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The Storytellers - The Men Who Wrote the Gospels

            The word "synoptic"" is defined as "presenting or taking the same or common view ", or when taken from the literal Greek translation, it means "seen together"." The first three gospels of the New Testament of the Bible, the Gospels according to Matthew, Mark, and Luke, are referred to as the "Synoptic Gospels " because they each contain many of the same stories, oftentimes having similar wording and being in same sequence as each other. Although the gospels are so identical in more than just a few ways, they present the problem of which gospel was the first to be recorded and what the possible sources that each gospel depends on are, called the "Synoptic Problem ". There are several hypotheses as to which gospel was written first, some advocating that Matthew was written first, called Matthaean Priority Theory, or Luke was written first, called Lucan Priority Theory, and that the others used one of them as a main source. However, the most widely accepted theory, named the Four-Source Hypothesis, comes from Marcan Priority and supports that Mark was the first gospel written, making it, along with three other sources, called Q, M, and L, the basis for the stories in Matthew and Luke. One of the stories that occur in Mark that also appears in Matthew and Luke is the Passion and crucifixion of Jesus Christ. However, due to thematic and focal differences, there are changes in perspectives and emphases in each of the gospels. Matthew's emphasis on Jesus being the innocent Jewish Messiah and the fulfilment of Jewish Scripture, and Luke's emphasis on Jesus being a prophet that came to bring salvation and forgiveness among all people can be seen in a comparison of the changes that Matthew and Luke make in their respective use of Mark's story about Jesus being the misunderstood and suffering son of God.
             One story that is present in the triple tradition, the material that is incorporated among all three of the synoptic gospels, is the Passion and crucifixion of Jesus.

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