Session 3

The Gospels and Acts

Introduction to the Bible

The New Testament is, in many ways, two separate collections of material: works describing the life of Christ, his teachings, and the spread of the early church, and artifacts in the form of letters written to early Christian communities over an extended period of time. At some point, as the living witnesses to Jesus’ life had left the scene and direct memories of his teaching were starting to fade, various Christian communities collected his teachings as “gospels,” or accounts of the “good news,” that shared his story. This was further supplemented by accepted accounts of the events that gave rise to the faith that we now call “Christianity,” though it started with people who called themselves “followers of the way.”

This session focuses on the creation of the “accepted” canon of the New Testament stories, as they ultimately appear in modern-day Bibles. These were not the only testimonies to the life of Christ and the apostles, and several decisions were made that got us here. Still, if we want to understand where we are, we need to know where we have been. This portion of our scriptures marks the beginning of an an almost two-thousand year journey.

Session Video Lecture

Suggested Resources

The Synoptic Problem

TextWeek: A good source for lectionary readings and associated comments and resources.

Look up:  Q-source; Marcan priority; Mark 16; Gospel of John; Sermon on the Mount; New Testament Miracles; Magnificat; Pentecost


After the Session: Research, Action, and Reflection

Bible Layers Project Part 3

Canonical Context

Begin to trace out how this text connects to the rest of the Bible. If it is an Old Testament text find where the events or concepts of the text are referred to in the New Testament. If it is a New Testament Text find where it may be referring to events or concepts from the Old Testament. How do these references compare? How do these passages demonstrate an evolution in thinking about God’s character and God’s work in the world? Write 250 to 500 words describing what you have discovered.

Roger Jasper

Original Live Session Instructor

Roger Jasper has served as pastor of Living Faith since July of 2010 and has been in pastoral ministry since 2003. Roger holds a BA (double major in Religion and Philosophy) from Georgetown College, an MDiv from Baptist Seminary of Kentucky, and a Postgraduate Certificate in Baptistic Histories and Theologies from the University of Manchester.Currently, he is working toward a PhD at the International Baptist Study Centre in Amsterdam (formerly in Rüschlikon and Prague). Roger came to know Christ at a young age through the teaching of his grandmother and was later baptized into Slate Branch Baptist Church of Somerset, KY. Slate Branch also ordained him in 2004 during his first pastorate.

Dr. Dalen Jackson

Academic Dean and Professor of Biblical Studies

Dalen C. Jackson came to BSK in the Fall of 2002 and has served since 2007 as Academic Dean and Professor of Biblical Studies. He was ordained to Christian Ministry in 1987 and served churches in Tennessee, Alabama, Kentucky, Indiana, and Georgia as pastor and interim pastor, youth minister, children’s director, recreation assistant and in a variety of lay roles. Prior to coming to BSK, he was chair of the Division of External Studies at Judson College in Marion, Alabama and chair of the Humanities Division and head of the Theology Department at Truett-McConnell College in Cleveland, Georgia.

flourish courses

Flourish courses offer great learning opportunities around key topics designed to help equip church leaders for vibrant ministry. These short-term courses are offered online and are affordable.

upcoming courses

Additional Flourish Courses are coming! Plan to register for future courses as they are announced.