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05 The Four Gospels B103

Course Description

This is a study of the Four Gospels found in the New Testament. The student will study the literary, historical, social, and theological situations the gospels were written in. Attention will be given to each author’s point of view and what is the same and what is different about Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John’s descriptions of Jesus. The student will study the Gospel’s messages for the first Christians and their importance to modern readers. Students will master a basic outline of at least one Gospel.

Course Rational

The four Gospels are unique in literature.   They have many interesting features that keep scholars debating.   However, for the beginning student, the important aspect is to appreciate their inspiration, proper interpretation of the stories and their application to local congregations.   Making sure that the new pastor has the tools necessary to model, teach and preach with reasonable accuracy is the goal of this course.


Program Outcomes from APR SOO


CN-1 Ability to describe the basic story of the Bible.

CN-3 Ability to describe the basic content of the New Testament, identify the principal people and events and their roles in New Testament history.


CP-3 Ability to prepare Biblical messages for effective and sound Bible preaching.

CP-4 Ability to teach the Word of God.


CH-1 Ability to take responsibility for one’s own spiritual growth with the goal of becoming like Christ.


CX-7 Ability to distinguish between world views – Local, Biblical, and Western.

Assessment and Evaluation

Primary Course Outcomes


Identify the themes and methods (pedagogy) of Jesus’ teaching and be able to use them. CN-5 OTH

Ability to identify and describe the major theological concepts of the Gospels from the message of Jesus. CN-6 OTH


The student will be able to explain the basic essential concepts of discipleship, and explain what a disciple is, how to be a disciple, why would a person become a disciple, and how to make more disciples. CP-30 DIS


The student should be able to distinguish and explain the difference between a biblical prayer and a prayer from other religion, such as Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism and folk religions, etc. CN-44 PRA


Explain and give examples of how the statement of Christ – “if you love me you will keep my commands,” impacts all other relationships. CP-1 ACC

Additional Course Outcomes


Ability to describe the impact of the historical background of the Four Gospels on the message of Jesus CN-7 OTH

Ability to identify the steps of historical, literary, and theological analysis used in exegesis of the Gospels. CN-8 OTH

Explain the perspectives and distinctive features of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John in their portraits of Jesus CN-9 OTH

Describe the life and ministry of Jesus in broad Chronological order. CN-10 OTH

Clearly state the authority with which Jesus taught in its original setting and how it affects the preaching of His Word today CN-11 OTH

Demonstrate interpersonal relationships according to the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, including forgiveness, honesty, loving the neighbor, and respect for other CN-12 OTH

Dealing Biblically with the Spirit World

Clearly explain the Biblical understanding of the spirit world. CN-60 DBS


The students demonstrate how to care for the growth of the disciples in applying the Word of God in everyday life. CP-34 DIS


The student will demonstrate commitment for reaching the unsaved, and the urgency of reaching the unsaved CH-21 EVA

The student will present the claims of Christ to a person. CP-43 EVA

Personal Spiritual Development (Holiness)

Develop a Sunday School lesson and preaching plan focusing on character traits a pastor and/or a church must have (love, forgiveness, humility, courage, compassion, justice, etc.) CH-40 HOL

Teach at least one age-group programs / activities that nurture qualities and traits CP-87 HOL


Demonstrate an interpretation of Scripture that is in line with Wesleyan Arminian Holiness theology. Teach others a Wesleyan-Arminian understanding of the doctrine of God. CP-89 PRE

Explain the difference between teaching and preaching. CN-37 PRE

Demonstrate the ability to apply the word to call for obedience or change in response to the sermon. CP-92 PRE


The student will explain why we pray and have a strong passion for a life of prayer, and willing to devote himself/herself into prayer, and can demonstrate a life of prayer by keeping a prayer journal. CH-44 PRA


Outcomes by total and percentage

Content 14 50%
Competency 9 32%
Character 4 14%
Context 1 3%



1. Gospel Reading

Students will read through the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Journal important insights gained from the reading.


Organize a group of young people and together read in unison the Gospels overnight. Document the meeting.

2. Timeline Chart

Create a timeline of the life and ministry of Jesus by putting together all of the Four Gospels. Use this timeline to re-tell or re-teach the life and ministry of Jesus to a small group from the community (outside of the current church).

3. Sermon and Bible Lesson

The student will select two stories from the Four Gospels about important life events of Jesus, then make one sermon and one Bible lesson from them.

4. Preaching or Teaching

Preach the sermon (#3) to a local church or teach the Bible lesson (#3) to a Sunday School class at a local church.

5. Lesson Content Evaluation

There will be regular session evaluations by the teacher on the content of the class, for example the type of literature, literary, historical, social, and theological contexts of each Gospel, the writers, and others.

6. The teacher will give an assignment according to the context of the class (could be a community engagement exercise). 25%



Course Outline

  1. Why Study the Gospels
  2. Introduction to the Gospels
  3. Historical, Social and Religious Setting of the World of Jesus
  4. The Synoptic Gospels and John
  5. The Gospels of Matthew and Mark
  6. The Gospels of Luke and John
  7. The Life of Christ
  8. The Teaching of Christ


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