The ‘Synoptic Gospels’ are Matthew, Mark, and Luke, the first three books of the New Testament. ‘Synoptic’ means something like, ‘seeing together,’ and they are called this because of the many similarities and parallels in their content. In fact, many passages are so similar between these Gospels that they almost certainly have some literary relationship to one another. We will look at some such passages in this assignment.
Below, you will often need to compare multiple passages of scripture. If you find it helpful to be able to copy and paste the text of a given passage, you can do so from www.BibleStudyTools.com (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.. Make sure you set the site to use “New Revised Standard,” so it will match our required Bible for this course.
- Compare Matthew 18:12-14 and Luke 15:3-7. How would you describe the differences in emphasis between these two passages? Make sure you reference specific elements of the passages as you explain this.
- Compare Matthew 5:1-12 and Luke 6:20-26. How would you describe the differences in emphasis between these two passages? Make sure you reference specific elements of the passages as you explain this.
- Compare Matthew 24:15-18, Mark 13:14-16, and Luke 21:20-22. If we assume Matthew and Luke both used Mark as a source, how does each one modify Mark’s version of these verses?
- Compare Matthew 28:16-20, Mark 16:1-8, and Luke 24:36-53. While you’re looking at Mark 16, have a look at the notes pertaining to the ‘endings’ of Mark.
a) You don’t need to compare these passages in as much detail as you did the passages you read earlier, since the differences are substantial. Just identify the major differences in how each of these Gospels ends.
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b) Once you have read the Powell chapters on Matthew (ch. 5) and Mark (ch. 6), identify certain of the themes Powell identifies in these Gospels appear in their endings.