Comparing to Gospels: Mark & John

Last Updated: 20 Apr 2022
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Claudia Corbetta April 5, 2013 THE-307 The Bible is a collection of texts considered sacred in Christianity. Separated in many sections, the Bible includes four gospels by four different authors that tell stories, miracles, parables, teaching and stories telling the world on Jesus’ life. The gospels are named after the four apostils Mark, Matthew, Luke and John. Each gospel has similarities and differences in many aspects, but they all have a common end: they all tell the story of Jesus of Nazareth.

The Gospel of Mark is directed towards gentile Christians, because he has to explain Semitic terms that Christians might not understand. It shows that the author is unfamiliar with the geography and is unfamiliar with Jewish customs. This gospel is also the earliest one written and narrates the Ministry of Jesus, including the baptism all the way to Jesus’ death and resurrection. Mark doesn’t have any information about his life before the baptism or his genealogy, it simply says that he “came out of Galilee”, similar to Johns gospel that mentions he is of Galilean origin.

Throughout Mark’s gospel, Jesus is named the “Son of Man” (MK 2:28). Referring him as and agent of God that will wipe out all evil and Israel will be in power. There are two types of gospels written. There is the high Christology and the low Christology or also named Christology from above and below. Between Marks gospel and Johns gospel they are both written in two types of ways. Mark’s gospel is considered to be a synoptic gospel with a low Christology. This means that the gospel writers begin with the earthly Jesus where his divinity is revealed.

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The gospel shows has examples of Jesus being human and shows emotions that he might feel and mistakes that he might make. An example of this is when Jesus is healing the blind, his humanity is shown here because he tries twice to heal the blind instead of being able to heal him twice (MK 8:22-26). It also means that the life of Jesus of Nazareth is described more through the gospel for example the beginning when the unknown author speaks about the baptism, a human trait that Jesus has; “In those days Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by the Jordan in John.

As soon he came out of the water, he saw the heavens being open and the Spirit descending to him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: You are My beloved son, I take delight in you. ” (MK 1:9-11). John’s gospel on the other hand is more of a high Christology. A high Christology or a Christology from above starts with the heavenly Christ who descends to Earth and is dwelling among us "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God, and through him were all things made. " (JN1: 1-3).

This means that God is everything, and that there was never a time that he existed. He was the beginning and because of him everything was created. Also saying the beginning of the world began with him. In this example, the gospel doesn’t begin with the baptism as mentioned before; it begins with the creation of God onto the world. Also, a Christology from above shows more of the divinity of Jesus rather than the humanity of Jesus. Throughout Marks gospel, Jesus of Nazareth is described as a great teacher and emphasizes the suffering messiah because his community is suffering.

Jesus is also a popular teacher but they are afraid of his power. An example of this is MK 6:1-6, where he is teaching all of his people but they are doubting him and wondering where he got all this information from, but at the same time when he heals the people “marveled because of their disbelief”. The feeding of the five thousand appears in both John’s gospel and Mark’s gospel (JN 6:1-14, MK 6:30-44). The fact that this story is in both gospels shows that Mark’s gospel has miracles as well as John’s and that in both gospels there is a theme of compassion towards the people.

When the story is told in Mark, it is mentioned that the miracles was done by Jesus’ compassion for the crowd and concern that they might faint without food returning home (MK 6:34-44). The story shows Jesus ‘supernaturally’ providing for his followers. In John, he says that this is the work of God (MK 6:29). The ending of both Mark and John’s gospel are different. In Marks Gospel there are two endings MK: 16:1-8 and MK 16:9-20. The first ending shows an empty tomb and the divine messengers while the second ending is a longer ending and the people that saw the empty tomb leave and don’t say anything.

John’s gospels ending is different in JN 30:30-31; "And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name. " As mentioned before, because Johns gospel is a Christology from above, there are no feelings shown especially at the end, it shows more the Divinity of Jesus of Nazareth. As you may notice, even though there are four gospels in the New Testament, there are differences and similarities in all of them.

Not only their authors but the way it was written, the literary devices and the stories that were told. However, if you put both John and Mark together, even though they were written at different times, there is still the completion of the story of Jesus of Nazareth, and if you put all four of them together, the story is more complete than only having two of the gospels. Many might nor fully believe them because there might be some discrepancies between them, but as mentioned before they all have a common end: they all tell the story of Jesus of Nazareth.

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Comparing to Gospels: Mark & John. (2017, May 03). Retrieved from

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