This is a field of study that looks at three of the four canonical Gospels: the Gospels according to Matthew, Mark and Luke, with a particular focus on one of the three. Comparable material from the Synoptic tradition in other sources will also be considered.

Unit code: BN2742Z

Unit status: Approved (New unit)

Points: 18.0

Unit level: Undergraduate Level 2

Unit discipline: New Testament

Proposing College: Uniting College for Leadership and Theology

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Learning outcomes


Analyse the historical and cultural contexts of the Synoptic Gospels


Compare the distinctive witness of the Synoptic Gospels


Evaluate and employ exegetical methods to analyse texts from the Synoptic Gospels


Examine the theology of the Synoptic Gospels and their application today

Unit sequence

A Level 2 unit in undergraduate theology and ministry awards

Prerequisite Unit: BN1741Z Interpreting the New Testament or equivalent


UCLT uses primary and secondary sources considered through different lenses to identify and explore the challenges of the unit material for the contemporary world. Students are engaged in a range of comparative, analytical and reflective practices to identify the original meanings of the text in their contexts and to interpret them hermeneutically.

Indicative Bibliography

  • Anderson, J. Capel and S.D. Moore, eds. Mark & Method: New Approaches in Biblical Studies. 2nd ed. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2008.
  • Gorman, M. Elements of Biblical Exegesis: A Basic Guide for Students and Ministers. rev. ed. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2009.
  • Hearon, Holly E. From Narrative to Performance: Methodological Considerations and Interpretive Moves. In Mark as Story. Retrospect and Prospect, edited by Kelly R. Iverson and Christopher W. Skinner. Society of Biblical Literature. Resources for Biblical Study, 211–32. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2011.
  • Kim, Yung Suk. Biblical Interpretation: Theory, Process, and Criteria. Eugene, OR: Pickwick Publications, 2013.
  • Levine, Amy-Jill. Short stories by Jesus: the enigmatic parables of a controversial rabbi. New York: HarperOne, 2015.
  • Perkins, Pheme. Introduction to the Synoptic Gospels. WM. B Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, Michigan 2007.
  • Powell, Mark Alan. Fortress Introduction to the Gospels. Second Edition, Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2019.
  • Stegemann, W., Malina B., Theissen, G.eds., The Social Setting of Jesus and the Gospels. Augsburg Fortress 2002.
  • Throckmorton Jr., Burton H., Gospel Parallels. A Comparison of the Synoptic Gospels. 5th ed., Thomas Nelson, 1992.
  • Watson, F. The Fourfold Gospel: A Theological Reading of the New Testament Portraits of Jesus. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2016.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)
Summative Reflection

Reflection on exegetical methods

500 10.0
Seminar or Tutorial

Presentation and paper on a set passage

1500 35.0
Exegetical Essay

Exegesis and contemporary application

2000 45.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Prof Albert Haddad on 20 Oct, 2022

Unit record last updated: 2022-10-20 17:31:37 +1100