A project I undertook while in seminary. Perhaps others may find it useful. Open to correction, addition, and other observations!
Unique Pericopes, Incidents
either Present In or Missing From the Synoptic Gospels
Regular font = Present only in that Synoptic Gospel
Italic = Missing only from that Synoptic Gospel
Matthew Mark Luke No genealogy Prologue to Theophilus John the Baptist background; Annunciation; Visitation; Birth of John the Baptist Birth Narrative: Joseph’s Dream; the Magi; Flight to Egypt; return to Nazareth No Birth Narrative Birth Narrative: Census, trip to Bethlehem; no room in the inn; shepherds and angels; circumcision and presentation; Child Jesus in the Temple John the Baptist’s preaching to tax collectors and soldiers Jesus’ baptized to fulfill all righteousness Holy Spirit descends on Jesus; fills him in the wilderness No description of temptations No angels ministering to him in temptations (cf. Gethsemane) Ministry in “Zebulun and Naphtali” Synagogue teaching from Isaiah; “Physician, heal thyself”; examples of widow and Naaman No demoniac in the synagogue; or account of departure from Capernaum The miraculous catch of fish Sermon on the Mount Fulfillment and expansion of Law: murder, adultery, oaths; almsgiving; prayer, fasting; pearls before swine No extended teaching; no Beatitudes; no turn the other cheek; no Lord’s Prayer; no “judge not” nor Golden Rule, nor Narrow Gate; nor concern for anxiety; nor serving two masters; nor treasures in heaven; nor good tree with good fruit; nor “calling me “Lord, Lord”; nor “house built on sand” Sermon on the Plains No centurion’s servant The paralytic isn’t lowered through the roof; Jairus isn’t named Healing of two blind men, and a man with a mute demon The Twelve are told not to go the Gentiles or the Samaritans; Fate of disciples warning here rather than in eschatological discourse No mention of “more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah”; nor exhortation to fearless confession Instruction to eat what is set before one No teaching on division in households, or conditions of discipleship (hating ones’ family) “Who receives you receives me...” No questions from John, nor encomium on John by Jesus No woes to the Galilean towns; or thanksgiving to the Father for “concealing from the wise” Comfort to the heavy-laden Priestly profanation of the Temple on the Sabbath No reference to an ox or sheep falling in a pit on the Sabbath Citation of Isaiah’s servant song Woes to the rich and the full and those who laugh, and those well-spoken of No “hearers and doers” Widow’s son at Nain The woman with the ointment at the Pharisee’s house The women who ministered to Jesus No “sign of Jonah” or “red skies or clouds” No evil spirit returning to the empty house Citation of Isaiah on hardness of understanding (re parables) No blessing of disciples for seeing and hearing “The Weeds and the Wheat” and its interpretation “The Secretly Growing Seed” “The Hidden Treasure” and “The Costly Pearl” “The Net” and “The Wise Scribe’s Treasures” No “Woman with Leaven” No “he said nothing without a parable” No final instructions to the Gerasene demoniac No “Who touched me” concerning the woman with a hemorrhage No extended description of John the Baptist’s death Peter’s attempt at walking on water No walking on water, or healings at Gennesaret No “what defiles is from within” No Gentile woman (Canaanite or Syrophoenecian) Healing of a multitude Healing of a man deaf and mute No feeding of the 4,000 No berating the disciples for not understanding about the bread The blind man of Bethsaida (“trees walking”) “You are Peter, and on this rock...” No effort by Peter to stop Jesus, nor rebuke of Peter for doing so Disciples drowsy during the Transfiguration Long description of the boy with seizures, the “deaf and dumb spirit” The Temple Tax from the fish No exorcist “not one of us” No “if your hand offends” or “if your eye offends” No “The Lost Sheep” What you bind on earth... 70 times 7 times “The Unmerciful Servant” No “reproving one’s brother” or process for reconciliation 7 times No “foxes have holes” or conditions of discipleship Samaritan opposition Appointment of the 70 and their return “The Good Samaritan” Mary and Martha “The Importunate Friend” No “ask, seek, knock” Blessedness of the womb and breasts who bore Jesus No discourse against Pharisees “The Rich Fool” No reference to the servant found watching on the master’s return The servant’s reward Fire on the earth No settling out of court Teaching on the Galileans and the victims of the Siloam accident: “The Fig Tree” Healing of the bent woman No parable or comment on exclusion from the kingdom, though there will be “first and last” Departure from Galilee at the Pharisees’ warning about Herod No lament over Jerusalem Healing a man on the Sabbath Teaching on humility at a banquet No parable of the great supper No “Lost Sheep” “The Lost Coin” “The Prodigal Son” “The Crafty Steward” No “the law shall not pass away” “The Rich Man and Lazarus” A servant is not served Healing of Ten Lepers The Kingdom not coming with signs to be observed “The Persistent Widow” “The Pharisee and the Publican” “The Laborers in the Vineyard” Mrs. Zebedee seeks preferment for her sons No “The Ten Talents” Prediction of Jerusalem’s destruction No cursing of the fig tree or teaching on faith and prayer “The Two Sons” “The Wicked Tenants” interpreted No “Marriage Feast” The scribe confesses the superiority of the Summary of the Law Criticism of offering regulations No extended woes against the Pharisees No widow’s mite Prediction that false prophets will arise; “The Bridesmaids” The Last Judgment No “day of the Son of Man”; nor “Watchful Householder” or faithful servant in attendance “Your redemption is drawing near”; Watch at all times No, “one of you will betray me” or “Is it I” Earnest desire for the Passover No promise of reigning in the world to come The two swords; Peter’s charge after being sifted Double withdrawal in Gethsemane; imperative to God: “Remove” since all is possible; “Abba” In the garden, no specific reference to Peter, James and John with Jesus in prayer, simply “them”; so “sorrowful soul” Single incident of finding them asleep “Ten legions of angels” No command to put away the sword, or healing of the priest’s servant’s ear The young man flees naked No reference to the disciples fleeing in fulfillment of scripture No account of failure to find testimony against Jesus, or false witnesses The repentance and death of Judas Pilate does not question Jesus’ silence, and “finds no fault in him” and sends Jesus to Herod, who returns him to Pilate Pilate’s wife warns him to have nothing to do with Jesus The people propose Barabbas Pilate washes his hands, and the people accept responsibility Pilate states he has found no crime worthy of death No mocking by soldiers The Women of Jerusalem The “Good Thief” No “My God, my God” or sponge with sour wine “Into your hands...” The resurrection of the saints This man was innocent The guard is set over the tomb Pilate is surprised he is already dead The women rest on the Sabbath The earthquake and the angel “Who will roll away the stone”; the young man Two men ask why they seek the living among the dead Jesus meets the women on the way, and tells them to have the disciples meet him in Galilee The women do not tell the disciples what they saw from fear The women tell the apostles, but they don’t believe [Some texts have Peter run to the tomb and see the shroud] The bribing of the soldiers, and the false story of the body’s theft The end of the best text of the Gospel omits any resurrection appearances The road to Emmaus; and appearance in Jerusalem In Galilee, Jesus commissions the Apostles to baptize all nations Jesus ascends into heaven.
Tobias Haller BSG