Why the 4 Gospels are Meant to be Different ~ Part 1 ~ The Four Books (Notable Work)

4 Gosples - NewPreface  (Complete Revision ~ 01/25/2014)
The following, Part 1 is a short introduction with a chart which explains the differences found in the 4 Gospels, which are four different perspectives in order to give insight into prophetic fulfillment, explain complexity, highlight detail, and to gain clarity concerning the role of Jesus’ first visit to earth; commonly called The First Coming (This teaching originated around the fourth century, commonly presented within Catholicism as “The Four Evangelist,” as a reference concerning the symbols built-in to the four Gospels as typified by the image on the left.  This teaching was commonly taught up to 100 years ago in Orthodox Protestant churches, with paintings such as these commonly seen on the walls of Lutheran, Episcopalian, Methodist, and Reformed churches – See Endnote A).  

It includes this information, plus adds other information concerning these 4 perspectives concerning Jesus Christ as found in the Old Testament.  

Introduction
What is amazing about the 4 Gospels is that they not only appear to be quite different from each other – but are meant to be so, on purpose.

Many great scholars have attempted to create what is referred to as the synoptic (Meaning: “of or forming a general summary,” or in the case of the 3 Gospels, “a comparative chronological collaboration in the form of a summary“) Gospels in reference to the first three books of the New Testament; Matthew, Mark, and Luke.

John is purposely excluded from the synoptic presentation of the Gospels due to the fact that it is obviously not meant to be chronological as far as time; John presents events by grouping them together based upon their importance, and not the time sequence.

Though this idea seems dishonest to the Western way of thinking, to the Hebrews this was often considered a more legitimate way of laying out of events, based upon their importance, and how they relate to each other; rather than the limitation of a time sequence, chronologically speaking.

Not Meant to be Synoptic
What becomes unfortunate about attempting to plot the three Gospels on a single timeline is that they were never meant to be looked at in this manner, comparatively speaking.

First Role – Baby Jesus
What is amazing is the willingness of the world to accept a baby Jesus who is powerless, at Christmas time; at the expense of forgetting His Second coming where He comes as the Warrior of Israel, the Messiah who will save Israel and destroy its enemies, with His enemies blood up to His bridle (Revelation 14:20), the Judge of earth (Revelation 6:10), who will reign for 1000 years (Revelation 20:4) with a rod of iron (Revelation 12:5; 19:15).

How many people will accept a baby, but refuse the King.

Jesus’ had a particular role in His First Coming – He was meant to be the Lamb of God who would die for the sins of the world (John 1:29, 36).

Two Roles – Two Comings, Not One
It is the Jesus of the Second Coming, the Warrior King who destroys the enemies of Israel, this is what the Jews were looking for in the First Coming.

However, God displaying His ingenious Wisdom by mixing prophecies of the first and second coming without a distinction between the two, wherein the Jew would only see him in the role that fit their own desires – a savior that rules in power and destroys enemies, refusing to even considering the prophecies which displayed Jesus as the Lamb before the slaughter.

This is why for centuries they actually tore out the middle section of Isaiah, which were prophecies concerning the Messiah as the suffering servant as seen in Isaiah 52 and 53, as well as many other passages which display the Messiah as God’s representative who would suffer and die.

Then came the Dead Sea Scrolls, where copies of Isaiah dated further back had the middle chapters which included chapters 52 and 53; They had to say that these were part of the original book, though now they had to reshuffle their deck stating that the previous chapters written by the great profit concerning the Messiah would seem to align with these chapters were actually not speaking of the Messiah at all.

Their contortion could not even facilitate a suspension of disbelief grand enough to accept this ridiculous explanation.

They refused to see that God needed to deal with their sin first by dying for them, before He would come back and physically fight for them.

How marvelous is our God that He could hide prophecy in plain sight, foretelling of two visitations without referring to them separately in order that Lucifer and his minions would be unaware that there were two visits.

Wherein they thought to kill Jesus before He came to power; never realizing the grace and mercy of God Would be displayed in Jesus dying for our sins before He would come and claim that which he paid for thousands of years later – how great is our God.

This is why it is so important for us to understand that the Gospels were always meant to be diverse – To be different one from another so that we could understand Jesus First Coming in all the shades of nuance wherein Jesus would fulfill all the diverse prophecies concerning who He is, and what He was here to do.

Jesus in the Bible

Jesus as He is related though Gospels by 4 Diverse Vantage Points

Focuses
On:
MatthewMarkLukeJohn

Symbol of
the 
Book:
Lion Ox Man Eagle
Presents
Jesus as:
Messiah of
Israel
~
Davidic King
Suffering
Servant
~
Sacrifice
for Sin
Son of Man
~
Perfect
Man
Son of God
~
Divine Lord
Genealogy: Yes
~
Royal /

legal Lineage
No
Yes
~
Bloodline
Yes
~
God 
Incarnate
Genealogy
Starts
With:
Abraham to
J
esus
~

Father of
the Nation
to King and
Redeemer
of the
Nation
None
~
servants don’t
have pedigrees
or genealogies,
they have no
need for one,
due to no
citizenship,
inheritance
or rights
Jesus to Adam
~
Perfect man
to fallen man
The Eternal
Preexistent
One
Genealogy
Through:
Abraham to
David

~
David to Joseph
(through 
Jesus’s
stepfather)
~
Legal right to
the throne
None
~
No rights for
the lowest
servants, as
well as for
criminals;

which is what
we are,
Wherein
Christ 
took
our place
Jesus to His
parental
Grandfather
(B), Heli, Mary’s
father
~
Heli to David
~
David to
Adam
~
Bloodline
Through his
mother’s side
of the family 
Eternity
Past as God
(with God)
~
In the
beginning

was the
word.
..”
~
Jesus Deity
Genealogy
Referred
to Him As:
Son of David
~
Son of Abraham
Son of God Son of Joseph,
(“as he was
supposed” to)
be Son of Heli
 (B)
The Word
(The “Logos”)
Written To: Jews (C) Romans Greeks The Church
Signifies: Israel Common Man Perfect Man Believers
Written
From:
Jerusalem Rome Area of the
Gentiles
Ephesus
Language
First
Written In:
Hebrew
~
With the
reflection
of the Greek
language
and later
translations
~
Later
translated
to Koine
Greek
Koine Greek
~
Many terms
borrowed
from the
Latin in
order that
the Romans
would
understand
Koine Greek
~
To the World
Culture,
wherein
Greek was
the world
language
of the day
Koine Greek
~
To the
Gentile
world,
wherein
Greek was
also the
language
of the
Gentiles
Written
By:
Matthew
~
A Jew who
worked for
the Romans
as a tax
collector
~
Information
obtained

as an eye
witness
John Mark
~
A Jewish

young man
~
Information
obtained

from Peter
Luke
~
A Gentile
Physician

~
Information
obtained by Paul
John
~
A Galilean

Fisherman
~
Information
obtained
as an eye
witness 
Writer
Was:
One of the
12 Apostles
Nephew of
Barnabas
~
A Companion
of the
Apostles
and Peter
~
Who
Worked in
Ministry
with Them
A companion
of  Paul,
who wrote
the books of
Luke
and Acts
(These two books
w
ere part 1 and
part 2 of a series
written to one
person,
Theophilus.
Part 1 was the
beginning 
of Jesus
ministry, and part
2 was the
continuation of
that story as it
referred to the
church, as Paul
was the leader,
And explained
his teaching
concerning Jesus
as Lord and King,
which regarded
the charges
brought against
Paul; as some
believe that the
2 Books were
meant as the
trial documents
as used in Paul’s
trial before Caesar
wherein the Roman
law required
that when a
Roman citizen
was tried
before Caesar,
it was mandatory
to have a history
written by the
defense to a
Court officer,
hence the title,
“…most excellent
Theophilus…”)
One of the
12 Apostles
~
Brother of
James
~
A Cousin of
Jesus
~
Son of
Zebedee
Presents
Jesus 
as
Son of man
(Used in this
Gospel more
than in 
any
other)
[32x]
(Because
of his Legal
bloodline
Through man
to be the
king of
Israel)
~
Son of man,
Was an
Old Testament
title for
the Messiah”
(Psalm 8; 
also see
Daniel 7:13)
~
Jesus used
this 
title
concerning

himself.
    Son of God
(Used in this 
Gospel more
than in any
other)
[10x]
Differences: Assumes that
the reader
understands
the Torah
and Jewish
customs,
as well
as users
Aramaic
expressions
Assumes that
the reader
understands
Jewish
customs
Translates
Aramaic
expressions
into Greek
Assumes that
the reader
understands
Jewish
customs
Assumes that
the reader
understands
Jewish
customs
~
No Parables
Presents
What
Jesus
“Said”
(151x)
~
(Presented
Jesus’
Teachings)
“What He Did”
(13x)
~
(An Action
Book)
“What He Felt”
(88x)
~
(Express’
Emotions)
“Who He Was”
(247x)
~
(A Fact Book)
     
Keyword: Fulfilled
(Used 38x)
~
Jesus As the
Son of God
(23x)
Immediately
[‘Eutheos’]

(Used 42x)
It came
to pass
(40x)
Verily, Verily
(24x)
Key Verses: Matthew 2:2
Where is he
who has been
born King of
the Jews?”
~
Matthew
27:
37
and they put
up over his
head the
accusation
written against
him: this is
Jesus the King
of the Jews
Mark 10:45
for even the
Son of Man
did not come
to be served,
but to serve,
and to give
his life a
ransom for
many
.”
Luke
Stressed
the Universal
Redemption
Available
to  All
(Gentiles)

through
Christ.
~
 To the Samaritans
(Luke 9:51-62;
10:30-37;
17:11-19)
~

As well as
Pagan,
Gentiles,
(Luke
2:32; 3:6,
38; 4:25-27;
7:9; 10:1.47)
and Publicans,
Sinners, and

Outcast.
(Luke 3:12;
5:27-32;
7:37-50;
19:2-10;
23:43)
All the Above

are Welcome
as well as
the Jews
(Luke :33;
2:10)
And
Respectable
People

(Luke 7:36;
11:37; 14:1)
Including
the Poor
(Luke 1:53;2:7
6:20; 7:22)

And the Rich;
(Luke 19:2;
23:50)
~
All can have
redemption (D)
John 20:31
but these that
you may
believe
that Jesus is
the Christ, the
son of God, and
that believing
you  may have
life  in his
name
Style Type: Elegant
Groupings
Simple
Snapshots
Logical
Narrative
Spiritual
Insights
Presents: Verbatim
Teachings of
Christ
Concise
Perspective
Natural Flow
Based upon
Chronology
Supernatural
Assumption
Main
Theme
:
Matthew
28:18-20
“then Jesus
came and spoke
to them, saying,
all authority has
been given to
me in heaven
and earth.
Go therefore
and make
disciples
of all nations,
basing them
in the name
of the father
and the son
and the Holy
Spirit, teaching
them to observe
all things that
I have
commanded;
and lo, I am
with you always,
even to the
end of the
age.  Amen”
A Theme of
persecution
dominates the
book of Mark
(Mark 10:30;
and compare
it 
with
Matthew

19:29 and
Luke 18:29).
Roman

Christians,
who were
undergoing
persecution
would be
encouraged
knowing
that Jesus
anticipated
that “everyone
shall be
salted
with fire”
(Mark 9:49)
~
Mark 13:9-13
But take heed
to yourselves:
for they shall
deliver you up
to councils;
and in the
synagogues ye
shall be
beaten: and
ye shall be
brought before
rulers and
kings for my
sake, for
a testimony
against them.
And the gospel
must first
be published
among all
nations. But
when they
shall 
lead you,
and 
deliver you
up, take
no thought
beforehand
what ye shall
speak, neither
do ye
premeditate:
but whatsoever
shall be given
you in
that hour,
that speak ye:
for it is not ye
that speak, but
the Holy Ghost.
Now the
brother shall
betray the
brother
to death,
and the father
the son; and
children shall
rise up
against their
parents, and
shall cause
them to be
put to death.
And ye shall
be hated of
all men for my
name’s sake:
but he that
shall endure
unto the
end, the same
shall be saved
.”

(c)
The book of
Acts is
considered
part 2 of the
book of Luke,
both were
written to:
most excellent
Theophilu
s”

(Luke 1:3 &
Acts 1:1), and
may 
have been
Paul’s court
documents,
which according
to Roman
law had to proceed
him to his trial at
Rome.
~
Books seem
to be written
to Roman officials
because Romans,
Centurions,
Pilate, Agrippa,
Festus; are
considered
good or innocent.
(Luke 23:4, 14,

22. Acts 13:4-12;
16:35-40;
18:12-17;
19:31; 26:32),
and Paul was proud
of his citizenship
(Acts 22:28)
John makes
no attempt
to present
his book
chronologically.
The Jews, 
based
upon 
Eastern
train 
of thought,
understood that
presenting

something
outside
of its
chronological
timeline in
order to present
it 
based upon
priorities, &
commonality
was more
preferable than
the Western
train of thought
wherein
chronological
order is
more
paramount.
~
John is not
being deceptive
by

grouping things
according to

their similarity
and importance,

taking them out
of the
chronological
order and placing
them based
upon

the greater
oversight of
what
is 
presented,
this is why the
book of John is
not 
chronological
as the other 3
Gospels are.
~
There are 7
miracles which
lead to 7
discourses,
which lead to
7 “I am
statements.
~
Understanding

that the I am
statements
made by Jesus
were presented
it wherein the

Pharisees
understood
that he was
claiming to be
God who

was speaking
out of the
burning bush,
which is why
they accused
him of
blasphemy.
First
Miracle
:
Leper
Cleansed
~
Symbolic of

the Jew
~

(this was an
insult to the
Jew, who
understood that
leprosy was a
symbol of sin;
wherein the
implementation

in equating
them with
leprosy was
an aspersion
that they
were sinful)
Demon
Expelled
~
Symbolic
of the

Common Man
~

(symbolic of
man

being saved
from sin, where
in the evil
within him
was on escape
about, and that
Christ is
the only
deliverance)
Demon
Expelled
~
Symbolic of the

Best of Men
~

(symbolic of
man being
saved from sin,
where in the
evil within him
was on escape
about, and that
Christ is
the only
deliverance)
Water turned
into Wine
~
Symbolic of

the Rebirth
~

(Common
Made
Supernatural)

~
Flesh Reborn
to the Spirit
(Sinful
Made
Sinless)
Size of the
Book:
Second
Longest
Book of the

Gospels
Shortest Book
of the Gospels
Longest Book
of the Gospels
Third Longest
Book of the
Gospels
Main
Location:
Galilean
Ministry
Galilean
Ministry
Galilean
Ministry
Judean
Ministry
Layout of
the 
Book:
Chronological
Order
Chronological
Order
Chronological
Order
Not in real-time
order, but by
grouping events
together by
topic 
and
priority,
Which was
a common
Presentation
style among
the Hebrews.
Focus
of the

Book:
 Covers 3 years  Covers 3 years  Covers 3 years Covers 3 years
Primary Focus
on 
the
last week
Held In 
Common:
Synoptic Gospel
~
(Means
Similarity)
Synoptic Gospel
~
(Means
Similarity)
Synoptic Gospel
~
(Means
Similarity)
Reveals
Hidden Truths
Shared:
Matthew 3:17
And lo a voice
from heaven,
saying, This is
my beloved
Son, in whom
I am well
pleased
.”

~
Matthew 17:5
While he yet
spake, behold,
a bright cloud
overshadowed
them: and
behold a voice
out of the
cloud, which said,
This is my
beloved Son,
in whom I am
well pleased;
hear ye him.
Mark 1:11
And there
came a voice
from heaven,
saying,
Thou art my
beloved Son,
in whom I am
well pleased
.”

~
Mark 9:7
And there was
a cloud that
overshadowed
them: and a
voice came
out of the
cloud, saying,
This is my
beloved Son:
hear him.
Luke 3:22
And the Holy
Ghost descended
in a bodily shape
like a dove upon
him, and a voice
came from heaven,
which said, Thou
art my beloved
Son; in thee I
am 
well pleased
.”

~
Luke 9:35
And there came
a voice out of
the cloud, saying,
This is my beloved
Son: hear him.
John 1:32-33
And John bare
record, saying,
I saw the
Spirit
descending
from heaven
like a dove, and
it abode upon
him. And
I knew him not:
but he that sent
me to baptize
with water,
the same
said unto me,
Upon whom
thou shalt see
the Spirit
descending,
and remaining
on him,
the same
is he which
baptizeth with
the Holy Ghost
.”
Concludes
With
The
Resurrection
The Ascension Promise of:
The Spirit
(Bridge to the

Book of Acts)
Promise of:
Christ’s Return
(Bridge to the

Book of
Revelation)

Brent

4 Gospels

Endnotes
A.  This teaching is over 1600 years Old

The above plaque of the 4 figures of the 4 books of the Gospel (the Lion, the Ox, the Man, and the Eagle), with the Lamb of God in the middle – is over 1600 years old, created 400 hundred years after Christ, displaying an early understanding of the diversity of the 4 different Gospels.

The writings of Irenaeus (who was a disciple of Polycarp, who was a disciple of John the author of the gospel, the 3 letters, and the Revelation of Jesus Christ); referred to these 4 perspectives of these 4 Gospels, which were commonly accepted as canonical at his time.

The Catholic Church has displayed these 4 symbols of the Gospels since the time of Irenaeus and is seen in the writings of Augustine, Jerome, and many others.

If you enter many Orthodox Churches in American; such as Lutheran, Presbyterian, Anglican, Methodist, and many other churches that are hundreds of years old, going back to the reform movement of Martin Luther in 1517, when he publicly accused in separating himself from the Catholic Church, you will find references to these 4 perspectives as seen in the 4 Gospels.

B.  The term in Luke 3:23 is nomizo in Greek: meaning: “reckoned as by law.”   Joseph was adopted by Heli, Mary’s father in accordance with the Torah for inheritance through brother-less sisters given to Zelophehad (Numbers 27:1-11; Joshua 17:3-6; Ezra 2:61; cf. Nehemiah 7:63; Numbers 32:41; I Chronicles 2:21-23, 34-35).
CSalvation comes through the Jew,” John 4:22; Romans 1:16.  Redemption comes from Jesus the Messiah of Israel, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah; it is through Him alone that man now has (full) access to God,
DHolman Bible Dictionary, Holman Bible Publishers,Nashville,Tennessee, 1991, Page 900, 920.

Special thanks to Chuck Missler, and the other great scholars which began this type of examination of God’s Word hundreds of years ago.  And most of all, I thank the Holy Spirit who decades ago started me down this road of obsession concerning Biblical faith, adding more and more material concerning this teaching in particular, to such a broken vessel as myself – Thank you Lord Jesus

(Note of Interest: In 1976, my first Bible college class was on the Synoptic Gospels, which shook my faith in observing the contortions that the teachers attempted to go through to rationalize, and explain away the diversity of the Gospels.  My faith was shaken, and as time went on I found more and more professors that attempted to say that many times God’s Word included mistakes, and that God and the words “almost,” or “somewhat” would fit together.  It is this kind of faith-destroying teachings that were taught in many seminaries, even more so today, which teach that the Bible is not literal, which left the only rational conclusion, that God wasn’t in total control, and therefore faith was a hit or miss kind of thing.  I praise God for His mercy in leading me to godly men who completely believed God’s Word, and trusted God in total faith.  Most of all I thank the Holy Spirit for helping me understand that God is in total control, He’s never early and He’s never late, He is perfect and in perfect control no matter what it looks like.  And that biblical faith is not a tool to get something from God, but is a complete dependence upon Him with the realization that He’s already given me what I need, and will continue to do so throughout eternity.  He is faithful through and through.  Brent) 

“An apparent Biblical contradiction is the
Holy Spirit’s way of getting the reader’s 
attention
so as to point out a hidden deep truth, which must
be examined at great 
expense, in order to discover
the precious faith building treasure it contains.” 

(Brent Bolin)


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