Thursday, August 18, 2016

Why Are The Four Gospels Different From Each Other?

I’m not here going to give an extensive analysis and exegesis of the four Gospels and how different they are from each other. We do have the Synoptic Gospels, written by Mark, Matthew and Luke, which have a similar thematic structure between them; however, each one has additions to it, making them all unique. On the other hand, the last one, written by John, seems to be very different to the previous ones. One question many ask is why are the four Gospels different from each other? Shouldn’t they show uniformity? Interestingly enough, St John Chrysostom has an explanation for this reality, claiming that:


‘All four evangelists reported some of Christ’s savings, but each of them individually chose others to report. Why is this so? To make us read the other gospels, and to make us realize how remarkable their agreement is. For if all of them told everything, we would not pay careful attention to all of them, because one would be enough to teach us everything. But if everything they tell were different, we would not see their remarkable agreement. For this reason all of them wrote many things in common but each also chose some things to tell individually.’[1]



[1] Behr, John (ed.), St John Chrysostom – On Wealth and Poverty, (New York, SVSP, 1981), pp.20-1. 

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