Synoptic Gospels

CH/TH G105-C03 or NT 6ZE6

Fall 2021
Tues 10:00 - 11:50am

This is the PhD course in which we encounter the person of Jesus and the narratives about him. The gospels are also arguably the best field in New Testament in which the student can explore a variety of methodologies and how to apply them. This course provides a brief overview of the critical issues in the study of Jesus and the Synoptics, then engages the students in applying various methodologies to the texts and concludes with seminar-style student presentations. The student research and presentations may include a wide variety of topics apart from the “synoptic issue,” including the person and work of Jesus in literary and historical context, the characteristic theology of each gospel, any work in a given synoptic gospel, or other topics that are limited to the study of Matthew, Mark and Luke. The Gospels are core to most biblical studies curriculums, so the students will develop an undergraduate-level syllabus on the Synoptics or Gospels for their portfolio and Mastery Checklist.


  • Understand current and historical issues surrounding the Synoptic Gospels including genre, oral tradition, Q, the relationship between the Synoptics, and the historical Jesus.
  • Learn methodologies and apply them to texts
  • Acquire a generalist understanding of the Synoptics.


  • Research a synoptic issue, topic or text and write an academic paper
  • Explore and apply a suitable methodology to the selected issue, topic or text
  • Give presentations that simulate paper presentations in conferences and the classroom
  • Construct and present a response paper appropriate for the academy.
  • Compose a syllabus that applies pedagogy and promotes the study of the Synoptics


  • Be a gospels scholar who maintains a deep devotion to Jesus
  • Become informed in one aspect of Synoptic study
  • Become skilled in applying a methodology to a Synoptic issue, topic or text
  • Become a generalist in Synoptic study, prepared to teach a college level course