The Synoptic Gospels presented side-by-side

American Standard Version

Current Translation:

The synoptic gospels consist of books of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. These three gospels contain much of the same material. The books of Matthew and Luke tell nearly all of the stories told in Mark. Matthew and Luke also share several stories that are not in Mark. In addition, all three books are written as if the authors had personally observed all of the events and were reporting what they saw at the time.

The Gospel of John specifically omits much of the material found in the synoptic gospels. It also contains a considerable amount of material that is not found in Matthew, Mark, and Luke. It appears that John wrote his gospel as a supplement to the other gospels. Whether or not John actually had seen them is unknown, but it appears that he at least knew the contents of synoptic gospels. In the areas where John does tell of the same events, he tends to add information that is not in the other gospels. This may primarily be because the Gospel of John was written many years after the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. This is supported by the literary style used in John. The author is obviously telling the narrative looking back on the events in a more reflective style than the synoptic gospels. The contents of John also supports this view. For instance, in John's telling of the Anointing in Bethany (John 12:1-8), John names Mary as the woman who anointed Jesus with nard. The synoptic gospels left the woman nameless, most likely to protect her. By the time that John wrote his gospel, the threat to her for being named would have past.

Insights like these are why it is so important to study all of the gospels together. That is why we've put this site together, so you can study the life of Jesus with each gospel side-by-side.

14. The Olivet Discourse

 

Prediction of the Destruction of the Temple

Matthew 24

1And Jesus went out from the temple, and was going on his way; and his disciples came to him to show him the buildings of the temple. 2But he answered and said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.

Mark 13

1And as he went forth out of the temple, one of his disciples saith unto him, Teacher, behold, what manner of stones and what manner of buildings! 2And Jesus said unto him, Seest thou these great buildings? there shall not be left here one stone upon another, which shall not be thrown down.

Luke 21

5And as some spake of the temple, how it was adorned with goodly stones and offerings, he said, 6As for these things which ye behold, the days will come, in which there shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.

John
 

Signs before the End

Matthew 24

3And as he sat on the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? 4And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man lead you astray. 5For many shall come in my name, saying, I am the Christ; and shall lead many astray. 6And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars; see that ye be not troubled: for these things must needs come to pass; but the end is not yet. 7For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there shall be famines and earthquakes in divers places. 8But all these things are the beginning of travail.

Mark 13

3And as he sat on the mount of Olives over against the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew asked him privately, 4Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign when these things are all about to be accomplished? 5And Jesus began to say unto them, Take heed that no man lead you astray. 6Many shall come in my name, saying, I am he; and shall lead many astray. 7And when ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars, be not troubled: these things must needs come to pass; but the end is not yet. 8For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there shall be earthquakes in divers places; there shall be famines: these things are the beginning of travail.

Luke 21

7And they asked him, saying, Teacher, when therefore shall these things be? and what shall be the sign when these things are about to come to pass? 8And he said, Take heed that ye be not led astray: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am he; and, The time is at hand: go ye not after them. 9And when ye shall hear of wars and tumults, be not terrified: for these things must needs come to pass first; but the end is not immediately. 10Then said he unto them, Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; 11and there shall be great earthquakes, and in divers places famines and pestilences; and there shall be terrors and great signs from heaven.

John
 

Persecutions Foretold

Matthew
Mark 13

9But take ye heed to yourselves: for they shall deliver you up to councils; and in synagogues shall ye be beaten; and before governors and kings shall ye stand for my sake, for a testimony unto them. 10And the gospel must first be preached unto all the nations. 11And when they lead you to judgment, and deliver you up, be not anxious beforehand what ye shall speak: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye; for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Spirit. 12And brother shall deliver up brother to death, and the father his child; and children shall rise up against parents, and cause them to be put to death. 13And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved.

Luke
John
 

The Desolating Sacrilege

Matthew 24

15When therefore ye see the abomination of desolation, which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let him that readeth understand), 16then let them that are in Judaea flee unto the mountains: 17let him that is on the housetop not go down to take out the things that are in his house: 18and let him that is in the field not return back to take his cloak. 19But woe unto them that are with child and to them that give suck in those days! 20And pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on a sabbath: 21for then shall be great tribulation, such as hath not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, nor ever shall be. 22And except those days had been shortened, no flesh would have been saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.

Mark 13

14But when ye see the abomination of desolation standing where he ought not (let him that readeth understand), then let them that are in Judaea flee unto the mountains: 15and let him that is on the housetop not go down, nor enter in, to take anything out of his house: 16and let him that is in the field not return back to take his cloak. 17But woe unto them that are with child and to them that give suck in those days! 18And pray ye that it be not in the winter. 19For those days shall be tribulation, such as there hath not been the like from the beginning of the creation which God created until now, and never shall be. 20And except the Lord had shortened the days, no flesh would have been saved; but for the elect’s sake, whom he chose, he shortened the days.

Luke 21

20But when ye see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that her desolation is at hand. 21Then let them that are in Judaea flee unto the mountains; and let them that are in the midst of her depart out; and let not them that are in the country enter therein. 22For these are days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. 23Woe unto them that are with child and to them that give suck in those days! for there shall be great distress upon the land, and wrath unto this people. 24And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led captive into all the nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.

John
 

False Christs and False Prophets

Matthew 24

23Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is the Christ, or, Here; believe it not. 24For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. 25Behold, I have told you beforehand. 26If therefore they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the wilderness; go not forth: Behold, he is in the inner chambers; believe it not. 27For as the lightning cometh forth from the east, and is seen even unto the west; so shall be the coming of the Son of man. 28Wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.

Mark 13

21And then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is the Christ; or, Lo, there; believe it not: 22for there shall arise false Christs and false prophets, and shall show signs and wonders, that they may lead astray, if possible, the elect. 23But take ye heed: behold, I have told you all things beforehand.

Luke
John
 

The Coming of the Son of Man

Matthew 24

29But immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: 30and then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31And he shall send forth his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

Mark 13

24But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, 25and the stars shall be falling from heaven, and the powers that are in the heavens shall be shaken. 26And then shall they see the Son of man coming in clouds with great power and glory. 27And then shall he send forth the angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.

Luke 21

25And there shall be signs in sun and moon and stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, in perplexity for the roaring of the sea and the billows; 26men fainting for fear, and for expectation of the things which are coming on the world: for the powers of the heavens shall be shaken. 27And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28But when these things begin to come to pass, look up, and lift up your heads; because your redemption draweth nigh.

John
 

The Time of the Coming. the Parable of the Fig Tree

Matthew 24

32Now from the fig tree learn her parable: when her branch is now become tender, and putteth forth its leaves, ye know that the summer is nigh; 33even so ye also, when ye see all these things, know ye that he is nigh, even at the doors. 34Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all these things be accomplished. 35Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. 36But of that day and hour knoweth no one, not even the angels of heaven, neither the Son, but the Father only.

Mark 13

28Now from the fig tree learn her parable: when her branch is now become tender, and putteth forth its leaves, ye know that the summer is nigh; 29even so ye also, when ye see these things coming to pass, know ye that he is nigh, even at the doors. 30Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, until all these things be accomplished. 31Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away. 32But of that day or that hour knoweth no one, not even the angels in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.

Luke 21

29And he spake to them a parable: Behold the fig tree, and all the trees: 30when they now shoot forth, ye see it and know of your own selves that the summer is now nigh. 31Even so ye also, when ye see these things coming to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh. 32Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all things be accomplished. 33Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.

John
 

Conclusion. “Take Heed, Watch!” (According to Mark)

Matthew
Mark 13

33Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is. 34It is as when a man, sojourning in another country, having left his house, and given authority to his servants, to each one his work, commanded also the porter to watch. 35Watch therefore: for ye know not when the lord of the house cometh, whether at even, or at midnight, or at cockcrowing, or in the morning; 36lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. 37And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.

Luke
John
 

Conclusion. “Take Heed, Watch!” (According to Luke)

Matthew
Mark
Luke 21

34But take heed to yourselves, lest haply your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that day come on you suddenly as a snare: 35for so shall it come upon all them that dwell on the face of all the earth. 36But watch ye at every season, making supplication, that ye may prevail to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.

John