Overview of the Four Gospels — Zoom Course Begins in January

Six weeks – Beginning Tues., Jan. 18, 7 to 8:30 pm & Wed., Jan. 19, 1 to 2:30 pm on Zoom

Looking for a New Year’s Resolution? What about reading all four Gospels in their entirety?

FCCB member and scripture instructor, Ann Naffziger, MDiv, MA, will be teaching a six-week Zoom class “Overview of the Four Gospels” starting Tues., Jan. 18 & Wed., Jan. 19. FCCB members can take the course for free. Whether you’ve never cracked open that family Bible on your mantle or you have some background with Bible study groups or scripture classes, this course will have something for everyone. Perhaps you’ve wanted to read the four Gospels in their entirety but didn’t know how to begin? Or maybe you tried but gave up in confusion.

Ann will guide participants through reading all four Gospels while giving historical and literary context to better understand these fascinating, but sometimes confusing, books of the Bible. At the end of the course you’ll know for yourself just what is in the Gospels and what isn’t. We’ll explore the very basics (“Who were Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, and when did they write the Gospels anyway?”) to more complex questions (“Why is Jesus portrayed so differently in each Gospel?” and “What are the apocryphal gospels?”). There will be no “homework” except that you’ll read all four Gospels in their entirety in the six-week period. (It won’t take that long!)

The course consists of six weekly classes, each offered on both Tuesday evening from 7-8:30 pm and Wednesday afternoons 1-2:30 pm (covering the same content). Participants can come to either session, even switching days if needed for your schedule. Each session will be 90 minutes and each class will be recorded so students who miss a class can watch the recording. Registrants can also follow the entire course through the recordings if they cannot make them live.

The majority of the class will consist of Ann presenting content utilizing visual slides and soliciting responses to the Gospel readings. Participants will have the opportunity to post questions and discussion points in the chat to be addressed during the sessions.

The only assigned reading for the course will be each of the four Gospels in their entirety. Between Weeks 1 and 5 you’ll be asked to read one Gospel each week in the order of Mark, Matthew, Luke, and John. Each will take between1-2 hours of reading total. If you don’t get to all the reading, you are still most welcome to join the class, but the more you are able to read, the more you will get out of the class. 

  1. Learn the basic background about how the Gospels came about, the history behind when and where they were written, who they were written for, and how they came to be passed down to us today. Discover for yourself what parts of our faith tradition are included in the actual Gospel themselves, and what comes from outside of the Gospels and the New Testament. 
  2. See the similarities and differences in emphases in each Gospel and learn why Mark, Matthew, and Luke are so different from John.
  3. Notice the four different pictures of Jesus – the different ways that Jesus was remembered by four different authors and communities.
  4. To help you to hear what God wants you to hear about Jesus in your life right now. It might be a comfort or reassurance, a challenge, an invitation to make a change in your life, etc. 

Ann is a minister with background teaching and writing about scripture and theology, a spiritual director, and former hospital chaplain.

To register, email Ann directly at: [email protected]