In the beginning stood four men. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, the Synoptics of the Bible. Men with a vision, to conceive a living testimony of their Lord and Savior Jesus. But today many followers of Christ as well as scholars are skeptical about the origins of the Gospels and the true authors of the Bible. These witnesses all depict their own version of Christ. In each of the Gospels Christ acquires a new persona, one of a rebel, a rabbi, a chronicler, and a mystic.
have yet to be unlocked by mankind. For centuries man has survived alone on faith and the belief that there exists a greater power than ourselves. Solely based this book, a journal of the disciples of Jesus. There are many theories surrounding these statements. Many individuals believe that the Gospels were written entirely independently , with the prompting of the Holy Spirit. Then again some people believe that Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John were almost Shakespearean if you will, borrowing excerpts from previous records of Christ, and fragments of oral tradition thus creating a conglomerate of text.
The differences and similarities of the Gospels are important indications of trustworthiness on the behalf of the Bible. If only similarities existed within the Gospels then would there stand a common source that might be considered biased or somewhat faulty. However, on the other hand if only differences existed then reconciliation would be very difficult. Every Gospel was completed and widely circulated and eventually accepted as scripture. It is believed by most scholars that the actual Gospels were transcribed ten to thirty-five years after the resurrection of Christ.
The Bible and the Gospels locked within contain hidden meanings translated form the Aramaic sayings of Jesus. Concealed evidence in the Bible does not mean the Bible can be used for “divination”, which is forbidden according to Dueteronomy 18:14 which says: “For these nations, which thou posses, hearkened unto observers of times, and unto diviners: but as for thee, the Lord thy God hath not suffered thee so to do”.
This simply suggests that God may have placed facts in a way that might be discovered only after events. Events that have taken place to indicate his planning and foresight for the future of the human race.
The Gospels are derived from many origins and sources. The facts from extensive examination of the arrangement and disarrangement of the Bible have led most scholars to believe that the Gospels according to Mark was written first. It also has been believed that Matthew and Luke made use of Mark in constructing their own Gospels. Matthew and Luke revised the texts of Mark and composed their own versions in a continuous cycles of expanding and deleting certain articles in accordance with their own perspectives. It is now widely understood that Mark is to be the fundamental source for narrative information about the mystery of what scholars call “ double tradition” this is shown in Gospels such as
“But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sad’du-cees come to this baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers who hath warned you to flee from wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance. And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. Children unto Abraham. And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into fire”.
“Then he said to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him. O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say unto yourselves. We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you. That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: every tree therefore bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. And the people asked him, saying, What shall we do?”. These passages from the Gospels of Matthew and Luke are merely explaining the change of heart and impending doom that befalls mortals.
Another example of “double tradition” is shown in Gospels such as: “Andwhen the scribes and Pharisees saw him eat with publicans and sinners, they said unto his disciples, How is it that he eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners? They that are whole have no need of a physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous but sinner to repentance”. “And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples. Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners? But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick”. “But their scribes and Pharisees murmured against his disciples, saying, Why do ye eat and drink with publicans and sinners? And Jesus said unto them, They that are whole need not a physician: but they that are sick”.
These passages from the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke narrate the selfless actions of Jesus partaking in livations with the common thieves, prostitutes, other sinners and toll collectors of the village.
The Synoptic Gospels differ vastly from the Gospel of John. The Synoptic Gospels begin with John the Baptist or the birth and childhood stories. Jesus speaks in parables and aphorisms. Christ is depicted as an exorcist. God’s imperial rule is the main theme of Jesus’ teachings. In these Gospels Jesus has little to say about himself. Jesus also espouses the cause of the poor and oppressed people. Christ’s public ministry lasts one year. The incident at the temple in Nazareth occurs later in these Gospels, and Jesus partakes in the Last Supper with his beloved disciples. However, the Gospel of John is quite different.
The Gospel of John begins with creation, there are no birth or childhood stories of Jesus. The baptism of Jesus is not mentioned. In this Gospel Jesus speaks in long involved discourses. John depicts Jesus as a philosopher, and he performs no exorcisms. Jesus himself is the theme of his own teachings. Christ reflects extensively on his own mission and person. From John’s point-of-view Jesus has little to say about the poor and oppressed peoples. Christ’s public ministry lasted three years in the Gospel of John. The incident in the temple of Nazareth occurred early on in the Gospel, and bathing the apostles replaces the Last Supper within the Gospel of John.
Theories and conspiracies surround the Bible, the lost Gospels of Thomas, and the book of Q. The book of Q (Quelle – a German word meaning source) is a way of explaining the striking verbal agreement between Matthew, Mark and Luke. A German scholar hypothesized the existence of Q. The actual existence of Q is challenged by scholars on the grounds that a Gospel of sayings is not a Gospel at all.
There are other scholars that argue this fact and states that there were no ancient parallels to a Gospel containing only sayings and parables, lacking stories about Jesus. That was until the Gospel of Thomas was discovered, which is a Gospel that contains no accounts of Jesus’ exorcisms, healings, trials, or death. Scholars in Q studies think that the Gospel of Luke best preserves the original Q in order of sayings and parables. But the hypothesis is that Matthew and Luke made use of two written sources, Mark and Q in composing their Gospels and is known as the two source theory.
The four source theory is the common explanation of the relationship found among the Synoptic Gospels. Matthew used the Gospel of Mark, the book of Q, and his own special source called M. Luke used the Gospel of Mark, the book of Q, and he also used another source called L which Matthew didn’t have access to. The material contained in M & L most likely came from oral tradition. The themes of Q are drawn from Jesus’ words of Aramaic being decode into simple text. Like the Gospel of Thomas, the book of Q is derived from parables, aphorisms, and a few actual events recorded. It is a collection or compilation of textural strands evolving within the life of Jesus Christ.
The book of Q was written in Aramaic therefore, it was very intricate and complex to decipher it’s true meaning. Words in Aramaic can have numerous meanings in translation as well as interpretation. Such as the Aramaic word “shema” . It comes from the Semetic root (ShM), it can mean light, name, atmosphere, or sound. If thought in the text of admonition of Jesus to say to pray with or in “shema” then it would mean “in his name”.
These types of devices increase the possible translations and interpretation of any statement given. Most English translations are wrong and very simplified, for instance the King James version of the Bible gives us “Our Father which art in heaven”, when three-hundred years later the New Jerusalem “improved” and shortened very slightly version reads “ Our Father in heaven”.
Some scholars believe in doing this the reader is being robbed in a sense. Most scholars believe that English word can not contain the same spiritual possibilities of original Aramaic.
We depict God as being infinitely distant from humanity or nature, and of sacred as something separate from profane. We have been taught that religion operates by different rules than politics, science, psychology, art, or culture. We are taught to be a God fearing people, as a whole of society. Why should we fear God? One should not need fear, but only have faith. For faith will light the thinnest of wick and put out the most rapid brush fire. Words found within the pages of the Bible have been a firm foundation and a source of strength for many. It has meant comfort and peace for generations upon generations. The power of faith can be manifested through an open heart, willing spirit, and yielding life.
Theories and conspiracies of the Bible have confused and baffled man for centuries. Neither science nor logic can explain the mystery of Jesus. Hence the great Jesus debate. Why is it in the New Testament Jesus leaps from age twelve to age thirty-two? What happen to Jesus those other twenty years? For two decades Jesus Christ was missing. There is no chronicle of events to account for his life during those years. Did Christ just disappear? Then just reappear years later, I think not. Was Jesus the author of the Book of Q? Where did it originate? Why is it in Genesis that Adam was made then Eve? Were they adults when they were created in Eden? If man can conceive and perform evil, and man is made in the image of God does that mean God is partially evil also. Questions that lack answers.
The truth is that no one really knows the truth. What is truth anyway? Is it reality or one’s perception of reality. Truth is a black cavernous room with no door and no windows. Just when you find the door, open it and step through the threshold you find you’ve just stepped into another Obsidian cavern with no door and no windows.
When man finally thinks he has discovered the mystery of the Bible, another obstacle is thrown in his path to corrupt his theories. To find the truth one must search not on pages of parchment and centuries of aged ink, but deep within oneself to the inner secret called faith.
- Douglas-Klotz. The Hidden Gospel: Decoding the Spirit Message of Aramaic Jesus. Wheaton , IL Theosophical Publishing House,1999
- Funk, Robert. The Five Gospels: What did Jesus Really Say?. New York, NY: Poolbridge Press,1993