Free Argumentative Essay On The Gospel Parallels

Type of paper: Argumentative Essay

Topic: Literature, Jesus Christ, Judaism, People, Books, Writing, Time, Bible

Pages: 7

Words: 1925

Published: 2020/12/24

The life story of Jesus is mainly recorded in the books commonly referred to as the Gospels. It is because they elaborate on the life of Jesus Christ from his childhood, his ministry and how he lived during his time. Despite the gospels being narrations of one person, the three gospels give a broad range of differences and similarities in their record. These three books are commonly referred as the synoptic gospels. There is some information that is found in Matthew, and Luke and is not found in Mark. There is also some information about Jesus that is not recorded in Luke but only found in Matthew. The author of Matthew and Luke seem to have elaborated on the information from Mark to make their message more applicable to their communities which are evident from the differences in similar stories. There are a number of similarities that are found in the synoptic gospels. To begin with, the synoptic gospels seem to follow a certain structure in their writing. Despite the freedom that the writers appear to have the structure and flow of events appear to be parallel especially between Matthew and Luke. Luke appears to follow the structure of Mark, for example, the story of Jesus in the synagogue found in Mark 6:1-6, the story if more elaborate in the book of Luke whereby the author explains into details what had happened on that particular day (Luke 4:16-30). This similar account of Jesus in the synagogue is repeated in details in the book of Matthew 13:54-58, in Matthew the excerpt seems so familiar with that of Mark and also follows the same structure. It is somehow different from Luke’s account whereby the activities that took place are narrated. Luke does not only mention Jesus being in the Temple, but he also mentions the reading that he read which was from the book of Isaiah. The response recorded in the book is also different from that of Mark AND Matthew, he mentions the widow in the time of Elijah and also many lepers in the time of Elisha (verse 25-27). The response of people towards his reading is very different since we see that after this they attempt to kill him by hurling him down a cliff but he passes through their midst. It is very critical as it points that in Luke the author gives an elaboration of what could have coursed what Jesus termed as a prophet not being acknowledged at home. It was because the Jews did not associate with the Gentiles whom Jesus seemed to favor in his teaching. The difference in the record of genealogy of the birth of Jesus can be attributed to different backgrounds of the authors who could have informed their take on which side to record their genealogy from. In the book of Matthew, the account is given from the side of Joseph, who receives a vision about the birth of baby Jesus. In this book, the angel appeared to Joseph in a dream and told him to take Mary as his wife for what she had conceived was from the Spirit (Matthew 1:20-21). It is very different from the account of Luke, who seems to give his account from the side of Mary. The genealogy given is that of Mary since it is different from that provided in the book of Matthew and Joseph could not have had two separate fathers. The angel of the Lord appeared to Mary and gave her the good news (Luke 1:28-38). Communities differ in their views about on whose account birth and inheritance was attributed to. The Jewish people were mainly patrilineal, and women were not seen as persons who had rights to inherit their parents even. It seems to be what Matthew’s author and his community upheld thus in his writing he had to relate it from the man who was Joseph. In many instances, the Jewish law did not treat women fairly and in a way they were viewed as lesser beings. Some aspects that can be used to indicate the difference in writing is mainly the audience to which the authors were writing to. Matthew and Luke seem to give much more details about the beginning of Jesus ministry. It is possibly because in their communal setting the society they were living in valued stories and must have had the characteristics of a melancholic person. They valued details which are very different from sanguine characters who do not like details. Mark’s audience was mainly characterized by people who mostly wanted to get the information as it was. The Jewish culture was so detrimental to women and the Gentiles. They saw the Gentiles as people who were not supposed to be involved in the Messianic history since they had beliefs that the Messiah was coming to liberate them from the oppression of the Roman rule. When Jesus came as noted in the synoptic gospels, he was kind to the Gentiles and in many of his parables he used them. It was not very acceptable to the Jews who thought to be a particular people, a royal priesthood who were chosen by God. The use of these parables and discouraging of the fact that the Jews were the only people that were eligible to the messianic hope was supposed to show them the universality of the Messiah. He did not only come for the sake of the Jews but for all who believed I him, this is echoed in John 3:16. The emphasis laid by Jesus to the Jewish community as seen in the synoptic gospels was because they were a chosen generation who were supposed to preach the good news to all the nations, for this to be achieved he needed to devote much of his time with these people to ensure that they understood and took up to the task that he was leaving them for. Many Jews nevertheless did not know this since they saw him as a threat to the authority and they never seemed to understand him. It is very interesting to note that the Samaritans and the Gentile world were readily accepting the Lordship of Jesus. Jesus recommended the faith of people who were not Jews. In Luke 7:1-10, Jesus is amazed by the faith that the centurion had and even says that he had not seen such faith in Israel. These are some of the issues that the Jewish leaders were against because Jesus never seemed to favor them. He always appeared to be against everything they held very close to such as the observance of the Mosaic Law. Jesus emphasizes that he had not come to do away with the law but to fulfill it (Matthew 5:17). In Luke 6:1-11 Jesus further elaborates on the importance of doing what is good regardless of the day. He performed a number of miracles on a Sabbath, ate with the sinners and his disciples did not fast as was expected of them by the people of that time. The Jewish leaders were always in conflict with Jesus not because he was doing the wrong thing but because his teachings threatened to change people from strict observance of the law which the Jews valued so much. Another notable difference is the way in which the authors presented their message. The book of Mark contains the messianic secret whereby Jesus often told people not to reveal the things that he had done or tell of his miracles. It is only found in Mark who seems to be focused on the theme of defending Christ. He mainly focused on his actions to demonstrate that Jesus was surely the person who he said he was. It is very different from the other synoptic gospels which seem to focus on the teachings activities that Jesus undertook. It can be seen in the brief overview that Mark gives concerning Jesus Christ as compared to the broad analysis offered by Matthew and Luke. The messianic secret was because Jesus did not want to be accused before his time by the Jewish authorities. In the other synoptic gospels, we also find Jesus after healing the ten lepers he told them to go and present themselves to the priest. It was meant to show that despite what he was doing he respected the authority and was keen to observe what was important. It is what the leaders did not want to happen as they had the understanding that everything should be strictly followed by all the people. The similarities and differences observed from these synoptic gospels can be analyzed to be as a result of authors writing from different times and locations. It could have led to local traditions being spilled over to the writing since the passages were mainly passed through oral traditions before it was recorded. The different authors also were writing with different views as depicted by the author of Mark, who seems to have been focusing on building on the foundation of who Jesus was and not mainly on what he did. The view of Matthew and Luke can also be said to be focused on giving the vivid details of Jesus to avoid any misinterpretation, this can be seen in their efforts to offer all available information that they had concerning Jesus. It is also possible that Mark could have been the first book to be written and the other authors were borrowing from it and elaborating more on what Mark’s author had written. It is because the story found in Mark seems to be straight to the point. This source if we call it the Mark source, it means that it was used by both the author of Luke and Matthew. There is a problem of people trying to understand the relationships between the three synoptic gospels. This problem is commonly referred by scholars as the synoptic problem. It arises from the differences and similarities found in the synoptic gospels. It is something that can be accounted by passing of oral traditions in the earlier days. It means that anything that was written before may have been used in the writings that preceded it. These three synoptic gospels can be said to be historically related since they have the same context in which they were written. They are mainly about the same person although the authors had different ways in which they presented their gospel. The differences may be also attributed to the availability of various sources of writing which the authors could have used. The central objective of these gospel books thus being to communicate what had happened in the life and history of Jesus they can be said to have achieved their goals. There are a number of research that revealed that the New Testament is not just a story that never existed but an actual record of things that had happened. The gospels were written at a time when the Jews were under the rule of the Roman Empire, which is registered in the books of history. The history of kings who ruled in different periods such as Herod could also be used to substantiate the fact that there was such a figure like Jesus in that time. There were also many letters written by the leaders seeking to get more knowledge of the Jesus they had heard of. For example in Luke 23: 4-8, when Jesus was presented to Pilate he referred him to Herod, who was in charge of Galilee. It is something that can be historically found whereby records show that there was a time Pilate was the governor and Herod in charge of Galilee. It means that what is recorded in the synoptic gospels can be historically proven to have been there. In conclusion, the synoptic gospels present different accounts as given to a different audience by the authors. It is amazing that the Old Testament although regarded to have taken place centuries before what occurred in the New Testament, they are both intertwined together, and one is incomplete without the other. If, for instance, the Old Testament was to be omitted there would be no basis for the gospel that is preached in the New Testament. Also, if the New Testament is omitted from the whole writing and especially the synoptic gospels, then the whole Bible is a brute story which lacks meaning. It is because the entire story is connected and interrelated to each other thus its importance cannot be ignored. For this reason the synoptic gospels with their discrepancies they have to be viewed as a whole since they inform what happens to them and fulfill what had come before them.

Work Cited

The Holy Bible Esv: English Standard Version : Containing the Old and New Testaments. Wheaton, Ill: Crossway Bibles, 2007. Print.

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