Religion and Theology
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INTRODUCTION. The Synoptic Gospels is a term used by modern scholars for the Gospels according to Matthew, Mark, and Luke of the New Testament in the Bible. They often recount the same stories about Jesus of Nazareth, though sometimes with substantial differences, but mostly following the same sequence and to a remarkable extent using the same words.


1:1): "1. Since many have undertaken to set down an orderly account of the events that have been fulfilled among us" (Borg, 1999, p.65-8)
Tatum (1999, p. 36) argues: "...Gospel origins highlight the theological focus peculiar to each Gospel. There appears to be an appropriate correspondence between the portrayal of Jesus in each Gospel and the social setting of that Gospel. Each writer, therefore, has edited information about Jesus so that the story of Jesus addresses the concerns of the intended readers. The Story of Jesus as the Universal Christ in the Gospel of Luke, for example, was appropriate in a way that the story of Jesus as the Teaching Christ in the Gospel of Matthew would not have been. Like us, the Gospel writers tended to make Jesus over in their own likenesses."
The Synoptics vary considerably in length from Mark (the shortest) to Luke (the longest). There are 661 verses, 95 scenes and 80 sayings in Mark; 1068 verses, 117 scenes and 225 sayings in Matthew; as for Luke, it contains 1098 verses, 120 scenes and 182 sayings (Funk et al, 1993, p.45).
There are places where the Synoptic Gospels are closely parallel in their recounting of incidents from the life of Jesus. ...
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