Synopses / Parallels



  1. a brief summary or general survey of something. (-as defined by google, et al.)
  2. side-by-side comparison of parallel texts. (-usage in biblical studies)

Online Gospel Synopses and Introductions

  • Net Bible Synopsis of the Four Gospels
    • Gregory White, ed., hosted by PDF download.
  • Gospel Parallels
    • By Michael Marlow. Based on Kurt Aland’s Synopsis, The Synoptic Gospels are arranged in parallel columns, with links to Bible Gateway’s ASV. The Bible Gateway results display all the synoptic material in parallel.
  • The Five Gospel Parallels
    • Hosted by the University of Toronto’s Department for the Study of Religion, John W. Marshall’s synopsis allows you to comapre the gospels not only with each other, but with Jesus-sayings in Paul’s letters, in Thomas, and with Q.
  • The Synoptic Problem Home Page
    • Stephen Carlson’s introduction to the synoptic problem. Though this link takes you to his color-coded Greek synopsis page, the homepage gives an excllent overview of the synoptic problem and its various solutions.
  • Synoptic Gospels Primer
    • Mahlon Smith’s introduction to the Synoptic Problem also contains helpful links for further research, as well as links to his color-coded arrangement of Synoptic material.
  • Major and Minor Agreements
    • Ben Smith’s site “delves deeply into the extant texts of the ancient Judeo-Christian tradition.” The page is a list of the major and minor agreements with respect to the Synoptic Problem.
  • John vs the Synoptics
    • A good primer on the distinctions between John and the Synoptic Gospels. “Versus” is probably too strong a term, but it is concise.
  • Synopsis of the Four Gospels, Revised Standard Version, revised edition, 2010. (amazon book link)
    • Areprint of the famously blue-covered, Kurt Aland-edited Synopsis of the Four Gospels. The academic gold-standard is Kurt Aland’s Greek-English Synopsis- Quattuor Evangeliorum. The benefit of this English reprint, or the original English-Greek hard copy, is the formatting. Whereas the above online gospel synopses will arrange gospel passages side-by-side, Kurt Aland’s books have formatted the passages so that the similarities and distinctions between the gospels are immediately apparent.

Further Reading on the Synoptic Problem

  • Bauckham, Richard. Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: The Gospels as Eyewitness Testimony. 2nd edition. Grand Rapids; Eerdmans, 2017.
  • Baum, A.D., “Synoptic Problem.” Pages 911-919 in Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels. 2nd ed. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 2013.
  • Dunn, James D. G. The Evidence for Jesus. Louisville, KY: Wesminster John Knox, 1986.
  • Henry, Andrew and Ian Mills. “Did the Gospels Copy Each Other” Religion for Breakfast. YouTube., Roberth H. Studying the Synoptic Gospels: Origin and Interpretation. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2011.
  • Society of Biblical Literature, newsletter on the Synoptic Problem:
  • Strauss, Mark L. Four Portraits, One Jesus: A Survey of Jesus and the Gospels. Zondervan: Grand Rapids, 2007.

Other NT Synopses

Old Testament Synopsis

Hardcopies Synopses

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