The four Gospels are considered to be four different accounts, from four different people, of how God wanted people to understand the meaning of his word. Within the four Gospels there are many similarities and differences. Through studies historians and Biblical scholars have found that the Gospels share some of the same information. It is believed that the reason for these similarities is that Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John used information found in each of their Gospels to form their own, unique, Gospel.
Matthew, Mark, and Luke are considered to be Synoptic Gospels because they have overlapping content with parallel information. The Synoptic Puzzle, according to Powell, “shows us that the Gospel of Matthew is twice as long and contains 90 percent of the material that is in the Gospel of Mark.” To help us understand this even further Powell uses the “Two-Source Hypothesis.” He states that, “Mark’s gospel was written first, Matthew ...view middle of the document...
The Gospels are comprised of parables, miracle and pronouncement stories, individual sayings, and passion and resurrection narratives. Within the Feeding of the Multitude, the Feeding of the 5000 and the Feeding of the 4000, which can be found in each of the Gospels, there are many similarities and differences between the accounts of how the events really happened.
Within the similarities of the Feeding of the 5000 we discover that people, apostles, have gathered around Jesus, Jesus’ disciples tell him to send people to get food, instead Jesus orders his disciples to get food for the people, the disciple’s gather loaves of bread and fish, Jesus blessed the food then broke the loaves and fish, everyone ate until they were full, and after they were done eating everyone gathered up the food that was left and filled twelve baskets. The information found in Mark 8:1-9 and Matthew 15:32-39 are very similar accounts of the feeding of the 4000.
While there are many similarities there are also many differences. For instance, In Matthew 14:13, Jesus traveled to a deserted place by himself and the crowd followed by foot. In Mark 9:31-32 the apostles join Jesus by boat to travel to a deserted place. In Luke 9:10 Jesus took the apostles with him to a city called Bethsaida, this passage provides us with a name, instead of calling it a deserted place, that Jesus took the apostles. The only difference within the feeding of the 4000 is that, in Matthew 15:38, 4000 men ate and so did women and children.
Through historical research we have been able to decipher the information portrayed in the four Canonical Gospels, or Gospels that the Christen community accept as the true revelation of God, also considered to be ancient biographies. The Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke are accounts of earthly Jesus, while Johns Gospel is more of a spiritual account of Jesus. Powell states that, “each Gospel presents a portrait of Jesus that is distinctive from those of the other three that we cannot combine, or we will miss the particular image that each writer wanted to present.”
Powell, Mark Allan. Introducing the New Testament: a historical, literary, and theological survey. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Academic, 2009.