Four Portraits of Jesus: Studies in the Gospels and Their Old Testament Background

Four Portraits of Jesus: Studies in the Gospels and Their Old Testament Background

by Elizabeth E. Platt


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Four Portraits of Jesus is a Bible study guide based on the four distinctive portraits of Jesus in the four Gospels. Each chapter begins with a passage relating to a key theme for each particular Gospel and then addresses a series of questions designed to acquaint readers with the important issues related to that Gospel and its audience. This all-in-one volume incorporates detailed lesson plans for the teacher or study leader, course reading material and worksheets for the participant, and biblical background information for both. Along with a week's worth of daily prayer reflections to complete each Gospel portrait, Four Portraits of Jesus allows readers to appreciate the Scriptures more deeply without being a Bible scholar.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780809142040
Publisher: Paulist Press
Publication date: 05/28/2004
Pages: 217
Product dimensions: 8.16(w) x 11.18(h) x 0.70(d)

Table of Contents

Part 1Introduction1
Reading About Jesus in the Bible3
A.Why Read the Bible?3
B.What Is the Bible About, Basically?3
C.Where Is Key Information about Jesus?4
D.How Did the Gospels Come to Be Written?5
E.What Books about Jesus Were Already in the New Testament before the Gospels?7
F.What Is the "Canon" and How Does It Function?8
G.Where Do the Four-Gospel Lenses Come from in This Bible Study?8
H.Where Is the "Best" Starting Place for Gospel Bible Study?9
I.Is This an Agreed-Upon Way to Begin the Four Gospels?10
J.Why Read the Bible at This Particular Time with Emphasis on Jesus and the Old Testament?12
K.Goal Summary of the Four Portraits of Jesus12
L.Notes for Teaching13
A Five Session Outline for Use in a Church Adult Education Bible Study15
Publicity and Announcements15
The Setting for Meeting16
A Few Notes on Time17
The Teacher's Twenty-Five Minutes17
Session IMatthew19
Session IIMark22
Session IIILuke26
Session IVJohn29
Session VConclusion33
A Workshop on the Role of the Apostle Peter in the Four Gospels34
Part 2The Four Gospels37
Who Is Jesus in Matthew?45
To what does Jesus call us?45
How does Jesus teach?46
What does Jesus teach?46
What is the second definition of the "law" in Matthew?48
How does the life of Jesus show God loving Israel?48
For the first case in point, who were the ancestors of Jesus?49
And who were Jesus' foremothers?49
Who is Jesus from Joseph's point of view?51
Who is Jesus to the wise men?52
Who is Jesus to King Herod?53
Who then is Jesus in light of the Old Testament Exodus?53
Who is Jesus to John the Baptist?54
Who is Jesus in the wilderness?54
Who is Jesus to the Twelve?54
Who is Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount?55
Who is Jesus in his daily pastoral ministry?56
What are the parables?56
Who is Jesus to the Pharisees?59
Do the issues with the Pharisees hint when Matthew's Gospel was written?60
Who is Jesus at the crucifixion?60
Can we learn about the Pharisees from another source?61
What is Jesus' mission according to Matthew?62
Why must Matthew write a biographical "gospel" (and not a treatise on the Old Testament commandments or a collection of the sayings of Jesus)?62
How do the apocalyptic themes so important to Mark play a part in Matthew's Gospel?63
How does the crucifixion of Jesus carry out an extensive theme of lawbreaking in Jesus' ministry?63
How is Matthew's account of the empty tomb different from Mark's? And how do the differences draw out Matthew's themes?64
How is the "Great Commission" a climactic development of what Matthew reports as Jesus' greatest concerns?65
A View of Matthew's Church and Authorship of This Gospel66
Daily Prayer Reflections for a Week with Matthew's Jesus74
Who Is Jesus in Mark? Part 181
Are you the King of the Jews?81
Who is Jesus in the words from the cross?82
Who is Jesus in David's ancient words?83
Who is Jesus in relation to the Twenty-Third Psalm?84
Who is Jesus in light of Elijah?84
Who is Jesus in relation to the Temple?85
Who is Jesus to the Roman government?87
Who is Jesus in God's words?87
Who is Jesus to John the Baptist?88
Who is Jesus at the transfiguration?88
Who is Jesus at the beginning of Mark's Gospel?89
Who is Jesus to people in desperate need?90
First Summary91
Who Is Jesus in Mark? Part 295
Who is Jesus in his own words?95
Who is Jesus from the book of Daniel?96
When does Jesus use the title from Daniel for himself?97
How does Jesus speak of himself in the apocalyptic chapter of Mark 13?97
Who is Jesus to Mark's church?99
Who is Jesus for the eschaton? Or who is Jesus to Satan?101
Who are Jesus' disciples in the apocalyptic setting?102
A View of Mark's Church and Authorship of This Gospel105
Concluding Summary111
Daily Prayer Reflections for a Week with Mark's Jesus114
Who Is Jesus in Luke?119
Where do we begin with Luke?119
Where is the mission of Jesus to be spread?119
Who are the actors in Acts?120
Where can we see the characteristics of successful mission?120
Who must have been in the first congregation at Philippi?122
Who is Jesus to the Philippians?122
Who is Jesus to the apostles in Acts and to later missionaries?123
Why did Jesus appoint seventy missionaries?123
What about the Twelve?124
Why are missionaries sent out in pairs?124
Do other Gospels have pairs of testimony?124
If pairing is so important, is Jesus paired with anyone?125
What other pairs are there in Luke's work?126
Are missionaries always "successful"?126
How is John the Baptist's mission like Jesus' ministry?127
What are the Old Testament passages that provide background for Luke's mission concern?128
How do the deaths of missionaries compare to Jesus' death?129
Who is Jesus on the road to Emmaus?130
A View of Luke's Church and Authorship of This Gospel131
Daily Prayer Reflections for a Week with Luke's Jesus142
Who Is Jesus in John?148
How is Judas a key figure in John's Gospel?148
Why is the garden important?149
How is Passover a theme in John's Gospel?150
How is the cross associated with Passover in John's Gospel?152
Who is Jesus to John the Baptist?153
Who is Jesus to Caiaphas?153
Who is Jesus in his own Passover language?154
What do the "miracles" reveal?155
Who is it who knows so much about Jesus at the Last Supper?156
Why are the specific words so important?157
What does this disciple know?158
Who is Judas really?158
What is the greatest secret the Beloved Disciple learns?159
Why is the foot washing significant?159
Who is Jesus to others not at the Last Supper?161
What is the name of the Beloved Disciple?161
Who is Jesus to Mary Magdalene?162
Who is Jesus' family?162
A View of John's Church and Authorship of This Gospel165
Daily Prayer Reflections for a Week with John's Jesus174
Part 3Supplementary Materials177
Chart of Gospel Topics Compared178
Passages to Read Especially182
Timeline: Summarizing the Bible183
Selected Bibliography for Continuing Study of the Four Gospels186
Part 4Appendix189
On the History of Biblical Interpretation191
Catholic Biblical Scholarship: A Selection from the 1980s and the 1990s Relating to the Four Gospels203
Exegesis Methodologies211

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