Introduction to the New Testament: Gospel and Acts - Lesson 35

Passion and Resurrection (Part 2)

Narration describing slide photographs of locations of events that took place during Passion Week.

Craig Blomberg
Introduction to the New Testament: Gospel and Acts
Lesson 35
Watching Now
Passion and Resurrection (Part 2)

Passion Week

Part 3

Slide show.

  • Overview of the influences of the Persian, Greek and Roman Empires on the Jewish nation. 

  • A summary of the Jewish political and religious rulers and movements, and the tensions that arose between the Jews and the occupying Roman authorities.

  • Ancient philosophies and religious movements had a significant influence on peoples' beliefs and behavior in the first century. The influence of Rome and Greece was evident throughout the world. 

  • Religious groups like the Pharisees and Sadducees, and teachings of contemporary Judaism about the Messiah affected Jesus' teaching and ministry.


  • One of the major influences in the social structure in Israel during the first century was the relationship and interaction between Jews and Gentiles. Various Jewish groups had differing views on how they should interact among themselves and with Gentiles. (Dr. Blomberg did not provide us with the PowerPoint slides for this lecture.)

  • One of the major influences in the social structure in Israel during the first century was the relationship and interaction between Jews and Gentiles. Various Jewish groups had differing views on how they should interact among themselves and with Gentiles. (Dr. Blomberg did not provide us with the PowerPoint slides for this lecture.)

  • The Gospels are historically reliable documents. Some of the main arguments and pieces of evidence pointing to the historical reliability of the Gospels are given in this lecture.

  • Form criticism, or form history examines how tradition has changed and how it has stayed the same. 

  • The gospels of Mark, Matthew and Luke have so many similarities that they are referred to as the "Synoptic Gospels." There is also material in each of these Gospels that make it distinctive from the other two.

  • It can be helpful to examine, from a literary perspective, the passages that record the encounters that Jesus had with Nicodemus, and the Samaritan woman.

  • In order to understand the message of the Gospel of Mark, it is helpful to understand who the author is, the approximate date it was written, the audience to whom it was written, and the major themes of the book. The content of the book can be divided into the first 8 chapters that focus on the life and ministry of Jesus and the last 8 chapters that focus on His death and resurrection.

  • In order to understand the message of the Gospel of Matthew, it is helpful to understand who the author is, the approximate date it was written, the audience to whom it was written, and the possible sources on which Matthew relied when he was writing. Matthew begins by recording genealogy of Jesus and some of the events surrounding his infancy. Jesus' public ministry began with HIs baptism by John the Baptist, temptation in the wilderness and calling of the disciples. His preaching included the Sermon on the Mount and parables which Matthew grouped together in the Gospel.

  • Examining the outline and structure of the Gospel of Luke reveals the main points and the focus of Luke's Gospel and the book of Acts. Luke and Matthew have some similarities as well as some elements that are distinctive.

  • Much of the material of the Gospel of John is unique, compared to the other 3 Gospel accounts. Some of John's account alternates between recording a sign that Jesus performs with a discourse about a certain subject. Chapter 12 to the end of the Gospel covers the final days of Jesus' life on earth.

  • Some scholars belief that historical evidence supports the Gospel accounts of Jesus' life, some think the historical evidence supports the inauthenticity of the Gospel accounts, and some think that the historical evidence is irrelevant. The different conclusions are due mainly to different presuppositions. It is possible to propose a probable time line of Jesus' life.

  • The Gospel accounts of Jesus' birth and early years of life show how He accurately fulfilled specific OT prophecies made hundreds of years earlier, and how His life was intertwined with that of John the Baptist. The beginning of John's Gospel is a testimony to Jesus' nature as being both fully God and fully human.

  • Locations in present day Israel that are related to Jesus' infancy and the beginning of His public ministry.

  • John the Baptist began his ministry before Jesus's public ministry. For a while their public ministries overlapped, then Jesus conducted the remainder of His public ministry without John the Baptist on the scene.

  • Turning water into wine at the wedding in Cana was one of the first miracles Jesus performed in His public ministry. He also had conversations with Nicodemus and the Samaritan woman, and healed the nobleman's son.

  • The Sermon on the Mount is one of the main passages showing how Jesus defines the "Kingdom of God." He also calls the disciples, redefines the family, performs healings and exorcisms, and uses parables and pronouncements to teach about who God is and how He relates to humans.

  • Images of locations in present day Israel related to Jesus' early Galilean ministry.

  • The Sermon on the Mount shows how the teachings of the Kingdom of God relate to the OT Law. It also includes additional NT teachings and a model prayer.

  • Pictures of places in present day Israel related to Jesus' early Galilean ministry.

  • Understanding parables as a literary form helps us interpret them accurately. Jesus performed miracles in various contexts for specific purposes.

  • Locations in present day Israel related to parables Jesus said and places He performed miracles.

  • Jesus' ministry in Galilee took place in locations like Nazareth, Cana, the Sea of Galilee and other nearby towns and areas. As Jesus was departing from Galilee, he performed miracles and taught at specific places along the way.

  • One of the themes in John chapters 5-11 is how Jesus fulfills the Jewish festivals. He also uses metaphors, saying that he is the, “bread of life,” “light of the world,” “gate for the sheep” and others.

  • In Matthew chapter 18, Jesus gives a sermon on forgiveness and humility. 

  • Locations in present day Israel related to Jesus' ministry.

  • Does the Bible teach that we are to marry or that we are not to marry?

  • Passion Week in the life of Jesus includes his anointing in Bethany, triumphal entry into Jerusalem, cleansing of the temple, celebrating Passover, prayer and arrest in Gethsemane, crucifixion and resurrection.

  • Chronological order of the events of the Passion week of the ministry of Jesus.

  • The death and resurrection of Jesus are significant both historically and theologically.

  • Narration describing slide photographs of locations of events that took place during Passion Week.

  • Jesus fulfilled the prophecies of the Jewish Messiah. He was both fully God and fully man. Jesus taught about the kingdom of God and showed compassion to the people who were outcasts in society.

  • Acts was written as a continuation of the Gospel of Luke to record what the Holy Spirit was doing through the lives of followers of Christ in the early church. The gospel spread ethnically from Jews to Gentiles, and geographically from Jerusalem to the rest of the world.

  • Stephen challenged the Jewish leaders to acknowledge Jesus as the Messiah. Paul's conversion was a key event in the history of the early church.

  • The discussion in the Jerusalem council in Acts chapter 15 was how Jews and gentiles could function together as the body of Christ.

  • Narrative describing pictures relating to places that were significant in the early church.

  • The book of Acts records events that happened during Paul's travels as he preached the gospel and established churches throughout Asia Minor and Europe.

This class studies issues of introduction for the four Gospels and Acts, and, using the English New Testament, provides a harmonistic study of the life of Christ with a focus on his essential teachings, the theology of evangelism, and the planting of the church as recorded in Acts.


Dr. Craig Blomberg
Introduction to the New Testament: Gospel and Acts
Passion and Resurrection (Part 2)
Lesson Transcript


This is the 35th lecture in the online series of lectures for understanding the Gospels and Acts, in complement with the textbook by Craig Blomberg’s Jesus and The Gospels: an Introduction and Survey


(This is a set of slides presented by the lecturer, obviously taken on a tourist trip to Israel)


The first slide is a photo of the traditional site of the Upper Room. The next slide shows the typical medieval depiction of the Lord’s Supper. Another slide demonstrates an artist sketch of what a typical U shaped or reclining table would have looked like with people reclining on cushions with one elbow supporting their bodies and eating with the other hand. Food would have been placed in the middle of the table in the empty space in the middle of the U. 


There’s a photo of the Garden of Gethsemane, laid out today with nice curbed sidewalks and beautiful flowers and olive trees reminiscent of the original meaning of the name. The original Hebrew word Gethsemane means Oil Press. The picture also shows the Dome of the Rock and parts of Old Jerusalem. In another photo you see the Garden of Gethsemane looking from a different direction and also the Church of All Nations. Further up the Hill of Olives stands the Church of Mary Magdalene. 


Another slide reveals the stone lined walkways in Gethsemane with an old tree that some believe to be two thousand years old. The next slide pictures an orchard of olive trees that are fairly young and new in the Jezreel Valley in Galilee. 


Another shows the traditional site of Caiaphas’ home and the prison dungeon beneath it. It’s certainly not the true location of the original home and courtyard of the high priest because this place is erected over a cemetery of which would have been considered unclean by the Jews in Christ’s time. It seems that it was a holding place for prisoners at one time or another. 


Here are authenticated Roman steps coming up from the Kidron Valley to Old Jerusalem and in the background you can see the Church of St Peter in Valley of Cantu commemorating the denials of and subsequent repentance of the Apostle Peter. The next slide shows one of numerous reenactments of the way to the Cross by modern day pilgrims who find it worshipful and spiritual meaningful to reenact the walk to Golgotha. 


A view over the roof of the walked in portion of Old Jerusalem; in most cases structures built in recent centuries but still in the style that would have resembled structures of an earlier time even those in the days of Jesus. Another slide is of a modern arch roofed area over ancient paving stones, perhaps as old as the 2nd century AD, though that is disputed by some, perhaps on the same location as that of just outside of Pilate’s original palace. There’s a lot of debate that surrounds the location and authenticity of these kinds of places.  The next slide shows scrawling’s in one of those stones reflecting a game often placed with dice and at the very least, an object lesson reminding us of the story of the soldiers gambling for Jesus’ seamless robe. 


Another photo of the depiction of the mockup of the scale model of Old Jerusalem as seen at the Holly Land Hotel; this time with the Antonio Fortress portrayed in the foreground with part ruins and part restoration of that Antonio Fortress. 


In another photo, one sees the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, obviously a building erected considerable later than Christ’s crucifixion but there is good archeological support for this being the true location of the site which has been preserved until today. Another angle of the church is shown, shared by four different Christian denominations such as the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic. And the grotto ornate elaborate furniture and architecture inside, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher with the exact spot of the Cross which of course is far more difficult to claim as we have found commemorated with the Grotto at the end of the aisle, invisible in this slide. The location supported by the 19th century British explorer and archaeologist, Gordon, and hence the company known as Gordon’s Calvary is this skull shaped out cropping of rock adjacent to what today is the site of the Modern Jerusalem used as a bus barn, servicing all of the transport of Jerusalem. While much less likely to be the actual location of Jesus’ death; the fact that the site was called Golgotha and that term means the place of the skull given the frequency of such outcropping around Jerusalem, this may in fact be something akin to it, but the site long before the Church of the Holy Sepulcher resurrected it; that the place where that church now exist may have appeared in Jesus’ day. 


Next to Gordon’s Calvary is what has come to be known as the Garden Tomb. A beautiful site for tourist to see a typical ancient tomb carved out of rock. The larger stones to the immediate right of the entrance were put in at a later time to wall up about two thirds of the entrance to protect it from collapse. 


The next slide allows one to view those two different kinds of stones somewhat better that originally; there would have been a giant upside down U shaped archway entering into the tomb. Again, the location is not likely to be the correct site as the location that would have been much closer to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher; the appearance that this area has retained over the centuries is much more likely to look like what Jesus’ tomb would have been like. A third photo includes those extra stones added with still clear and beautiful roses in the fore ground. If one goes on Sunday morning, one cannot walk up to the entrance of the tomb but the Anglicans who own this land have beautiful outdoor services with a small amphitheater and seating that is incredibly spiritually moving and worth any visitor time and planning.


Just south of Jerusalem is this so-called rolling stone tomb which again is probably not the location of Jesus entombment and burial, yet gives us a picture of how that opening could have been sealed with many strong people, the stone rolled into place. The inside shows its different niches for different family members whose caskets were sometimes place on shelves or the floor or in a smaller niche such as shown on the left of the photo. 


Here we see a typical Jewish ossuary; this one is very decorative, made for someone of some prominence. This would have been the smaller bone box into which the bones of a deceased person would have placed after they had been buried for year or so. Once the flesh had rotted away, the bones were preserved and remarried in these smaller coffins, not least to preserve space which became less and less over the centuries. 


A beautiful little chapel with wild flowers in the fore ground and the palm tree, the Sea of Galilee at the back at a place called Tabda. A small Catholic church is shown with a stature of Jesus and his three fold restoration of Peter outside of a small amphitheater between the chapel and the lake front, another glorious site for contemporary Christian worship, thus commemorating the resurrection as well as the events that transpired with the reinstatement of the disciples and their commissioning as in John 21 but also in Matthew and Luke.