Syllabus for The Gospels
The four gospels are key books of the Bible, since they narrate the life, teachings, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Each gospel has a unique perspective and a unique purpose. This course explains the background, the structure, the main contents, and the major themes of each gospel. It is based on the lecture series, The Gospels, produced by Third Millennium Ministries and hosted by Dr. Pete Alwinson with contributions from a variety of professors.
Goals and Objectives
In this course, we would like to accomplish the following:
1. We hope you will learn the key information about the background, the contents, and the major themes of each of the gospels.
2. We hope you grow in your desire to know Jesus better and follow Him more faithfully, as you study the gospels.
3. We hope that you will apply to your own life the lessons learned as you study the four gospels, especially that you come to know Jesus better and follow Him more faithfully.
When you have done the following, it will show that the goals are met:
1. Obtain satisfactory grades on the tests, demonstrating that you can: a) identify key information about the background of each of the four gospels, including their author, the audience, the date of composition, and the purpose, b) identify the structure and key contents of each of the four gospels, and c) identify the major themes of each of the four gospels.
2. Complete the study guides, essay questions, journal questions, and other assignments of the course, expressing your sentiments toward Jesus, and showing how you have applied the teachings of the course to your own life, especially how the course has helped you know Jesus better and follow Him more faithfully.
Thematic Outline of the Course
1) Introduction to the Gospels
2) The Gospel of Matthew
3) The Gospel of Mark
4) The Gospel of Luke
5) The Gospel of John
General Explanation of Assignments
1. Study the lessons, watching the video, listening to the audio, or reading the text.
2. Complete the study guides for each lesson. These study guides will prepare you for the online quizzes and help you reflect on the lessons and apply their teachings to your own life.
3. Take the online quizzes on each section of the lessons. The quizzes may be taken as many times as you want, but you must wait five days between each attempt, and the official grade will be from the first attempt.
4. Complete the mini-lessons for each lesson to learn some additional basic information. You may repeat these lessons as many times as you want, and the official grade will be the highest score out of all the attempts.
5. While it is optional, we recommend that you look through the glossaries and play the learning games to help memorize important names and technical terms used in the lessons.
6. Take the accumulative test for each complete lesson. You may take the test again as many times as you want for review, but the official grade is from the first attempt.
7. Go through the questionnaires to help digest and apply the teachings of the lessons.
8. Take the final exam on the lectures.
9. Read 300 pages of extra reading, write reports on all the reading, and turn in the reports.
10. Prepare a written project of 8-10 pages, following the instructions given in the lessons, and turn it in.
The final grade will be calculated as follows:
1) The quizzes are each worth 10 points.
2) Each Accumulative test is worth 30 points.
3) Each Mini-Lesson is worth 10 points.
4) Each questionnaire is worth 10 points.
5) The final exam on the lectures is worth 100 points.
6) The report on the extra reading is worth 40 points.
7) The written project is worth 100 points.
The reading report and the written project will be evaluated personally by the designated grader of the institution.
The final grade of the course will be calculated by adding the corresponding percentages of all assignments and tests, making a total of 100% possible.
Greek and Hebrew
Some lessons in our courses make reference to words in Greek or Hebrew. If you have not studied these languages, you might want to at least become familiar with the alphabets.
For the Greek alphabet, see:
For the Hebrew alphabet, see:
Contributors to The Gospels
Dr. Pete Alwinson is the founding pastor of Willow Creek Church, PCA, Winter Springs, FL, where he served as Senior Pastor for 26 years.
Dr. Richard J. Bauckham is a New Testament scholar and author and is Professor Emeritus at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.
Dr. David R. Bauer is Dean of the School of Biblical Interpretation and the Ralph Waldo Beeson Professor of Inductive Biblical Studies at Asbury Theological Seminary.
Dr. Steve Blakemore is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Wesley Biblical Seminary.
Dr. Stephen Chan is Associate Professor of Theology and Religious Studies at Seattle University in Washington State.
Dr. Peter Chow is President of China Evangelical Seminary in Taiwan.
Rev. Larry Cockrell is Senior Pastor of Household of Faith Church and faculty member of Birmingham Theological Seminary in Birmingham, Alabama.
Dr. Steve Cowan is Associate Director of the Apologetics Resource Center and Associate Professor of Philosophy and Apologetics at Birmingham Theological Seminary in Birmingham, Alabama.
Dr. Brandon D. Crowe is Assistant Professor of New Testament at Westminster Theological Seminary.
Dr. Saul Cruz is a psychologist and he and his wife, Pilar Cruz-Ramos are co-directors of Armonia Ministries in Mexico City.
Dr. Daniel Doriani is Vice President of Strategic Academic Initiatives and Professor of Theology at Covenant Theological Seminary.
Dr. John M. Frame is Professor of Systematic Theology and Philosophy at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida.
Dr. Matt Friedeman is Professor of Evangelism and Discipleship at Wesley Biblical Seminary.
Dr. Mark Gignilliat is Associate Professor of Divinity in Old Testament at Beeson Divinity School of Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama.
Rev. Michael J. Glodo is Associate Professor of Biblical Studies at Reformed Theological Seminary's Orlando Campus.
Dr. Jim Hamilton is Associate Professor of Biblical Theology at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and Preaching Pastor of Kenwood Baptist Church.
Dr. Steve Harper is the founding Vice President of the Florida Dunnam Campus of Asbury Theological Seminary.
Rev. Thad James, Jr. is Vice President of Academic Affairs at Birmingham Theological Seminary in Birmingham, Alabama.
Dr. Riad Kassis is Regional Director for Overseas Council, an international training ministry for Christian leaders.
Dr. Peter Kuzmic is the Eva B. and Paul E. Toms Distinguished Professor of World Missions and European Studies at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and the co-founder and director of Evangelical Theological Seminary in Osijek, Croatia.
Dr. David Lamb is Associate Professor of Old Testament at Biblical Theological Seminary.
Dr. Jeffery Lowman is Senior Pastor at Evangel Church PCA, in Alabaster, Alabama, and Professor of Homiletics and Systematic Theology at Birmingham Theological Seminary in Birmingham, Alabama.
Rev. Jim Maples is Director of the Doctor of Ministry in Pastoral Leadership program at Birmingham Theological Seminary in Birmingham, Alabama.
Dr. John McKinley is Associate Professor of Biblical and Theological Studies at Biola University.
Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr. is President of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Dr. WaiYee Ng is Associate Professor of Biblical Studies at the China Graduate School of Theology in Hong Kong.
Dr. John Oswalt is the Visiting Distinguished Professor of Old Testament at Asbury Theological Seminary.
Rev. Youssef Ourahmane is involved in training church leaders at the Timothy Training School in Algeria.
Dr. J. I. Packer is Professor of Systematic and Historical Theology at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia, and preaches and lectures widely in Great Britain and America.
Dr. Jonathan Pennington is Associate Professor of New Testament Interpretation at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Dr. Gregory R. Perry is Associate Professor of New Testament and Director of City Ministry Initiative at Covenant Theological Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri.
Dr. Robert Plummer is Associate Professor of New Testament Interpretation at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Dr. David Redelings is a New Testament professor at Bethel Seminary.
Mr. Emad Sami serves at Veritas College as the Regional Director of Middle East & North Africa.
Dr. Thomas Schreiner is the James Buchanan Harrison Professor of New Testament Interpretation and Associate Dean of Scripture and Interpretation at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Dr. Glen Scorgie is Professor of Theology at Bethel Seminary's San Diego Campus.
Dr. James D. Smith III is Associate Professor of Church History at Bethel Seminary's San Diego Campus, as well an adjunct professor of religion at the University of San Diego.
Dr. Mark Strauss is Professor of New Testament at Bethel Seminary's San Diego Campus.
Dr. Frank Thielman is the Presbyterian Professor of Divinity in New Testament at Beeson Divinity School.
Dr. K. Erik Thoennes is Professor of Biblical and Theological Studies at Biola University.
Dr Steven Tsoukalas is Associate Professor of Apologetics and Christian Thought at Wesley Biblical Seminary.
Dr. Bill Ury is Professor of Systematic and Historical Theology at Wesley Biblical Seminary.
Rev. Dr. Simon Vibert is the former Vicar of St. Luke's Church, Wimbledon Park, UK, and is presently the Vice Principal of Wycliffe Hall, Oxford, and Director of the School of Preaching.
Dr. Brian Vickers is Associate Professor of New Testament Interpretation at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and Assistant Editor of The Southern Baptist Journal of Theology.
Rev. Dr. Peter Walker is Professor of Biblical Studies at Trinity School for Ministry.
Dr. Willie Wells is Pastor at Pleasant Grove Baptist Church in Fairfield, Alabama and a professor at Birmingham Theological Seminary in Birmingham, Alabama.
Dr. Stephen Wellum is Professor of Christian Theology at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Dr. Ben Witherington III is Professor of New Testament Interpretation at Asbury Theological Seminary.