Gospel or Gospels?

One of the most common problems that a lecturer encounters at the beginning of an undergraduate course on the Gospels concerns the level of students' knowledge. Contrary to popular opinion, on these courses, there is generally a fairly high level of awareness of the Gospel material. The problem lies with the type of knowledge. There is often a tendency to harmonise the Gospels, rather than approaching them as distinct and separate accounts. This distinction reflects the differences between academic and devotional/liturgical approaches.

Have a go at the fun quiz below to see how well you know the Gospels' accounts.


In which Gospel do the following appear?






The story of the Magi

The sermon on the plain
Jesus' teaching "Blessed are the poor in spirit"
The account of Zacchaeus
The blind man at Bethsaida
The teaching of the 'Good Shepherd'
The healing of the ten lepers
The 'Lord's Prayer' which begins with, "Our Father, who is in heaven..."
Accounts of Jesus' childhood

It can be quite surprising that, although the stories and sayings might be very familiar to us, we are often unsure where exactly they come from - other than the general - 'in the Gospels'. 

The consequence of this is that we lose the different emphases and styles of the individual evangelists; the points that they want to make and the lessons they want to teach. 

One of the major reasons why the first Christians adopted four Gospels instead of one (causing them some embarrassment at the time) was because of their individuality.

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