Lately I have been pondering the Gospel of John and it’s relevance to the Synoptics and something just seems odd that if the message that Jesus claimed divinity and the teaching of the Eucharist are so important to our Faith, why does John have the majority of those teachings? The Synoptic writers surely had access to the same teaching that are found in John, yet, for the most part, they ignored them. Am I the only one who thinks about this? I took Synoptic Gospels in college but was never satisfied with any answers.
Have you researched to see why the synoptic gospels were written and who the intended audience was meant for in comparison to the gospel of St John?
No they did not ignore them…but John is writing rather later and so covers things much that was not covered at length in the others…and he gets more in depth etc.
Also read Pope Benedict XVI work on Jesus of Nazareth.
I think you are forgetting that the Bible needs to be read as a whole, no one book can be used to give us a full teaching of God’s message for salvation. Each one of the Gospels was being written to a particular audience for a particular purpose. If you want a good study on John’s Gospel I would listen to this one:
I also remember reading about this guy named Cerinthus (Gr. K?rinthos), a Gnostic-Ebionite heretic, contemporary with St. John; against whose errors on the divinity of Christ the Apostle is said to have written the Fourth Gospel. Which is why his gospel is more spiritual to prove Jesus divinity.
You’re question really got me thinking…
something just seems odd that if the message that Jesus claimed divinity and the teaching of the Eucharist are so important to our Faith, why does John have the majority of those teachings?
I think you’ve actually proven a lot by this statement. Each writer was writing to a particular audience so why didn’t they write down everything we need to know for salvation? The only answer I can think of is because Jesus never instructed them to write anything down, he said:
18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.”
Everything back then was passed on by oral tradition. The fact that each gospel doesn’t have the fullness of the faith actually speaks volumes in favor of oral tradition being superior to sola scriptura.
Doesn’t Paul talk about taking bread and wine? (don’t have a Bible handy). Paul predates all of the Gospels. I do think the Gospels were each aimed at a specific audience, and had a specific message. Also John is later, when the faith was almost 100 years old.
I see the sacraments as part of tradition, supported by the Gospel to some extent, especially baptism and the Eucharist (marriage maybe). But the Scriptures and Sacraments did come to us in slightly different ways. I have always been very aware of that.
I think you could also say the writers of the earlier gospels, and their audiences were quite familiar with the Christian practice at the time. As such they would have been more familiar with the Eucharistic practice of the church. John wrote in the 90’s or so, and was addressing topics for those not quite as familiar.
As has been stated, John discusses in several places the divinity of Jesus, His relationship to the Father and Holy Spirit, and reasoning as to why those who do not yet believe in Jesus should. As the last of the original Apostles he may have seen the need, or had requested of him, authoritative instruction for those new to the faith. (This is pure speculation on my part btw, but may be one possible reason).
Thanks for the topic.
First, we must understand that every piece of writing, including the Gospels comes to us from within a context. Since John was writing at a time and place when the Gnostics were attacking the Divinity of Christ we should expect more references to that doctrine in John.
However, there are to many references to His Divinity in the synoptics to list here. See
See New Boo**k
Eucharist and Covenant in John’s Last Supper Account
by Msgr. Anthony La Femina; **
Foreword by Cardinal Raymond L. Burke.
See excerpt from this book comparing the Foot washing to the Eucharistic celebration in the synoptics at
Msgr. Anthony La Femina explains why John’s Gospel does not explicitly state the Eucharistic account, and why John is unique in mentioning the Foot Washing.
…not a learned fellow myself… but have you also noticed how only John goes right out and spills the beans?
…'In the Beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."
…talk about not being part of the synoptic Gospels!
…if we follow your inference, would we have only Two Divine Persons? …well, clearly, only John dips into the Holy Spirit as the other Paraclete Who will be Sent to Bring the Church to the Fullness of Truth.
…for that matter, would we have the faculties to Call God Abba?
…and while we are at it… is God really Spirit?–well since only John states it, could it be that the others knew something he didn’t know?
My friend, St. John’s Gospel is full of goodies… the Holy Spirit Inspired four Writers… it does not mean that there should be only one version of Jesus–after all, these Writers are not hollowood’s “masters” that simply copy or remake the same plot over and over again, (dare I state it?) ad nauseam…
…each of the Writers addresses a different audience and from a very specific perspective… St. John was the Disciple that Jesus loved–surely, not all your family members and all of your friends know and understanding you exactly the same way, do they?
…here’s one final oddity… Jesus Calls on Simon to be the foundation rock of His Church; He prays specifically for him so that Satan could not overpower him and He asks that Cephas/Kephas, after his Return to Him, gather the others (as in strengthen them and keep them together)… so one would think the guy to whom Jesus Gives the Keys of the Kingdom, Delegates His Authority, and Calls to strengthen and guide His Church… would be the most prolific Writer in the New Testament (his own Gospel, forty of fifty Epistles…); yet, St. Peter is all but silent… oh, wait, did Jesus not state that the one who is to lead must be the servant of all? God’s Wisdom is beyond our comprehension and our constant *need *to quantify things.
John dosen’t even mention the last supper (this is my body, this is my blood)
I dont really underatand how you come to that conclusion because all the Gospels record the Last Supper. Mt. 26:17-30, Mk. 14:12-26, Lk. 22:7-39 and Jn. 13:1-17:26. They also record the feeding of the multitude which is a symbol of the Eucharist. Matthew 14:13-21, Mark 6:31-44, Luke 9:10-17 and John 6:5-15. The gospel of John has a little more but that is probably because of the fact that he wrote many years later and was well aware of the other 3 Gospels and he filled in the blanks.
But for some reason left out the “this is my body” “this is my blood” part, in the last supper.
Yes as he left out a great deal of other things that were already treated in the other Gospels. While getting into or further into various matters in his.
John develops the theological meanings of the Incarnation and Christ’s words and deeds while the synoptics are mainly about reporting. All are part of the “Deposit of Faith”, of course, which only the Church can accurately interpret from her position of having received the revelation at the beginnings of our faith and then guided by the HS for that very purpose of understanding, preserving, and proclaiming it. Additionally, the Eucharist was treated in virtually the same manner today as it was early on according to the bulk of early Father writings, and especially when compared to the strictly memorial service approach of many Protestant groups.