week 9 discussion questions

First question:
Clues about the Audiences
Gospels were written from within and for particular communities. Mark gives lifts the curtain for us, demonstrating this fact for us. He tells us that “it was Simon of Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus” who carried Jesus’s cross, or more likely just the crossbar (15:21). Read the paragraph from which this single statement comes. Notice the context (or lack thereof). Compare it with the other gospels. What one thing does Mark’s statement tell us about Mark’s audience?
Are there other differences between the four gospels that indicate something of their differing audiences or the communities from which the texts emerged?

 

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Second question:
Pay very close attention to the chronologies (the actual timeline rather than the order of events) for the trial, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Do not make any assumptions based on what you’ve learned in church or from movies. Keep in mind that the Passover holiday goes from sundown to sundown. That is essential for understanding the chronology.

So, what is the chronology? How long was the period between the “last supper” and and Jesus’s execution? How long did Jesus supposedly lie in the tomb? Review all sources for evidence.

Let’s first establish the chronologies of the texts. Once we’ve done that, then we can assess them to determine if we can know anything about the actual historical chronology.

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