The Gospel and the Apostles

Table of Contents

The Gospel and the Apostles:

A - The Synoptic Problem:

B - The Gospel of John:

C - The Apostolic Letters:

Communal Truth:


The Writing of Luke


Luke and His Sources:

The following chart shows the relationships between Luke and his sources. Matthew is shown to the left of Luke, with Mark on Luke’s right. Pericopes in Mark and Matthew which have no parallel at all in Luke (which Luke therefore chose to omit) are shown as grey. Of the pericopes Luke did use, those which are parallel in both Mark and Matthew are purple or indigo in their columns. If a parallel pericope was taken by Luke from Mark, then that pericope appears in Mark as purple, but in Matthew as indigo, with the reverse true if Luke used Matthew’s version of the pericope. (Hence, the first few pericopes in Mark’s column, which recount Jesus’ Baptism, are indigo because Luke took this material from Matthew rather than from Mark. The corresponding pericopes in Matthew are therefore purple.) Pericopes unique to Mark are red, and pericopes unique to Matthew are blue.

Luke’s column shows how he used material from his two written sources. Pericopes which he took from Mark but altered or expanded are shown in orange, whereas pericopes which remain very faithful to Mark’s version are shown in red. Similarly, pericopes which he took from Matthew but altered are shown in green, whereas pericopes which remain faithful to Matthew are blue.

The coloured lines between the columns connect the corresponding pericopes from their location in the source documents to their location in Luke. The red and blue lines show pericopes from Mark and Matthew respectively which Luke has kept in their original order. Black lines indicate pericopes which have been displaced in Luke. However, because all the Matthaean pericopes Luke used in his Journey to Jerusalem have been displaced, black bars beside the columns show which pericopes were used, but do not show precisely which pericope in Matthew corresponds to which pericope in Luke. This allows us to see more clearly how Luke used Matthew in his Exposition and Recapitulation sections without the tangled confusion of his Development displacements.

The data on which this chart is based is presented in greater detail on Page 7 of the Appendix.



Luke's Use of Matthew and Mark:

The following chart is identical to the previous one, except that it now reveals the rest of the picture, connecting each pericope from its location in the original source document to its new location in Luke's Gospel, showing precisely how he has re-arranged all the Matthaean material. This shows the sharp contrast in how he freely utilised Matthew as opposed to following Mark almost exactly. This suggests strongly that Luke was very familiar with Matthew, perhaps to the point of having completely memorised it, whereas he had only recently acquired Mark's Gospel, which he needed to have open before him in order to read and copy as he wrote. We also see that Luke has alternated in large blocks between his two sources, but adding additional (yellow) material to both.