This blog is designed to provide insights and discussions on why people do things a certain way. It will be primarily focused on two themes: either theological/spiritual themes, or financial discussions. Although different in nature, both topics involve a "behavioral" element, and this blog will hopefully provide insight into both at various times.
Disclaimer: This blog is a way of expressing my personal opinions thoughts and anecdotes, as well as my personal understanding of the scriptures, and conference addresses. It is not meant as a statement of doctrine, and may not necessarily reflect the views, thoughts, or doctrines of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
So, obviously I did not stay on task with keeping you updated on my thoughts from the Old Testament. Suffice it to say that it was a great year of teaching from it, and I hope to be able to explore more thoughts on here from it.
Moving on into this year, I am excited about the study of the New Testament. While it is the smallest of the studied Standard Works for the years that we study, it makes up for in shear breadth and depth of the Saviors personal ministry. Indeed, there have been volumes upon volumes of New Testament commentary, hoping to shed some light on areas of the New Testament with the hoped for purpose of helping us understand the magnificent message contained therein.
One of my favorite personal times of study was when I was in Northern California as a missionary and I obtained a copy of the Life and Teachings of Jesus & His Apostles Institute Manual. It was something I studied every day, and it was just a great experience that I highly recommend. One of the highlights from it was an introduction to why we have the four Gospels at the beginning. At a cursory glance, and as a youth, it can be assumed that they are simply four re-tellings of the same story, and even if that's all that it was, it would still be great to read each one for clarity and repetition.
(1-4) The Gospel of Matthew
Matthew’s gospel is characterized by a heavy emphasis on how the
life of Jesus fulfilled Old Testament prophecy and includes many important
discourses of the Master, such as the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5–7), a
discourse on the parables of the kingdom (Matthew 13), and a long discourse
critical of the scribes and Pharisees (Matthew 23). Matthew graphically
portrays Jesus as the king and judge of Israel and one who teaches with
great power and authority. His gospel would have particular power for Jewish
(1-5) The Gospel of Mark
Mark’s is the shortest gospel and presents a picture of Jesus
that is moving, full of action, and stresses the miraculous power of the
Master. Because of this dynamic portrait, many scholars have thought Mark was
writing with Roman readers in mind. Mark seems to have been closely associated
with Peter after the death of the Savior, and many see influences of Peter’s
narratives in Mark’s writing.
(1-6) The Gospel of Luke
Because of his highly polished Greek, and the compassionate
picture of the Savior Luke portrays for us, many have thought he wrote to the
Greeks of the ancient world. Luke’s gospel is characterized by an emphasis on
forgiveness and love, pointing out through parables unique to his gospel (such
as the Prodigal Son) that the sinner can find rest and peace in Jesus. Luke
also gives important insights into the role women played during the ministry
and life of Jesus. He alone tells of the visit of the angel toZacharias and of Elisabeth, the mother of
John the Baptist; he alone tells of the journey of Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem and of the
actual birth of Jesus.
While John’s gospel gives us a more intimate picture of the
Master, emphasizing his relationship to the Father, his associations with the
Twelve, and so on, John’s purpose seems to have been more to bear witness of
Jesus as the Christ rather than to chronicle in some detail the places and
events of his ministry. From his writings come a powerful witness of Jesus as
the Son of God, of Jesus as the Messiah, of Jesus as the Good Shepherd, of
Jesus as the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and of Jesus as the Resurrection and
I'll write more later, but hopefully this helps you all!