Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Passion Compare and Contrast

1. The Last Supper in Mark and John.

In both versions, Jesus eats dinner with his disciples and he seems like he knows that he is going to die in both versions of the story. He prepares his disciples for his death in different ways, in the Gospel of Mark, he creates a covenant with them by breaking bread and drinking wine which are supposed to represent his body and blood. In the Gospel of John, he washes his disciples feet, and prepares them for his death by telling them that he is going somewhere and they cannot follow him. The Gospel of John has a much longer description of the last supper, and includes when Jesus tells Peter that he will deny him three times that night, while Mark includes that part in the Agony in the Garden section of The Passion. Also, the version of the last dinner in John includes Jesus telling Judas that he will betray him, but in Mark Judas is not mentioned until Jesus is arrested. Although they are very different, both versions of the last supper have the same theme of Jesus preparing his disciples and making a covenant or general agreement with them to spread the kingdom of God.

2. Jesus’ Death in Mark and Matthew

The death of Jesus in Mark and Matthew are very similar and only differ in a few details. Each begins by saying that three hours passed and that the entire area was dark. After the ninth hour, Jesus asks God why He has forsaken him, and is given vinegar to drink by the people in the crowd. Then in both versions of his death, he breathes in and cries and then dies. Both versions describe what happens after Jesus dies, Mark only talks about how there was an earthquake that tore the curtain in the temple. Matthew gives more detail about the affects of the earthquake, saying that people rose from their graves and that it frightened a lot of the people in Jerusalem. They are both very similar in their description of what happens after he dies, when the centurion who was watching him says that he really was the son of God, and afterward when women who had followed Jesus were watching. Both versions were very similar and only had a few differences in details, which may mean that his death was well documented, or the story did not change through oral tradition between when the two gospels were written.

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