The Gospels (1): Categories

(I have taken my information above from the book “The Story of Christ” by Scot McKnight, a helpful and concise introduction to the story of Christ and things pertaining the title. Easy to read, understand as well as informative.)

There have been much debate about the Gospels. The church has deemed 4 that are ‘authoritative’ against the rest (gnostic gospels e.g. Gospel of Thomas, Judas to name a few). With that let’s focus on the gospels that we deem authoritative and let’s see stuff on what we can learn.

We have two sorts of categories for the gospels in the bible that we have we have.

The first category that we have is called the ‘synoptic’ gospels. They are called ‘synoptic’ because they have distinctive similarities among them. When I say them I mean Matthew, Mark and Luke. Synoptic basically means that “the three can be set out in columns and easily compared because each records much of what the other records” (3)

The second category that we have is John’s gospel. John is singled out because this particular gospel is distinct in style and content.

The synoptic gospels tells us about the kingdom of God, parables and shows us a Jesus that does miracles. John tells us about eternal life, “Jesus speaking in long winding discourse that revolve around specific terms, and this Jesus does ‘signs’ ” (3)

Just some short commentary, I hope this may shed ‘some insight’ like we might have wondered why Matthew, Mark and Luke looks so similar and John somewhat kinda different. I also hope we see some of the stuff that these two gospel types tell us about (what themes or distinctive feature each gospel type shows us).

The next post will be on “oral culture“.

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