Some Differences Between the Synoptic Gospels and the Gospel of John

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20. Some Differences Between the Synoptic Gospels and the Gospel of John The Synoptic Gospels-Matthew, Mark and Luke-offer such strikingly similar accounts of the life and teachings of Jesus Christ that, according to one author, “they can be placed side by side and viewed horizontally” (Harris 103). In contrast, the Fourth Gospel, the Gospel of John, stands alone in its portrayal of Jesus Christ. The differences in the Synoptic Gospels and John relate to content of each and the variation in purpose or point of view. According to one author, “The Fourth Gospel…is so different from the other three in …content…, that it has few parallels with the Synoptic accounts” (104). For example, Matthew, Mark and Luke record thirty miracles.…show more content…
In so recording these speeches, John once again teaches his readers about who Jesus is. His purpose is clearly theological-not necessarily historical. Where the Synoptic Gospels concern the details of Jesus’ life, the Christology of the book of John explores how “the human and the divine co-exist in one person” (gospelparallels). A final difference relating to content and point of view concerns what the Synoptic authors include in their books and what John does not. For example, the Synoptic Gospels begin with the genealogy or birth of Jesus or events in His preparation for His earthly ministry. John, however, commences his work with an identification of Jesus as the “Logos” or “the Word” eternal in existence. From the beginning of his work and without exception, John, mentioning nothing of the genealogy or birth of Jesus, seeks to accomplish his purpose: to explain the divine nature of Jesus. He sees Jesus as the “Logos” and so information regarding His birth is “irrelevant” (Harris 226). The same reasoning could be applied to John’s omission of any reference to the baptism of Jesus. Likewise, any mention of exorcisms by Jesus is lacking in the Gospel of John. John’s Jesus overcomes evil by the truth of who He is (226). Also, while the Synoptic Gospels emphasize how Jesus reinterpreted Mosaic Law, only one

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