Here is a great summary Madison Hetzler. She is passionate about edifying fellow believers to be strong, confident, and knowledgeable in the Word of God. Madison graduated from Liberty University’s School of Divinity and now instructs Bible courses for Grace Christian University. She cherishes any opportunity to build community around cups of coffee and platters of homemade food.
The four gospels, neatly nestled in the beginning pages of the New Testament, are treasure troves of instruction regarding the person of Jesus Christ. Within these four individual accounts, the reader meets Jesus as the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies, an authoritative teacher, and our redeemer. We are provided with the narrative for his life and ministry, his death and resurrection. As our salvation depends upon the truth of the gospel message found within these four books, and our life is to be patterned after that of Jesus, the reliability and interpretation of the gospels is imperative to our faith.
Matthew, Mark, and Luke, or the Synoptic Gospels, differ from John in that they closely mirror one another in their accounts. In these three gospels, we find similar wording, chronology, and Old Testament referencing. While we should expect consistent narratives amongst all the gospels, the similarities amongst the Synoptics seem to suggest that they were written in reliance upon one another or an outside source. Even amidst the similarities, we do still find content that is unique to one or two books.
Do these similarities discredit the authors or challenge the authority of their writings? Can we trust the Synoptic Gospels? Consider these questions as we seek to understand the authority of the gospels.