The Bible is the fundamental book of Christianity. It contains an account of God’s relationship with humanity and His action in the world. It is inspired and inerrant, implying that it comes from God and has no errors. The four gospels are the cornerstone of the Bible, as they tell a story of Jesus, the Son of the living God, who redeems humanity by dying on the cross for our sins. However, at times, the gospel writers tell a slightly different story. In this essay, I will discuss why Luke might have edited the Gospel of Mark.

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Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John do not give an exhaustive story of the life of Jesus. John explicitly states it in his gospel: “Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written” (New International Version, John 21:25). Each writer has a slightly different narrative and includes details that are relevant to their audience.

Thus, it is very important to gain a better understanding of Luke’s background. He is commonly referred to as the author of the book of Acts as well as the Gospel of Luke. Morris suggests that he is the only Gentile to write a book in the Bible. In addition, some believe that he is the only scientist among the gospel writers, which might explain his fascination to establish the absolute truth of Jesus’s life and work (Morris).

Luke 7:36-50 vs Mark 14:3-9. These verses tell the story of Jesus’ anointing by a woman. Whereas the other three gospels link anointing to the Jesus’ passion and disciples’ complaint about the waste of money, the gospel of Luke does not include this information (Muddiman and Barton). On the other hand, Luke is the only gospel writer who calls the woman ‘a sinner’. Furthermore, unlike Mark, Luke also includes the Pharisee’s reaction and the parable that Jesus tells to teach his listeners a lesson.

Luke is often referred to as the gospel of the underprivileged (Muddiman and Barton). He is a Gentile himself, so it is very important for him to include that Jesus loves everyone, especially those who are mistreated in the society. Muddiman and Barton inform that Luke focuses a lot on the importance of women in the gospel. Thus, it is important for him to mention that sinful women are forgiven as well. The second part of the story includes a parable that Jesus tells Simon. It is meant to teach a lesson on God’s unconditional love. This woman shows the response to acceptance and the lack of condemnation that she finds in Jesus (Muddiman and Barton). She does not love because she has been forgiven. The woman loves because Jesus accepts her the way she is. It is exactly this love that receives forgiveness for sins (Muddiman and Barton).

Luke 8:19-21 vs Mark 3:31-35. These verses in the Gospel of Luke and the Gospel of Mark are quite similar. However, Luke mentions that Jesus’ mother and brothers couldn’t get near him because of the crowd. In addition, Luke’s narrative is significantly shorter and straight to the point. For example, he does not include the rhetorical question that Jesus poses in the Gospel of Mark.

The reason why Luke makes these changes might be explained by his intention to emphasize the message that might go unnoticed if he included additional details. It is important for Luke to show that the good news of Jesus extends to everyone, without any preference or exception. In addition, Muddiman and Barton suggest that “the most striking factor in Luke’s teaching on discipleship is that it involves a total reversal of current practice and values” (p. 258). Thus, in this narrative, Jesus might have given his followers an example of what it means to leave everything behind, not just material possessions, to become a true follower of Christ.

In conclusion, this essay presents my perspective on the differences between certain sections in the Gospel of Mark and the Gospel of Luke. It is important to keep in mind the background of every gospel writer, as it has a critical impact on the selection of details that they choose to address.