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Gospels in Theology - Essay Example

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Gospels in Theology

Mark’s gospel was written earlier than the others, prior to 70 AD. Next came Matthew’s, then Luke’s. John’s gospel account was written around 90 AD. Matthew wrote in Syria, for Jewish Christians. Mark wrote in Rome, for Christian Gentiles. Luke wrote in Greece, for Greek Christians. John, on the other hand, wrote in Asia Minor, for Christians of diverse backgroundsii. Since that time, these gospel accounts have spread all over the world, and those who have heard Christ’s message, throughout history until the present day, come from backgrounds that are tremendously diverse. America is a country of great diversity. A message that will be pertinent to Americans will have to touch a commonality within the diversity. Americans value critical thinking. They want a straight message that is verifiable by evidence and testimonials. America is a complex society, with many educated and globally-aware citizens suffering just as much stress as those who are struggling on welfare or homeless, single parents or factory workers. Therefore, any message, in order to be relevant in such a complex society, will need to make people feel like there is a way out of stress, that there is hope. Americans are concerned about nuclear threat, terrorism, discrimination, financial stability, safety, pollution, cholesterol, the ozone layer, global warming, therapeutic issues, and a whole variety of threats. Consequently, Americans are a bit on the defensive side, meaning that they need to be approached gently, not further threatened. A fifth element that characterizes Americans is their friendliness, their outgoing style and willingness to help others, to share resources, so long as they are not taken undue advantage of. These five characteristics shape my argument for why the Gospel of John has such a compelling message and delivery style for Americans at the beginning of the 21st century. Mark’s portrait of Christ emphasizes his suffering and how believers share in his sufferingiii. This is a portrait that Americans can relate to at times because, like everyone else, Americans are subject to the death and loss of friends and family members, housing foreclosures, cancer and other health problems, parenting issues, incidents with traumatic consequences, and they suffer, without a doubt. But Americans usually try to downplay their suffering, holding up their heads and managing, somehow, distracting themselves with this and that. Matthew’s portrait of Jesus focuses on how he fulfills the Law of Mosesiv. He was, after all, writing mostly for the Jews and this is something they were concerned about, in following Jesus as the Messiah. The average American of the 21st century does not really care about the Law of Moses or whether Jesus fulfills it or not. I would not choose Mathew’s Gospel as the overall best focus for an American audience. Luke wrote his account for the Gentiles, and it was focused on poor people and the outcasts of society. Luke emphasized the compassion of Jesusv. This is a beautiful portrait, one I particularly love. Furthermore, Luke’s call to Justicevi, in discipleship resonates with me. However, outcasts might be seen as “Other” and Americans are having a particularly difficult time with “Others” at this point in their history. Some are terrorists, trying to blow them up, along with their buildings and airplanes. Some are breaking into the country illegally and no matter how many times they are removed, they somehow cross the border again to ...Show more


Each of the Gospels offers a portrait of Christ, and each portrait is distinct, reflecting that their audiences were distinct. As Barton points out, it is important to examine the Bible in both its historical cultural context and also in the context of our modern dayi…
Author : pschamberger
Gospels in Theology essay example
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