As we have learned, a “gospel” is a biographical story about the life of Jesus of Nazareth. Many gospels were written in antiquity, but four are especially well known—the canonical gospels in the New Testament attributed to Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. These four gospels all have something to say about what happened to Jesus after he was crucified. They agree that once Jesus was dead his lifeless body was taken down from the cross and put in a tomb. What happened next, however, is a matter of some disagreement. Certainly, there are many similarities among the four accounts of Jesus’ resurrection, but there are also some very striking differences.
To complete this assignment, you need to use what we have talked about in lecture, what you have read in Feldmeier, and what you have read/seen/listened to here on Quercus in order to analyze how Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John conclude their biographies of Jesus, and especially how the gospel writers present the resurrection of Jesus.
What you are doing in this project is critically analyzing the various accounts found in the gospels in order to: 1) discuss some of the more notable similarities and differences among them (it’s up to you to decide what counts as “notable”); and then 2) suggest reasons *why* each gospel writer may have portrayed the resurrection of Jesus as he did.
Re-read the two paragraphs in bold type above. They are crucial to your success on this assignment!
Some things to keep in mind as you read the gospel accounts of Jesus’ resurrection: Who goes to the empty tomb? When do they go? What do they see? Does Jesus appear? If so, when and where does Jesus appear, and to whom? What is Jesus like—does he seem human, or maybe more like some sort of spirit? What happens at the end of each text? Where does Jesus go? What seems to be important to each writer? And, most importantly, why might each writer present Jesus in the way he does? (To answer this, you’ll need to review the material on Quercus, especially the PBS Frontline clips about the gospels, as well as the readings in Feldmeier.)
The relevant passages (from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible) are these:
Mk 16:1-8 (Links to an external site.) (The Gospel according to Mark, Chapter 16, verses 1 through 8) … note that this isn’t the ending of Mark with which you might be familiar.
Mt 28 (Links to an external site.) (The Gospel according to Matthew, Chapter 28)
Lk 24 (Links to an external site.) (The Gospel according to Luke, Chapter 24)
Jn 19:38 – 21:25 (Links to an external site.) (The Gospel according to John, Chapter 19, verse 38, through Chapter 21, verse 25)
Textbook can be accessed via Vitalsource Bookshelf.
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