Part Two: The source of confusion in our minds (and the way out of it)
Matthew, Mark, and Luke look very much alike on the surface, which is why we jumble them up in our minds. It turns out that Matthew and Luke compiled much of Mark almost verbatim into their Gospels, a major source of why we confuse them. But what at first appears as a recapitulation turns out to have either subtle differences in wording or an entirely different context which changes the meaning of the text, sometimes radically. (Why John shares very little–almost nothing–with them will be discussed at length.) The good news is that the very subtle differences in the Gospels shed much light on their very different purposes. When the Gospels are allowed to speak for themselves, they come to us as the unique stories they are.