Do you know how you are spiritually fed? I’ve talked about and written about spiritual disciplines before, but this is studying the Bible together.
Do you know which of the Gospels was written first?
Over the last few weeks, the Thursday Evening Bible study group has begun looking at the Gospels. We started with an introductory lesson. That evening we covered when each of the four Gospels was written, the audience they were each written for, and what sources were used.
The answer to my opening question is: Mark was written first. Then Matthew and Luke used Mark for their information. Since there is information in Luke and Matthew that is not in Mark, they are thought to have had a common source, which has never been found. We call that source “Q!” Then there is information unique to Matthew, which is said to have come from “M.” There is also information unique to Luke, which is said to have come from “L.” So, Mark came first, Matthew and Luke both used Mark, Q and their own source, “M” and “L,” respectively and those are what we call the Synoptic Gospels.
John is different. All we have to do is read it to realize the writing is different, it’s not just a telling of what Jesus did in his life, it’s also an explanation of what it all means. So, John is often studied separately. Much of the information is unique to that Gospel.
After we had this introduction, the group decided to read through the Gospels, and as we read, to take time to look at the parallel stories. So, we have started with Mark, and using a resource which lays out all the parallel passages, I have put together a chart that we are using to look at each of the stories from Mark’s gospel, and see how they are told similarly and different in both Matthew and Luke.
This is a fun exercise! When we read one of the Gospels on its own, we get the stories about Jesus’ life, and if we then read another one of the Gospels, we realize that things there are a bit different, but to lay them next to each other, we really can see just how different they are, and we do get a fuller picture of what our scriptures say!
Join us on Thursday evenings at 6:00 PM in the Parish Hall to take part in the conversation!