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Unique passges found in the Synoptic Gospels

Julian Spriggs M.A.

This page gives a list of the passages which are only found in one of the three synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark or Luke).

Passages unique to Matthew’s Gospel

Birth narrative
Genealogy (1:2-17)
Birth of Jesus and Joseph’s dream (1:18-25)
Visit of magi (2:1-12)
Flight to Egypt, Herod killing infants, and return to Nazareth (2:13-23)

John objecting to Jesus being baptised (3:14-15)

Two blind men healed (9:27-31)
Peter walking on sea (14:28-31)
Coin found in mouth of fish for temple tax (17:24-27)

Fulfilment claims
Ministry in Galilee fulfilling prediction of Isaiah (4:13-16)
Healing fulfilling Isaiah’s prediction of servant (12:18-21)
Lack of understanding of parables fulfilling Isaiah (13:14-15)
King coming on donkey fulfilling Zechariah (21:5)

Wheat and weeds (13:24-30), and interpretation (13:36-43)
Hidden treasure and pearl (13:44-45)
The net (13:47-50)
Trained scribe like a householder (13:51-52)
The unmerciful servant (18:23-35)
Labourers in the vineyard (20:1-16)
The two sons (21:28-32)
Marriage of king's son, and man with no wedding garment (22:1-14)
Wise and foolish virgins (25:1-13)
The talents (25:14-30) (similar to parable of pounds in Lk 19:11-27)
The sheep and the goats (25:31-46)

Jesus' Teaching
The sermon on the Mount (ch 5-7) - (some is parallelled in Luke ch 6)
Disciples not to go to Gentiles but to lost sheep of Israel (10:5-8)
"Come to me all you who labour ..." (11:28-30)
Profaning Sabbath, greater than temple (12:5-7)
Peter the rock, keys to kingdom of heaven (16:17-19)
Rebuking brother, binding on earth, two or three agreeing and promise of presence (18:16-20)
Eunuchs for sake of kingdom (19:10-12)
Kingdom taken from you and given to others (21:43)
Woes to Pharisees (ch 23)

Incidents during passion and resurrection
Judas receiving and returning thirty pieces of silver, and his suicide (26:15, 27:3-10)
Pilate's wife's dream (27:19)
Pilate washing his hands (27:24-25)
Saints raised from tombs (27:52-53)
Sanhedrin requesting guards to watch tomb (27:62-64)
Earthquake at resurrection, angel appearing to guards (28:2-4)
Women worshipping risen Jesus (28:9-10)
Bribing of guards, claim that disciples stole body (28:11-15)
Command to baptise and great commission (28:16-20)

Passages unique to Mark’s Gospel

Over 90% of Mark is included in Matthew, and about 50% is included in Luke, so there are only very few unique passages in Mark’s Gospel.

The beginning of the good news (1:1)
Jesus being with the wild beasts during temptations (1:13)

Healing of deaf and mute man in Decapolis (7:31-37)
Healing of blind man in Bethsaida in two stages (8:22-26)

Conversation with father of demonised boy throwing himself in to fire (9:21-24)
Boy being like a corpse and people thinking he was dead (9:26-27)
This kind of demon can only come out through prayer (9:29)

Other incidents during ministry
Calling disciples to mountain to preach, and cast out demons (3:13-15)
Jesus’ family trying to restrain him (3:20-21)

Eye-witness details
Jesus being asleep on a cushion during storm (4:38)
Jesus saying, “Peace, Be still” to the storm (4:39)
Details about strength of Gerasene demoniac (5:4-5)
Jesus being aware that power had gone from him when healing woman with bleeding (5:30)
Departure to Tyre, and entering a house, not wanting anyone to know he was there (7:24)
Jesus being indignant when disciples sent children away (10:14)

Parable of seed growing secretly (4:26-29)
Analogy of man going on journey and leaving doorkeeper to be on watch (13:34)

Teaching and comments
Sabbath made for man, not man for the Sabbath, so Son of Man is lord of Sabbath (2:27)
James and John being given the name “Boanerges", meaning "sons of Thunder” (3:17)
Everyone salted with fire. Salt losing its saltiness - be at peace (9:48-49)
Blessings include persecutions for those who give up everything (10:30)
Scribe’s reply to Jesus about importance of loving God and neighbour (12:32-34)

Incidents during passion and resurrection
The naked young man running away (14:51-52)
Pilate asking whether Jesus was already dead (15:44)
Question about who will roll away the stone (16:3)
Disciples afraid and not telling anyone (16:8b)

Passages unique to Luke's Gospel

The majority of the unique passages are found in the following three sections: the Birth Narratives (ch 1-2), the 'Travel Narrative' (ch 9-19), and the Resurrection appearances (ch 24)

Introduction and birth narratives
Dedication to Theophilus (1:1-4)
Prediction of John's birth (1:5-25)
Prediction of Jesus's birth (1:26-38)
Mary visits Elizabeth (1:39-45)
Song of Mary (Magnificat) (1:46-56)
Birth and naming of John (1:57-66)
Song of Zechariah (1:67-80)
Angels appear to shepherds (2:8-20)
Circumcision and dedication (2:21-24)
Simeon's song and prophecy (2:25-35)
Anna's thanksgiving (2:36-38)
Return to Nazareth and Jesus being found in temple (2:39-52)

Dating of John's ministry (3:1-2)
Genealogy traced from Adam (3:23-38)
John's instructions to special groups (3:10-14)

Miraculous catch of fish (5:1-11)
Raising of widow of Nain's son (7:11-17)
Healing of woman with spirit of infirmity (13:10-17)
Healing of man with dropsy (14:1-6)
Healing of ten lepers (17:11-19)

Encounters with individuals
Woman anoints Jesus's feet, two debtors (7:36-50)
Mary and Martha (10:38-42)
Zacchaeus (19:1-10)

Other incidents during ministry
Claiming fulfilment of Isaiah in synagogue (4:17-21)
Women who helped Jesus (8:1-3)
Rejection by Samaritans (9:51-56)
Mission and return of seventy (10:1-12, 17-20)
Lament over Jerusalem (19:39-44)
Summary of days in Jerusalem (21:37-38)

Good Samaritan (10:25-37)
Friend at midnight (11:5-8)
Barren fig tree (13:6-9)
Invitation to banquet, and places of honour (14:7-14)
Lost coin (15:8-10)
Prodigal son (15:11-32)
Unjust steward (16:1-9)
Rich man and Lazarus (16:19-31)
Unjust judge (18:1-8)
Pharisee and tax-collector (18:9-14)
Parable of the pounds (19:11-27) (similar to parable of talents, in Mk 25:13-30)

Teaching and comments
Proverb: physician heal yourself (4:23)
Faith of widow and of Namaan (4:25-30)
The woes (6:24-26)
Conversation with Moses and Elijah about his departure at transfiguration (9:31-32)
Second objection to following - to say farewell (9:61-62)
True blessedness (11:27-28)
True cleansing (11:37-41)
Repentance or destruction (13:1-5)
Who are in the kingdom? (13:22-30)
That fox Herod (13:31-33)
Two examples of counting cost (14:28-33)
Covetous hypocrisy of Pharisees (16:14-15)
Worthless slaves (17:7-10)
Kingdom in midst of you (17:20-21)
Example of judgement on Sodom, Lot’s wife (17:28-32)
Warning at end of Olivet discourse (21:34-36)
Eating Passover before suffering (22:15-16)

Incidents during passion and resurrection
The two swords (22:35-38)
Accused of forbidding paying tax to Caesar, Pilate’s first declaration of innocence (23:2,4-5)
Jesus before Herod (23:6-12)
Pilate’s second declaration of innocence (23:13-16)
Daughters of Jerusalem weeping (23:27-31)
Two criminals on cross, one rebukes, one repents (23:39-43)
"Father, into your hand I commit my spirit" (23:46)
Women preparing spices, and resting on Sabbath (23:56)
Centurion’s declaration of innocence (34:47-48)
Apostles not believing women’s report of resurrection (24:10-11)
The road to Emmaus, appearance to disciples, and teaching on fulfilment (24:13-49)
Ascension (24:50-53)

The Bible

Pages which look at issues relevant to the whole Bible, such as the Canon of Scripture, as well as doctrinal and theological issues. There are also pages about the Apocrypha, Pseudepigrapha and 'lost books' of the Old Testament.

Also included are lists of the quotations of the OT in the NT, and passages of the OT quoted in the NT.

Old Testament Overview

This is a series of six pages which give a historical overview through the Old Testament and the inter-testamental period, showing where each OT book fits into the history of Israel.

New Testament Overview

This is a series of five pages which give a historical overview through the New Testament, focusing on the Ministry of Jesus, Paul's missionary journeys, and the later first century. Again, it shows where each book of the NT fits into the history of the first century.

Introductions to Old Testament Books

This is an almost complete collection of introductions to each of the books in the Old Testament. Each contains information about the authorship, date, historical setting and main themes of the book.

Introductions to New Testament Books

This is a collection of introductions to each of the 27 books in the New Testament. Each contains information about the authorship, date, historical setting and main themes of the book.

Old Testament History

Information about the different nations surrounding Israel, and other articles concerning Old Testament history and the inter-testamental period.

New Testament History

Articles which give additional information about the history and culture of the first century, giving helpful background knowledge for the Gospels and Paul's travels.

Old Testament Studies

A series of articles covering more general topics for OT studies. These include a list of the people named in the OT and confirmed by archaeology. There are also pages to convert the different units of measure in the OT, such as the talent, cubit and ephah into modern units.

More theological topics include warfare in the ancient world, the Holy Spirit in the OT, and types of Jesus in the OT.

Studies in the Pentateuch (Gen - Deut)

A series of articles covering studies in the five books of Moses. Studies in the Book of Genesis look at the historical nature of the early chapters of Genesis, the Tower of Babel and the Table of the Nations.

There are also pages about covenants, the sacrifices and offerings, the Jewish festivals and the tabernacle, as well as the issue of tithing.

Studies in the Old Testament History Books (Josh - Esther)

Articles containing studies and helpful information for the history books. These include a list of the dates of the kings of Israel and Judah, a summary of the kings of the Northern Kingdom of Israel, and studies of Solomon, Jeroboam and Josiah.

There are also pages describing some of the historical events of the period, including the Syro-Ephraimite War, and the Assyrian invasion of Judah in 701 BC.

Studies in the Old Testament Prophets (Is - Mal)

Articles containing studies and helpful information for the OT prophets. These include a page looking at the way the prophets look ahead into their future, a page looking at the question of whether Satan is a fallen angel, and a page studying the seventy weeks of Daniel.

There are also a series of pages giving a commentary through the text of two of the books:
Isaiah (13 pages) and Daniel (10 pages).

New Testament Studies

A series of articles covering more general topics for NT studies. These include a list of the people in the NT confirmed by archaeology.

More theological topics include the Kingdom of God and the Coming of Christ.

Studies in the Four Gospels (Matt - John)

A series of articles covering various studies in the four gospels. These include a list of the unique passages in each of the Synoptic Gospels and helpful information about the parables and how to interpret them.

Some articles look at the life and ministry of Jesus, including his genealogy, birth narratives, transfiguration, the triumphal entry into Jerusalem, and the seating arrangements at the Last Supper.

More theological topics include the teaching about the Holy Spirit as the Paraclete and whether John the Baptist fulfilled the predictions of the coming of Elijah.

Studies in the Book of Acts and the New Testament Letters

A series of articles covering various studies in the Book of Acts and the Letters, including Paul's letters. These include a page studying the messages given by the apostles in the Book of Acts, and the information about the financial collection that Paul made during his third missionary journey.

More theological topics include Paul's teaching on Jesus as the last Adam, and descriptions of the church such as the body of Christ and the temple, as well as a look at redemption and the issue of fallen angels.

There are a series of pages giving a commentary through the text of five of the books:
Romans (7 pages), 1 Corinthians (7 pages), Galatians (3 pages), Philemon (1 page) and Hebrews (7 pages)

Studies in the Book of Revelation

Articles containing studies and helpful information for the study of the Book of Revelation and topics concerning Eschatology (the study of end-times).

These include a description of the structure of the book, a comparison and contrast between the good and evil characters in the book and a list of the many allusions to the OT. For the seven churches, there is a page which gives links to their location on Google maps.

There is a page studying the important theme of Jesus as the Lamb, which forms the central theological truth of the book. There are pages looking at the major views of the Millennium, as well as the rapture and tribulation, as well as a list of dates of the second coming that have been mistakenly predicted through history.

There is also a series of ten pages giving a detailed commentry through the text of the Book of Revelation.

Inductive Bible Study

These are a series of pages giving practical help showing how to study the Bible inductively, by asking a series of simple questions. There are lists of observation and interpretation questions, as well as information about the structure and historical background of biblical books, as well as a list of the different types of figures of speech used in the Bible. There is also a page giving helpful tips on how to apply the Scriptures personally.

Types of Literature in the Bible

These are a series of pages giving practical help showing how to study each of the different types of book in the Bible by appreciating the type of literature being used. These include historical narrative, law, wisdom, prophets, Gospels, Acts, letters and Revelation.

It is most important that when reading the Bible we are taking note of the type of literature we are reading. Each type needs to be considered and interpreted differently as they have different purposes.

Geography and Archaeology

These are a series of pages giving geographical and archaeological information relevant to the study of the Bible. There is a page where you can search for a particular geographical location and locate it on Google maps, as well as viewing photographs on other sites.

There are also pages with photographs from Ephesus and Corinth.

Early Church Fathers

These are a series of pages giving biographical information about some of the more significant early church fathers, such as Irenaeus, Origen and Tertullian, as well as some important groups and events in the first centuries of the church.

Artifacts in the British Museum relevant to Biblical studies

These are a series of pages describing artifacts in each gallery of the British Museum, which have a connection with the Bible.

Biblical Archaeology in Museums around the world

A page with a facility to search for artifacts held in museums around the world which have a connection with the Bible. These give information about each artifact, as well as links to the museum's collection website where available showing high resolution photographs of the artifact.

There is also page of photographs from the Israel Museum in Jerusalem of important artifacts.

Historical documents

These are a series of pages containing historical documents which give helpful information for Biblical studies. These include Hittite suzerainty treaties with a similar structure to the Book of Deuteronomy, different lists of the New Testament books and quotations from Josephus and other ancient writers.

Life Questions

These are a series of pages looking at some of the more difficult questions of Christian theology, including war, suffering, disappointment and what happens to those who have never heard the Gospel.

How to Preach

These are a series of pages giving a practical step-by-step explanation of the process of preparing a message for preaching, and how to lead a small group Bible study.

Information for SBS staff members

Two pages particularly relevant for people serving as staff on the School of Biblical Studies (SBS) in YWAM. One gives helpful instruction about how to prepare to teach on a book in the SBS. The other gives a list of recommended topics which can be taught about for each book of the Bible.