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The Four Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John

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The four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John
1. Introduction
The term Gospel means good news, a message which was desperately needed (Guthrie, 1965: 11).
According to Talbot (2013: 69) gospels can be divided into 2 groups namely the Synoptic gospels- Matthew, Mark and Luke and Gospel of John. He explains that Matthew, Mark and Luke are called the synoptic gospels because they have so much in common. Kotze (6), outlines their similarities and differences as follows:
|Mark | |Matthew | |Luke |
|Total: 661 verses | |Total :1068 verses | |Total: 1149 verses |
|600 verses parallel to Matthew | |505 verses parallel to Mark | |380 verses parallel to Mark |
|61 verses peculiar to Mark | |235 versus parallel to Luke | |235 versus parallel to Matthew |
| | |328 verses peculiar to Matthew | |534 verses peculiar to Luke |

There are suggestions due the similarities and differences that (1) Mark was the original writer and was copied by Matthew and Luke (2) Matthew was original writer copied by Luke, and Mark made a shorter version.

The material where obtained from the following suggested sources: (1) Oral tradition – the good news spread by word of mouth before it was written down (2) An earlier gospel (3) Unique sources available to Matthew alone and Luke alone and (4) A common Source ( the Q sources), being the sayings of Jesus (Talbot ,2013: 69).

2. The Gospel of Matthew
Author
• Matthew, a Jew was a Tax Collector for the Romans who left his job when Jesus called him and became one of the twelve apostles. (Matt 9:9-13)
Audience
• Matthew writes to the Jewish Christians…...

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