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Bible Lessons: The Synoptics

{ Tags: \ Sep22 }


This year we started our study of the Gospels. The lessons are intended to aid the participants get deeper into their reading of the Gospels on the basis of the principles of scripture reading already explained last year. There were only a few students who continued from last year. Most of those who participate do so only when they have the time. The following has been our itinerary so far:



Introduction to the Gospels. A brief introduction to the meaning of the word "Gospel". Three meanings were discussed: (a) "gospel" in its etymology; (b) "gospel" as literature; (c) "gospel" as proclamation. Reviewed from last year’s lesson was the meaning of "Word of God." Also reviewed was Dei Verbum’s declaration about the Gospels and their historical value.

The Synoptic Gospels. We looked at the gospels of Mark, Matthew and Luke. How were they related? Who "copied" from whom? Why do these have similarities? Why do these have differences? The Synoptic problem and its accepted solution was explained. We immediately looked into the Gospel of Mark.
Introduction to "Structures". We looked at the structure of healing miracle stories and tried to see how the structure is modified through different stories. The exercise allowed the participants to see how the author of the Gospel was able to use basic narrative techniques in awakening the interest of his readers.
A Discussion on the Parables. We started looking at the "parables" as a literary genre. We started with Mark, and eventually as exercise, we started looking at those found in Matthew 25.
Looking at Luke. We immediately jumped to the Gospel of Luke since he is more "faithful" to the outline made by Mark. We compared some of the "improvements" made by Luke in stories that he had in common with Mark.
Next meeting (and that would be after this coming Saturday) we will be looking at Luke’s small and big insertions.
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