Nothing shows better the radical difference between the Greek doctrine of immortality of the soul and the Christian doctrine of the Resurrection than the death of Socrates in contrast to the death of Jesus.
The gospel was first of all an oral gospel and was essentially an eschatological proclamation about the nature of the end of the world, spoken in Aramaic and later written in Greek.
John announces the good news, and tells both from whom it comes and to whom it is sent. The startling information he gives is that the message and the messenger are one and the same. Proceeding from there John establishes Jesus and the message.
The ancestry, birth and childhood, baptism, temptations, and vocation of Jesus are examined while bringing him to the point of his work on earth.
The author examines the various sources available, and cautions that the more we learn about those sources the more difficult the task seems to become. He suggests that students must do justice to the categories of first-century Judaism in terms of which the teaching was originally expressed, and must always set the teaching of Jesus in the context of the circumstances and situation of his ministry. Finally, he insists we must employ the “form-critical approach” which uses methodology arising out of the nature of the sources rather than being imposed upon them from outside.
Who the book is addressed to, the ascension of Christ, and when and how the eleven disciples became apostles are addressed. The stage is set for the first Christian church and the converts to it.
It is the parts of the Bible that we do understand which troubles us the most. And that fits the Sermon on the Mount.
An important element in Christianity from the very beginning has been a sense of fellowship with Christ, conceived not merely as a "spiritual" but as an historical person. For all the importance of the resurrection in the church’s rise, the character of Jesus was the deeper element, making the resurrection faith itself possible and making it a faith worth preaching.
The New Testament is the product of the Church while the Church is not the product of the New Testament. The church could have proclaimed, and in fact did proclaim, the gospel without possessing the New Testament; but the New Testament could not have come into existence apart from the Church.
It would seem that God knows first hand what it is to be in prison.