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The first 4 books of the New Testament, chronicling the life of one Jesus Christ. Matthew and Luke chronicle His birth.

Matthew - Matt compares Old Testament scripture with Jesus' deeds to appeal to Jews.

Mark - The oldest Gospel written for the Romans and portrays Jesus as the miracle worker.

Luke - Written for Gentiles and portrays Jesus as a Nice Guy who preached kindness and charity. Has the most in-depth look into his origin story and contains the most parables

John - The most introspective Gospel and written for Christians.


Tropes

  • An Aesop: The point of most of Jesus' parables.
  • Ancient Rome
  • Author Appeal
    • Former tax collector Matthew focuses on money. For example, his is the only Gospel that contains the fact that Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver.
    • Luke, who was a doctor, notes several medical details in his accounts that the other authors glossed over, such as that the girl who Jesus brought back from the dead died of a high fever, or that Christ was sweating blood at Gethsemane.
  • Author Avatar: The naked guy mentioned in Mark 14:51-52 was probably Mark himself.
    • And "the disciple who Jesus loved" referred to often in the Book of John was John himself.
  • Away in a Manger: The Ur Example, of course.
  • Back From the Dead: Famously, Lazarus--and Jesus. Other examples include a girl in Mark 5.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Jesus is gone but the apostles vow to spread his message to the rest of the world.
  • Contemplate Our Navels: John
  • Crucified Hero Shot: The Trope Maker.
  • Deal with the Devil: Satan tempts Jesus by offering him all the kingdoms of the world in exchange for just a little worship. Of course, Jesus didn't bite.
  • Depending on the Writer: Jesus' character tends to vary quite a bit depending on who's describing him.
  • The Dutiful Son: First appeared as the counterpart to the title character in Jesus' parable of the Prodigal Son. Jesus makes the point that he's not really morally superior to his wayward brother.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Jesus, the Garden of Gethsemane notwithstanding.
  • Forgiveness: A major concept in Jesus' teachings. Also part of his own Dying Moment of Awesome, when he prayed "Father, forgive them; they know not what they do."
  • Flat Earth Atheist: Not quite atheists per se, but some people denied Jesus' divinity even immediately after watching Him perform real-life miracles.
    • Insane Troll Logic: After seeing Jesus cast out demons, the Pharisees accuse Jesus of casting out demons by the power of Satan. Jesus points out that if that were the case, it would make Satan's kingdom a House Divided.
  • Flipping the Table: Jesus does this with the moneychangers in the Temple.
  • Heaven Seeker: with Jesus and most of his followers.
  • Go and Sin No More: Another Trope Namer, from Jesus' response to a woman caught in adultery (John 8).
  • Intimidating Revenue Service: Whenever Jesus needs an example of a profession that everyone will instantly recognize as corrupt and sinful, he mentions... (prostitutes? pharisees? torturers?)... tax collectors. Justified, since in Ancient Rome tax collectors were pretty universally reviled for extorting money from their countrymen while being on the take. Also Averted, in that some tax collectors such as Matthew and Zacchaeus are shown to be redeemed.
  • Jesus Saves: Trope Namer.
  • Jesus Taboo: Averted.
  • Love Redeems: Very, very much the theme of Jesus' teachings, as exemplified in John 3:16:

  "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."

Notes

  1. Many Jews were pretty much sick of the Romans by this point and had no desire to pay taxes to support Roman idolatry and hedonistic living. The last thing they would have wanted to hear was a command to pay their taxes. If Christ had said that this was unnecessary, though, well ...
  2. If Christ had said that she shouldn't be stoned, the Pharisees would have accused Him of violating the laws of Moses. If He had said that she should, He would likely have been turned over to the Romans, who didn't allow the Jews to perform their own executions.
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