New Testament Survey: The Gospels, by Dr. Robert Stein | Free Online Biblical Library

New Testament Survey: The Gospels, by Dr. Robert Stein

This is the first part of an introductory course to the New Testament, covering the books Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. The synopsis Dr. Stein refers to the Synopsis of the Four Gospels, English Edition, published by the American Bible Society. You can click here to order it.

The lecture notes you can download (to the right) are for both NT Survey I and II.

Thank you to Charles Campbell and Fellowship Bible Church for writing out the lecture notes for both sections of Stein's NT Survey class (to the right). Note that they do not cover every lecture.

 

Class Transcriptions

Lecture 1:
Synoptic Problem

Discussion of the similarities and differences in the accounts of Jesus' life in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke.

Lecture 2:
Priority of Mark

The Gospel of Mark is shorter than the other Gospels and some of the grammar and theology is unique. There are also significant similarities between Mark and the Gospels of Matthew and Luke.

Lecture 3:
Matthew and Luke

Discussion of the extensive similarities between the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, including the likely existence of a "Q" document.

Lecture 4:
Literary Criticism and Presuppositions

Some time passed between the ascension of Jesus and the writing of the Gospels because there was no need for a written account while the eyewitnesses were still alive and in that culture oral tradition was the primary method of preserving history. Form critics also note that it is likely that it is likely that many of the narratives and sayings of Jesus circulated independently.

Lecture 5:
Presuppositions and Results

Form criticism is the method of classifying literature by literary pattern and determine its original form and historical context in order to interpret its meaning accurately.

Lecture 6:
Redaction Criticism

Redaction criticism focuses on evaluating how a writer has seemingly shaped and molded a narrative to express his theological goals.

Lecture 7:
Gospel of Mark

Studying the background and theological emphases of the Gospel of Mark helps us to understand the central message of his Gospel.

Lecture 8:
Gospel of Matthew

Studying the background and theological emphases of the Gospel of Mark helps us to understand the central message of his Gospel.

Lecture 9:
Gospel of Luke

Studying the background and theological emphases of the Gospel of Luke helps us to understand the central message of his Gospel.

Lecture 10:
Gospel of John

Studying the background and theological emphases of the Gospel of John helps us to understand the central message of his Gospel.

Lecture 11:
Criteria for Authenticity

By studying the background and comparing the text of the synoptic gospels, we can be confident of their authenticity.

Lecture 12:
Exaggeration

In order to understand Jesus' teaching, it is important to understand how he uses exaggeration and determine when he is using exaggeration to make a point.

Lecture 13:
Literary Forms

The Gospels record how Jesus used different literary forms to communicate his teachings. This class was taught by a teaching assistant of Dr. Stein's but his name was not provided. 

Lecture 14:
History and Rules of Interpretation

Jesus told parables to communicate with people. It's important to know how to interpret parables to accurately understand what Jesus was trying to teach. At different times in history, people have used different paradigms to interpret parables.

Lecture 15:
Application of Rules

Jesus told parables to communicate with people. It's important to know how to interpret parables to accurately understand what Jesus was trying to teach. At different times in history, people have used different paradigms to interpret parables.

Lecture 16:
Two Parts and Allegory

Jesus used different literary forms to communicate with people. It's important to know how to interpret these literary forms, including parables, to accurately understand what Jesus was trying to teach.

Lecture 17:
Kingdom of God

The kingdom of God is God's kingdom invading the earthly kingdom. There is a tension between the "now" and "not yet."

Lecture 18:
Fatherhood of God

Jesus' teaching about the fatherhood of God reveals for us a tension between reverence and intimacy.

Lecture 19:
Ethical Teaching

The ethical teachings of Jesus are scattered throughout the Gospels and sometimes seem to be contradictory. He emphasized the need for a new heart and the importance of loving God and our "neighbor."

Lecture 20:
Implicit

We learn about who Jesus was by examining what he said and what he did.

Lecture 21:
Explicit

Titles given to Jesus (e.g., Messiah/Christ, Son of Man, Son of God) give us insight into his nature and mission.

Lecture 22:
Introduction

The Chronology of Jesus' life in the Gospels begins with his birth and ends with his resurrection. How you explain Jesus' miracles depends on your presuppositions.

Lecture 23:
Birth of Jesus

The birth of Christ is an historical event. The virgin birth of Jesus is a fundamental aspect of his nature and ministry.

Lecture 24:
Silent Years & Baptism

Except for the accounts of a couple of events in Jesus' childhood, the Gospels are silent about the years before Jesus began his public ministry. Jesus' public ministry began when John the Baptist baptized Jesus publicly in the Jordan River.

Lecture 25:
Temptation & Call of the Disciples

The three temptations that Satan put to Jesus were significant to him and instructive to us. Jesus had a specific purpose in mind in the way he called his disciples and the fact that he chose 12.

Lecture 26:
Caesarea Philippi & Transfiguration

After Simon Peter confesses Jesus as the Christ, Jesus begins teaching about his death and focuses his efforts on teaching the twelve. The Transfiguration was a significant event for the disciples.

Lecture 27:
Triumphal Entry & Cleansing of the Temple

The events surrounding Jesus' "triumphal entry" into Jerusalem were the beginning of the week leading up to his crucifixion and resurrection. When Jesus cleansed the temple in Jerusalem, he was making a significant statement.

Lecture 28:
Last Supper

At the Last Supper, Jesus celebrated with his disciples by eating the Passover meal. He reinterpreted it to show how it pointed to him as being the perfect Lamb of God, the atoning sacrifice for the sins of all people.

Lecture 29:
Gethsemane

The night before his crucifixion, Jesus went to Gethsemane with his disciples to pray. Judas betrays Jesus there and Jesus is arrested.

Lecture 30:
Trial

The trial of Jesus involved a hearing in the Jewish court conducted by the high priest and the Sanhedrin, and a hearing in the Roman court conducted by Pilate.

Lecture 31:
Crucifixion

Jesus died by crucifixion. The Romans used it as a deterrent because it was public and a horrible way to die.

Lecture 32:
Resurrection

The historical evidence for the bodily resurrection of Jesus is compelling.

Lecture 33:
Quest for the Historical Jesus

The Gospels are eyewitness accounts that clearly show that Jesus claimed to be fully human and fully God, and what he did to back up this claim. Some people try to reinterpret the Gospels to make Jesus out to be a moral teacher with good intentions, but not God in the flesh.