Jesus in the Synoptic Gospels

Open Learning


Distance learning




Distance learning



Three Bibles showing the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke
This Open Learning course explores the story of Jesus' life and ministry as it is told by Gospel writers Matthew, Mark and Luke, and aims to inspire and equip you for further study of the New Testament.

Course number and title

  • A6 - Jesus and the Synoptic Gospels

Learning Outcomes

At the end of this course you should be able to:

  • Describe how each Gospel presents Jesus and his ministry
  • Identify the main times and characteristics of each of the Synoptic Gospels
  • Explain the relevance of Jesus' life and ministry to Christian life today

Course contents

  • Lesson 1: Mark's Gospel - Announcing the Good News
  • Lesson 2: Matthew's Gospel - God's promises fulfilled
  • Lesson 3: Luke's Gospel - Good news for everyone!
  • Lesson 4: Understanding the context - Palestine in the time of Jesus
  • Lesson 5: The heart of the Gospel - Jesus, teacher and healer
  • Lesson 6: The heart of the Gospel - The Kingdom of God

Course level

  • Award


  • Course study guide
  • Drane, J., 2019. Introducing the New Testament. 4th ed. Oxford: Lion Hudson.
  • Stanton, G., 2002. The Gospels and Jesus. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • New International Version of the Bible
  • Additional reading is recommended


  • Essays of 1,300 words, which will require you to find appropriate study resources and include references and bibliographies
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Apply for this course

Download an application form or contact us.


About Open Learning

Open Learning correspondence courses are available to anyone over the age of 18. Students can be Christians or enquirers, of any religious persuasion or none.

Our courses offer students the opportunity to:

  • Study the Bible and learn more about God, the Christian faith and Church tradition
  • Gain insight into your own personal faith experience
  • Develop resources for practical ministry

With three different levels of study available - Starter, Foundation and Award - it is not necessary to have studied before in order to apply for one of our courses. Bite-sized courses are also available.

Each student has a qualified personal tutor who provides support, guidance and encouragement as they progress through their course. The tutor will also grade assignments and give feedback on written work.

Work can be completed at your own pace, over a series of weeks or months, and can be submitted online or via post.

Lessons are available in different fonts, large print and printed on off-white or coloured paper for those who have additional needs. Please let us know what you require when enrolling.

If you need support to cover the cost of any of our courses or need additional information, please contact us.

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