I'm reading the New Testament and have noticed Matthew and Mark are almost the same. Why is this?

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    I think you should see this and this. They should answer your question, so I'm going to mark this as a duplicate of the first one.
    – user3961
    Aug 13, 2014 at 23:57
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    Welcome to the site! This next has nothing to do with the quality of your question, it's just standard to help new visitors avoid misunderstanding the site (as I did at first.) As a new visitor, I'd recommend checking out the following two posts, which are meant to help newcomers "learn the ropes": help page and How we are different than other sites? Aug 14, 2014 at 0:09
  • You may want to read about Textual Criticism of the New Testament. Most common theories suggest that either one referenced the other or they both referenced a lost gospel, "Q". With that said, your question is better fitting (but still needs reworded) to ask at hermeneutics.stackexchange.com Aug 14, 2014 at 14:06
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    And just for fun, please consider reading this regarding the old testament Aug 14, 2014 at 14:09

1 Answer 1


The similarities of the books of Matthew and Mark, probably has more to do with the time frame in which they were written and the people to whom the books were written; than any collusion by the authors.

The books of both Matthew and Mark were written during the early church period and were probably mostly complete before the Apostles went separate ways. These books were written to basically the same audience, and during that time frame there was most likely a rehashing of the events over the three years of Jesus ministry. The fact that these were basically uneducated Galileans, almost ensures that they would have devised some means of remembering those things discussed and may even be the beginnings of icons in the Orthodox Church.

If we take a look at Acts we can ascertain that there was a period of several years before the core of the church began to disperse since most of them were expecting Jesus to return during their lifetime.

Of the three synoptic only Matthew and Mark were written by Apostles who were present to witness the events, and therefore their accounts coincide; it would be strange if their accounts differed greatly. These two Gospels were written to people who would be familiar with Jewish history, however Luke's Gospel was written to Gentiles, and therefore had to be more inclusive than those. That is apparently why Luke begins with the conception and ministry of John the Baptist.

The Gospel of John the Apostle was written as a witness to Jesus Deity, while the Synoptic Gospels were written to show the humanity of Jesus.

Hope this helps.

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