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: BN9742Z

Unit status: Approved (New unit)

Points: 24.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Elective

Unit discipline: New Testament

Proposing College: Uniting College for Leadership and Theology

Show when this unit is running

Learning outcomes


Critically analyse the historical and cultural contexts of the Synoptic Gospels


Critically analyse the distinctive witness of the Synoptic Gospels


Critically evaluate and employ exegetical methods to analyse texts from the Synoptic Gospels


Examine the theology of the Synoptic Gospels and their application today


Employ knowledge and skills developed in the unit to critique and develop resources suitable for selected ministry context(s)

Unit sequence

A Level 9 unit in postgraduate theology and ministry awards

Prerequisite Unit: BN8741Z 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 20.0
Exegetical Essay

Exegesis and contemporary application

3000 40.0
Learning Resource

Professional Practice Application

3000 30.0

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

Unit record last updated: 2022-10-20 17:32:29 +1100