4 Replies to “Session 1: The Beginning of the Story”
Thanks for a very interesting and enlightening Bible Study!
Joyce was wondering if pointing out a different translation of “the inn” might be problematic for new Christians–they might think the Bible was inaccurate.
Kathy thought the “best place” that the head of the household stayed in might also be the position from which they could provide better protection for the family–would that be accurate?
My question–the timing of the writing of the 4 Gospels. Which came first (I’ve generally heard Mark was the earliest, but also have read a couple of sources that indicate John was much earlier).
1) The issue with the translation of the word is the traditional use of “inn.” The Greek word is the same one used for the upper room (guest room) of the Last Supper later in Luke. Once people realize that the same Greek word is used in both cases, the problem disappears.
2) The “best place” would be in front of the door and would control access. But in a village, defense would be provided by the village perimeter/wall.
3) I will get to my suggested order for the gospels (Matt -> Luke -> Mark -> John) later in this Bible study sequence.
Thank you, Pr. Schuler, for a succinct look at the synoptic gospels. I liked the sketch of the cave-room-courtyard of the times and the photo of the door to the cave home. Made real what we’ve been hearing about that birth setting now for a while. It is kind of a wonder that it has taken so many years to teach the cultural setting of the biblical stories, along with the attendant history. We like Garrison Keillor’s story of the Bethlehem shepherds; he likens them to parking lot attendants in our day.
Who would be the target audience for Mark? Some say the gentiles; others, Rome. And you?
So grateful for your deep insights and willlingness to share them with us all.
My two pages of notes led to some good Study Bible search Sunday afternoon. Thanks … Shirley Dorow
Later in this course I will talk about the Gospel of Mark and propose that it was written for traumatized Christians in Rome following the persecution that took the life of Peter after the fire in 64.
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