New Lesson: “The Sayings of Jesus” -Rev. Dr. David Fekete


In this course, Rev. Dr. David Fekete, co-editor of Our Daily Bread, engages famous sayings of Christ from the Gospels through a Swedenborgian lens.


When one reflects on a course about the sayings of Jesus, two Gospels are best: Matthew or Luke.  Those two Gospels have the most sayings of Jesus, and they have basically the same sayings. They have more sayings than the Gospel of Mark.  

Mark was written first.  Matthew and Luke had Mark, and used Mark when they wrote their Gospels.  So most everything that is in Mark is in Matthew and Luke. But Matthew and Luke had another document.  Matthew and Luke had a document called “Q” (from the German word quelle, which means source).  Q is a collection of sayings of Jesus.  No one has actually found a scroll of Q.  But when one compares the sayings in Matthew and Luke, one finds the same sayings in basically the same order.  Mark doesn’t have these sayings. So Matthew and Luke have all of Mark, plus sayings in them which Mark doesn’t have.  For these reasons, we think that Matthew and Luke had the same “Q” document which they used, along with Mark’s Gospel, when they wrote their Gospels.

I will be using Matthew’s Gospel in this course about the sayings of Jesus.  Matthew has more references to the Hebrew Scriptures in it than Luke does. Early Christians drew on Hebrew Scriptures as they tried to understand who Jesus was.  So we’ll also learn about the Hebrew Scriptures as we learn about Jesus’ sayings, and we’ll see how Christians used the Hebrew Scriptures as they tried to make sense out of everything that happened surrounding Jesus’ birth, ministry, death, and resurrection.

We can’t use John’s Gospel.  John has sermons and long sayings that none of the other three Gospels have.  Also, the order of the events is different in John than in all the other three Gospels.  That is, Matthew, Mark, and Luke have the same events in the same order. John has events that are not in the other three Gospels and the events that he shares with them are in a different order.  When we study the New Testament, we can study Matthew, Mark, and Luke together. We have to study John separately. And we have already done that in another course.

-Rev. David Fekete, PhD


Click below for printable PDF versions of Rev. Fekete’s lessons:

Sayings of Jesus – Lesson I

Sayings of Jesus – Lesson II

Sayings of Jesus – Lesson III

Sayings of Jesus – Lesson IV

Sayings of Jesus – Lesson V

Sayings of Jesus – Lesson VI-XIII

Sayings of Jesus – Lesson XIV

“Social Justice is the New Jerusalem” -Rev. Dr. Jim Lawrence

From its beginnings in late eighteenth-century England and continuing up to the present day, a careful debate has cropped up from time to time within the Swedenborgian tradition as to what extent social justice issues might be broached in church discourse. The answering light shimmers from the New Jerusalem itself.

Click below for a printable PDF version of Rev. Lawrence’s sermon:

Social Justice is the New Jerusalem

Rev. Dr. James F. Lawrence has been an ordained minister in the Swedenborgian Church of North America for several decades, and has served in a variety of ministries. He currently serves as dean of the Center for Swedenborgian Studies at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, CA, where he is a core doctoral faculty member, as well as assistant professor of Christian Spirituality and Historical Studies at Pacific School of Religion. He is an active member of the board of the Swedenborg Foundation.