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Comparing the Synoptic Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke - Essay Example

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Comparing the Synoptic Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke

Such similarity in events prove the literary relationship among the three Synoptic Gospels. The Argument that Mark was written first One of the reasons which suppose that Mark was written first is the Two Document Hypothesis, which states that “the synoptic gospels [is made up of] two written sources, Mark and Q” and that “Mark is the earliest of the gospels, written 65-70 A.D., and was used by the authors of Matthew and Luke as the narrative framework for their gospels” (Bercovitz). While disregarding the document Q, according to the theory, the two later gospels – Matthew and Luke – have simply “improved upon the grammar and diction of Mark” (Bercovitz). Thus, this implies that the grammar and diction of Mark was rather more “primitive” in context and that its wording is usually “fuller” compared to Matthew and Luke (“Synoptic Problem”). This explains the “several grammatical, literary, historical and geographical difficulties [or minor errors found in Mark but] not found in Matthew and Luke” (Just). ...
Such simplicity may then have been used by the authors of Matthew and Luke to build upon their own gospels. In fact, another instance of improvement of Mark by Matthew and Luke is the seeming elimination of certain sensitive passages of Mark in the two later gospels, such as Mark 3:19-21, where Jesus’ family heard people saying that Jesus “has gone mad,” and thus giving the reader the impression that indeed Jesus was mad (Bercovitz). This use of the word “mad” in the passage somehow

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stems from the idea that Jesus had Satan in Him as what the teachers of the Law of Moses stated but it was not really clear why the crowd that had gathered around Jesus and His disciples would call Him “mad” (Bercovitz). Perhaps the sad part is that when Jesus’ family heard that people were calling Him mad, “they set out to take charge of him” (Mk. 3:21, New International Version). This particular verse somehow implies one thing – that Jesus was indeed mad and that His family was there to restrain him somehow. Since Matthew and Luke does not mention such a sensitive statement, then scholars and theologians believe that these two later gospels have actually tried to improve the unedited and unabridged version of the gospel by Mark. Furthermore, based on this claim on the originality of Mark, it was supposed that Mark, along with Q, was actually a result of “oral transmission” and “direct contact with apostles” as their primary sources (Bercovitz). This supposition thus confers greater authority and reliability on the details of Mark compared to those of Matthew and Luke. Aside from the seemingly unedited and primitive passage in Mark which claims that Jesus is mad, there are other similar verses and passages

Summary

(Name) (Professor) (Subject) (Date) The Synoptic Problem of the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke The Literary Relationship between the Three Synoptic Gospels The three Synoptic Gospels – Matthew, Mark and Luke – all have a literary relationship not only because “Mark relied on Matthew” or “Luke relied on Mark and Matthew” (Conte), or “Matthew and Luke relied on Mark” (Just), but also because the events in all three gospels follow the same sequence and are very similar in nature…
Author : acremin
Comparing the Synoptic Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke essay example
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