#4 - Matthew
You may be surprised to see Matthew as the worst gospel. However, based on textual evidence and historic data, it is evident that Matthew got much of the information and stories for his gospel directly from the gospel of Mark, which was written first. On top of that, Matthew completely failed to site any sources and give credit to the original author for his work. This kind of plagiarism and academic dishonesty is not to be tolerated in a book where the main focus is Jesus, an honest and faithful guy calling his disciples (including Matthew) to be more like him. Understandably, Matthew used to be a tax collector and effectively lied and cheated people for a living. They say old habits die hard, so we may still choose to show grace in accepting his gospel as one of the chosen 4, yet be sure to approach it with caution as it is important to understand that most of his work is not even his own.
#3 - Luke
In all honesty, we're only about 75% sure that we understand what Luke's gospel was about, given that he was a doctor and the whole gospel was written with doctors handwriting. Nevertheless, the parts that we do understand were pretty good. We tried reaching out to Dr. Luke for some additional comments but the waiting time for an appointment was several weeks and walk ins are just not an option. Similarly to Matthew, Luke copied a lot of stories from Mark. However, at least Luke had the decency to change a few things and add some details. For example:
“...he entered the synagogue, and a man was there with a withered hand.”
Mark 3 : 1
“...he entered the synagogue... and a man was there whose right hand was withered.”
Luke 6 : 6 ESV
We know from this text that Luke was a doctor, because he was able to add the medical detail that it was in fact the right hand of the man that was withered, which not every common man would be able to identify. For such intellectual implementation, Luke's gospel secures it's spot as the third best gospel.
#2 - John
Author of some of the most popular verses such as John 3:16, and the life changing John 11:35 (“Jesus Wept”), John captivates his audience with a meaningful and engaging gospel that earns him the #2 spot. Though the spin-off series called Revelation didn’t fare as well with his contemporary audience, the gospel of John is a classic with a reputation that precedes it. Unlike Matthew and Luke, John does not resort to plagiarism and provides a unique and different perspective on Jesus' ministry. Much of the gospel is focused on Jesus' teachings and what it means to have a relationship with God. These meaningful contributions result in a solid gospel, worthy of second place.
#1 - Mark
Unlike this blog post, Mark's gospel is short and to the point. He wastes no time with boring genealogies and gets straight the point with Jesus' baptism. Mark is also the first gospel that was written, before gospel writing was even popular. Nevertheless, the gospel was quickly awarded a #1 spot on the Greco-Roman Times best sellers list. We also appreciate the revised 100th anniversary edition, which includes 12 new verses at the end of the 16th chapter, and the true believer test. But more on that later.
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