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Unique passges found in the Synoptic Gospels

Julian Spriggs M.A.

This page gives a list of the passages which are only found in one of the three synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark or Luke).

Passages unique to Matthew’s Gospel

Birth narrative
Genealogy (1:2-17)
Birth of Jesus and Joseph’s dream (1:18-25)
Visit of magi (2:1-12)
Flight to Egypt, Herod killing infants, and return to Nazareth (2:13-23)

John objecting to Jesus being baptised (3:14-15)

Two blind men healed (9:27-31)
Peter walking on sea (14:28-31)
Coin found in mouth of fish for temple tax (17:24-27)

Fulfilment claims
Ministry in Galilee fulfilling prediction of Isaiah (4:13-16)
Healing fulfilling Isaiah’s prediction of servant (12:18-21)
Lack of understanding of parables fulfilling Isaiah (13:14-15)
King coming on donkey fulfilling Zechariah (21:5)

Wheat and weeds (13:24-30), and interpretation (13:36-43)
Hidden treasure and pearl (13:44-45)
The net (13:47-50)
Trained scribe like a householder (13:51-52)
The unmerciful servant (18:23-35)
Labourers in the vineyard (20:1-16)
The two sons (21:28-32)
Marriage of king's son, and man with no wedding garment (22:1-14)
Wise and foolish virgins (25:1-13)
The talents (25:14-30) (similar to parable of pounds in Lk 19:11-27)
The sheep and the goats (25:31-46)

Jesus' Teaching
The sermon on the Mount (ch 5-7) - (some is parallelled in Luke ch 6)
Disciples not to go to Gentiles but to lost sheep of Israel (10:5-8)
"Come to me all you who labour ..." (11:28-30)
Profaning Sabbath, greater than temple (12:5-7)
Peter the rock, keys to kingdom of heaven (16:17-19)
Rebuking brother, binding on earth, two or three agreeing and promise of presence (18:16-20)
Eunuchs for sake of kingdom (19:10-12)
Kingdom taken from you and given to others (21:43)
Woes to Pharisees (ch 23)

Incidents during passion and resurrection
Judas receiving and returning thirty pieces of silver, and his suicide (26:15, 27:3-10)
Pilate's wife's dream (27:19)
Pilate washing his hands (27:24-25)
Saints raised from tombs (27:52-53)
Sanhedrin requesting guards to watch tomb (27:62-64)
Earthquake at resurrection, angel appearing to guards (28:2-4)
Women worshipping risen Jesus (28:9-10)
Bribing of guards, claim that disciples stole body (28:11-15)
Command to baptise and great commission (28:16-20)

Passages unique to Mark’s Gospel

Over 90% of Mark is included in Matthew, and about 50% is included in Luke, so there are only very few unique passages in Mark’s Gospel.

The beginning of the good news (1:1)
Jesus being with the wild beasts during temptations (1:13)

Healing of deaf and mute man in Decapolis (7:31-37)
Healing of blind man in Bethsaida in two stages (8:22-26)

Conversation with father of demonised boy throwing himself in to fire (9:21-24)
Boy being like a corpse and people thinking he was dead (9:26-27)
This kind of demon can only come out through prayer (9:29)

Other incidents during ministry
Calling disciples to mountain to preach, and cast out demons (3:13-15)
Jesus’ family trying to restrain him (3:20-21)

Eye-witness details
Jesus being asleep on a cushion during storm (4:38)
Jesus saying, “Peace, Be still” to the storm (4:39)
Details about strength of Gerasene demoniac (5:4-5)
Jesus being aware that power had gone from him when healing woman with bleeding (5:30)
Departure to Tyre, and entering a house, not wanting anyone to know he was there (7:24)
Jesus being indignant when disciples sent children away (10:14)

Parable of seed growing secretly (4:26-29)
Analogy of man going on journey and leaving doorkeeper to be on watch (13:34)

Teaching and comments
Sabbath made for man, not man for the Sabbath, so Son of Man is lord of Sabbath (2:27)
James and John being given the name “Boanerges", meaning "sons of Thunder” (3:17)
Everyone salted with fire. Salt losing its saltiness - be at peace (9:48-49)
Blessings include persecutions for those who give up everything (10:30)
Scribe’s reply to Jesus about importance of loving God and neighbour (12:32-34)

Incidents during passion and resurrection
The naked young man running away (14:51-52)
Pilate asking whether Jesus was already dead (15:44)
Question about who will roll away the stone (16:3)
Disciples afraid and not telling anyone (16:8b)

Passages unique to Luke's Gospel

The majority of the unique passages are found in the following three sections: the Birth Narratives (ch 1-2), the 'Travel Narrative' (ch 9-19), and the Resurrection appearances (ch 24)

Introduction and birth narratives
Dedication to Theophilus (1:1-4)
Prediction of John's birth (1:5-25)
Prediction of Jesus's birth (1:26-38)
Mary visits Elizabeth (1:39-45)
Song of Mary (Magnificat) (1:46-56)
Birth and naming of John (1:57-66)
Song of Zechariah (1:67-80)
Angels appear to shepherds (2:8-20)
Circumcision and dedication (2:21-24)
Simeon's song and prophecy (2:25-35)
Anna's thanksgiving (2:36-38)
Return to Nazareth and Jesus being found in temple (2:39-52)

Dating of John's ministry (3:1-2)
Genealogy traced from Adam (3:23-38)
John's instructions to special groups (3:10-14)

Miraculous catch of fish (5:1-11)
Raising of widow of Nain's son (7:11-17)
Healing of woman with spirit of infirmity (13:10-17)
Healing of man with dropsy (14:1-6)
Healing of ten lepers (17:11-19)

Encounters with individuals
Woman anoints Jesus's feet, two debtors (7:36-50)
Mary and Martha (10:38-42)
Zacchaeus (19:1-10)

Other incidents during ministry
Claiming fulfilment of Isaiah in synagogue (4:17-21)
Women who helped Jesus (8:1-3)
Rejection by Samaritans (9:51-56)
Mission and return of seventy (10:1-12, 17-20)
Lament over Jerusalem (19:39-44)
Summary of days in Jerusalem (21:37-38)

Good Samaritan (10:25-37)
Friend at midnight (11:5-8)
Barren fig tree (13:6-9)
Invitation to banquet, and places of honour (14:7-14)
Lost coin (15:8-10)
Prodigal son (15:11-32)
Unjust steward (16:1-9)
Rich man and Lazarus (16:19-31)
Unjust judge (18:1-8)
Pharisee and tax-collector (18:9-14)
Parable of the pounds (19:11-27) (similar to parable of talents, in Mk 25:13-30)

Teaching and comments
Proverb: physician heal yourself (4:23)
Faith of widow and of Namaan (4:25-30)
The woes (6:24-26)
Conversation with Moses and Elijah about his departure at transfiguration (9:31-32)
Second objection to following - to say farewell (9:61-62)
True blessedness (11:27-28)
True cleansing (11:37-41)
Repentance or destruction (13:1-5)
Who are in the kingdom? (13:22-30)
That fox Herod (13:31-33)
Two examples of counting cost (14:28-33)
Covetous hypocrisy of Pharisees (16:14-15)
Worthless slaves (17:7-10)
Kingdom in midst of you (17:20-21)
Example of judgement on Sodom, Lot’s wife (17:28-32)
Warning at end of Olivet discourse (21:34-36)
Eating Passover before suffering (22:15-16)

Incidents during passion and resurrection
The two swords (22:35-38)
Accused of forbidding paying tax to Caesar, Pilate’s first declaration of innocence (23:2,4-5)
Jesus before Herod (23:6-12)
Pilate’s second declaration of innocence (23:13-16)
Daughters of Jerusalem weeping (23:27-31)
Two criminals on cross, one rebukes, one repents (23:39-43)
"Father, into your hand I commit my spirit" (23:46)
Women preparing spices, and resting on Sabbath (23:56)
Centurion’s declaration of innocence (34:47-48)
Apostles not believing women’s report of resurrection (24:10-11)
The road to Emmaus, appearance to disciples, and teaching on fulfilment (24:13-49)
Ascension (24:50-53)