As an insider, I had for the most part always thought that the Gospels of the New Testament were pretty straightforward- they documented the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and were “proof” of his divinity. However, reading this excerpt was really interesting in that it brought so much to the table when it came to the Gospels. The message each one brings is inevitably shaped by the circumstances and intentions of the writer. And though some people may find the idea of the Gospels not “really” being written by the apostles, I think it just strengthens the message they hold, and how the figure of Christ was used as a way to communicate things such as hope and strength. The different ways each of them portrays Jesus Christ just brings in different perspectives of a common faith. The fact that the Gospel of Mark was most likely written during a persecution of a community, for example, would explain its more humble portrayal of Christ. And really, I just find it fascinating to notice the parallels between Moses and Jesus in the gospels of Matthew and Luke; not only did it help people who knew the story of Moses warm up to the idea of Jesus, but the imagery of Christ as a “deliverer” and as a champion of those who are marginalized by society could definitely be said to have been a way to reach out to not only the Jews, who already had a long history of being oppressed, but to those Jews who accepted Christian teachings, who were most likely ostracized by their community. The Gospel of John provides an arguably more alien and ‘godlike’ version of Christ, presenting him more as a divine messenger than as a man or as prophet. Considering that the Gospel of John was most likely written without the influence of the other three, I find it interesting that the divinity of Christ is made more prominent here. In fact, considering the fact that the resurrection of Christ wasn’t necessarily believed because he was ‘God’, but because he was the “Righteous one”, I’m beginning to wonder if Christ was first seen as just a prophet of God at first, if his Messiah status wasn’t necessarily meant to place him as the “Son of God” in the first three Gospels. Of course, this is all speculative, and considering that I haven’t done as much academic reading into the roots of the Gospels, there’s a huge chance I’m wrong. Either way, I found the reading interesting in that it made me think about the differences in how each accounted pictured Jesus. The different representations portrayed in the Gospels weren’t necessarily meant to compliment each other, but reach a certain group of people with different intentions.
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