- Common Material shared between the gospel accounts
- Uniquely Matthew
- Uniquely Mark
- Uniquely Luke
- Uniquely John
Before I start today I have to report a glitch from yesterday. I noticed as I started to compare the accounts between Gospels and colour them, that there was a segment missing. That was Matthew 26:41-46. It hadn’t been copied over from Robertson’s Harmony. I thought it was funny that this portion was missing because I had thought both Matthew and Mark ran in parallel and only Luke and John were different. So I went back to check and realized that Robertson’s Harmony only includes up to Matthew 26:40. The following verses up to verse 46 are missing. I am not sure at this stage if those verses are missing from the original of Robertson’s Harmony or missing from the E-Sword Version of it. [I will report this glitch to Rick Meyers at E-Sword.] However, I have now corrected it for you, with some difficulty in aligning the added verses. Hence, verse 41 doesn’t start at the left margin but I can’t change it. Computers!
This is a fascinating segment of Scripture or pericope because it is apparent from the above colouring that each writer has a different interpretation of the events. Each has either made alterations to the standard oral tradition or they added material of their own and ignored other parts of the story. All for a purpose. But my focus at this stage is not to analyze Matthew’s account or Mark’s or John’s. I am at this moment concentrating on Luke’s account. What is noteworthy about this segment perhaps more than any other, is how each writer has added their own slant. To get the fullest picture of what went on in the Garden of Gethsemane you have to combine all the accounts. Why don’t you take the time after reading this Gem to do that and then meditate on it and imagine yourself there. Tell me what happened after the event.
I plan in the next Gem to take a more devotional approach to it and point out a few things. it would be good preparation if you meditate on it beforehand.
Notice the following, before I answer some of the questions I posed to you yesterday. I want to draw your attention to what is missing in Luke’s account at this stage. Is that because he didn’t know about these details? I think not. He tells us in his introduction, “I determined after having searched out diligently and followed all things closely in a methodical way, recording in detail in an ordered and accurate way, the account of what happened from the highest to the minutest detail from the beginning to the end.” [IAV – Ian’s Amplified Version constructed from all the versions available in E-Sword and put together following and including the example of the Amplified Version]
I don’t think it is possible for Luke not to have known what the others wrote, with the exception of John, who misses out the detail in favour of his own approach anyway. Luke has deliberately left some pieces of the story out. Let’s examine what is missing from the compiled accounts of the other two synoptic writers.
Luke misses out the fact that they left after they had sung a hymn. Maybe Luke didn’t like music and didn’t want to waste his time with the musical interludes. I don’t think that is true.There are many celebrations and songs recorded in Luke’s Gospel. I think it hinges on the answer to the questions I asked in the previous Gem: Where did Jesus come out from? What is Luke referring to? If you look carefully at the translations, some assumptions are made. The NLT infers He came out from the house. Some other translations state he came out from the city (GNB, GW, IBIS, ITB) and the rest leave it ambiguous. The issue is focused on what is recorded in Matthew 26:30 and Mark 14:26. Notice how Robertson’s Harmony includes these two verses without indicating to you that they have been plucked from another section. There is discontinuity between Matthew 26:30 and 36-40; similarly between Mark 14:26 and 32-42. But this is not made clear. It is clear that they sing a hymn and go out. Luke records He came out and proceeded to the Mount of Olives. Does that infer He came out from the house or out from the city? Note, in Luke there is not a specific comment as to when they leave the upper room, but in Matthew and Mark that moment is made clear. It happened after the song. That is when they left the room. Therefore, all subsequent action takes place outside of the room, including the prediction of the denial. Luke includes more action in his account but makes no specific statement as to when they left the room. Suddenly in 22:39, Luke records they went out to the Mount of Olives. I think it is safe to assume they have been on their way for a while. Which means the discussion about swords took place outside, on the way to “the place”. Therefore the comment in verse 39 infers leaving the city, rather than the room. But for Luke it is not important. His focus is not on chronology, it’s thematic.
Enough of that. (Now where have I heard that before?)
What else has Luke omitted?
Notice there is no mention of Gethsemane in Luke’s account. He only mentions the Mount of Olives. The name of Gethsemane is not important to him, perhaps because it would not mean anything to his Gentile readers. Yet “the place” is important to Luke. So what place does he refer to? Is the place referring to Gethsemane without mentioning the name? I will address that matter tomorrow because it fits with other things I wish to focus on.
Note too, that Luke does not record the separation of the disciples into two groups as so often happens. The total group of eleven disciples is referred to and then eight are told to wait here (Matt 26:36 and Mark 14:32) while Jesus took Peter, James and John with Him. This reference to the inner circle does not appear in Luke.
Neither are the comings and goings referred to, namely the fact that three times Jesus went off to pray by Himself and then came back to the disciples and found them asleep — three times! Not that on the third time they were asleep. They appear to have been awake the third time but asleep on the previous two occasions. And who is it that Jesus is appearing to each of these times? Is it to Peter, James and John or is to all of the disciples? I will leave you to grapple with those issues.
Luke omits much of this detail and focuses on something else entirely. Take note of Luke’s specific focus. Something he has repeated a number of times. Did you find it after my prompt in the previous Gem? Perhaps not. I will return to this matter when the time is right, but at this stage my hour has not yet come.
There is lots of detail to take in here, especially when each gospel writer handles the material in a different way. It is a little complicated. But we need to pay attention to the details, as well as fitting the details into the bigger picture.
Did you bother to find out about the Mount of Olives and the Garden of Gethsemane?
Mount of Olives (Source – E–Sword)
“The mount that is called Olivet” n the King James Version “the mount called (the mount) of Olives”. English Versions of the Bible “Olivet” literally, “olive garden”.Josephus frequently uses the expression “Mount of Olives” but later Jewish writings give the name“Mount of Oil”;In later ages the Mount was termed “the mountain of lights,” because here there used to be kindled at one time the first beacon light to announce throughout Jewry the appearance of the new moon.
The mountain ridge which lies East of Jerusalem leaves the central range near the valley of Sha‛phat and runs for about 2 miles due South. After culminating in the mountain mass on which lies the “Church of the Ascension,” it may be considered as giving off two branches: one lower one, which runs South-Southwest, forming the southern side of the Kidron valley, terminating at the Wādyen Nâr, and another, higher one, which slopes eastward and terminates a little beyond el-‛Azarēyeh (modern Bethany). The main ridge is considerably higher than the site of ancient Jerusalem, and still retains a thick cap of the soft chalky limestone, mixed with flint, known variously asNāri and Ka‛kūlı̄, which has been entirely denuded over the Jerusalem site.
The lofty ridge of Olivet consists of two principal summits and two subsidiary spurs. The northern of the two main summits is that known as Karemeṣ Ṣayyād, “the vineyard of the hunter,” and also as “Galilee,”. It reaches a height of 2, 723 ft. above the Mediterranean and is separated from the southern summit by a narrow neck traversed today by the carriage road. The southern summit, of practically the same elevation, is the traditional “Mount of the Ascension,” and for several years has been distinguished by a lofty, though somewhat inartistic, tower erected by the Russians.
Jesus, the country-bred Galilean, must gladly have taken Himself from the noise and closeness of the over-crowded city. On the lower slopes of Olivet is the GARDEN OF GETHSEMANE – not, as tradition has it, on the inhabited highest summit, but on the secluded eastern slopes “over against Bethany”. The view of Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives must ever be one of the most striking impressions which any visitor to Jerusalem carries away with him.
Gethsemane (Source – E–Sword)
Gethsēmane probably from the Aramaic “oil press”). Mentioned (Mat_26:36; Mar_14:32) as a “enclosed piece of ground,” to which Jesus and the disciples retired after the last supper; in Joh_18:1 it is described as a “garden”, while Lk (Luk_22:40) simply says “place”. From Joh_18:1 it is evident that it was across the Kidron, and from Luk_22:39, that it was on the Mount of Olives. Very possibly (Luk_21:37; Luk_22:39) it was a spot where Jesus habitually lodged when visiting Jerusalem. The owner – whom conjecture suggests as Mary the mother of Mark – must have given Jesus and His disciples special right of entry to the spot.
Tradition, dating from the 4th century, has fixed on a place some 50 yds. East of the bridge across the Kidron as the site. In this walled-in enclosure once of greater extent, now primly laid out with garden beds, by the owners – the Franciscans – are eight old olive trees supposed to date from the time of our Lord.Some 100 yards farther North is the “Grotto of the Agony,” a cave or cistern supposed to be the spot “about a stone’s cast” to which our Lord retired (Luk_22:41). The Greeks have a rival garden in the neighborhood, and a little higher up the hill is a large Russian church. The traditional site may be somewhere near the correct one, though one would think too near the public road for retirement, but the contours of the hill slopes must have so much changed their forms in the troubled times of the first and second centuries, and the loose stone walls of such enclosures are of so temporary a character, that it is impossible that the site is exact. Sentiment, repelled by the artificiality of the modern garden, tempts the visitor to look for a more suitable and less artificial spot farther up the valley. There is today a secluded olive grove with a ruined modern olive press amid the trees a half-mile or so farther up the Kidron Valley, which must far more resemble the original Gethsemane than the orthodox site.
Half of being smart is knowing what you are dumb at.John C. Maxwell
A ship in harbor is safe – but that is not what ships are for.John Shedd
Anyone thinking they’ve got everything under control is either delusional or living a puny loveless existence.Rick Warren
Don’t confuse your path with your destination. Just because it’s stormy now, doesn’t mean you aren’t headed for sunshine.Kaleb Lucman