The Synoptic problem refers to questions and possible explanation concerning the relationship between the Gospel of Mark and John who seem to write about Jesus from a different perspective. The Gospel of Mark is highly related to the other two: Mathew and Luke regarding how they represent the story of Jesus, the stories narrated, the saying of Jesus, and they use the same wordings. On the other hand, the Gospel of John resembles that of Mark slightly and differs mainly regarding the order of events, unique vocabulary and style, a different perspective and the points of emphasis. On crucifixion of Jesus on the cross, they placed a superscription which proclaimed that He is the Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews.' and It was printed in three different languages that were Latin, Hebrew, and Greek (Denis n.p). The languages were representing the main cultures of the Mediterranean region when the writing of the New Testament was taking place. The Gospel of Mark was designed to represent the Roman since its one of the dominant cultures in the Mediterranean world while that of John was cosmopolitan in its thrust.
According to Acts 12:12, Mark was a son of Mary and a cousin to evangelist Barnabas. He had a close relation with his friend Peter as it is written in 1 Peter 5: and Peter profoundly influenced most of his Gospel account. The book of Mark was written to the non-Jewish audience. In his account, he highly explains Hebrew traditions and the conditions of the Palestinian (Mark7:2, 11:13). On the other hand, John was the first son of Zebedee and a brother of James (Mark 1:19). According to Mark 5:37, John was a close associate of Jesus and part of the inner circle of the twelve disciples. He was the nearest to God compared to other apostles. It means that his records are unique in a way and they are designed to apply to all societies in the world. Its primary purpose is to provide the evidence of particular signs that proves that Jesus Christ is the Son of the Almighty God and his facts lead someone to eternal life (Jackson n.p)
Mark is a resilient advocate that Jesus is the Son of Almighty God and on that edge, he has recorded the testimony of Almighty God in various ways such as the demons, the Lord Himself, and the Roman centurion that participated in the crucifixion of Jesus. Approximately, 40% of his book is mostly about the Final Journey of Jesus to Jerusalem and the repercussions of his death. John represents the deific nature of Jesus; he is very selective in the materials that he includes in that account. For instance, the whole period of Jesus Christ preaching ministry took about three and half years, but John covers the work of Jesus in teaching within about 30 days. The Passover contains about 722 verses, in his book, about 36% of these materials represent only twenty-four hours (Jackson n.p). As stated by Mark that John was very close to the Lord is evidenced when the Holy Spirit guided the production of his fourth Book.
Mark underscores the deeds of Christ when recording the major sermon (13:3-37). Mark features Jesus as a servant brought to earth to do His Fathers will in a servant-like way, and he does so with great perseverance. He applies the servants word about fourteen times while unfolding the work and activities of the Messiah. On the other hand, John strongly argues about the deity of the Jesus Christ. It can be represented by the following main three themes. One, He begins his book by in the beginning there was Word, and the Word was with Almighty God, and the Word was God (John 1:1). Second, at the middle of his Gospel John has the following words for Jesus Christ: the Father and I are one (John10:30) and this suggest an identity of particular kind of nature. Lastly, the Gospel states the confession made by Thomas after scientifically examining the wounds of the resurrected Jesus (Jackson n.p). According to (John 20:28), the once doubting Thomas declared: My Lord and my God!
The Gospel of John is characterized by both works signs and word signs. Jesus Christ affirmed: I am the bread of life (6:35) the light of the world (8:12), He also describes Jesus using the following terms am the way, the truth, and the life. (Haris, n.p) Lastly, John uses I am in chapter 8: 58 to affirm the timeless existence of Jesus Christ even before the birth of Abraham. In this regard John highly emphasis on the eternal life than how he does on the Kingdom of God. His emphasis on eternal life as if it is a present reality and it is close to that of letters of Paul. Mark high emphasis on the King of Almighty God and less emphasis on the eternal life. The Gospel of Mark talks about the presences of eternal life four times and the Kingdom of God 20 times while John speaks of the eternal life 36 times and about Kingdom of even five times (Harris n.p).
Bratcher Dennis. The Literary Relationship of Mark, Matthew, and Luke. 2013. Web. 28th February 2017. <http://www.crivoice.org/synoptic.html>
Harris Hall. Major Differences between John and the Synoptic Gospels. 2017. Web. 28th February 2017. <https://bible.org/seriespage/2-major-differences-between-john-and-synoptic-gospels>
Jackson Wayne. Examining the four Gospels. 2017. Web. 28th February 2017. <https://www.christiancourier.com/articles/273-examining-the-four-gospels>
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