A thorough overview of the life of Jesus Christ on earth, with special attention to the developing emphases and distinctive purposes that prevailed during our Lord's public ministry. Theological and chronological difficulties are also considered. This course is 8 weeks long.
Lecturer: Dr. Will Varner
To provide the student with an appreciation of the historical and cultural background of Jesus' earthly life so one can place Him within the context of His own day. The Jewish world in which He lived will be particularly emphasized.
To focus the student's attention primarily on the narrative flow of the events so as to ascertain the basic pattern of development in Jesus' actions and teachings. Particular emphasis will be placed on incidents rather than the long discourses.
To introduce the student to some current critical thought about Jesus and the Gospels. These critical ideas center in such movements as the "Jesus Seminar" and the increasing fascination with Gnostic "Gospels" and their alternative view of Jesus.
To stress the humanity of the Lord while also affirming His full deity. To explore how these two vital truths are complementary and not contradictory in achieving a better understanding His words and works.
To introduce the student to the various theological emphases of Jesus' teaching - His Messiahship, His miracles, His preaching of the Kingdom, His knowledge and sinlessness. An effort will be made to understand the importance of these issues even if all difficulties cannot be solved.
To understand better the Passion of the Lord during the last months of going up to Jerusalem and particularly the last week of His earthly life and ministry.
To challenge the student to apply to his/her life the spiritual principles of Jesus' life and teaching so we can be better formed into His image in our daily walk.
Read assigned textbooks and report reading, summarizing some of the reading.