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3. The Synoptic Gospels and Acts (Part 2)

3.1 The Gospel of Luke

In this section of chapter 3 we will deal with the structure, content, and basic theological constructs of the Gospel of Luke. We will dedicate special attention to the high level of narrative artistry and the representation of salvation history in this Gospel.

The Gospel of Luke is that book among the Synoptic Gospels that contains the most amount of independent content: 

  • it is only here where we read of the disciples of Emmaus, 
  • only here do we find the highly poetic hymns sung by Mary, Zachariah, and Simeon, 
  • only here (and in the book of Acts) is there any account of Jesus’ ascension.

3.2 Acts

In this topic we will analyse the structure, content, and basic theological constructs in the book of Acts, along with the central importance of the apostles’ councils, the discourses of the apostles, and the journeys of Paul.

3.3 Miracle accounts in the New Testament 

In this section we will familiarise ourselves with the miracles of Jesus. In addition, we will take a look at the understanding of miracles in both antiquity and the modern world. Beyond that, we will explore forms and genres of miracles accounts in the New Testament.

3.4 The parables of Jesus

“Parables are God’s picture book”—that is how theologian Helmut Thielicke describes the parables of Jesus. In so doing, he himself is using an analogy, namely a metaphor, in order to make clear the definition of a parable. 

In the parables of Jesus, it is possible to recognise God as if in a picture book, namely by way of images—not in scholarly speeches. In this lesson we will become acquainted with such figurative comparisons, examine various forms of analogies, and practise interpreting parables using a number of typical examples.