Why are there four gospels?

Slyzr

Well-known member
What Christian does not find the supposed truth of her or his beliefs to be important? Do any Christians find Biblical claims to be unimportant?

What errors do Christians admit are in the Bible? I realize that liberal Christians recognize some Biblical errors. In any event, it seems much more logical to me to assume that a perfect God would only author a perfect book if he authored any book. Those Christians who avow Biblical errors are not being consistent with their theology, and it appears to me that they've insulated their beliefs from falsifiability. In other words as they see it errors in the Bible cannot be God's errors.

You can post whatever rationalizations you want for apparent errors in the Bible, but there's not much you might say that I'm not already familiar with and have found unconvincing. Why even try to smooth over problematical Bible passages? The danger of such an effort is to arrive at a conclusion that while possibly correct is not probably correct. I say keep things simple, and just take the Bible for what it says whether you're comfortable with it or not.

My god ......

Did you just convert yourself again?
 

Dizerner

Well-known member
It could be fraud or delusion too.

How can the supernatural be fraud or delusion. What you mean is "something is not necessarily supernatural at all." I think that goes without saying, and misses the point I was making.

I believed Jesus was a real magical being that I communed with, but I'm not sure what you mean by "feel his character." Anyway, I got over it realizing I had been deluded. The lesson to be learned here is that just because a person has some kind of religious experience, it does not follow that that experience went beyond her or his head. We know our brains can create mystical experiences, but we have no evidence for objectively real mystical phenomena that can be measured or scientifically detected.

Your thinking about "scientifically detected" is muddled and unclear. It's like you have an idea of science being a metaphysical grounding it cannot logically be. Every perception or thought we have could be defined as a "mystical experience" and defining what even is or could be supernatural is not easy and requires unproven assumptions.

I believe there are errors in the Bible, of transcription and inexact facts or whatever. But all words are ideas, they are things that have metaphysical referents. You can't even think about a standard of "correctness" or of "error" without humongous amounts of metaphysical presuppositions. To understand what "love" is, for example, requires more than just reading some words.

And that goes for any word, because the idea is not physical. When you think of a "dog" there is no concrete thing you're really thinking of, it is just an illusion of certainty you have. Defining where one thing stops and another starts, defining the substance of what any thing really is, defining the logical connections anything has, all take humongous amounts of presuppositions.

Even when we say "the brain does this or that," we are using whatever is "causing" the thoughts or ideas, and think we have a distinct idea of what a concrete physical thing called a "brain" is—from the very source of wherever thoughts or ideas come from. But correlation is not causation, and whatever "thought" is, is not necessarily equated to what it is thinking about.

A subjective experience of consciousness comes and goes, but somehow in the thinking it is linked as a physical thing—not that a "physical" thing can really be defined well. But all the matter and energy of the brain can still exist while consciousness goes away. This is why even many materialists label it an emergent property. But that means that it cannot be the same thing.

Your logic and objections are incredibly shallow, and show that the experiential is not at all based in logic. Logic is not what makes anyone do anything or anyone believe in anything. We like to slap the label of "logic" to give a feeling of unjustified verification to our beliefs, so what we feel competent and confident, because this is admired and feeds our pride.

Your thoughts are weak, illogical and unconvincing.
 

Slyzr

Well-known member
How can the supernatural be fraud or delusion. What you mean is "something is not necessarily supernatural at all." I think that goes without saying, and misses the point I was making.



Your thinking about "scientifically detected" is muddled and unclear. It's like you have an idea of science being a metaphysical grounding it cannot logically be. Every perception or thought we have could be defined as a "mystical experience" and defining what even is or could be supernatural is not easy and requires unproven assumptions.

I believe there are errors in the Bible, of transcription and inexact facts or whatever. But all words are ideas, they are things that have metaphysical referents. You can't even think about a standard of "correctness" or of "error" without humongous amounts of metaphysical presuppositions. To understand what "love" is, for example, requires more than just reading some words.

And that goes for any word, because the idea is not physical. When you think of a "dog" there is no concrete thing you're really thinking of, it is just an illusion of certainty you have. Defining where one thing stops and another starts, defining the substance of what any thing really is, defining the logical connections anything has, all take humongous amounts of presuppositions.

Even when we say "the brain does this or that," we are using whatever is "causing" the thoughts or ideas, and think we have a distinct idea of what a concrete physical thing called a "brain" is—from the very source of wherever thoughts or ideas come from. But correlation is not causation, and whatever "thought" is, is not necessarily equated to what it is thinking about.

A subjective experience of consciousness comes and goes, but somehow in the thinking it is linked as a physical thing—not that a "physical" thing can really be defined well. But all the matter and energy of the brain can still exist while consciousness goes away. This is why even many materialists label it an emergent property. But that means that it cannot be the same thing.

Your logic and objections are incredibly shallow, and show that the experiential is not at all based in logic. Logic is not what makes anyone do anything or anyone believe in anything. We like to slap the label of "logic" to give a feeling of unjustified verification to our beliefs, so what we feel competent and confident, because this is admired and feeds our pride.

Your thoughts are weak, illogical and unconvincing.

What is reality?

Dream works?
 
The important word is this sentence is apparent. God wants us to desire the truth enough to be willing to search for it.
That's strange reasoning. It seems reasonable to me that if God wanted us to know the truth, then he'd make sure it's out in the open and clear as day.
When you find something that appears to be an error are you willing to investigate to see whether that is really the case?
I might engage in further study to uncover a passage's meaning if there are questions about what it means, but I generally am satisfied with understanding a passage by just reading it once. I see no reason to make any passage seem nice or true if it isn't nice or true.
The CARM site discusses some of these alleged errors. If you want to know more about them here is a good place to start:
I've already read a lot of Biblical apologetics, and I can see that it's a big effort to smooth over Bible passages that are obviously problematical. I just go by my own judgment when reading the Bible.
If you care about your future I urge you to check out both of these links. Your eternal destiny depends on your being right about the Bible.
Hmmm. So I will burn in hell if I flunk a Bible quiz? That's rather harsh, wouldn't you say?
 
How can the supernatural be fraud or delusion.
To answer this question, check the work of James Randi. He exposed many supernatural frauds and delusions including that of Christian faith healers.
What you mean is "something is not necessarily supernatural at all." I think that goes without saying, and misses the point I was making.
Actually, I don't believe that the supernatural is anything more than fraud and delusion.
Your thinking about "scientifically detected" is muddled and unclear. It's like you have an idea of science being a metaphysical grounding it cannot logically be.
I see no reason why science cannot be used to scrutinize claims of the supernatural, but I can understand why you would object to science being used that way.
Every perception or thought we have could be defined as a "mystical experience" and defining what even is or could be supernatural is not easy and requires unproven assumptions.
If you're having trouble coming to grips with understanding the supernatural, then that's your problem not mine.
I believe there are errors in the Bible, of transcription and inexact facts or whatever. But all words are ideas, they are things that have metaphysical referents. You can't even think about a standard of "correctness" or of "error" without humongous amounts of metaphysical presuppositions. To understand what "love" is, for example, requires more than just reading some words.
I see no reason why I would need to make a lot of metaphysical presuppositions about anything that appears to be true. Are you sure you aren't making epistemology out to to be much more complicated than it is?
Even when we say "the brain does this or that," we are using whatever is "causing" the thoughts or ideas, and think we have a distinct idea of what a concrete physical thing called a "brain" is—from the very source of wherever thoughts or ideas come from. But correlation is not causation, and whatever "thought" is, is not necessarily equated to what it is thinking about.
Just run into a brick wall. It's reality you will soon find out is independent of your thoughts.
Your logic and objections are incredibly shallow, and show that the experiential is not at all based in logic. Logic is not what makes anyone do anything or anyone believe in anything. We like to slap the label of "logic" to give a feeling of unjustified verification to our beliefs, so what we feel competent and confident, because this is admired and feeds our pride.

Your thoughts are weak, illogical and unconvincing.
You denigrate logic only to criticize me for failing to apply it properly.

What did you say earlier about muddled thinking?"
 

Our Lord's God

Well-known member
The Bible contains four accounts of the life of Jesus which are very different from each other and each one contains some information that isn’t in the others. Some of the differences are so great that the gospels almost seem to contradict each other. Why would God inspire men to write four different accounts rather than just one?

One thing to keep in mind when comparing the gospels is that they are called gospels, not biographies.None of them is intended to give a complete account of Jesus’ life as a modern biography does. The gospel is that Jesus died for our sins and rose again from the dead. All of the gospels give more detail about these events and the circumstances immediately leading up to them than they do to any other part of Jesus’ life. Each author has selected from the previous life of Jesus only those events which he considered necessary to provide the necessary background for the actual gospel. Each of the writers apparently had a specific audience in mind when he wrote his gospel and this influenced his choice of what to include.

Matthew’s gospel was written for a Jewish audience and often quoted from the Old Testament to show that Jesus fulfilled its prophecies. Luke was written in Rome to a believer named Theophilus who was probably a gentile. Both told of the birth of Jesus but they emphasized different aspects of it.
Matthew began by showing that Joseph was a descendant of Abraham and David. He wasn’t the biological father of Jesus but his marriage to Mary made him the legal father so his genealogy became that of Jesus. As a descendant of Abraham Jesus was the recipient of the many promises God had made to him. He was also in the line of the kings who succeeded David. Apparently Joseph would have been king if the monarchy had continued and so he passed on the Jesus the right to the throne of Israel.

Because of his emphasis on the kingship of Jesus Matthew is the only one who records the visit of the Wise Men who were looking for the king of the Jews. (They are often depicted visiting Jesus while he lay in the manger after his birth but this isn’t Biblically accurate. Matthew 2:16 shows that two years could have elapsed between the time they saw the star and their arrival in Bethlehem.)

Since Luke was writing for a gentile audience his readers probably wouldn’t have been interested in Jesus’ kingship over Israel. His emphasis is more on the humanity of Jesus. He tells the story of the birth from Mary’s point of view and the genealogy he includes is hers. When it says that Joseph was the son of Heli it obviously means that he was considered a son because he was married to Heli’s daughter because according to Matthew his father’s name was Jacob. This genealogy shows that Mary was a descendant of David through Nathan rather that Solomon. It also traces his ancestry all the way back to Adam. He does record some information not found in the other gospels, such as the visit to the temple when Jesus was forty days old and the fact that John the Baptist was a relative of Jesus.

Mark’s gospel doesn’t say anything about the birth or background of Jesus but begins with his baptism by John. This gospel emphasizes what Jesus did more that what he said. It records more miracles in proportion to its length than any other gospel and has less of his teaching that the others. The fact that he explains the meaning of Jewish customs shows that he was writing for gentiles who were unfamiliar with them.

John’s gospel is different from the other three. There are some events and a great deal of teaching that are found only here and he leaves out much that the other gospels include. There are three reasons for these differences.

1. John’s gospel was the last one to be written. By the time John wrote it the other gospels were in wide circulation and most Christians were familiar with them. He probably didn’t think there was any need to repeat what was already widely known so he selected events and teaching that the other writers had omitted.

2. Jesus had both a human and a divine nature. The first three gospels focussed mainly on his human nature although they also mentioned his deity. John’s emphasis was on the fact that Jesus was God, although he also wrote about his humanity.

No. John's emphasis was Jesus Christ's God.

3. John stated the purpose of his book in John 20:31, “These are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” His purpose was evangelistic, to bring others to faith in Christ. Luke’s purpose for writing given in Luke 1:4, “That you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught.” He was writing to instruct someone who was already a believer.

God sent Jesus to die for the whole world and he wants everyone to hear and believe the gospel. Because people are different there is no single way to present the gospel which will be effective for all of them. Paul said,



When he said this he was reflecting the same attitude that God showed when he gave us four gospels so that each of us can find in them what he needs to bring him closer to God.
 

En Hakkore

Well-known member
Your evidence is?
I provided one example in the post to which you replied. If I felt a productive dialogue would ensue I would provide a more detailed response than simply directing you back to it, but I'm familiar enough with your posts to know that would be a waste of my time.

Kind regards,
Jonathan
 

Theo1689

Well-known member
No, Luke specifically identifies the genealogy as being that of Joseph... it contradicts the one found in Matthew.

That's not a contradiction.

Now, let me state that I've been a Christian for over 30 years, and at the beginning of my Christian walk, I had a lot of exposure to atheists, so I've seen just about every claim of alleged "contradiction" in the Bible. From Solomon forgetting what he wrote between Prov. 26:4 and 26:5, to pi being allegedly "3" according to the measurements of the circular baths, to "Did Paul's companions here or see anything" between Acts 9 and Acts 22, to the "genealogies".

Let's look at them...

Matt. 1:15 and Eliud the father of Eleazar,
and Eleazar the father of Matthan,
and Matthan the father of Jacob,
Matt. 1:16 and Jacob the father of Joseph
the husband of Mary,
of whom Jesus was born, who is called Christ.

The Matthew genealogy goes in the direction from Abraham down to Christ.
And it very precisely and very explicitly delineates each father-son relationship.
"Matthan the father of Jacob"
"Jacob the father of Joseph".

The Lukan genealogy has a different form:

Luke 3:23 Jesus, when he began his ministry, was about thirty years of age,
being the son (as was supposed) of Joseph,
the son of Heli,
Luke 3:24 the son of Matthat,
the son of Levi,
the son of Melchi,
the son of Jannai,
the son of Joseph,

So not only does this go in the opposite direction, from Jesus back to Adam and God, but it is not as precise with the father-son relationships as Matthew's was.

Jesus was...
... the son (supposedly) of Joseph...
... the son of Heli...
... the son of Matthat ...

So not only do we have the qualifier, "as was supposed" prior to mention of Joseph, but we also have the explicit testimony from Matthew that Joseph's father was Jacob. And you said you believe Luke had Matthew's gospel, or was at least aware of it when he wrote his gospel. And we know that Luke was VERY careful in researching the facts before he wrote.

Now, because of the structure of Luke's gospel, we can interpret it as saying:

"Jesus was ... (supposedly) the son of Joseph..."
"Jesus was ... the son of Heli..."
"Jesus was ... the son of Matthat..."
etc.

And understood that way, it can be reasonably concluded that Jesus was the son of Heli through Mary, which I believe is the conventional interpretation.

Now, I can see how you can read it and ASSUME it's saying "Joseph was the son of Heli", rather than "Jesus was ... the son of Heli" (through Mary). But there are two ways of interpreting this. The funny thing about atheists, and others who try to INSIST on "contradictions" in the Bible, is that they seem to insist on holding to the "contradictory" interpretation, even when consistent interpretations exist. But that's not fair to the author.
 

En Hakkore

Well-known member
I notice you avoid the use of the word "evidence" - prove your alleged example is evidence of your claim.
You're welcome to follow along when I get around to responding in depth to Theo, whose engagement is worth my time.

Kind regards,
Jonathan
 

Gary Mac

Well-known member
That's not a contradiction.

Now, let me state that I've been a Christian for over 30 years, and at the beginning of my Christian walk, I had a lot of exposure to atheists, so I've seen just about every claim of alleged "contradiction" in the Bible. From Solomon forgetting what he wrote between Prov. 26:4 and 26:5, to pi being allegedly "3" according to the measurements of the circular baths, to "Did Paul's companions here or see anything" between Acts 9 and Acts 22, to the "genealogies".
Dont you really mean you have been of a creed, a belief, for 30 years and actuarly have no intent in following Jesus to be in the Father yourself as Jesus was in the Father to be perfect as He is perfect yourself? Your exposier to atheists is by identification with them where God Himself is not able to open to you the same as He did in Jesus in Matt 3:16, Abraham, Moses, 120, even Adam became like Him to know this difference.

You are bound to the laws of the creed you follow instead of being like Him as Jesus was like Him as He demands of you.
Let's look at them...

Matt. 1:15 and Eliud the father of Eleazar,
and Eleazar the father of Matthan,
and Matthan the father of Jacob,
Matt. 1:16 and Jacob the father of Joseph
the husband of Mary,
of whom Jesus was born, who is called Christ.

The Matthew genealogy goes in the direction from Abraham down to Christ.
And it very precisely and very explicitly delineates each father-son relationship.
"Matthan the father of Jacob"
"Jacob the father of Joseph".

The Lukan genealogy has a different form:

Luke 3:23 Jesus, when he began his ministry, was about thirty years of age,
being the son (as was supposed) of Joseph,
the son of Heli,
Luke 3:24 the son of Matthat,
the son of Levi,
the son of Melchi,
the son of Jannai,
the son of Joseph,

So not only does this go in the opposite direction, from Jesus back to Adam and God, but it is not as precise with the father-son relationships as Matthew's was.

Jesus was...
... the son (supposedly) of Joseph...
... the son of Heli...
... the son of Matthat ...

So not only do we have the qualifier, "as was supposed" prior to mention of Joseph, but we also have the explicit testimony from Matthew that Joseph's father was Jacob. And you said you believe Luke had Matthew's gospel, or was at least aware of it when he wrote his gospel. And we know that Luke was VERY careful in researching the facts before he wrote.

Now, because of the structure of Luke's gospel, we can interpret it as saying:

"Jesus was ... (supposedly) the son of Joseph..."
"Jesus was ... the son of Heli..."
"Jesus was ... the son of Matthat..."
etc.

And understood that way, it can be reasonably concluded that Jesus was the son of Heli through Mary, which I believe is the conventional interpretation.

Now, I can see how you can read it and ASSUME it's saying "Joseph was the son of Heli", rather than "Jesus was ... the son of Heli" (through Mary). But there are two ways of interpreting this. The funny thing about atheists, and others who try to INSIST on "contradictions" in the Bible, is that they seem to insist on holding to the "contradictory" interpretation, even when consistent interpretations exist. But that's not fair to the author.
 

En Hakkore

Well-known member
That's not a contradiction.
Yes, it is... even at the end of your post you appear to acknowledge it could be read this way, but suppose this interpretation is not being fair to the author.

Now, let me state that I've been a Christian for over 30 years, and at the beginning of my Christian walk, I had a lot of exposure to atheists, so I've seen just about every claim of alleged "contradiction" in the Bible.
OK, that's good to know, but otherwise not germane to this discussion.

Let's look at them...

Matt. 1:15 and Eliud the father of Eleazar,
and Eleazar the father of Matthan,
and Matthan the father of Jacob,
Matt. 1:16 and Jacob the father of Joseph
the husband of Mary,
of whom Jesus was born, who is called Christ.

The Matthew genealogy goes in the direction from Abraham down to Christ.
And it very precisely and very explicitly delineates each father-son relationship.
"Matthan the father of Jacob"
"Jacob the father of Joseph".

The Lukan genealogy has a different form:

Luke 3:23 Jesus, when he began his ministry, was about thirty years of age,
being the son (as was supposed) of Joseph,
the son of Heli,
Luke 3:24 the son of Matthat,
the son of Levi,
the son of Melchi,
the son of Jannai,
the son of Joseph,

So not only does this go in the opposite direction, from Jesus back to Adam and God, but it is not as precise with the father-son relationships as Matthew's was.

Jesus was...
... the son (supposedly) of Joseph...
... the son of Heli...
... the son of Matthat ...

So not only do we have the qualifier, "as was supposed" prior to mention of Joseph, but we also have the explicit testimony from Matthew that Joseph's father was Jacob. And you said you believe Luke had Matthew's gospel, or was at least aware of it when he wrote his gospel.
Yes, I do think Luke had a copy of Matthew when he composed his gospel... that doesn't mean, however, he thinks this other author was correct about his genealogical information.

And we know that Luke was VERY careful in researching the facts before he wrote.
Luke certainly claims this in his preface as part of his credentials for writing yet another account... he's only as accurate as his sources are, however, and even then he makes a number of mistakes, but that's another subject entirely.

Now, because of the structure of Luke's gospel, we can interpret it as saying:

"Jesus was ... (supposedly) the son of Joseph..."
"Jesus was ... the son of Heli..."
"Jesus was ... the son of Matthat..."
etc.
No, I'm afraid you cannot interpret it this way... there is an ellipsis at every stage of the genealogy following Joseph, but it is not "Jesus was" it is "son of". Here is the Greek of the pertinent clause that establishes the pattern:

ων υιος, ως ενομιζετο, Ιωσηφ του Ηλι
being {a} son, as was supposed, {of} Joseph the {son of} Eli

There is one definite article and it is in the genitive singular masculine governing the relationship between Ιωσηφ and Ηλι, not between the (nominative) noun Ιησους found earlier in the verse and Ηλι. The indeclinable Semitic name Ιωσηφ draws its case (genitive) from the article that follows it and the inferred noun 'son' that this article stands in for. Here is the sub-clause with the ellipsis made explicit:

Ιωσηφ του υιου Ηλι

The implied noun in the genitive establishes the case of the name that precedes it, therefore we know to translate 'of Joseph' even though it is not marked as genitive with its own article. Since the ellipsis (υιου) is in the genitive case (as determined by the inline article), it cannot possibly refer back to Jesus, which name is in the nominative case. The son in question is always the preceding name in the genealogical listing: Joseph is Eli's son and so on and so forth back to θεου explicitly in the genitive (as are a handful of declinable names elsewhere in the genealogy) and who is son to no one.

And understood that way, it can be reasonably concluded that Jesus was the son of Heli through Mary, which I believe is the conventional interpretation.
First, it cannot be understood that way (see analysis of the declinable Greek text above). Second, if by "conventional interpretation" you mean the most common way that exegetes who are inclined to harmonize the two genealogies of Jesus do so, then yes it is typically Luke's genealogy that is proposed to be Mary's rather than Matthew's. That said, arguments just as innovative but ultimately indefensible as yours have been advanced for Matthew's genealogy being that of Mary's. In the final analysis, both genealogies claim to trace Jesus' ancestry through Joseph and we have a genuine contradiction here in the biblical text because they don't match up.

Now, I can see how you can read it and ASSUME it's saying "Joseph was the son of Heli", rather than "Jesus was ... the son of Heli" (through Mary). But there are two ways of interpreting this.
I'm not assuming anything... it is perfectly clear -- at least reading it in the Greek -- that Joseph is Heli's son.

The funny thing about atheists, and others who try to INSIST on "contradictions" in the Bible, is that they seem to insist on holding to the "contradictory" interpretation, even when consistent interpretations exist. But that's not fair to the author.
The great irony is that it is often the critics of inerrancy (or of whatever form of biblical inspiration you're championing here) who are fair to the biblical authors and read them in the contexts of their own work. Why should we assume that Luke agrees with Matthew on who Joseph's father is? This is an assumption that inerrantists (or those likeminded) bring to their interpretations, which causes them to sometimes ignore what is being said in one or the other (possibly even both) of two texts that are being compared.

Kind regards,
Jonathan
 

Our Lord's God

Well-known member
The Bible contains four accounts of the life of Jesus which are very different from each other and each one contains some information that isn’t in the others. Some of the differences are so great that the gospels almost seem to contradict each other. Why would God inspire men to write four different accounts rather than just one?

One thing to keep in mind when comparing the gospels is that they are called gospels, not biographies.None of them is intended to give a complete account of Jesus’ life as a modern biography does. The gospel is that Jesus died for our sins and rose again from the dead. All of the gospels give more detail about these events and the circumstances immediately leading up to them than they do to any other part of Jesus’ life. Each author has selected from the previous life of Jesus only those events which he considered necessary to provide the necessary background for the actual gospel. Each of the writers apparently had a specific audience in mind when he wrote his gospel and this influenced his choice of what to include.

Matthew’s gospel was written for a Jewish audience and often quoted from the Old Testament to show that Jesus fulfilled its prophecies. Luke was written in Rome to a believer named Theophilus who was probably a gentile. Both told of the birth of Jesus but they emphasized different aspects of it.
Matthew began by showing that Joseph was a descendant of Abraham and David. He wasn’t the biological father of Jesus but his marriage to Mary made him the legal father so his genealogy became that of Jesus. As a descendant of Abraham Jesus was the recipient of the many promises God had made to him. He was also in the line of the kings who succeeded David. Apparently Joseph would have been king if the monarchy had continued and so he passed on the Jesus the right to the throne of Israel.

Because of his emphasis on the kingship of Jesus Matthew is the only one who records the visit of the Wise Men who were looking for the king of the Jews. (They are often depicted visiting Jesus while he lay in the manger after his birth but this isn’t Biblically accurate. Matthew 2:16 shows that two years could have elapsed between the time they saw the star and their arrival in Bethlehem.)

Since Luke was writing for a gentile audience his readers probably wouldn’t have been interested in Jesus’ kingship over Israel. His emphasis is more on the humanity of Jesus. He tells the story of the birth from Mary’s point of view and the genealogy he includes is hers. When it says that Joseph was the son of Heli it obviously means that he was considered a son because he was married to Heli’s daughter because according to Matthew his father’s name was Jacob. This genealogy shows that Mary was a descendant of David through Nathan rather that Solomon. It also traces his ancestry all the way back to Adam. He does record some information not found in the other gospels, such as the visit to the temple when Jesus was forty days old and the fact that John the Baptist was a relative of Jesus.

Mark’s gospel doesn’t say anything about the birth or background of Jesus but begins with his baptism by John. This gospel emphasizes what Jesus did more that what he said. It records more miracles in proportion to its length than any other gospel and has less of his teaching that the others. The fact that he explains the meaning of Jewish customs shows that he was writing for gentiles who were unfamiliar with them.

John’s gospel is different from the other three. There are some events and a great deal of teaching that are found only here and he leaves out much that the other gospels include. There are three reasons for these differences.

1. John’s gospel was the last one to be written. By the time John wrote it the other gospels were in wide circulation and most Christians were familiar with them. He probably didn’t think there was any need to repeat what was already widely known so he selected events and teaching that the other writers had omitted.

2. Jesus had both a human and a divine nature. The first three gospels focussed mainly on his human nature although they also mentioned his deity. John’s emphasis was on the fact that Jesus was God, although he also wrote about his humanity.

3. John stated the purpose of his book in John 20:31, “These are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” His purpose was evangelistic, to bring others to faith in Christ. Luke’s purpose for writing given in Luke 1:4, “That you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught.” He was writing to instruct someone who was already a believer.

God sent Jesus to die for the whole world and he wants everyone to hear and believe the gospel. Because people are different there is no single way to present the gospel which will be effective for all of them. Paul said,



When he said this he was reflecting the same attitude that God showed when he gave us four gospels so that each of us can find in them what he needs to bring him closer to God.

There are FOUR Gospels in the book because men decided to have these four when they created this book for themselves.
 

Gary Mac

Well-known member
There are FOUR Gospels in the book because men decided to have these four when they created this book for themselves.
Exactly, devised by man what should be in there and what shouldnt be in there, then authorised by a king who didnt even believe in God LOL. When are people going to see it for what it really is for?
 
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