Is there a literary relationship between Mark, Matt, and Luke?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Matthew, Mark and Luke share enough similarities in content and chronology to have been grouped together as the "synoptic" gospels. "Synoptic" means seeing with the same eye:  this means that they all tell roughly the same story of Jesus's life and death. Because of striking stylistic similarities, many have argued that Matthew and Luke derive from the same written document, called "Q." However, "Q" has never been found and may not exist. In contrast, the gospel of John omits stories that appear in the other gospels, such as Jesus' Sermon on the Mount and his reciting of the Lord's Prayer.

While the three synpotic gospels share many similiarities, such as reporting that Jesus ate with tax collectors, each gospel also has unique stories. For example, Mark lacks the story of Jesus' birth, while the wise men or Magi coming to visit the baby Jesus only appears in Matthew, and only Luke tells of  the angel announcing Jesus' birth to simple shepherds.  

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial