We cannot answer all the questions in this overview, but we can exegete the Lord’s Supper in its original context in Matthew, Mark, and Luke. This post also looks very briefly at 1 Corinthians 10:16-17 and 11:23-34. Then, what do various churches teach about the Lord’s Supper (or Communion or Eucharist)? I am here to learn. I updated this post with information that startled me. I also learned something new from Exod. 12:14.
Category Archives: Gospels
The Meaning of the Names of the Twelve Apostles
What do their names mean? Why do the lists of the twelve in the New Testament have a slight variation? Can it be resolved?
How Jesus Christ Fulfills the Law: Matthew 5:17-19
Christ fulfilled or paid off your debt to the Law. It’s paid in full. He accomplishes this by fulfilling the holiness demand in the law and the fullest revelation of God’s character.
When Jesus Used Harsh Language
Don’t try this at home or elsewhere, unless called of God to take down systems!
Revenge in the Old and New Testaments: Eye for Eye, Tooth for Tooth
Does the Old Testament demand literal retaliation for a wrong? Should an eye or a tooth be gouged or knocked out—physically? What about the teaching of Jesus? Does he raise our vision to a higher calling? How do we forgive a tort or a physical injury? How do we get compensated for damages?
Luke’s Birth Narrative: Pagan Myth or Sacred Story?
Many claim that the birth narratives in the Gospels–here the third Gospel–were merely reshaped copies of Greco-Roman myths. True?
Reconciling Matthew’s and Luke’s Genealogies: Mission: Impossible?
Some scholars say they are irreconcilable, while others say reconciling them is not so difficult. I favor plausible harmonization. It’s all in the family. Bonus: see the American family “the Roosevelts” in a chart for parallels.
God’s Love and Grace in the Gospels and Acts
It’s about God’s love and favor, not yours for him. Great for a series of sermons or Bible studies or your personal edification.
What Is the Gospel?
How can we proclaim it if we don’t know what it is? After a basic definition offered just below, the gospel also has multiple parts to it. Let’s see what they are. (I recently updated this post.)
15. The Historical Reliability of the Gospels: Conclusion
We come at last to the end of the series. This part, summarizing the previous fourteen articles, can serve as a guide for which article the reader may need in the future. The series has always been about having confidence in the four Gospels so the gospel of the kingdom can go forth.
14. Similarities among John’s Gospel and the Synoptic Gospels
The number of similarities, even between the Gospel of John on the one side and Matthew, Mark, and Luke on the other, is remarkable.
13. Are There Contradictions in the Gospels?
When you read the first three Gospels, you are likely to observe countless similarities. And that is the dominant picture: the places, the names, the crowds, the rural setting, busy Jerusalem. However, some skeptics see insurmountable problems.
12. Eyewitness Testimony in John’s Gospel
The author of this Gospel made sure he used eyewitness testimony; indeed he was an eyewitness!
11. Eyewitness Testimony in Luke’s Gospel
Luke researched those who knew Jesus from the “beginning,” his key criterion.
10. Eyewitness Testimony in Mark’s Gospel
The evidence suggests that Peter was indeed a portrait painter, but he used words alone. Jesus was his subject.
9. Authoritative Testimony in Matthew’s Gospel
This article rounds a corner from the traditions transmitted before the Gospels were written to the Gospels themselves, as we have them now. Do they enjoy eyewitness testimony at their foundation?
8. Did Some Disciples Take Notes During Jesus’ Ministry?
This is a question that must be explored. At least twelve scholars say it probably happened. If so, this gives a huge boost to the reliability of the Gospels.
7. What Is the Q ‘Gospel’?
No need to be afraid of this document. If it existed, Matthew and Luke used it. If they weren’t afraid, why should you be?
6. Reliable Gospel Transmissions
We continue the series, and this post is about how the stories and teachings and memories of the deeds of Jesus were transmitted before the first three Gospels were written down.
5. The Gospel Traditions
With this article (Part Five) we turn a corner away from archaeology and non-Christian written references to Gospel persons (the last three articles). Now we discuss the preservation of Jesus’ ministry — his words and activity — after his crucifixion (and resurrection) and up to the time when the Gospels were written.
4. Did Jesus Even Exist?
If you throw a rock in a pond, does it produce ripples? Did the life of Jesus produce no effects at all? Are the ripples delusions or real? Now let’s study the historical evidence. If you have a son or daughter or a co-worker or husband who challenges you, send him or her to this link.
3. Archaeology and John’s Gospel
Part 3 in the series that explains why the Gospels are reliable and lists some discoveries.
John 10:34-36 and Psalm 82: Who Were the ‘Gods’ and ‘Sons of Most High’?
Who were the “gods” and “sons of the Most High” in Psalm 82:6? Whom does Jesus say they were in John 10:34-36? Many commentators offer their opinion, and they are unanimous about who they were not. Now what about–who they were?
2. Archaeology and the Synoptic Gospels
The Synoptics are Matthew, Mark, and Luke. Archaeology affirms their reliability. This post lists some discoveries.
1. The Historical Reliability of the Gospels: Introduction to Series
So begins a fifteen-part series on the historical reliability of the four Gospels.
John 6 and Partaking of His Body and Blood
John 6 and Jesus’ teaching about his body and blood and bread and manna from heaven is very symbolic. How should we interpret it, as it relates to the Eucharist or the Lord’s Table or Communion?
Luke 17:22-37: Taken Away = Rapture?
What do those verses about being taken away and left behind really teach? The answer may shock many people who have been taught only one viewpoint. I also briefly look at Matthew’s version.
Quick Reference to Jewish Groups in Gospels and Acts
This is quick reference guide to religious and political Jewish groups who appear in the Gospels and the Book of Acts.
John 14 Does Not Teach Second Coming or Separate Rapture
Many interpreters believe that John 14:2-3 teaches the Second Coming or rapture before the Second Coming, but 14:23 decisively argues against this interpretation.
Luke 21:5-33 Predicts Destruction of Jerusalem and Temple
By far, Luke 21:5-33 clearly demonstrate that these verses, which parallel Matt. 24:4-35 and Mark 13:5-31, are an extended prediction of the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple, and not the Second Coming. It is best to read those verses in their own context and in light of Old Testament apocalyptic passages. Then we can have clarity. Please view the photos of the Arch of Titus and the Jewish Menorah, at the end.
Matt. 7:21-23: “I Never Knew You, Depart from Me!”
These verses are very sobering. What do they mean in your life and mine?
Why Didn’t Jesus Know the Day or the Hour of His Return?
Why did Jesus say that not even the Son knows the day or the hour of the Second Coming? Puzzling.
Rich Man and Lazarus: True Events or Just a Parable?
Here is a compendium of various commentators, who tend to reach one conclusion.
Parable of the Sower: Eternal Security or Possible Apostasy?
The parable may not cover the titled theological dispute in detail, but many interpreters believe it does. So let’s explore.
What Is a Parable?
It is the major technique of Jesus’s teaching, right up there with his direct teaching. So how do we define it?
What Is the Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit?
A small percentage of people are anxious about this, but what does the Bible say? Can people commit this sin today?
2. The Gospels: Was Jesus a Pacifist?
To answer that question, we look at four episodes in the Gospels: John the Baptist and some soldiers; Jesus and a centurion; an apparent command to use a sword against a disciple’s family; and two swords during Jesus’ arrest.
1. Church Fathers and Matthew’s Gospel
The Church fathers quoted here lived in the first to third centuries. They are unanimous that Matthew wrote the first Gospel, and it was authoritative for them–so it should be for us too.
2. Church Fathers and Mark’s Gospel
The Fathers quoted here lived in the first to third centuries. They are unanimous that Mark wrote the second Gospel, and it was authoritative for them–so it should be for us too.
3. Church Fathers and Luke’s Gospel
The Fathers quoted here lived in the first to third centuries. They are unanimous that Luke wrote the third Gospel, and it was authoritative for them–so it should be for us too.
4. Church Fathers and John’s Gospel
The Fathers quoted here lived in the first to third centuries. They are unanimous that John wrote the fourth Gospel, and it was authoritative for them–so it should be for us too.
1. New Testament Manuscripts: Preliminary Questions and Answers
This article is the first in a four-part series on New Testament textual criticism. It provides the basics on this science and art. It also answers the question, How do I grow closer to God?
2. Basic Facts On Producing New Testament Manuscripts
This article comes second in a four-part series on New Testament textual criticism. It answers questions about the material and process of making the pages of a document, along with the scribal art of writing. It also answers the question: How does this post help me grow closer to God?
3. Discovering And Classifying New Testament Manuscripts
This article provides basic facts on how some of the New Testament manuscripts were discovered and how they are classified. The post answers this important question: How does this post help me grow closer to God?
4. The Manuscripts Tell The Story: The New Testament Is Reliable
This article, the last one in the four-part series, has a focused goal. It provides evidence from the best New Testament textual critics that it is possible to reach back to the original (autograph) books and letters of the New Testament, though the originals no longer physically exist. This post also answers the question: How do I grow closer to God?
Here is a list of the principal works referenced or used at this site. More will be added as time goes on, so please check back.