April 30, 2023

Dear St. Martin of Tours Parish Family & Friends,

Of the four gospels, the first three (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) are called “Synoptic Gospels” because the word synoptic means “taking the same view of things.” There is considerable overlap amongst the first three Gospels, though the more you study them, the more you see that each is really doing its “own thing”.

For instance, the Gospel of Matthew was probably first written in Aramaic and it was written for a predominantly Jewish community. Therefore, its goal is to show Jesus as the New Moses; its genealogy begins with the first Jew, Abraham; and it is structured into five parts, corresponding to the Five Books of Moses (The Torah).

The Gospel of Luke was written for a Greek (non-Jewish) audience (which makes sense, since Luke accompanied St. Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles). It’s purpose is to show that Jesus is the New Adam, the savior of all mankind; so his genealogy begins from Adam, and the structure of the Gospel takes the form of a Greek “apotheosis” story (jt ends with the Ascension).

The Gospel of Mark is a collection of miracle stories, with the purpose of proclaiming the newly established “Kingdom of God,” which is the Catholic Church.

In comparison to the synoptic gospels, the fourth gospel of John is markedly different. Rather than show Jesus as the “Son of Adam” or “Son of Abraham”, in John’s Gospel Jesus is most especially and above all the Son of God. Also, his Gospel emphasizes the transformation that one undergoes when one believes in Jesus, becoming a son of God by adoption, thus acquiring in the order of grace that which Jesus has by nature. This is what the Eastern Church calls “theosis” and the Latin Church calls “sanctification”: But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name,: Who are born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:12-13).

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Father Waldman Signature


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