The Three Synoptic Gospels Essay

The Three Synoptic Gospels Essay

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The word "gospel" is a translation of the Greek word "euangelion" which means "good news. The first three books in the New Testament (Mark, Matthew, and Luke) are often referred to as the Synoptic Gospels (from Greek synoptikos, "seen together") They bear greater similarity to each other than any of the other gospels in the New Testament. Along with these similarities come some differences among the gospels, suggesting that each gospel was written for a specific audience and for a specific purpose. This paper will examine the resurrection of Jesus, while identifying the significant differences between Mark, Matthew and Luke. This paper will also analyze the differences to suggest the prominent theological perspective each gospel author might be trying to convey about the resurrection of Jesus.

Most Christian scholars agree that Mark was written before Matthew and Luke. Over half the material in Matthew and Luke is common to material in Mark, suggesting that Matthew and Luke used Mark to write their gospels. Matthew and Luke each have about 100 verses in common, most of them sayings; to explain this agreement, scholars assume that they used a primitive document, which they call Q. It consisted largely of sayings of Jesus. Matthew and Luke also contain unique material not present in Mark. This apparently came from two different sources, of which each author had access to only one. These differences and similarities can be seen in the story of the resurrection of Jesus. The resurrection of Jesus can be broken down into 5 sections: the approaching of the tomb, the removal of the stone, looking in the tomb, the response and the reaction.

In the approaching of the tomb, there are three very different accounts of who adv...

... middle of paper ...

... Mark and Matthew say in eight verses, Luke needs 11 verses. The two men questioning the women's faith and then the disciples not believing the women emphasizes that Luke's version challenges believers to put their faith into practice more fully.

The Synoptic Gospels give differing accounts about the resurrection of Jesus, however each is telling the same story. They state these same things: a group of women walked to the tomb, the stone was removed from in front of the tomb, a being told of Jesus' resurrection and the women were instructed to or told the disciples about the resurrection. The author of each gospel may have been writing for a specific audience and had specific purpose for their writings. Although, that can never be proven, there is no doubt that the gospels have stood the test of time and will continue to unless the words are proven false.

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