Bible Study – Luke. Session 3: Our story begins with our birthday, where our life starts, and our life in the family (Luke 1:5-3:38)

I. A few days before the session, the following text could be sent to the participants in order to better prepare and be active.

1. Luke chapter 1, verses 5 to chapter 3, verses 38, can be divided as follows:

  • a) 1:5-25 – the birth of John the Baptist foretold;
  • b) 1:26-38 – the birth of Jesus foretold;
  • c) 1:39-56 – Mary visits Elizabeth and Mary’s song of praise;
  • d) 1:57-80 – the birth of John the Baptist and Zechariah’s Prophecy;
  • e) 2:1-20 – the story of Jesus’ birth;
  • f) 2:21-40 – Jesus’ naming and his presentation in the Temple;
  • g) !!! – First gap – Jesus’ childhood story;
  • h) 2:41-52 – the boy Jesus among the teachers of the Law in the Temple;
  • i) !!! – Second gap – Jesus as teenager and young man;
  • k) 3:1-20 – the proclamation of John the Baptist;
  • l) 3:21-22 – the baptism of Jesus;
  • m) 3:23-38 – Jesus’ ancestors.

2. Please, print the point 1, with all divisions.

3. Please read the text as a whole or only the text related to one of the above divisions. Suppose we have chosen a division that corresponds to a gap in the history of Jesus. So we don’t have a text to read. Let’s try to fill it with what we think would have happened in Jesus’ life at that time. Let’s try to find events that correspond to those gaps and that have at least as important a role in the life of Jesus as the ones we find related by Luke.

To help, let’s try to answer the following questions: – what important characters disappear from the life of Jesus and how does the social situation of Jesus change but also his role in relation to his mother and the community in which Jesus lived?

Regardless of the division chosen, let us try why we chose it, why we consider it an extremely important part for our understanding of Jesus’ life until his baptism.

4. Please copy and print the paintings below and keep it for the session.

List of the paintings:

  • A – Annunciation to Zechariah, Domenico Ghirlandaio, 1490
  • B – Annunciation to Mary, Domenico Beccafumi, 1545
  • C – Mary visiting her elderly cousin Elizabeth, Domenico Ghirlandaio, 1491
  • D – The Birth of John the Baptist, Lucas Cranach the Elder, 1518
  • E – The Birth of Jesus, Matthias Stomer, 1632
  • F – Jesus’ Presentation in the Temple, Giovanni Bellini, 1493
  • G – Jews Praying in the Synagogue on Yom Kippur, Maurycy Gottlieb, 1878
  • H – The Finding of the Saviour in the Temple, William Holman Hunt, 1860
  • I – Christ in the House of His Parents, John Everett Millais, 1849-1850
  • K – Saint John the Baptist Preaching, Luca Giordano, 1695
  • L – The Baptism of Christ, Andrea del Verrocchio and Leonardo da Vinci, 1472-1475
  • M – Abraham Serving the Three Angels, Rembrandt, 1646

I look forward to meeting you.

Revd. Bernard Noghiu

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II. The following materials are intended for the group leader, in order to prepare the meeting.

– The leader has to prepare the whole text, listing the main events of the story and the main characters.

– has to explain the gaps and what a Jewish boy had to do in that time, or possible to do, using resources about Jewish community’s life in Jesus’ time;

– to be prepared to why and when one or other of the main characters disappear;

– how is changing Jesus’ life because of this disappearing;

!!! At the end of the session, the leader of the study group will ask again the members to present the division chosen. He will write on a piece of paper and check what corresponds to the paintings in the image gallery. The chosen divisions will be put together and a new story of Jesus' life up to Baptism will be created, excluding the fragments that were not chosen. The fragments chosen by the group will be considered as favourite parts of the story about Jesus by the storytellers. This way they will understand the mechanism in which stories and tales about people are transmitted. !!!


1. Who is Who in the Bible, ed. Joseph L. Gardner (New York: Reader’s Digest, 1994), 206-222; 248-247.

2. Philip Sellew, “Joseph (Husband of Mary)” in The Oxford Companion to the Bible, ed. by Bruce M. Metzger & Michael M. Coogan (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993), 382.

3. Anthony Ernest Harvey, A Companion to the New Testament (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), 213-226.

4. Wikipedia, “The Jewish Education” – – Last visited: 24th November 2020.

5. Wikipedia, “Saint Joseph” – – Last visited: 24th November 2020.

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