Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Religious Studies

First Advisor

Timothy Renick - Chair


This essay examines the healing miracles of Jesus as described by the Synoptic Gospels and posits that the appeal of the Synoptics over non-canonical texts can partially be found in the former’s focus on these physical healing miracles. The essay argues that the idea that one can be healed of physical pain through faith is a varied theme in the Synoptics and a strong motivator to bring an interest in early Christianity, especially during a time of persecution. Further, this essay considers Gnostic Gospels and their relative lack of healing miracles to expand upon a theory put forth by Elaine Pagels, namely that the early church declared Gnostic texts to be heretical in part because they did not cater to the basic needs of the people as the Synoptics did.

Included in

Religion Commons