Four Portraits, One Jesus

Four Portraits, One Jesus

Taught by Mark L. Strauss

The Gospels record the “greatest story ever told,” the events of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. To study the Gospels is to study the foundation of Christianity, and in Four Portraits, One Jesus, author and professor Mark Strauss provides an expert and understandable introduction to these first four books of the New Testament.

Course Details

  • 16 Units

  • Self-paced

  • 6.5 hours of video

  • Beginner

  • Four Portraits, One Jesus by Mark L. Strauss

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Course Description

To Christians worldwide, the man Jesus of Nazareth is the centerpiece of history, the object of faith, hope, and worship. Even those who do not follow Jesus admit the vast influence of his life. For anyone interested in knowing more about Jesus, study of the four biblical Gospels is essential.

Four Portraits, One Jesus, taught by Mark L. Strauss, is a thorough yet accessible introduction to these documents and their subject, the life and person of Jesus. Like different artists rendering the same subject using different styles and points of view, the Gospels paint four highly distinctive portraits of the same remarkable Jesus.

With clarity and insight, Strauss illuminates these four books, first addressing their nature, origin, methods for study, and historical, religious, and cultural backgrounds. He then moves into a closer study of each narrative and its contribution to our understanding of Jesus, investigating elements such as plot, characters, and theme. Finally, he pulls it all together with a detailed examination of what the Gospels teach about Jesus’ ministry, message, death, and resurrection, with excursions into the quest for the historical Jesus and the historical reliability of the Gospels.

By completing this course, you’ll gain

  • an understanding of the genre and function of the four biblical Gospels
  • knowledge of the historical, religious, social, and cultural contexts in which Jesus lived and the Gospels were written
  • insight into the individual portraits of Jesus presented within each Gospel, the ways in which those portraits differ, and the reasons why
  • an introduction to the modern “search for the historical Jesus” and the historical reliability of the Gospels
  • a unifying overview, drawn from all four gospels, of Jesus’ life, ministry, miracles, message, and death and resurrection
  • confidence in the Gospels’ presentation of Jesus and familiarity with the key themes and events in each

Meet Your Instructors

Mark L. Strauss

Ph.D., University of Aberdeen

Mark Strauss is professor of New Testament at Bethel Seminary in San Diego. He has written The Davidic Messiah in Luke-Acts, Distorting Scripture?: The Challenge of Bible Translation and Gender Accuracy, Luke in the Zondervan Illustrated Bible Background Commentary series, and Mark in the Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament.

Course Outline

  • What Are the Gospels?

  • Exploring the Origin and Nature of the Gospels

  • Reading and Hearing the Gospel Stories

  • The Historical Setting of the Gospels

  • The Religious, Social, and Cultural Settings of the Gospels

  • Mark

  • Matthew

  • Luke [MIDTERM]

  • John

  • Searching for the Real Jesus

  • Historical Reliability of the Gospels

  • Contours and Chronology of Jesus’ Ministry

  • Jesus’ Birth, Childhood, and Early Ministry

  • Message and Miracles of Jesus

  • Messianic Words and Actions of Jesus

  • Death and Resurrection of Jesus [FINAL EXAM]

 

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Earn a Certificate of Achievement

This course is part of the Biblical Studies Program. Programs are groups of courses that, when taken together, provide you with an in-depth knowledge about an area of study. When you pass the entire program, you’ll receive a personalized Certificate of Achievement. Learn more about this 5-course series.

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