The Life and Teachings of Jesus

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The course presents a survey of the life and ministry of Jesus Christ as presented in the four gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John), including historical, political, social, and religious contexts.



  • Describing key elements of the Greco-Roman backgrounds of the New Testament, including Roman presence and influence during the life of Jesus.
  • Identifying various religious and political groups in first-century Judaism, including the Sadducees, Pharisees, Zealots, Herodians, Essenes, and the Sanhedrin.
  • Identifying specific styles, themes, and content of each of the Gospels.
  • Explaining the religious and political significance of Messiah in first-century Judaism.
  • Correlating the two genealogies in Matthew and Luke.
  • Comparing and explaining variations among Gospel parallels.
  • Discussing the birth and childhood of Jesus and John the Baptist.
  • Describing the prophetic ministry of John the Baptist and its correlation with the beginning of the public ministry of Jesus.
  • Grappling with the meaning and implications of the stories of Jesus’ temptation by Satan in the wilderness.
  • Analyzing unique encounters with people, such as the woman at the well of Sychar.
  • Tracing the three stages of the great Galilean ministry of Jesus.
  • Describing the calling and special training of the Twelve disciples in Galilee.
  • Tracing the later Judean Ministry, the Perean Ministry, and the last public ministry of Jesus in Jerusalem.
  • Describing the arrest, trial, crucifixion, and burial of Jesus.
  • Describing the resurrection, numerous appearances, and the ascension of Christ.
  • Understanding the substance and meaning of select parables of Jesus.
  • Discussing the Sermon on the Mount with special attention to the Beatitudes, the influence and responsibility of discipleship, the meaning of prayer, and the Golden Rule.
  • Discussing the purpose and value of the signs and miracles of Jesus.
  • Discussing the broad implications of the ministry of Jesus and the gospel message to the nations of the world.
  • Explaining prophecy as a means of identifying Jesus as Messiah.
  • Discussing the pre-existence of the son of God and the concept of Incarnation in the person of Jesus of Nazareth.

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