Study Guide for Midterm in THEO 203
Monday, October 7th, worth 30%
*Because I want you to be successful in your exam, I am going to be honest and admit that I only started taking detailed notes starting week 3 (you will not find notes from me from weeks 1 and 2). Thus, the first part of this study guide (Early Christian Groups) is not as complete as it could be. My apologies for the inconvenience; I suggest you consult your own notes, or other notes from Study Soup from this same class.
Early Christian Groups
Ebionites were a group of Jewish Christians who believed that the only thing that separated Jesus from the mass was his high virtue and wisdom; they did not believe in Jesus’ divinity.
They also rejected the idea of the virgin birth; they believed he was born of normal intercourse between Mary and a man.
They, nevertheless, believed strongly in following Jesus’ teachings. Gnostics
Gnostics comes from an ancient Greek term which means “having knowledge”. This is what Gnostics were all about; they believed salvation was to be gained through knowledge (contrary to the more popular, later Christian idea that salvation is a gift from God) Don't forget about the age old question of expresses the minimum and maximum number of entity occurrences associated with one occurrence of the related entity.
The way Gnostics saw Jesus is that they believed he was a man who got possessed by Christ who was in Heaven.
Marcionites believed that the God of the Jews was an evil creator who enjoys war and is the author of all evils on the planet.
The only gospel they considered is Luke, but they twisted and interpreted it in a way that was inacceptable to the Church, and ignored many teachings of Jesus purposely, the Church assumes.
The Nicene Creed
All the beliefs above were considered heresies by the Church, and there were many, many more in the early Christian world, where everybody is still trying to decide who Jesus really was. A council was formed in 325, the Council of Nicea, to decide what Christians need to believe once and for all. This is what the Nicene Creed is about; determining a correct, orthodox statement of belief for Christians. The problems described above were “solved” by this creed. Among many other things, the Creed explicitly affirms the divinity of Jesus.
The Proto-Orthodox Christians are the Christians after the Nicene Creed, who decide to follow it. From then on, this is the only acceptable, orthodox belief of Christianity.
According to the glossary of our textbook, a gospel is “The translation of a Greek word that literally means “good news,” used of the first four books of the New Testament (and books like them) that narrate the good news of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection.” We also discuss several other topics like computer science unt
In the New Testament, there are four gospels, in this order: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
The gospels were not necessarily written by the one who gave his name to it. 2nd century Greeks gave gospels authors because anonymous texts do not have as much weight and authority. If you want to learn more check out phys 101 formula sheet
The three first gospels we focused on in this class are Matthew, Mark and Luke. These are the synoptic gospels.
Synoptic comes from the Greek word sunoptikos, which means “seeing the whole together”. These gospels were called as such because they are extremely similar (similar stories, similar order, similar editorial comments, and similar vocabulary), so much that scholars wondered how it could be that they were so similar. This is known as the synoptic problem. The most popular solution to this problem is:
The Four-Source Hypothesis
It has been generally accepted that four sources exist for these three books: If you want to learn more check out stat 100 umd
iii. Special Matthew (M)
iv. Special Luke (L)
i. First, it is generally understood that Mark was the first of the three gospels to be written. This perspective is called Markan Priority. Scholars believe Mark must have been the first gospel written (even though it is not the first one in the New Testament, it is approximated to have been written between 65 and 70), for two main reasons: first, it is shorter, and usually, as stories are rewritten, scribes add information, they do not take away from it. Thus, statistically, it is more probable that Mark was written before longer, similar gospels. Second, a lot of what is in Matthew and Luke is also in Mark, about 41% of Luke, and 46% of Matthew is also in Mark.
ii. Q comes from the latin word Quelle¸ which literally means “source”. Q is an hypothesis of a source that might have existed; scholars
“created” this source to explain what was in both Matthew in Luke, but not in Mark. Q is just an idea, there is no proof that it existed. iii. Special Matthew is the source that scholars think must have existed, which would the material that is only in Matthew, and not in the two other gospels.
iv. Special Luke is the source that scholars think must have existed, which would the material that is only in Luke, and not in the two other gospels.
The four-source hypothesis is derived from the Two-Source Hypothesis, which included only Mark and Q.
Now, there are two main tradition (a tradition is “Any doctrine, idea, practice, or custom that has been handed down from one person to another”) pertaining to the synoptic gospel: the Triple Tradition, where the three synoptic gospels are considered, and the Double Tradition, where only Matthew and Luke are considered. We also discuss several other topics like msu email montclair
In the Triple Tradition, there is one source: Mark.
In the Double Tradition, there is one source as well: Q.
Matthew is the first gospel of the New Testament, but was not the first one written: it is approximated to have been written around 80-85 C.E.
The author was obviously very familiar with the Old Testament, he uses many quotes from it.
Separation of Matthew
There are two main theories about how Matthew should be split up;
i. Either in two main parts, both starting with the statement ‘’From that time Jesus began’’ (4:17, 16:21);
ii. Or five main parts, separated by the statement “Now when Jesus had finished saying these things’’ (7:28, 11:1, 13:53, 19:1, 26,1)
Theological Features of Matthew
These are the theological features of this gospel, important to know:
i. It is a theology of accomplishment
The author of Matthew applies prophecies that were predicted by ancient prophets of the Old Testament to Jesus, as if they had been talking about him (when that was not the case; each prediction had a context for themselves).
ii. Jesus the new Moses
Jesus brought a new law to his people, just like Moses did with the Hebrews he delivered from the Egyptians.
iii. Jesus is the new Israel
Just like the Hebrews were tested in the desert for 40 years after their escape, Jesus was tested in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights. However, he succeeded where Israel failed (they did not always have faith in God in the desert). We also discuss several other topics like used mis 200
iv. Kingdom of Heaven
Jesus is an eschatological teacher (eschatology = the doctrine of the end times). He teaches that the day where God would come down to earth and establish his kingdom is near, and that it is important that people repent before that day.
People often interpret Matthew 24 (it is worth to go read, it is a short chapter) as a predilection of the end of the world, but this is not what Jesus is talking about.
First, he is talking about the destruction of the Temple specifically. Second, when he talks about the end of the age¸ he does not mean end of the world; he means end of the world as people of these days know it, more precisely, end of the Jewish world.
As mentioned, the author of Matthew was very knowledgeable about the Old Testament. Poetic apocalyptic language is found in Isaiah 13:10 against the King of Babylon, and Ezekiel 32:7 against the Pharaoh, to cite only two examples. The author of Matthew would have been familiar with those passages, which are related to political issues. The author is doing the same thing.
This is one of the many, many instances where the Bible is deeply contextual and cannot be applied to today.
**What is most important to remember about the gospel of Matthew is that the author did a retrospective reading of the Old Testament. He read ancient texts, and applied them to his own, current context, the one of Jesus.
Interestingly, Mark is the only book which uses the word “gospel” (e.g. Matthew starts with “the book”)
Like Matthew, Mark pretends Jesus is the realization of old prophecies. John the Baptist
An important part of Mark is John the Baptist. John proclaimed he could perform a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins in the waters of the Jordan, in the desert. This was unusual, because at the time, people went to the Temple to get baptized, which religious authorities liked because it brought them money. John the Baptist was a religious competitor to these authorities.
However, John the Baptist said that “the one who is more powerful than I” was coming, and that he would baptize people with the Holy Spirit.
The story of the baptism was a big problem for the early Christians, because usually, someone who gets baptized is inferior to the one baptizing them. Thus, Jesus would have been inferior to John the Baptist, which was unacceptable for early Christians.
Scholars believe that Jesus (the man) was initially a follower of John the Baptist, and eventually broke off from him and started his own minister.
The Voice from God, and What it Means
When Jesus gets baptized, a voice from God comes down from Heaven, which says; “You are my son, the beloved; with you I am well pleased.”
This quote can be traced down to Psalm 2:7, where God addresses the King David. Thus, both Jesus and David are sons of God. What does this mean exactly?
In the Ancient Near East, Kings were designated as such. It is equivalent to the expression Christ, which means anointed, messiah also means anointed. Prophets, in that time, were sent by God to pour holy oil on that individual’s forehead. Kings were also messiah. Thus, this term, Son of God, speaks of a function/role.
Thus, what God says to Jesus on his baptism, calling him his son, has nothing to do with divinity. It only speaks of him being God’s representative on earth, just like Kings were.
This does not mean Mark did not think of Jesus as divine; it only means that the terms “Son of God” are not the proof of that.
This will be important for later.
There are 10 rules historians of ancient times followed when writing history:
The choice of a noble subject
You have to choose an interesting, noble main character. The usefulness of the subject for the readers.
The reader needs to learn, get a lesson from what they read. The absence of partiality.
Have to be impartial.
The good construction of the narrative.
The narrative has to make sense.
The adequate collection of preparatory material.
The selection and variety in the treatment of the information. You filter through your sources.
The correct ordering of the account.
Write in an order that makes sense.
The liveliness of the narration.
The moderation in topographic details.
Conservative in topographic details.
The composition of speeches adapted to the rhetorical situation. The authors of that time admit that they weren’t always there, but when they write, they write dialogues which make sense for the time and context they are writing about. (E.g. the authors of the gospels probably weren’t there when Jesus was alive.)
Luke / Acts
The reason Luke and Acts are talked about together is because they share similarities in their opening statements which may mean that they share the same author. (Luke 1:1-4 & Acts 1:1-2) Here are the main similarities:
1. Both authors announce their intention with the book.
2. Both author address someone called Theophilus.
3. In Acts (which follows Luke directly, in the New Testament), the authors says “In the first book”, which could talk about Luke.
An hypothesis could be that the author of Acts wanted to make the readers believe he was the same author as Luke’s, to give authority to his work.
However, there are some reasons why the author of Acts could not be the one of Luke:
Scholars believe that Acts (which refers to the actions of the apostles) was probably part of a collection of Acts (e.g. Acts of Peter), which was in circulation in the 2nd century, which would mean that the author could not be the same as Luke’s.
The two messiahship are different; in Luke, Jesus is presented as a prophetic messiah, whereas in Acts, it is more of a kingly messiahship. This will be talked about more later.
Jesus does a lot of miracles in Luke, whereas in Acts, Jesus gives the power to his disciples, which do the miracles themselves.
In Luke 24, Jesus appears to his disciples many times after his resurrection, to give them instructions, teach them about the kingdom of God, etc. After all his apparitions, he goes on a mountain and goes to Heaven. All the apparitions happen in one day. In the book of Acts, his apparitions last 40 days.
o However, there are many versions as to how much time Jesus came back, going up to many years.
o Also, in Acts, the 40 could very much be symbolic, and not mean a literal 40 days. The number 40 is highly symbolic in the Bible; the Hebrews were in the desert for 40 years, Jesus was in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights, etc.
You will notice that the number 40 is always linked to stories of preparation, testing, new instructions, etc.
The prologue of Luke shows that its author was an historian who followed the rules above. He also knows that people wrote about Jesus before (“Since many have undertaken to set down an orderly account of the events that have been fulfilled among us”).
The question is, why write about something that has already been told? Probably because of the second rule: people need to get a lesson from what they read. Perhaps the author of Luke wanted to teach a different lesson than what had already been taught.
The goal of Luke is to make the readers understand that they need to open their minds to understand the scripture; he, too, makes a retrospective reading of the OT, by saying that Jesus was the one prophets predicted. He is saying that readers need to read the Old Testament with that in mind.
The book of Acts is all about the power of the Holy Spirit through the apostles.
The context of Acts is that it follows Jesus’ crucifixion directly; his disciples are left without a leader and scared that the same will happen to them, because of their faith.
Here are the important stories to know to understand the book of Acts:
Acts 1:8: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and it all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Acts 2:1-21: The establishment of the Jerusalem community of believers Under the orders of Jesus, all the believers go in one room, where a wind blows, and they all receive power from God. They all start speaking in tongues (languages they do not know).
Acts 5:1-11: Discipline in the Jerusalem community
When Peter calls out a man for lying, he dies. Same happens for his wife, who also lied. God was punishing the liars through the power He gave to the apostles, which gave them authority.
Acts 7:1-60: First Christian martyr (someone who dies for their beliefs) Stephen died by stoning, because he blamed people publicly for not believing in Jesus when he came.
Acts 9:1-19: Paul’s call
Paul was called Saul before. Saul was, at first, against Christ followers; he persecuted them. One day he was on the road, going from Jerusalem to a city in Syria, Damascus, and on that road he hears a voice and sees a shining light. The voice says “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” Saul asks who this is, and the voice says “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting”. From now on, Saul becomes Paul, and becomes one of the most important Christian figure of the time.
Acts 15:1-31: First Church council
At the beginning, all new Christians are Jews who, even though they start being followers of Christ, still follow their old tradition. However, as Paul starts travelling farther, outside of Israel, people who are non-Jewish start to convert to. Thus, the Church assembled a council in Jerusalem to know what to do with these new non-Jewish Christians; should they follow Jewish traditions as well, like the others? The conclusion of the council was that no, they should not.
Acts 27-28: Paul’s trip to Rome
Messiahship in Luke and Acts
*As talked about earlier, when we talk about anointed one, we mean anyone anointed by God to represent Him on earth. This can represent three classes of people: kings, prophets, and priests.
In Luke, the first time Jesus is referred to as a king is in the infancy narrative (Luke 1:30-33: use of words such as throne, reign, and kingdom). When they talk about throne, they talk about David’s throne. David, in the Old Testament, is the representation of the perfect king, king according to God’s heart.
In 2 Samuel 7:12-13, David receives a promise from God that one of his descendants would be put on his throne.
Plus, there is the quote from the baptism, explained earlier, which can be traced back to what God says to the king David; thus, another link to kingship for Jesus.
This all points to Jesus being anointed as a kingly messiah.
However, an important passage is Luke 4:16-30, where Jesus affirms to the people that God has anointed him to accomplish these things: “proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free” - This is a quote from Isaiah, which Isaiah wrote about himself.
In this same passage, Jesus explains that prophets are never accepted in their hometown, and gives examples.
When he dies, people do not understand. “He was the anointed one, how could he die?) but Jesus explains that this is what prophets have to go through (Luke 24:25-27):
“Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and then enter into his glory?”
Thus, the conclusion to get about the messiahship in Luke and Acts is this:
Jesus was a prophet (prophetic messiah) in Luke, and a king (kingly messiah) in Acts. He only becomes a king when he dies.
But how does Jesus rule after his resurrection? For the writer of Acts, Jesus is a kingly Messiah who rules, not physically, but through the spirit. He is a pneumatic ruler, which means spiritual (pneuma=spirit).
He does that through his disciples (Acts 1:8: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witness in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”)
John has a tradition completely of its own, it is not related to the synoptic gospel. One difference could be that while the synoptic gospels focus mainly on the kingdom of God, John focus especially on the person of Jesus.
In fact, John was written to answer the struggles of the early Jewish Christians who had a hard time joining their double-belief. It was written to answer the question, who was Jesus?
The main difference between John and the synoptic gospels is that John holds the highest Christology.
Christology is “the understanding or teaching on Christ; his nature and work; his human and divine attributes”; John holds the highest one because it focuses on the Heavenly origins of Jesus.
John holds two “christologies”: the Son of God Christology and the Son of Man Christology.
Son of God
As explained further above, the term “Son of God” has nothing to do with divinity; it only speaks of Jesus as God’s representative on earth.
In John, we will talk about Jesus as the Plenipotentiary (synonym for representative) of God on earth.
Thus, the Son of God Christology is a judicial Christology, where Jesus “legally” represents God on earth, with four judicial clauses:
1. Mission and Mandate - The person that was sent needs to complete the mission ordered by the one who sent him
2. Judicial Equality - He has the same authority as the one who sent him 3. Obedience - The person who was sent needs to obey the one who sent him
4. Return and Reckoning - When the job is done, that person who was sent needs to come back and give an account
These four clauses can be clearly seen in John:
Mission: John 3:16-17+34-35 (especially 17) - Jesus was sent not to punish, but to save humans of their sins
Judicial Equality: John 10:30, 12:45, 14:7-9 - These passages do not mean that Jesus is the same as God, a divine being; it only means that his authority is the same, that he represents God completely on earth.
Obedience: John 5:30, 6:38, 12:49-50 - Jesus is not applying his own will; he obeys God and applies His will. Jesus is not equal to God in greatness: he is equal to him in authority, because what he does is apply God’s will.
Return and Reckoning: John 17:1-13
Son of Man
John 1:49: Nathanael recognizes the low Christology that was already presented in the synoptic gospels (Son of God, King of Israel), but Jesus answers in 1:51 that there is so much more than that, which Nathanael does not know (a higher Christology)
This is the introduction to the higher Christology which distinguishes John from the other gospels
“No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness**, so must the Son of Man be lifted up. That whoever believes in him may have eternal life.”
The meaning of this is thought to be that just like people lived when they looked at the serpent of bronze in Numbers, they will live when they look at the Son of Man being lifted up.
The three passages below will bring us to the conclusion of what the Son of Man being “lifted up” means.
Jesus tells his disciples to drink his flesh and his blood, and where they are offended, he tells them that this is a spiritual representation; the flesh does not matter. He asks them, if this offends you, then how will you handle the Son of Man ascending to where he came from (Heaven), how will you handle the Son of Man being lifted up?
He speaks of “lifting up” again, but there, he says that the people are the ones who will need to lift him up.
This passage is all about death.
“31 Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out. 32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” 33 He said this to indicate the kind of death he was to die.”
The Son of Man being lifted up means Jesus being crucified. The cross is the glorification of the son. It is his ascension. Whoever looks up to Jesus on the cross and believes in him, will live. John has a realized eschatology; it ends at the cross.
*This is complex in the beginning of Christianity, because for Jews, being crucified means you are cursed by God. Criminals were crucified.
The Christology of the Son of Man and the cross is extremely important, because if you only have the Christology of the Son of God and Jesus gets crucified, it means Jesus failed in his mission, and God let him die. The Son of God Christology alone, thus, is insufficient.
For the exam, you will be asked to explain what fifteen of these terms mean:
“I am” sayings: A group of sayings found only in the Gospel of John in which Jesus identifies himself. In some of the sayings, he speaks in metaphor (“I am the bread of life,” “I am the light of the world,” “I am the way, the truth, and the life”), and other times he identifies himself simply by saying “I am” – a possible reference to the name of God from Exodus 3 (“Before Abraham was, I am”; John 8:58)
Acts of the Apostles: The fifth book of the New Testament, which narrates the spread of Christianity throughout the Roman world by Jesus’ apostles after his death.
Alexander the Great: The great military leader of Macedonia (356-323 B.C.E.) whose armies conquered much of the eastern Mediterranean and who was responsible for the spread of Greek culture (Hellenism) throughout the lands he conquered.
Apocalypse: A literary genre in which an author, usually pseudonymous, reports symbolic dreams or visions, given or interpreted through an angelic mediator, which reveal the heavenly mysteries that can make sense of earthly realities.
Apollonius of Tyana: A pagan philosopher and holy man of the first century C.E. reported to do miracles and to deliver divinely inspired teachings, a man believed by some of his followers to be the son of God.
Apology: A reasoned explanation and justification of one’s beliefs and/or practices, from a Greek word meaning “defense.”
Apostolic Fathers: A collection of noncanonical writings penned by proto-orthodox Christians of the second century who were traditionally thought to have been followers of the apostles; some of these works were considered Scripture in parts of the early church.
Athanasius: The powerful bishop of Alexandria in the fourth century C.E.; among other things, he was the first to maintain that only the twenty seven books now in the New Testament were to be considered canonical Scripture, in his 39th Festal Letter.
Augurs: A group of pagan priests in Rome who could interpret the will of the gods by “taking the auspices.”
B.C.E., Before the Common Era and C.E., Common Era: Used as exact equivalents of the Christian designations “before Christ” (B.C.) and “anno domini” (A.D., a Latin phrase meaning “year of our Lord”)
Canon: From a Greek word meaning “ruler” or “straight edge.” The term came to designate any recognized collection of texts; the canon of the New Testament is thus the collection of books that Christians accept as authoritative.
Comparative method: A method used to study a literary text by noting its similarities to and differences from other, related, texts, whether or not any of these other texts was used as a source for the text in question.
Cult + Cultus Deorum: The shortened form of cultus deorum, a Latin phrase that literally means “care of the gods,” generally used of any set of religious practices of worship. In pagan religions, these normally involved acts of sacrifice and prayer.
Daimonia: A category of divine beings in the Greco-Roman world. Daimonia were widely thought to be less powerful than the gods but far more powerful than humans and capable of influencing human lives.
Divination: Any practice used to ascertain the will of the gods. Epistles: Another name for “letters” sent in the ancient equivalent of the postal service.
Gentile: A Jewish designation for a non-Jew.
Gospel of Judas: *This is not a definition from the glossary of the textbook* The Gospel of Judas is a Gnostic gospel that is believed to have been written in the second century. Contrary to the other gospels which paint Judas as a betrayer (he is the character who betrayed Jesus), this gospel paints Judas as being the only one in whom Jesus confided his real teachings.
Gospel: The translation of a Greek word that literally means “good news,” used of the first four books of the New Testament (and books like them) that narrate the good news of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection.
Greco-Roman world: The lands (and culture) around the Mediterranean from the time of Alexander the Great to the Emperor Constantine, roughly 30 B.C.E. to 300 C.E.
Hebrew Bible: The Jewish Scriptures, also known as the Christian Old Testament.
Hellenization + Hellenistic World: The spread of Greek language and culture (Hellenism) throughout the Mediterranean, starting with the conquests of Alexander the Great. + The term used to refer to the lands around the Mediterranean that were influenced by Greek culture in the wake of the conquests of Alexander the Great.
Heresy: Any worldview or set of beliefs deemed by those in power to be deviant; from a Greek word meaning “choice” (because “heretics” have “chosen” to deviate from the “truth”)
Jewish Scriptures: See Hebrew Bible
Johannine Prologue: The first eighteen verses of John’s Gospel, which describe the “Word” of God that was with God and was equal to God,
through whom God made the world, and that became flesh in the man Jesus.
Julius Caesar: The Roman dictator who was assassinated in 44 B.C.; Octavian (later Caesar Augustus) was his nephew and adopted son. Literary seams: Inconsistencies or discrepancies in a text created when two different sources are spliced together, for example, in the Gospel of John.
Manuscript: Any handwritten copy of a literary text.
Monotheism: The belief that there is only one God.
Nag Hammadi: The village in upper (southern) Egypt, near the place where a collection of Gnostic writings, including the Gospel of Thomas, was discovered in 1945.
Octavian: The name of the Roman general who became the first emperor, in 27 B.C.E., and who later took himself the name Caesar Augustus.
Old Testament: See Hebrew Bible
Oracle: A sacred place where the gods answered questions brought by their worshipers to the resident holy person – a priest or, more commonly, a priestess – who would often deliver the divine response out of a trance like state; the term can also refer to the divine answer itself.
Paganism: Any of the polytheistic religions of the Greco-Roman world, an umbrella term for ancient Mediterranean religions other than Judaism and Christianity.
Polytheism: The belief in many gods. In the ancient world, virtually everyone except Jews was polytheistic.
Prophet: One who speaks words given by means of a revelation from God.
Quirinius: According to Luke, the governor of Syria when Jesus was born in Bethlehem.
Scribes: Literate Christians responsible for copying sacred scripture. Signs: The term used in the Gospel of John to refer to Jesus’ miracles, which “signified” who he really was.
Signs source: A document, which no longer survives, thought by many scholars to have been used as one of the sources of Jesus’ ministry in the Fourth Gospel; it reputedly narrated a number of the miraculous deeds of Jesus.
Theophilus: The person to whom Luke dedicated both his Gospel and the book of Acts. Theophillus may have been an actual person, possibly a Roman administrator, or the name may be symbolic for the Christian reader (one who “loves God” or who is “loved by God”)
These are key statements taken directly from a few quizzes. They are good key sentences to re-read one last time the night before or the morning of the exam.
Jewish-Christians believed that Jesus of Nazareth was of natural birth
The Marcionites believed that the God of the Jews was an evil creator Marcionites believed that the only true Gospel is Luke
Gnostics believed that Christ was a heavenly figure different than Jesus Proto-orthodox Christians believed that Jesus was both man and God, and they believed in the Nicene creed
Gnostics believed that salvation was gained through knowledge There is one source in the triple tradition, and it is Mark Luke and Matthew have common material in the double tradition Luke, Matthew and Mark have common material in the triple tradition There is one source in the double tradition, and it is Q
Matthew, Mark, and Luke are the synoptic gospels
The kingdom of God represents the reign of God
The writers of the NT established their theology of accomplishment by a process of retrospective reading
The expression Son of God in the NT refers to the title which speaks of Jesus’ role as God’s representative
The “end of the age” in Matthew 24 refers to the end of the Jewish age Theophilus is a name mentioned in the preface of Luke and Acts Matthew uses the most Markan material (uses about 46%, while Luke uses about 41%)
In the prologue of the book of Acts, the 40 days are symbolic, representing a time of preparation
The star of Bethlehem appears only in Matthew’s infancy narrative Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist, is mentioned in Luke’s infancy narrative
Jesus and his family have to flee Egypt in Matthew’s infancy narrative The law of Moses, the prophets and the psalms are the three divisions of the Hebrew Bible mentioned in Luke 24
The Son of Man Christology refers to Jesus as coming from heaven When Jesus says that he and the Father are one, he means that he shares equality with the Father as his plenipotentiary
When Jesus speaks of being lifted from the earth, it means his death on the cross
The four clauses that structure the Son of God Christology are mission, equality, obedience, reckoning
The Christology which presents Jesus as the Father’s plenipotentiary is the one of Son of God
The function of signs in the gospel of John was that they demonstrated that Jesus is the Son of God (Messiah)
The fourth gospel was written by an anonymous writer