April 25, 2008

A Disharmony of the Synoptic Gospels

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


Fran said...

I love the end of Mark's Gospel, amen amen. I mean where it really ended, not the newer bits.

This was pretty interesting. It will be saved!

Grace and peace to you.

Ellie Finlay said...

Thanks, Tobias. Fascinating. I will definitely save this. It will be very useful.

ThePBFamily said...

this is very interesting. Ive recently started a theology course and despite the fact i have been a christian for 21 years I never noticed the discrepancies in some parts of the gospels. This has been a revalation to be and I have beeen researching this further. Hence visiting your blog