Jesus and the Gospels


This is the subject page for the online subject.


One semester, 4 credit points.
Semesters 1, 2 & 3, 2019
Craig Blomberg with online tutors

Be prepared for this unit to transform the way you 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 between the different accounts? Through this unit you will come to see the accounts of Jesus in the New Testament as theological documents grounded in unique historical, literary and biblical contexts. You will appreciate how the four Gospels have distinctive purposes and be equipped to move beyond using the Gospels to simply moralize, instead 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 will help you to understand and apply the life and words of Jesus as the Gospel writers (and God) intended.


  • 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 Ridley Online units 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 related to your unit. These usually include watching videos, reading, completing set learning tasks and contributing to online seminars and interacting with your peers. Allow 8-10 hours study time per week for this introductory unit.



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. © 2019 Copyright. All Rights Reserved.