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The Synoptic Gospels Essay

2168 words - 9 pages

The Synoptic Gospels are composed of the gospels of Mark, Matthew, and Luke. These three gospels covered many of the same stories; yet, they disagree with each other on various details within certain stories. Also, numerous events that are in Mark, is not in Matthew or Luke and vice versa. Many historians have concluded that Mark was the first of the three gospels written and that Matthew and Luke used Mark as a source to their own gospels. The Synoptic Gospels were first written in Greek, which would suggest to some ambiguity within Mark, Matthew, and Luke due to certain perceptions and translations within the Greek language. One ambiguity that is shown within the Synoptic Gospels dealt with Jesus’s view on marriage and divorce. Using Burton H. Throckmorton, Jr’s Gospel Parallels, readers can dissect what Jesus may have thought of marriage and divorce and realize the ambiguities shown among the Synoptic Gospels; even bringing into questions the ideas of sexism and homosexuality.
In the Synoptic Gospels, only Mark and Matthew write about Jesus preaching to the Pharisees in Judea about marriage and divorce. Luke instead quotes Jesus’s thoughts on marriage and divorce in between Jesus’s preaching of the Pharisees about money. Mark and Matthew seems to disagree on many of the chronology and details regarding what he preached. Mark 10:1 states: “He left that place and went to the region of Judea and beyond the Jordan.” Mark suggests that Jesus left a “place” and went to two locations; both Judea and beyond Jordan to preach marriage and divorce; however, Matthew disagrees. In Matthew 19:1, it is quoted: “When Jesus had finished saying these things, he left Galilee and went to the region of Judea beyond the Jordan.” Matthew defines Mark’s “place” as Galilee. Matthew also suggests that Jesus did not go to both Judea and beyond Jordan; Jesus only went to Judea, which is beyond Jordan. This ambiguity could have been because of the different interpretations and translations of the Greek language. This could also have been caused by the fact that Matthew and Mark may not have agreed on where Jesus went to preach the Pharisees.
The dispute of details between Mark and Matthew continues in Mark 10:1: “And crowds again gathered around him and as was his custom, he again taught them.” Based on Mark’s gospel once Jesus arrived at both Judea and beyond the Jordan, he is met with many people who he’d taught. Matthew’s gospel thought otherwise. In Matthew 19:2, “Large crowds followed him, and he cured them there.” Unlike Mark’s Gospel in which Jesus taught a large group of people, Matthew writes that once Jesus arrives in Judea he cured the large group of people. This ambiguity could have been caused because the words for teaching and cure in Greek are similar. It could suggest that Matthew meant Jesus cured the large group of people of their sins, which would be more in line with Mark in which Jesus may have taught the large group of people on how to rid of...

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