The editions of the Bible and Gospels by various authors differ in many ways, similarly to how the Old Testament and the New Testament present some of the concepts in a different manner. The analysis of these sources enhances the understanding of the changes and their aim in the establishment of the original Christian ideas related to Jesus and God. This paper will analyze the Gospels by Mark and Luke, as well as compare and contrast the two works.
The analysis reveals that Mark tended towards the non-interpretative manner of narration, whereas Luke drew attention to the ideas that later became part of the concept of Christianity. This suggests that Luke may have edited Mark’s Gospel by adding the information that supported the divine origin of Jesus, his connection to God, and described the important spiritual practices of future Christians. Thus, Luke’s edition is important because it stresses the fact that Jesus was more than a prophet; besides, it highlights his divine origin and the deeds that grant forgiveness and salvation.
The analysis of Mark’s and Luke’s Gospels reveals the critical difference between them in terms of narration and depiction of the life of Jesus. The Gospel of Mark clearly describes the events that occurred during the lifetime of Jesus. In his narration, Mark does not use difficult sentences and avoids interpretations of events, focusing on the simple depiction of Jesus’s deeds and his conversations with people. For example, when describing Jesus’s visit to the home of Simon the Leper, he mentions the woman who brought an expensive perfume and sacrificed it to please Jesus. His description of events is rather simple, with no attempts of interpretation or addition of any other information:
“She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head… ” (New International Version, Mark 14:3-9). Similarly, although Mark highlights the role of Jesus, his narration is just a retelling of Jesus’s words, “She has done a beautiful thing to me. The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me” Mark 14:3-9). Further, in the episode where Jesus’s mother and brother come to visit him, Mark does not show any extraordinary connection between Jesus and God or Jesus and his relatives. Jesus says that he is not aware of the exact location of his mother and brothers, which is why he states, “Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother” ( Mark 3:31-35). Thus, Mark avoids any explanation of events, which is why his Gospel is more laconic and easy to comprehend. In addition, Mark does not aim at depicting Jesus as an individual of a divine nature, which is why he describes no miracles or other events that could be interpreted as the approval of his connection to God.
In contrast to Mark’s work, Luke’ Gospel is rich in metaphors and allegories that aim at stating that Jesus is the son of God, who is a supernatural entity that grants salvation if people truly believe in Him. As a result, describing events similar to the ones illustrated in Mark’s Gospel, Luke deliberately enriches them with miraculous details. For example, in the episode in the house of Simon the Leper, the woman brings a jar of perfume, but she does not apply the perfume directly to Jesus. Instead, she bursts into tears that water her legs and hair, and after that, “she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them” (Luke 7:36-50). Moreover, Luke enriches the conversation between Jesus and the Pharisee who doubts the need for Jesus to greet a sinful woman with a metaphoric story about forgiven debts. Thus, Luke claims that sinners will be forgiven if they believe in Jesus. The most important words in this part of Luke’s Gospel are, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace” (Luke 7:36-50). Thus, contrary to Mark’s simple narration, Luke presents Jesus as an individual who grants salvation to those who believe in him. Moreover, modifying the story involving Jesus’s mother and brothers, Luke retells his words in a different manner. In Luke’s Gospel, Jesus says, “My mother and brothers are those who hear God’s word and put it into practice” (Luke 8:19-21). Thus, Luke intensifies the role of the concept of the belief in Christianity. As a result, Luke’s Gospel forms a new vision of the life of Jesus, with the accent on the role of the belief, rituals, and the facts that prove the divine nature of Jesus.
The analysis of the two works shows that Luke may have edited Mark’s Gospel in different ways that enriched its role in the life of Christians because of the way he depicted the life of Jesus. For example, he may have added metaphors, allegories, epithets, and intensifiers that promote the idea that Jesus was more than a human because of his connection to God. For example, according to Muddiman and Barton (257), Jesus’s deeds and words move him “beyond the functional understanding of Jesus’ sonship” in Luke’s Gospel. For instance, in the above-discussed episode with the poor, Luke’s work demonstrates that Jesus is more favorable to underprivileged people, such as the poor and women (Muddiman and Barton 257). Therefore, the possible editions of Mark’s Gospel by Luke may have aimed at improving the understanding of Jesus as a unique person able to present God’s kingdom to anyone who accepts his wisdom.
The analysis of Mark’s and Luke’s Gospels shows that Luke may have edited Mark’s Gospel to enrich it with information that is nowadays accepted as the concepts of Christianity. For example, he may have added the information about Jesus’s attitude towards God and the surrounding people, especially underprivileged classes. It is possible that Luke may have changed Mark’s work by adding symbolic narration, metaphors, dialogues, allegories, and other stylistic means, which enhanced the writing and made it more persuasive.