Synoptic Gospels

887 Words4 Pages
The gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke are often referred to as the synoptics because of their structural similarity. The synoptics often conceal Jesus’ identity, but John does not follow this pattern. John declares outright that Jesus is a divine sacrifice and this is just one example of how John differs from its counterparts. The gospel of John has various structural differences that some may deem troublesome, but like every gospel author, there is a function for their nonconformity.
John’s structure differs from the synoptics in many ways, one major difference is the geography of Jesus’ ministry. In the synoptics, Jesus journey moves south from Galilee to Jerusalem, but John switches between Galilee and Jerusalem. Another variation in John
…show more content…
In the synoptic gospels, Jesus dies after the Passover. On the contrary, John’s author writes that Jesus’ death took place the day before the Passover, or the day of Preparation, “Since it was the day of Preparation, and so that the bodies would not remain on the cross on the Sabbath...the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken and that they might be taken away...when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs” (John 19.31-33). Since John’s timeline differs from the synoptics, it may be difficult to reconcile this discrepancy. Upon further examination, it becomes clear that the author’s literary choice was very intentional. On the day of Preparation, the lambs for the Passover were slaughtered. Since John’s author emphasizes Jesus as the Lamb of God, it makes sense that the Lamb would die alongside the other Passover lambs. This structure generates powerful imagery that accentuates the final…show more content…
It reminds me that the gospels have so much to offer on their own and that context and intent are important to my understanding of what I read. For each gospel I think it’s important to ask, “What can I learn in this gospel that isn’t obvious in the others?” The individuality of each gospel becomes more obvious to me when I think of how God directed each of the authors. Not only did each author have a purpose for their arrangement, but God did too. More and more I see that the gospels, and the other books of the Bible, are meticulous and life-saving and that I should not be taking them for granted. Even though John often does not share in the synoptics structural similarities, it offers unique insight into the identity, ministry, and death of Jesus. Connections lurk behind the scenes waiting for readers to spot and learn from
Open Document