women find the stone rolled away and his body missing A figure appears to them and informs them that Jesus will meet the disciples SAVIOUR OF THE GENTILES Jesus heals, teaches and challenges the priorities of Jewish religious authority Launches his ministry in the Galilee region proclaiming that the Kingdom of God is at hand Jesus heals on the Sabbath and picks grain, declaring the Sabbath is made for the people This possibly means that the Kingdom of God and the good news is made for the people, including gentiles, the non Jews, not just strictly for Jewish people APOCALYPTIC URGENCY The ending of the world, or an end to something The righteous of the nation will possess the earth Either by an eternal Messianic kingdom on earth, or temporary blessedness here and eternal blessedness hereafter MATTHEW (WINGED ANGEL) Angel - Jesus’ Incarnation and Christ’s human nature Written 75-80CE Infancy story. Angel comes to Mary and says she is going to have a son (Jesus) Talks about the supernatural power of Jesus King Herod being worried about his birth so he orders to kill every Jewish infant Angel warns Mary and Joseph. Tells them to escape from Egypt. PROMISED MESSIAH OF ISRAEL Emphasis on Jesus as saviour of Jews, therefore Jewish readership with claim of his messiahship He wants Jews to live up to ideals already present in their tradition Places ethics before tradition and challenges traditional interpretations SUPREME TEACHER OF TORAH Focuses on teachings (supreme teacher of Torah) Scholars claim Matthew’s narratives were generated by existing Hebrew texts Matthew lists Hebrew passages out of their earlier context and finds their new meaning Conservative Christians claim that the words were placed there earlier on in the Hebrew scripture by God Thus, at the time of Jesus, the words had meaning and were divinely intended for them all along Ie. Like Moses, Jesus goes into the desert for a personal spiritual encounter (40 days and nights) Matthew opens gospel by giving genealogy of Jesus as the descendent of King David in a lineage that runs through Joseph, husband of Mary Mary was pregnant with Jesus before Joseph married her. Child is fathered by Holy Spirit rather than Joseph. Ie. Bypasses genealogy th Matthew quotes 7 chapter of Isaiah “Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel (means “God with us”) Context earlier time was Isaiah’s advice to King Ahaz, not to join the coalition against the Assyrians, who were the principal world power of the day LUKE (WINGED OX) ~85 CE Winged Ox - symbol of strength, sacrifice and service Jesus as savior of temple Greek audience Including events before the adult baptism and ministry of Jesus Contains visions and portents anticipating the birth of John the Baptist and the birth of Jesus Pilate declares Jesus innocent of any crime but then yields to mob pressure to have him crucified. Talks about signs, experienced manifestation Few references. More statements made by Jesus himself. SAVIOUR OF THE GENTILES Luke used omens, portents and declarations that strengthened Jesus as the long awaited Messiah Jesus born into his role and destined for it unlike mark’s gospel. CONCERN FOR POOR, WOMEN, OUTCASTS Disciples were peasants from rural Galilee Their teacher gave them hope that low status, marginalized people (poor, sinners, Samaritans, women etc.) had a place in God’s plan Expected not to have to wait long for the end of the age and have the glorious return of their teacher “LUKE-ACTS” New Testament: Acts of the Apostles Luke’s sequel to his gospel Acts2: disciples gathered at Shavouth Shavouth (Same day as Christian Pentecost). 7 weeks after Passover, in which Jesus is executed CHURCH = CONTINUATION OF LIFE OF JESUS Apostles merge and teach Church bring unity to everyone to practice once learning the good news More structure and concrete place to teach the ‘masses’ JOHN (EAGLE) ~90-100 CE Eagle represents Jesus’ ascension, Christ’s divine nature looking directly into eternity without flinching for salvation Starts with eternal overview of Jesus the logos Higher level of theology than the three ‘terrestrial’ synoptic gospels JESUS AS ETERNAL DIVINE SON OF GOD He writes “Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and through believing you may have life in his name” (John 20:30-1) NOT “SYNOPTIC” Synoptic: Greek meaning viewing together Matthew, Mark and Luke have a lot in common – they are referred to as synoptic gospels They have a unified perspective (suggested that Matt/Luke used Mark as a primary source) John has a different direction John’s gospel is a major theological essay His purpose is to provide cosmic significance as well as a story INCARNATION John says about “logos” a “word”. It represents the idea that God can create the world with his word, command the world through his word and redeem the world through his word. John declares that Jesus is the incarnation of the divine word, which means the logos became flesh and dwelt among us. Eternal divine purpose became a personal presence in human form John’s Jesus is the definitive link between God and humanity THE TWO-DOCUMENT THEORY Q (QUELLE = SOURCE) Scholars believe that Mark is the source for Matthew and Luke (that have overlapped material) and that there is another source for Matthew and Luke which Mark did not use. The source is called ‘Q’. It is a hypothetical document which has never been discovered. 19 century German New Testament Scholars made the assumption NEW TESTAMENT – ACTS, EPISTLES, REVELATION ACTS - Luke and Acts are connected thematically. Understood to have same author LUKE PART II – Second part to Luke’s gospel - Describes early history of Church EPISTLES (LETTERS) The letters written by Paul (the first Christian literature) In Paul’s letter he is correcting people, disciplining, and regulating traditions PAULINE EPISTLES = EARLIEST WRITINGS REVELATION (100 CE) Sometimes called the Apocalypse of John Highly visionary Allegorical discussion of domination and hopeful destruction of Rome Mark of the beast refers to Emperor Nero according to scholars CONCLUSION: CONSENSUS 1. BIRTH (4 BCE) - by Mary the virgin; fathered by the Holy Spirit RAISED IN NAZARETH - due to the Exodus from King Herod in Egypt BROTHER JAMES PIVOTAL IN EARLY CHURCH (50’S AND 60’S CE) Jesus’ brother James was one of the leaders of the Apostles 2. THE BAPTISM OF JESUS Occurred in adulthood by John the Baptist Personal decision rather than when an i
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