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Synoptic Gospels and the Gospel of John

Synoptic gospels refer to biblical doctrines which were documented as part of good news during the New Testament times. These gospels have several similarities (Perkins, p. 19). As such, there are myriad of common features which characterize them. These include content, style, paragraphs, chronology and timing of events. In a general, these are the first three books in the New Testament namely Mathew, Mark and Luke (Perkins, p. 19). Apparently, these books take a similar perspective in describing the gospel. It is factual that each of the three gospels has similar chronological record of events that took place during the New Testament times. However, evidence from researchers indicates that although language used in presenting these gospels is apparently identical, there have been significant divergences in terms of use of verbs (Perkins, p. 29). In addition, most of the contemporary scholars of the bible assert that the gospel of Mark is the most ancient. It is also likely that the gospel of Mark was used to compose the books of Mathew and Luke.

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Speculatively, the gospels present apostolic teachings and messages and major events that chronicled during the era of Jesus Christ (Perkins, p. 56). A such, many similarities have been identified regarding the theoretical interpretations of the ministry of Jesus. Moreover, the synoptic gospels describe the two epochs of Jesus’ life on earth (Perkins, p83). It is also substantial that these books unfold the birth, childhood days and extensive ministry of Christ up to the time of his death. Nonetheless, it is imperative to note that the synoptic gospels differ to some extent as stated by biblical scholars. For instance, after Jesus was crucified and buried, the book of Mathew states that there was earthquake and an angel appeared in the tomb announcing resurrection of Christ (Perkins, p. 69). The book of Luke states that there were two angels while that of mark does not clearly say whether the man was an angel.

Biblical scholars have also made comparison between the synoptic and John’s gospel. According to their findings, the two gospels are different. This can be attributed to the fact the synoptic gospels have an extensive similarity in language being used in writing them (Perkins, p. 28). Furthermore, they are compactable in the way the events appear chronologically concerning the life and ministry of Jesus Christ. Noticeably, the materials and content used rigidly resemble each other in the gospels. Evidently 90% of the gospel contained in Mark can be traced in Mathew. Similarly, 54% of the content in Mathew can be traced in the gospel of Luke (Perkins, p. 19).

Contrastingly, there is a significant difference in the theme contained in John and that in the synoptic gospel. Besides, the content is quite different and there is no chance for column to column parallelism between the synoptic and the gospel of John (Perkins, p. 169). In fact, only 9% of the gospel of John resembles that of synoptic gospels (Perkins, p. 12). Moreover, the style and order of events in both gospels does not rhyme. For instance, the gospel of John puts more emphasize on the Christian traditional way of life as opposed to the synoptic gospels that lay more emphasis on Jesus ministry (Perkins, p. 125). As an evidence to support this fact, the Gospel of John commences by describing creation of the world while the synoptic gospels talk of the baptism of John the Baptist. It is also imperative to note that even the authors of the two gospels are different since the synoptic books were authored by apostles Mathew, Mark and Luke (Perkins, p. 27). On the other hand, the gospel of John was authored by Apostle John. The style of the synoptic gospels use parables and the main theme is about the kingdom of God. Vividly, there is no use of parables in john’s gospel (Perkins, p. 41). In this case, the differences pose a huge challenge on what can historically be considered to be accurate. Nevertheless, the only similarity between the synoptic and John’s gospel is that a small proportion of information has been borrowed from the former regarding the early life and ministry of Jesus Christ (Perkins, p. 169).

Works Cited

Perkins, Pheme. Introduction to the Synoptic Gospels. Cambridge: Eerdmans Publishing Inc., 2009. Print.

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StudyCorgi. "Synoptic Gospels and the Gospel of John." December 22, 2021.


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StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Synoptic Gospels and the Gospel of John'. 22 December.

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