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Introduction: The Parallel Gospels In Chronological Order




Week One of Twelve

Matthew 1:2; Luke 1:2; John 1:1-18

Week Two of Twelve

Mathew 3:4; 12:1-32; Mark 1:3; Luke 3:6; John 1:19-51; 2:5

Week Three of Twelve

Matthew 5:7

Week Four of Twelve

Matthew 8:1-13; 11; 12:33-50; Luke 7; 8:19-21; 11

Week Five of Twelve

Matthew 8:14-10:42; 13; Mark 4:5; Luke 8:1-18; 22-56

Week Six of Twelve

Matthew 14:1-15:31; Mark 6:7; Luke 9:1-17; John 6

Week Seven of Twelve

Matthew 15:32-18:9; Mark 8:9; Luke 9:18-62

Week Eight of Twelve

Matthew 18:10-35; Luke 10:1-12:12; John 7:10

Week Nine of Twelve

Matthew 19:20; Mark 10; Luke 12:13-19:27

Week Ten of Twelve

Matthew 21:25, Mark 11:13; Luke 19:28-21:38, John 11:1-13:17

Week Eleven of Twelve

Matthew 26:1-46; Mark 14:1-42; Luke 22:1-46; John 13:18-17:26

Week Twelve of Twelve

Matthew 26:47-28:20; Mark 14:43-16:20; Luke 22:47-24:53; John 18:1-21:25


The following is a chronological parallel study of the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. The text is grouped into twelve weeks of Sunday - Saturday studies, making it useful for personal daily study or easily adaptable for group weekly discussion and sharing.

Each of the four Gospels is written to a different audience and is intended to address a different element of the Good News of the miraculous birth, life ministry, and sacrificial death of the Son of man, Jesus. Our purpose is to identify the vital threads of both the unique and common themes running concurrently and chronologically through Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

Matthew writes a first-hand account of his experiences and observations while following Jesus, primarily to a Hebrew audience. Mark also writes a first-hand account, primarily to a Greek Gentile audience, to explain the Good News. Luke's text is assembled from collected accounts of the experiences and observations of others, and he primarily writes to non-Jews to clarify and organize the Good News. John writes a first-hand account, primarily to teach and equip Believers for evangelism of the Good News.

Our studies are in common with the motivations of Luke: Prompted by the Lord God, he set out to make the Good News clear and thoroughly documented, that we may "know for certain" (Luke 1:4) the things which we are taught. We have set ourselves about a similar task, that of bringing Truth in plainspoken words and an orderly manner to a new generation; Jesus instructed us to encourage and to teach one another. The reader may find it valuable to visit to read the NET Bible translator's notes, which contain a wealth of perspective.

The context of the Gospels within the larger Biblical text.

Malachi, the last Book in the Old Testament Canon, relates in chronological order the events which bring the Old Testament to a conclusion. Malachi reminds Israel how God has set her apart and sustained her. God's faithfulness was disrespected by his people through their sacrilege of priestly service and message - along with rebellion, resistance, and arrogant self-sufficiency. The Word of the Lord concludes with a warning of impending judgment together with the hope of a redeemer, "the sun of righteousness" (Mal. 4:2).

A great deal of time passed in history from the Book of Malachi to the earliest writings of the New Testament. The Gospels pick up history as it transitions from the Old Testament into the New Testament and merges elements of Old Testament Law and New Testament Grace.

It is important that the Bible reader have clear understanding of the meaning of terms the Lord God uses in His Word. The NET translation team and others have wrestled with the meaning of Biblical words in their original context and language. Some terms have historically escaped precise rendering as they were transitioned from the ancient Hebrew or Greek original text-sources to early-English, and later to modern English. Many helpful tools are available to aid in understanding the intended meaning of Biblical words, for example:

Naves Topical Bible Dictionary

Collaborative International Dictionary of English Bible Dictionary

NET Bible Word Study (

One of the most-valuable tools for clarity is discovered while reading some of the 60,000 translator's notes accompanying the NET Bible, that is, the full context of the Biblical text. When in doubt one may begin with the certainty that no text may contradict any other text. This self-clarifying principle is as unique to the Word of God as it is unique to His perfection.

All Bible text is from the NET unless otherwise indicated -

Note 1: These Studies often rely upon the guidance of the NET Translators from their associated notes. Careful attention has been given to cite that source where it has been quoted directly or closely paraphrased. Feedback is encouraged where credit has not been sufficiently assigned.

Note 2: When NET text is quoted in commentary and discussion all pronouns referring to God are capitalized, though they are lower-case in the original NET text.

Commentary text is from David M. Colburn, D.Min. unless otherwise noted.

Copyright © 2012 by David M. Colburn. This is a BibleSeven Study –“The Parallel Gospels in Chronological Order” – Week 1 of 12 - prepared by David M. Colburn and edited by Merrilee Kell Clark for in June of 2012. This text may be used for non-profit educational purposes only, with credit; all other usage requires prior written consent of the author.

Related Topics: Devotionals, Curriculum

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