4 Key Elements When Reading The Gospels
The Gospels is a specific type of writing in scripture. There are some different items that need to be considered and understood for us to learn, understand and apply the Gospels to our lives.
The Gospels are a combination of historical and theologically driven ministry documents.
When reading the scriptures we need to know who wrote it, who it was written to, and why it was written in order to gain a right understanding of it and then apply it to our lives. This is true for all scripture. When reading the Gospels however understanding the why it was written is the same for all even if the points being made and how they are made are different.
As you read the history of Jesus’ birth keep in mind the following purposes for the Gospels:
1. They were written to show others who Jesus truly was.
2. They were written to show what the proper and improper response was to who Jesus is.
3. They were written to show what the outcomes are of an individual’s response was to Jesus.
4. They were written to show what the daily lifestyle followers of Jesus should look like.
The Gospels were written to be spoken.
Why is this important? Details designed to make the stories come alive do not need to have any greater significance that something else. Each writer of the Gospels may highlight or put emphasis on one point over another, however the key facts, places, and history of the events remains unchanged. It is the audience that changed and therefore how it was communicated changed to meet the needs of those who were intended to hear it.
The Gospels were written during a time where oral communication was the primary communication method. Think about a speaker presenting the reason they recommend health insurance. The speaker will highlight different aspects of the benefits of health insurance depending on the audience they are presenting to. The message did not change and just because that benefit was highlighted to one audience and not other does not make the benefit better or more important that any other benefit. Because of this.....
The Gospels should be compared to each other
By looking at each Gospel at the same time. We are then able to learn more from them based on what they have in common and where they differ. It makes us stop and ask, why did this writer emphasize this but the others did not.
Be Certain to ready the entire event and not just small pieces
These are the life and times of Jesus with His disciples on earth. We cannot just pull a single part of an event out of scripture and expect to understand or correctly apply it to our lives. We hear all the time, especially in today's society, yeah but is that all the of the story? When we see a news event, when we hear about something happening, we are questioning what else took place that we aren't hearing about. We are blessed with not one but four perspectives on the events and life of Jesus. Take in the full story before trying to determine what it means.