When the three gospels of Mark, Matthew, and Luke are studied side by side, many startling contrasts emerge.
Have you ever noticed that Mark has Jesus on the cross for six hours from nine in the morning until three in the afternoon?
Luke will tolerate only resurrection appearances in Jerusalem and there is no return to Nazareth as in Mark and Matthew.
At the baptism of Jesus, in Mark and Luke, only Jesus hears the voice of the Father in heaven; in Matthew, everybody does.
In the temptations, Matthew places the third temptation on a mountain, while Luke has it in the Jerusalem temple.
Have you ever compared the last words of Jesus on the cross, or for that matter, what was written on the sign above the head of the crucified one? And when Mark has one leper or possessed man healed, Matthew has two!
All different, all the union of oral tradition and the inspired skill of the gospel writer. One Jesus and four gospels!
A course on the synoptic gospels is being offered in June and July by the Wellington Catholic Education Office, and taught by Br Kieran Fenn, FMS. See details below.
It can be done for qualifications or audited out of general interest, just to learn some more about these three incredibly linked but wonderfully diverse gospels!
The end result is a healthy respect for the beauty and individuality of these inspired works, as well as a realisation that there is far more to parables, miracles, passion stories, and resurrection accounts than we could ever imagine!