Lesson 1 - Introduction and Outline
Life of Christ
Introduction and Outline
I. Who Is Jesus Christ?
A. Atheists and Agnostics say Jesus did not exist.
B. Liberals say that Jesus was just a good man.
C. Muslims say he was a prophet.
D. Peter Ruckman portrays Jesus as a wrath filled judge.
E. The hippies viewed Him as a fun-loving, long-haired brother who understood the short-comings of man.
F. Hindus think of Jesus as just one more god.
G. Buddhists envision Jesus as a quintessential human who has reached perfection.
H. Jehovah’s Witnesses see Jesus as the brother of Lucifer.
I. Mormons view Jesus as the firstborn spirit child of Elohim.
II. Purpose of Course
A. The carefully analyze Scripture and determine who Jesus Christ really is.
B. To produce a relatively accurate chronological order to the four Gospels.
C. To evaluate historical events and see how they fit into the Life of Christ.
A. Birth and Childhood (Time: 13 ½ Years)
B. The Announcement and Introduction of Public Ministry (Time: ~1 Year)
C. Christ’s First Year of Public Ministry (Time: 1 Year)
D. Christ’s Second Year of Public Ministry (Time: 1 Year)
E. Christ’s Third Year of Public Ministry
1. From the Third Passover Until His Final Departure from Galilee at the Feast of Tabernacles (Time: 6 Months)
2. The Festival of Tabernacles, and the Subsequent Transactions Until Arrival at Bethany Six Days Before the Fourth Passover (Time: 6 Months, Less 1 Week)
3. Our Lord’s Public Entry into Jerusalem, and the Subsequent Transactions Before the Fourth Passover (Time: Five Days)
F. The Fourth Passover; Our Lord’s Passion (Time: Two Days)
G. Our Lord’s Resurrection, His Subsequent Appearances, and His Ascension (Time: 40 Days)
III. Annotated Bibliography
A. Davies, Benjamin. Bakers Harmony of the Gospels. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1994.
Harmony of the Gospels is a vital tool for studying, preaching, and teaching the life of Christ and related events from the four Gospels. A hallmark of thorough scholarship, this complete English edition is based on the Harmony of the Gospels in Greek by Edward Robinson.
B. Hoehner, Harold W. The Chronological Aspects of the Life of Christ. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1977.
This is not a book on the life of Christ but attempts to establish certain fixed dates of our Lord’s life. Many times there are vagueness of dates in the life of Christ. Hoehner seeks to address key events during Christ’s physical life on earth using both Biblical as well as extra-Biblical evidence.
C. Morgan, George Campbell. The Crises of the Christ. New York; London: Fleming H. Revell company, 1936.
While much Christian literature is devoted to the human work of Christ, Morgan’s The Crises of the Christ focuses on the Divine work of Jesus on earth. This resource will aid your understanding of the mystery of Christ’s person, the graciousness of His teaching, the beauty of His character and the wonder of His deeds.
D. Farrar, Frederic William. The Life of Christ. New York: Cassell publishing company, 1888.
Author Frederic William Farrar displays tireless research and meticulous attention to detail in The Life of Christ. Extensive background information is provided on the culture in which Christ was raised. Few modern resources can match this book’s poetic style and eloquent delivery of the gospel message.
E. Farrar, Frederic William. The Life of Lives Further Studies in the Life of Christ. New York: Dodd, Mead & company, 1900.
Farrar’s follow-up work to the popular Life of Christ. provides further application of Christ’ s life and teachings to today’s Christian. Special attention is given to Jesus’ external influences: education, home life, and political dynamics of the world in which he lived. Contrary to a typical commentary, this book looks at Christ’s life from a topical angle.
F. Andrews, Samuel James. The Life of Our Lord Upon the Earth; Considered in Its Historical, Chronological, and Geographical Relations. New York: Charles Scribner's sons, 1889.
The author states in his preface, "The simple purpose of this book is to arrange the events of the Lord's life, as given us by the Evangelists, so far as possible, in a chronological order." That goal is clearly achieved because of the author's ability to blend historical accuracy and spiritual insight.
G. Stalker, James. The Life of Jesus Christ. Chicago: Henry A. Sumner and company, 1882.