The Four Gospels

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All four Gospels contain different interpretations of Jesus and his teachings. However, Mark, Matthew, and Luke clearly have an underlying inspiration, especially in relation to the Gospel of John. Before focusing on the different elements in John compared to the three Synoptic Gospels, it is important to know why John is included as a Gospel if it is so different. John, like the other Gospels, is a part of the Greco-Roman genre and would be considered a biography of Jesus by ancient readers. A biography, in essence, means that John follows a chronological order in describing the teachings and actions of Jesus and ends with his death and “divine vindication” (Ehrman, 170). Although they are all considered Gospels based on this broad structural …show more content…
Nevertheless, among content that has some form of comparability, the orderings of traditions in John often differ from the Synoptic Gospels. One of those areas of agreement that quickly falls apart occurs in an area already discussed above: Jesus feeding the 5,000 followed by him walking on water in Mark, Matthew, and John. This similarity ends quickly as Mark and Matthew move on to Jesus healing the sick in Gennesaret, and John continues the feeding of 5,000 storyline by having Jesus engage with people that had stayed after receiving bread and fish the day before (Matthew. 14:34-36; Mark. 6:53-56; John. 6:22-59). Looking at another pericope—Jesus Cleanses the Temple— shows Jesus taking over the temple in Jerusalem and ridding it of trading elements. In the Synoptic Gospels, these traders have made the temple “a den for robbers” (Mark. 11:17; Matthew. 21:13; Luke. 19:46). John says that these men have made the temple “a house of trade” (John. 2:16). However, the main point of interest in Jesus cleaning the temple is the placement of the tradition in the Gospel of John and in the Synoptic Gospels. John places this periscope right after his Prologue, showing the near-immediate tensions between Jesus and the Jewish establishment, which had allowed the dirty trade to flourish in the temple. The Synoptic Gospels position this pericope near the end of Jesus’ ministry, utilizing it as a climax point for Jesus reforming the corrupt elements within Judaism. Overall, the fact that one of the rare traditions shared among the four Gospels being placed on opposite ends of Jesus’ ministry shows how John interpreted the significance of Jesus in a particular, if not diverging, way that emphasized his mission to directly address problems and critics with

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