Should one fully read the opening four Gospels of the New Testament, he or she can find many similar patterns of literature and themes affording much attention to detail and study. This is what someone such as Merriam Webster would define as the ?Synoptic Gospels?. So, what are and how can we explain the differences and similarities among synoptic authors Matthew, Mark, Luke, and the gospel, John? Which Book was written first? To what extent did the Evangelists depend on oral tradition, written sources, or each other? The phenomenon and mystery of these similar but unique Synoptic Gospels has for centuries challenged some of the best minds of academia and the church, stirring up much scholarly controversy; baffling many New Testament Survey students. To completely understand the similarities and differences between these Synoptic Gospels we must first be acquainted with the authors of them; we ought to discern the background of their life, academic qualifications, experiences, literature styles, and occupations. We must also ask the questions: Who? What? When? Where? Why? How? The first very important question I?d like to pose is: Who? Who were these author?s that challenged our hearts and minds and taught us Jesus? life, ministries, and importance?
The foremost book of the New Testament is Matthew. It was written by the author, Matthew, to illustrate clearly that the ?King? has arrived. Matthew, a Jew, was very literate. He was a despised tax collector who later changed his life and lived completely for Jesus and became one of His? twelve disciples. Matthew directed this Gospel to his fellow Jews c.60-65 A.D. to prove that Jesus is the Messiah and to explain God?s kingdom that He holds i...
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...ner?s Sons, New York, 1932)
Stonehouse 1963 Ned B. Stonehouse, Origins of the Synoptic Gospels, (William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1963)
Heim 1947 Ralph D. Heim, A Harmony of the Gospels for Students (Fortress Press, Philadelphia, 1947)
Linnemann 1992, ET 1992 Eta Linnemann, English trans. by Robert W. Yarbrough, Is There a Synoptic Problem: Rethinking the Literary Dependence of the First Three Gospels (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books, 1992).
Appleton 1910 Robert Appleton, The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume IX (Robert Appleton Company, 1910)
Koester 1990 Helmut Koester, Ancient Christian Gospels: Their History and Development (Philadelphia: Trinity Press Int'l, 1990).
Farmer 1994 William R. Farmer, The Gospel of Jesus: The Pastoral Relevance of the Synoptic Problem (Louisville, Ky.: Westminster/John Knox, 1994).
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