January 30 – Parable of Sower

The Gospels and Why They Differ Sometimes

Interesting (though not authoritative) information about the Gospels is contained in commentary in The New Testament, New Catholic Version, Illustrated St. Joseph Edition . Mark is generally believed to have been written first, about 70 AD and Matthew and Luke a couple of years later. Mark is seen as a source for both Matthew and Luke since “…of the 661 verses in Mark, 600 are found in Matthew and 350 in Luke.” (Page 17 of the NT referenced above.) According to that same source, both Matthew and Luke, “complete or correct his (Mark’s) Gospel in light of information available to them and according to the needs of their readers.” (Page 68)

One of the simplest edits St. Matthew made to the verses taken from St. Mark’s Gospel is frequent, but not always, use of “Kingdom of Heaven” instead of “Kingdom of God.” It is generally believed that he did that because he wrote for a Jewish audience that did not speak the name of God. The phrase “Kingdom of God” appears 31 times in Luke (written to a gentile audience), 14 times in Mark, and only 5 times in Matthew. For example, from the Parable of the sower:

Mark 4:11 – He answered them, “The mystery of the kingdom of God has been granted to you.”
Matthew 13:11 – He said to them in reply, “Because knowledge of the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven has been granted to you, but to them it has not been granted.

Given that brief introduction to one aspect of comparison of the Gospels, a side by side look at the same parable as recorded in Mark and in Matthew may be interesting for reflection and meditation.

For reference, here is how the NABRE translates Isaiah 6:9-10:

Isaiah 6:9-10 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

And he replied: Go and say to this people:
Listen carefully, but do not understand!
Look intently, but do not perceive!
Make the heart of this people sluggish,
dull their ears and close their eyes;
Lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears,
and their heart understand,
and they turn and be healed.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s