NT201 Jesus and the Gospels

This subject provides an introduction to the ministry and teaching of Jesus as described in the Gospels, with a special focus on Mark. At the end of this subject you will have gained an understanding of the historical context of Jesus’ ministry, and will be able to identify the distinctive features of each of the four Gospels.

You will be able to discuss the major themes of Jesus’ teaching and appreciate the significance of certain key events recorded in the Gospels. Through personal reflection, you will be able to use perspectives from this unit to further your own understanding of the Gospel and your application of it in your life and ministry.

Previous Subject TitleContent and Setting of the Gospel Tradition
Subject CodeNT201 - Diploma
Study ModesMST Wantirna Campus
Next AvailableSemester 1, 2018
Gillian Subject Pic

Gillian Asquith


This subject (along with Early New Testament Church) forms the foundation for advanced studies in the New Testament. This subject introduces students to the life and ministry of Jesus against the cultural, religious and political background of first century Palestine, and to the nature of the four gospels, their characteristics and major themes. Special attention is given to distinctive features of each of the four gospels, and to the life, ministry and teaching of Jesus.

At the end of the subject, students will:

• be able to locate the ministry of Jesus in its proper historical context, and to identify and explain the significance of those features of first century Palestinian Judaism that emerge in the text of the Gospels;

• be able to explain the distinctive character of Mark’s Gospel and to recount the people, places and events recorded in Mark’s narrative;

• be able to describe the distinctive theological features and historical setting of the other three Gospels;

• be able to identify and summarise the fruits of modern Gospel scholarship, with reference to contemporary publications;

• have researched in greater depth specific aspects of the life and ministry of Jesus in the light of current scholarship;

• have reflected on and evaluated the implications of the content and method of Jesus’ ministry for contemporary Christian ministry.


    This subject will be taught by Gillian Asquith.

      Time Commitment

      This subject will require a time commitment of roughly 6-8 hours per week, which is made up of both lecture/in-class time and self directed study.

      Whatever method of study you choose, you will require Internet access to access the resources on our eCampus.


        Assessments will be advised first week of class.

          Required Textbook

          Elwell, Walter A. and Robert W. Yarbrough. Encountering the New Testament: A Historical and Theological Survey, (3rd ed.; Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2013).
          Or if students would prefer a more challenging read:
          Achtemeier, Paul J., Joel B. Green and Marianne Meye Thompson, Introducing the New Testament: Its Literature and Theology (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2001).

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