Gospels and Life of Christ

NT504 The Gospels/Life of Christ

The Gospels and the Life of Christ Internet Bible College, Vision CollegesHe was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman. Until He was thirty, He worked in a carpenter shop and then for three years He was an itinerant preacher. He wrote no books. He held no office. He never owned a home. He was never in a big city. He never traveled two hundred miles from the place He was born. He never did any of the things that usually accompany greatness. The authorities condemned His teachings. His friends deserted Him. One betrayed Him to His enemies for a paltry sum. One denied Him. He went through the mockery of a trial. He was nailed on a cross between two thieves. While He was dying, His executioners gambled for the only piece of property He owned on earth: His coat. When He was dead He was taken down and placed in a borrowed grave. Nineteen centuries have come and gone, yet today He is the crowning glory of the human race, the adored leader of hundreds of millions of the earth`s inhabitants. All the armies that ever marched and all the Navies that were ever assembled and all the parliaments that ever sat and all the rulers that ever reigned - combined - have not affected the life of man upon this earth so profoundly as that One Solitary Life....  Anonymous

I. Course Description

The most compelling and important story in history is the story of Christ. In this course, learners complete a chronological and synthetic study of the Gospels' accounts of Christ's birth, life, death, resurrection, and ascension. The course focuses on the time, place, circumstances, and people involved in the events of our Lord's ministry. From the Incarnation to the Ascension, students will grasp a fuller understanding of Christ's words and works, especially in light of Old Testament prophecy and cultural context. The goal of the course is that Christ will impact learners' lives as He did those first generation followers, leading them to worship and serve Him as they minister to others.

II. Course Objectives

On completion of the course, you should be able to:

A. Trace the events and statements involved in Jesus' life in a logical and chronological sequence, demonstrating their development and purpose.

B. Discern the significance of the words and works of Jesus Christ (to the extent considered in the course lectures).

C. Explain the present implications of selected basic truths taught and demonstrated by Jesus Christ during his ministry on earth.

D. Identify at least two attitudinal and/or behavioral changes made or mandated in your life as a result of increased understanding of the life and work of Christ.

III. Course Approach

The Reporter/Analyst Approach is emphasized in the course. For each event in the life of Christ, seek to answer the following questions:

WHO is involved in the event? Who is spoken to or about? Who is the audience? In what way is this person/audience significant?

WHAT is said? What is taking place? What is the key concept taught and/or the basic action accomplished? In what way is this event significant?

WHERE does the action occur? In the open? A town? A building? In what part of the country? What are the surroundings? In what way is the location significant?

WHEN does the action occur? At what time of the year? At what time in the religious calendar and in the sequence in Christ's ministry? In what way does the time affect the importance of the state¬ment and/or action?

WHY is the teaching or action significant in the ministry of Christ? Seek to determine the implications of the circumstances of the event (who-what-where-why?) What implications are involved for Jesus' contemporaries and for us?

IV. Course Texts


Harrison, Everett. F. A Short Life of Christ. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1968.

Thomas, Robert L. and Gundry, Stanley N. A Harmony of the Gospels. (New American Standard Version). San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1986.


Beitzel, Barry J. The Moody Atlas of Bible Lands. Chicago: Moody Press, 1985.

Hoehner, Harold W. Chronological Aspects of the Life of Christ. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1977.

V. Course Requirements

A. Basic Procedure

1. Begin each lesson with prayer, committing yourself to being open to the work of the Holy Spirit in your life during the course. Any study of the Bible is meant to change our lives! Ask the Lord for insight into how the message of the Gospels should impact your life, your relationships, and your ministry.

2. Follow the instructions for completing each lesson, which are located before each lesson's outline. Complete all Preparation activities before beginning the lecture. These activities provide an excellent context for your listening, allowing you to integrate the information provided through the lectures and reading assignments.

3. Listen to each lecture carefully, perhaps more than once. Have your Harmony and any pertinent parts of the Supplemental Reading easily accessible throughout the lecture.

4. Answer the Study Questions immediately after completing the lecture. The questions will serve as a review of the major points in each lecture and will direct you toward personal application of these points.

B. Specific Assignments: Reading

1. Scripture: Read the Harmony sections listed for each lesson before you listen to the lecture. You may scan sections, which repeat content you have read thoroughly in one Gospel record, but be alert for differences in the accounts.

2. Harrison: Read the pages listed for each lesson before you listen to the lecture. Although only a total of 100 pages are required from this book, you will benefit from reading the entire book.

3. Supplemental Reading: Read and study the information in Supplemental Sections B through F as they are required. These are available under the "Resources" tab in Adobe Acrobat PDF downloads.

C. Specific Assignments: Written

1. Study Questions:

Located at the end of each lesson outline, these questions cover highlights of the information presented in the lecture, the Supplemental Reading sections, and in Harrison. Use them as an opportunity to review the notes you took for a particular lecture and the accompanying Supplemental Reading sections. This procedure will increase your retention of course content and help you on the exams. Generally, one page per lesson should be sufficient. No one lesson's answers should exceed two pages.

2. Background Reports:

Complete eight research projects on people, groups, and institutions related to Christ to increase your understanding of the political, social, cultural, and religious milieu of the time.

Click here to download the course outline (PDF)

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