How Is “The Synoptic Gospel” Better than Four Separate Gospel Accounts?

There are many ways that The Synoptic Gospel is better than reading the four separate Gospel accounts of the life and ministry of Jesus Christ.

The biggest advantage with having a merged harmony of the four Gospels of the New Testament is that when the texts are aligned, and the words are combined and merged on a word-for-word basis, all of the repetition of the stories, and the duplication of their words is removed.  Almost half (49%) of all of the 3,779 verses that make up the four Gospels are repeated or paralleled in one or more of the other Gospel accounts.  By consolidating the overlapping and repeated words, a text is produced that is fully 22% shorter, and this makes it not only faster to read, but the story is now much easier to understand.

A second advantage to having one consistent Gospel story created by combining the four Gospel texts is that removing the duplication and repetition also eliminates the confusion caused by reading the same thing more than once, or even over and over again, as when all four of the Gospel accounts are recalling the same event or saying.  There are several sayings and stories of Jesus that are found in three, and even all four of the Gospel accounts, and it is confusion to have to read the same thing more than once.

The third advantage of a merged harmony, is that in aligning all of the parallel sections of verses, a consistent timeline is produced for the entire Gospel story, and this makes it much easier to understand the sequence of all of the events that happened.  And this is important, because reading four accounts that are out of sequence with each other is not only confusing, but it is difficult to see the importance of why Jesus Christ said and did certain things, to certain groups of people, at a certain time in His ministry. This also makes it more clear how the opposition of the religious leaders escalated, from the beginning to the end of His ministry. Also, by reading Matthew, Mark or Luke, without considering the timeline of John’s Gospel – which mentions three different Passovers – one would think that the entire teaching and healing ministry of Jesus lasted for only one year; and this seems to diminish the hard work and struggle that He faced in presenting His message of reformation to the Jewish people.

Carefully merging the words of the four Gospels on a word-for-word basis produces a complete text – one that is both faster to read, and also much easier to understand.  In fact, when all things are considered, there is not one single way that having four separate, overlapping accounts of the life and ministry of Jesus Christ is better that having one complete and clear Gospel.

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