From 11:00PM PDT on Friday, July 1 until 5:00AM PDT on Saturday, July 2, the Shmoop engineering elves will be making tweaks and improvements to the site. That means Shmoop will be unavailable for use during that time. Thanks for your patience!
Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.
If The Gospel According to Matthew wasn't the earliest Gospel written, why does it appear first in the Bible?
Matthew 16:13-23 shows Peter flip-flopping from faithfully proclaiming Jesus as the Messiah to then rebuking Jesus's prediction of his death and crucifixion. Because of this, Jesus goes from promising Peter the keys of heaven to calling him Satan and a stumbling block. Why are these two very different stories placed one right after the other in the Gospel?
Why does Jesus use his power to curse the fig tree so that it dies instead of just causing it to bear fruit (21:18-22)?
Jesus tells his disciples that with faith they could tell a mountain to be lifted up and thrown into the sea (21:21). Who in the Gospel shows the greatest amount of faith? Why?
When Jesus prays in Gethsemane before the crucifixion, he asks that God to "let this cup pass" (26:39). What does this indicate about the identity of Jesus?
On multiple occasions, Jesus heals someone but then requests that they not tell anyone. Why the hush-hush?
What if Judas had never betrayed Jesus to the chief priests? Would things have ended differently?
Which of Jesus's miracles seems most, well, miraculous?
What do you think would be included in the Gospel according to Jesus?