Week 3 New Testament Journal Mark and Luke Comparison Paper

  • Journals are an opportunity for you to process some of what you are learning and demonstrate to me that you are engaged with the reading material.
  • Please post a minimum 300 word response to each prompt by midnight (Eastern Standard Time) on April 1.
  • Your journal entries should be organized, well-written and proofread. Think of each of these as a very brief paper. You will lose points for misspelled words, lack of capitalization, repetition of ideas, lack of organization, or lack of minimum word count.
  • Note: Your journals should not be personal faith statements but should demonstrate engagement with a biblical text in an academic setting. In other words, do not tell me what you believe; tell me what you are learning.

Journal Instructions

After you have done your textbook reading for this week, read the document provided for Week Three: “Gospel Parallels — Synoptic Accounts of the Agony in the Garden.”

Carefully compare and contrast Mark’s account and Luke’s account. Here are some tips:

  • Print this 2-page document if you possibly can. It will make this assignment MUCH easier if you can write on the paper.
  • First read all the way through Mark’s account (2 pages) — middle column.
  • Then read all the way through Luke’s account (2 pages) — right column.
  • You can read Matthew if you like (left column), though you need not comment on Matthew for this assignment. You will notice that Matthew’s account of this event very closely follows Mark’s version.
  • Now go back to Mark’s account. After each phrase or sentence, look over to the Luke column and compare it with Mark’s.
  • Since we know that Mark wrote first, and Luke is using Mark’s account as a guide, you will want to notice what Luke has changed about Mark’s account. Has he deleted anything? Has he changed any words? Has he added anything?
  • Each time you notice something that Luke has edited from Mark’s version, ask yourself why you think Luke made this change.
  • Consider Mark’s low Christology (emphasis on Jesus’ humanity). Does it seem that Luke is trying to depict Jesus differently? Does Luke’s Christology seem higher (less emphasis on human emotions and struggles; a more “in-control” Jesus)?

For your written assignment (300 words):

  • Describe four differences that you find between Mark’s account and Luke’s account of this scene.
  • When you are describing the differences, reference where you find these in the accounts (e.g., Mark 14:33 or Luke 22:43).
  • Comment on the overall difference you find between the two. What impression do you have from Mark’s account? Are you left with a different impression (a different understanding of Christ and/or the disciples) from Luke’s account?
  • Comment on your experience. Did you find this exercise difficult? Tedious? Interesting?