Gospels in the Bible Term Paper

Pages: 6 (2450 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 23  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Mythology - Religion

SAMPLE EXCERPT . . .
Since, in order to discover the many possible reasons why the Sermon on the Mount would occur (as such) in only one out of the three books, this subject has already meandered through much of the debate surrounding the penning of the gospels, it seems only appropriate to cover one last suggestion which has recently been gathering some small academic interest. There is another theory concerning the Gospels which is that prior to 125 A.D. there were no gospels, only wisdom-literature writings and Gnostic proverbs such as those in the Gospel of Thomas. This is born out in the fact that early church fathers such as Clement and Paul himself never quoted the Gospels or spoke much about the life of Christ. It is, in fact, widely believed by skeptics that the Gospels were not penned till almost a hundred years after the supposed life of Christ and that prior to that there had been a certain nonchalance in the church as to whether or not Christ had even come in physical form at a specific place and time.

(This tradition may have something to do with the appearance of the Sermon on the Mount in only one book, primarily as it ties in to theories of Q. Or of writers including Matthew and Luke coming together to form a cohesive story to present to the government)

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One variation on this story suggests that when this Jewish sect of early Christianity emerged in Rome, the famed playwright Seneca took an interest in its idea of the Logos (a Greek philosophical concept) made flesh, and wrote about Jesus in one of his short histories. Thereafter, the theory suggests, he wrote a great historical tragedy to be performed in dramatic festivals before hundreds. It's topic? The death of Jesus. This theory suggests that Matthew, Luke, and Mark all saw Seneca's dramatic production and just accepted its portrayal of the death of Christ and pasted that together with the actual teachings of their dead leader, in writing the gospels. John, it is argued, did not see the play but only read the script, and so got a very different impression of the characters.

Term Paper on Gospels in the Bible, Each Assignment

This makes the most sense only when one considers the dramatic/theatrical style of the second half of each of these books, and also the very stoic/cynical responses Seneca was known for such philosophy. Interestingly, "some recent questers after the Historical Jesus, including the Jesus Seminar, have [been] Basing their reconstructions primarily on the Gospel of Thomas and the oldest layer of Q, [so now] they propose that Jesus functioned as a wisdom sage more analogous to a Greek Cynic philosopher than to a Jewish rabbi."

Seneca, of course, was one of the foremost cynics. In this scenario, the Sermon on the Mount might be seen as somewhat irrelevant to the play, and hence fit only for a basic plot narrative like Matthew's -- yet it was also a great vehicle for the philosophy of those left behind with it.

In conclusion, it is impossible to accurately know why only one gospel has the Sermon on the Mount in it while no others do ... one may be certain that this omission (intentional or not) has some reflection on the truth. Each theory about the creation of the gospels spawns a related theory of the inclusion of this sermon, and so one could keep about in circles for days doing just that.

Bibliography

Bruce, Robinson. "The Christian Scriptures (New Testament)" Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance. < http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_ntb1.htm>

"The Gospel According to Seneca"

Goodace, Mark. "The Case Against Q. FAQ" < www.ntgateway.com/Q/faq.htm>

Kirby, Peter. "The Existence of Q" Early Christian Writings. < http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/q-exist.html>

Luke 7:20. King James Version of the Holy Bibles. Online.

Matthew 5:3. "The Gospel According to Matthews, Chapters 5,6,7, Sermon on the Mount" King James Version of the Holy Bible. Online Patterson, S. & Meyer, M.. The "Scholar's Translation" of the Gospel of Thomas.

Robinson, Bruce. "The Gospel of Q." Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance.

http://www.religioustolerance.org/gosp_q.htm

Velie, Alan. "Introduction: The Bible as Literature" The University of Oklahoma College of Liberal Studies. < http://www.ou.edu/cls/online/lstd4213/matthew.htm>

Wikimedia. "Q Document." Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Bruce Robinson. "The Gospel of Q." Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance.
Ibid.

Alan Velie. "Introduction: The Bible as Literature" The University of Oklahoma College of Liberal Studies. < http://www.ou.edu/cls/online/lstd4213/matthew.htm>; Bruce Robinson. "The Christian Scriptures (New Testament): The Gospels" Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance < http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_ntb1.htm>; Peter Kirby, "The Existence of Q" Early Christian Writings. < http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/q-exist.html>

Velie.

Mark Goodacre. "The Case Against Q. FAQ" < www.ntgateway.com/Q/faq.htm>

Wikimedia. "Q Document." Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. ; Kirby.

Kirby.

Robinson, "The Gospel of Q"

Stephen Patterson and Marvin Meyer. The "Scholar's Translation" of the Gospel of Thomas. Online.

Matthew 5:3. "The Gospel According to Matthews, Chapters 5,6,7, Sermon on the Mount" King James Version of the Holy Bible. Online Luke 7:20. King James Version of the Holy Bibles. Online.

"The Bible -- It's Evolution, Contradiction, and Inconsistencies." Online.

"The Gospel According to Seneca"

Wikimedia, " ... Q" [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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