The drama in the Gospels turns on a single question: Is Jesus the long awaited Messiah, the son of David come to restore the everlasting monarchy promised to David? Underlying this drama are centuries of rival interpretations of the Jewish Scriptures and competing expectations of who the Messiah was to be, the signs that would accompany his coming, and the shape of the kingdom he would establish.
We explore all these issues in this thematic survey course, which goes to the heart of what the New Testament has to say about the identity of Christ and the Church.
We start with a detailed look at the importance of David in the Old Testament, the shape of the Davidic monarchy, and its historic rise and fall. We examine next the messianic hopes of Israel and the traditions of exile and restoration found in the Old Testament and in Jewish literature written between the Old and New Testaments.
We then make a detailed study of how Jesus is portrayed as the Davidic Messiah in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, as well as in Luke’s second volume, the Acts of the Apostles. We round out our study by exploring the Davidic-kingdom imagery in the remaining New Testament texts, and how the biblical understanding of the Church as the kingdom is reflected in the Catholic Church.
- To understand in a detailed way the Old Testament background of the New Testament – especially God’s covenant with King David and Israel’s hopes for a Messiah who would restore the fallen kingdom of David.
- To understand how the New Testament depicts Jesus as the royal Son of David and the Church He establishes as the restored Kingdom of David.
- To begin to understand the biblical origin of some of the structures of the Catholic Church as reflecting the biblical understanding of the Church as the kingdom of God.
The primary text will be the Bible. Each lesson will recommend certain passages for reading and study. In addition, the instructors recommend the following study guides: