«Studying the Four Gospels Matthew, Mark, Luke and John how they relate to and correspond with each other Of first Importance when reading and ...»
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Studying the Four Gospels
Matthew, Mark, Luke and John
how they relate to and correspond with each other
Of first Importance when reading and studying the Four Gospels is to recognize that each Gospel is
written to a Specific defined audience and group of people.
Topics Matthew is written to the Jewish audience.
Mark is written to the Roman, action - result oriented person.
Luke is written to the Greek, thinking, discerning and understanding person.
John is written to the "Born-Again" Christian *Church member.
Why Other additional writings are not in the Bible.
Note: the Church is a short defined period of time encompassing a distinct group of people. The Church began on Sunday the Resurrection day (Easter) when Jesus began to breath His Spirit life into each of His disciples resulting in the "Born-Again" birth of the Christian Church. The Church was not possible prior to the cross and resurrection of Jesus due to the sin nature of us humans and it was only after the cross of Jesus that sin has been paid for and the resurrection made available to us a new sinless life in Jesus. Eventually and likely even soon, the Christian Church will end here on earth when Jesus takes His Church (Christians) up into Heaven in an event called the Rapture of the Church. The Gospel of John is written by John for the general audience of "Born-Again" Christians, those who have the breath of God in them, but after the Church is Raptured into heaven there will still be people here on earth both Jews and Gentiles who need to get to know and understand God through His Bible and the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke have more and different information than the book of John, information to address the circumstances in the lives of the people who are still left here on earth.
The Gospels generally, but not always, include the same events but with different information from that event.
For example if I participated in the event of going to someone's house for lunch and then later I related the event to a person I would relate the information from the lunch event that is relevant to the person that I am talking to. I might talk about the weather, the type and location of the event, about the landscape and about the occupations and hobbies of some of the other guests. Later I might be talking to another person about the same event but relating similar and also unique or different information, information intended for the different audience. I might relay the mood and theme of the lunch, the conversation and what we ate and how it was prepared and displayed. It was the same event but it is the different audience that determines how and what information is relayed.
The differences in the four Gospels is that God is reaching out to all mankind and in reaching out God is confirming that He has created people with different preferences, temperaments and personalities.
God is providing the information to the action oriented person and likewise God is providing the information to the thinking and reasoning person. God is not willing that any person should perish and has therefore written four distinct Gospels about His life here on earth in order to reach all of mankind.
The Gospel is to be presented to the Jew first and then to the Gentile. Matthew is by most accounts the first Gospel written, written by a Jew for the Jews and it is therefore placed first among the four Gospels.
The Name Matthew is a Hebrew - Jewish name and means "Gift of God." This Gospel is a Gift from God to Mankind all mankind but with a special interest given to the Jewish audience.
Matthew a Jewish tax collector and record keeper (Matthew 9:9) wrote his gospel account of Jesus in approximately the year 37 A.D. The gospel of Matthew is highly regarded as the first gospel work to be written and then widely distributed throughout the early Christian Church. The Bible's New Testament book of "James" written approximately 45 A.D. by James who was the first Church leader in Jerusalem (Acts 12:17, 21:18), is considered to be the first Church document written that is in the New Testament Bible but separate from the gospel narratives. James is a half brother of Jesus (Mark 6:3) and James' full brother Jude [Judah-Judas] (Jude 1:1) would later write the Bible's book of "Jude" in about 65 A.D. The book of "Jude" itself is considered to be a reply to the Apostle Peter's second letter "2nd Peter" that the Apostle Peter wrote and had distributed to the early Church also in about the year of 65.A.D.
What is uniquely Jewish about the Gospel of Matthew?
The first miracle that God performs in the gospel of Matthew is to cleanse a Leper, Matthew 8:3. This miracle is special and unique to the Jews in that the Old Testament Laws of Mosses revealed that Leprosy is a symbol of uncleanness meaning sin. An unclean person is not allowed into the presence of God and all people are unclean due to our sin nature. This first Miracle in the Gospel of Matthew showed the Jews that Jesus came to make a person clean from sin and in doing so to reunite the cleansed man with the Holy God. The first miracle in the Gospel of Mark, Mark 1:25,26 and Luke, Luke 4:35 is to cast out a demon from a tormented person and the first miracle in the gospel of John, John 2:9,11 is to turn the water into wine representing the "Born-Again" position of the Christian.
Different information given in the different Gospels to reach and relate to the different audiences that the Gospels are intended to reach.
The Gospel of Mathew gives even more attention into the fulfillment of the Old Testament Prophecies to confirm to the Jewish audience that Jesus is indeed the fulfillment of the Old Testament that the Prophets of old spoke so many times about.
The Gospel of Matthew pays special attention to the referencing of "Two" witnesses or persons to fulfill the Old Testament requirement that for an event to be confirmed and established it needs to be witnessed by two eye witnesses. The gentile does not have the custom or commandment from God to need the two witness to substantiate the event so often in the other Gospels they only reference one of the two or one of the group.
The Gospel of Matthew in keeping with Jewish custom refrains from directly mentioning the "name" of God. Even in modern Jewish writing God is written as G-d out of reverence for God, the name is not completely written acknowledging that man does not completely know or understand God. The Gospel of Matthew therefore usually uses the title "the Kingdom of Heaven" while the other Gospels more likely refer to "the Kingdom of God" it is the same kingdom yet two different ways to respectfully address the same kingdom.
In the Gospel of Matthew 5:1 Jesus went up to a Mountain to give the sermon on the mount to His people. This is important to the Jews because God (Jesus) speaks from the Mountain top. Moses went to the Top of Mt. Sinai to have God speak to him and likewise the Jewish audience went to the mountain top to hear God (Jesus) speak to them. This is signifying that Jesus is the same voice that spoke to Moses and gave the Ten Commandments so many years ago on Mt. Sinai. In the Gospel of Luke 6:17 another similar message is given but this time it includes Gentiles and this time it is upon an open "plain" and not on a Mountain top because to the Gentile, Kingdoms are built and created on the vast wide open plains of opportunity and not the confines of a Mountain top.
Three of the Gospels reveal the parable of the "Sower" as given by Jesus at various times. Matthew 13:4 records the returns of the parable as diminishing.. and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold. To the Jewish audience it would be important for them to know that Jesus was foretelling the coming Gentile nature of the original all Jewish Christian Church. The Gospel of Mark 4:8.. and did yield fruit that sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty, and some an hundred. Mark records for the Roman - Action oriented person the exponential growth that the general Christian Church will enjoy throughout it's existence. The Gospel of Luke 8:8.. and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold.. Luke the detailed physician is revealing and confirming that all the fruit of the Church is 100% Christian whether the individual began of either the Jewish or from a Gentile origin. The Gospel of John in focusing in on a the "Born Again" person does not present the "Parable" material as much but instead focuses more on an actual Spiritual relationship with Jesus.
Again ALL of the Scriptures of the Bible are given for all mankind to come to a fuller understanding and knowledge in a relationship with God. These are just a few of the many examples of how the Gospel of Matthew is given by God with the primary focus being the Jewish audience but not excluding any audience.
The Gospel of Mark Mark is a Roman name and means "hammer" a building tool of action and accomplishment.
The Gospel of Mark bares the name of Mark a young man who was present during some of the events of the Gospels. It is thought to be Mark's parents house that Jesus and the disciples ate the Passover Communion supper at and when they left for the garden of Gethsemane where Jesus was betrayed by Judas, Mark followed and was among those that fled from the temple guards that arrested Jesus that eventful night in the garden of Gethsemane. Mark records the event in Mark 14:51-52 And there followed Him a certain young man, having a linen cloth cast about his naked body; and the young men laid hold on him: and he left the linen cloth, and fled from them naked.
Apart from the verses just mentioned Mark did not write-author the Gospel of Mark that bears his name. The Gospel of Mark is actually the Teachings and Recollections of the Apostle Peter. Mark took notes during Peter's teachings and Mark assembled them into the book that now has his name. This is only note worthy in that the personality of the book of Mark is Peter's and not Mark's. Peter is the man of action it is Peter that stepped out into the stormy sea it was Peter that took action and drew the sword in the Garden of Gethsemane. Mark was not quite the man of action that Peter was, it was Mark that departed from that first Missionary trip with his uncle Barnabas and the Apostle Paul, but it is Mark that precisely and accurately recorded the words and teachings of Peter and assembled them into the Gospel document that we now have today.
Mark was originally a member of the Church in Jerusalem and departed with Paul and Barnabas to go with them to Antioch.
Acts 12:25 And Barnabas and Saul (Paul) returned from Jerusalem, when they had fulfilled their ministry (bringing finances and supplies from the Church at Antioch to the Church in Jerusalem to prepare for the coming famine prophesied by Agabus), and took with them John, whose surname was Mark.
The gospel of Mark is for the person of action the results and events oriented person. The common words and themes of Mark being, immediately, and straightaway, and it came to pass, all action and event words given to lead and direct people of action.
Luke is a Greek name and means "Illuminate" to enlighten, to shed light on an item or subject.
The Gospel of Luke was written by Luke a Physician a Doctor a man of attention and detail. The Gospel of Luke is for the thinker it is for the planner and for the person who considers all of the options and needs all of the information to make their decisions.
Luke diligently and faithfully researches and records the information of the events surrounding Jesus starting with the prophecies foretelling of the need for and of the coming birth of the Christ/Messiah Jesus all the way until the return of Jesus back into heaven 40 days after His glorious resurrection.
Luke became a travel companion on the missionary journeys of the Apostle Paul and it is from his time and journeys spent with the Apostle Paul that Luke records, researches and writes out the events that are the Gospel of Luke and also the book of Acts. Luke most likely joined the Apostle Paul in the region of Troas while Paul and Timothy were on route to Philippi Acts 16:11 as it is in that verse that the book of acts becomes a first person narration including the experiences of Luke.
Luke uses the actual records and firsthand individual eyewitness accounts in the writings of his gospel and in the compilation of the book of Acts. For instance in Jerusalem when the Apostle Paul was rescued by the Roman guards from an attacking mob and later sent to court over the matter, the Roman officer in charge who rescued the Apostle Paul wrote a letter of the events to send along with the Roman soldiers to the hearing regarding the Apostle Paul. Luke then records the actual letter into the book of Acts in Acts 23:25-30. Likewise while Luke is in Jerusalem he has access to most of the disciples including Mary herself and Luke records what is very likely an interview with Mary in regards to her account of the events of the virgin conception and virgin birth of Jesus Luke 1:26-2:52 including Mary's "Song of Praise" called the "Magnificant" in Luke 1:46-55. Also in some form or manner Luke had access to the Jewish temple birth genealogy scrolls kept in the Jewish Temple that Luke would then make available in his genealogy of Mary & Jesus in Luke 3:23-38.
It is on the journeys and finally while in Jerusalem with the Apostle Paul that Luke has access to virtually every single disciple and Apostle of Jesus regarding the virgin birth, life, teaching, ministry, cross, resurrection and all of the events of Jesus' life that Luke would research and write out as his Gospel of Luke. The Gospel of Luke would instantly become valued among the Church in Jerusalem and throughout the Christian Churches so much so that in the Bible's Second Corinthians 2 Corinthians 8:18 the Apostle Paul referrers to Luke as "the brother, whose praise is in the gospel throughout all the Churches;.
Luke writes in the Greek style of structure, balance, and order. It is explained what is going to happen then it happens.