The four Gospels each cover roughly the same events, but the details differ, as illustrated here.

Leaving aside the difference in similarity between the Synoptic Gospels and John, is there significance to which events are described multiple times? Are multiply-described events more important in some way, or are they areas where multiple tellings are more important to understand the relevant doctrine?

1 Answer 1


Deuteronomy 19:15(NIV)

One witness is not enough to convict anyone accused of any crime or offense they may have committed. A matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.

The above verse is a biblical basis to understand a reason for the different gospels. Also the three first gospels were written with different audience in mind:

Matthew wrote with Jews in mind, in Hebraic with Eusebius, Origen and scholar Jerome to testify this.

Mark wrote with non-Jews in mind. For example Latin terms are used, contains explanations that would not have been necessary for Jewish readers and also explain Semitic terms.

Luke wrote it for Theophilus (Luke 1:1-3)

John provide more information for events that the other Evangelizers don't say something.

  • I didn't know about Mark using Latin terms. Can you cite an example? Commented Sep 8, 2011 at 12:00
  • 2
    @dancek the Greek word "praitorion" is used for the Latin term praetorium. (Mr 15:16) Also, the Greek word kentyrion is employed for the Latin word centurio, an officer in command of a hundred soldiers.—Mr 15:39
    – user14
    Commented Sep 8, 2011 at 12:04
  • Good answer, but could you offer a big more detail regarding the relationship between the Deuteronomy quote and the observation that John describes many events not described in the Synoptic Gospels (and that e.g. the Sermon on the Mount appears only in Matthew). Do you suggest that we take Deuteronomy to mean that the parts in common are in some sense more fundamental or essential than the others?
    – Rex Kerr
    Commented Sep 8, 2011 at 15:44
  • Tongue-in-cheek, I don't think that Paul would accept your premise that Jesus needs to meet a requirement of the O.T. or that we in Christ need to either.
    – Adam Heeg
    Commented Oct 13, 2015 at 20:35

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