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The Synoptic Gospels: Differences and Similarities Research Paper

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Updated: Jun 28th, 2022

John’s Gospel is exceptional in the “synoptic Gospels” (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) despite these books giving details about the life of Jesus Christ. Religious scholars consider navigating through all the four gospel books to have a comprehensive understanding of Jesus. However, the enlightened people acknowledge the differences and similarities between these books. Thus, this short discourse provides both the similarities and the differences of the gospel books.

Similarities

Besides all the four gospel books giving details about Jesus Christ’s life, religious scholars claim that they all provide essential facts that led to His birth. The four books acknowledge the significance of John the Baptist in preparing Jesus Christ for his Messianic tasks. Notably, all the four gospel books record Jesus’ ministry in Galilee. Thus, all four books include some repetitions about the life of Christ.

Differences

While the first four books of the New Testament inform religious scholars about the different life of Jesus Christ, the Gospels have contradictions that question their reliability in promoting Christianity. For example, some books omitted Jesus’ life events recorded in others. Mark and John’s books do not give details about the birth of Jesus Christ despite Matthew and Luke giving precise facts about the same. Only the book of John highlights the information about the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry. The synoptic gospels record Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount and Sermon on the Plain. Nevertheless, the book of John mentioned neither of the sermons. Remarkably, whereas the synoptic gospels focus on highlighting Jesus’ events, parables, and miracles, John emphasizes Jesus’ true identity. John’s argument acknowledges Jesus’ divinity making it unique from the remaining three gospels. Thus, even though all the four gospels give informative facts about the life of Jesus, each book focuses on specific information regarding the Messiah’s life.

How and by Whom Was Christ Conceived?

All the four gospel books acknowledge the fact that Christ was conceived through Holy Spirit. Similarly, Apostle Creed indicates that Jesus was born of Virgin Mary, revealing that Mary had no sexual intercourse with her husband, Joseph. Moreover, although the Bible gives details about Jesus being born of Virgin Mary, neither of the Gospel books gives concrete facts whether she was a virgin or even sexually engaged with Joseph before Jesus’ conception.

Who Does Jesus Claim to Be?

Even though Jesus never claimed to be God, John emphasizes illustrating Christ’s true identity. John used nine metaphors in his quest to describe Christ. He recorded the nine “I AM” statements of Jesus to give an insight into who He is. For instance, the eighth chapter of John highlights that Jesus said “I AM He,” referring to the prophesies made in the Old Testament. When Moses questioned God about His identity at the scorching bush, “God replied, I AM WHO I AM (King James Bible, 2017, Exodus 3:14).

What Are Some of the Names Attributed to Him in Scripture?

Many names exist to help a human understand that his personality, lordship, and accomplishments exist in the Bible. Here are just a handful of those names and titles from God’s word. For instance, the Almighty One, Alpha and Omega, Advocate, Bread of Life, and Bridegroom are accredited to Jesus Christ. Thus, the many names attributed to Jesus in the first four books of the New Testament prove His significance in humans’ lives.

Why Did Christ Come to Earth?

The Scripture indicates that Jesus came to earth to bring people to God. Before Mary conceived, an Angel of God appeared to her and informed her that Jesus is God’s son. Specifically, John 17:4 (Jesus prayed, “I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do”) indicates that Jesus accomplished the primary purpose that brought Him to earth (King James Bible, 2017, John 17:4).

What Were His Divine Qualities?

In addition to perfection and the ability to do miracles, Jesus was humble, compassionate, and kind. For instance, He always spoke the truth. In Matthew 12:34, Jesus referred to the Pharisees as a “brood of vipers” (King James Bible, 2017, Matthew 12:34). Moreover, the details included in the Bible illustrate how Jesus valued His people. He advised humans to deny themselves and follow him because he cares and loves them. Christ wanted them to begin enjoying life here on earth before continuing into eternity. Therefore, the Holy Bible indicates that Jesus has several divine Qualities, making them believe that He is God’s Son.

What Inspired Men to Give Their Lives for Jesus’ and the Gospel’s Sake?

The promises that Jesus made to those that followed Him made them sacrifice their lives for the Gospel’s sake. Specifically, Jesus promised His followers eternal life as a reward for their dedication. I believe the men’s fear of mortality motivated them to consider Jesus’ plea. Although humans were unrighteous before God, He was willing to forgive those that gave their lives to promote the Gospel and accepted Jesus as their Savior.

In What Ways Has Jesus Inspired You to Live for Him and Share the Good News?

My understanding that the Savior’s Atonement, hope, teaching, and peace motivate me to not only acknowledge Him as God’s son but also enables me to change the way I perceive the world. For instance, Jesus maintained His faith regardless of the trials He underwent. Therefore, Jesus’ promises to people and the righteous life He led during His time here on earth drive me to continue spreading the Good News to all parts of the world.

Reference

King James Bible. (2017). King James Bible Online. Web.

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