Introduction to the Synoptic Gospels - Part II

Introduction to the Synoptic Gospels - Part II

This course introduces you to the debates about the meaning of the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke/Acts. What were the theological interests of the authors of the Synoptic Gospels?

Course code: TH0029

Professor: Anthony Giambrone


This course introduces students to the first three Gospels in the New Testament Canon. As a foundational course in the first cycle of theological study, closely bound to the course on the Fourth Gospel, the class will first treat introductory issues, including the nature of Gospel literature, the Synoptic Problem, and the historicity and fourfold collection of the Gospels. Next, a rapid reading of Matthew, Mark, and Luke will be offered, highlighting characteristic elements of structure and theology and meant to foster appreciation for the simultaneous diversity and unity of the Gospels’ revelation. Attention will be given here also to the Acts of the Apostles as the companion volume to Luke. Finally, as a theological study of “the principal witness to the life and teaching of the Incarnate Word” (DV 18), the course will conclude with a synthetic section organized around the mysteries of the life of Christ.

Course Goals

Students who successfully complete this course will…

  1. Encounter a representative range of key exegetical figures and modes of Gospel scholarship.
  2. Appreciate fundamental issues in the interpretation of Matthew, Mark, and Luke (and Acts).
  3. Recognize theological motifs characteristic of each synoptic Gospel.
  4. Understand major aspects of the life and teaching of the Lord.
  5. Attain basic literacy in the study of Gospel revelation and acquire the skills necessary to teach and preach these texts soundly to a lay audience.
  6. Exercise theological judgment in interpreting select Gospel passages.

Table of Contents

Part II: Reading the Synoptic Gospels

  • 11. Matthew (1-4): In Order to Fulfill
  • 12. Matthew (5-7): Sermon on the Mount
  • 13. Matthew (8-12): Ministry and Mission
  • 14. Matthew (13): New and Old
  • 15. Upon This Rock
  • 16. Matthew (19-23): Another Nation
  • 17. Matthew (24-27): Blood of the Covenant
  • 18. Matthew (28): End of the Age
  • 19. Mark (1-4): A New Teaching
  • 20. Mark (5-8): Messianic Secret
  • 21. Mark (8-10): Blindness
  • 22. Mark (11-13): Apocalypse
  • 23. Mark (14-15): The Son of God
  • 24. Mark (16): Sound of Silence?
  • 25. Luke (1-3): Theotokos
  • 26. Luke (4-9): Year of the Lord's Favor
  • 29. Luke (20-23): "Father Forgive Them"