Jesus and the Gospels

Be prepared for this subject to transform the way we read Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Be ready to ask questions like: Why did Jesus use the titles Son of Man and Son of God? Did the stories in the Gospels really happen in the order they are set out? How should we understand miracles? How can we account for inconsistencies and consistencies between the different accounts? Through this subject, we come to see the accounts of Jesus in the New Testament as theological documents grounded in unique historical, literary and biblical contexts. We appreciate how the four Gospels have distinctive purposes and we become equipped to move beyond using the Gospels simply to moralize, instead of learning to interpret sophisticated literary features like parables with a new eye to their structure and purpose. Studying the Gospels and the scholarly debates surrounding them helps us to understand and apply the life and words of Jesus as the Gospel writers (and God) intended.

Please visit the timetable by clicking here for current information on subject availability.

Subject Details

Mode  Online
Workload One semester, 12 credit points
Status Core
Subject Code NT001
Prerequisites None
Teacher Craig Blomberg


  • The historical, religious and political setting of Palestine as part of the Roman Empire
  • The Markan outline and emphases
  • Distinctive features of the Gospels of Matthew, Luke and John
  • The kingdom of God in the proclamation of Jesus
  • The parables and their interpretation
  • The ethics of Jesus, including the Sermon on the Mount
  • The miracles of Jesus and their significance
  • The titles of Jesus in the Gospels
  • The passion and resurrection narratives

Study Expectations

In this subject, you can expect to be guided through a variety of weekly learning activities which are designed to develop your understanding of and skills in the themes and passages covered in the syllabus. For online students, these usually include watching videos, reading, completing set learning tasks and contributing to online seminars and interacting with your peers. Students should allow 8-10 hours of study time per week for this introductory subject.


We respectfully acknowledge the Wurundjeri People, who are the Traditional Owners of the land on which the Ridley College campus is built.
Ridley College is an affiliated college with the Australian College of Theology, CRICOS Provider Code 02650E.
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