The Four Gospels. Following is a comparison of the four gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. This is a work in progress so please have patience. The long term goal is to have all the miracles and parables of our Lord hyperlinked to their places in the gospels.

Differences. The theme of all the gospels is Christ! But each present Christ in a different aspect (see chart). Also, each was written from a different perspective with a different target audience in mind. We can all learn and enjoy each gospel, but they are understood best when we know the theme and perspective they are written from.

The synoptic gospels are Matthew, Mark, and Luke because they give a short synopsis of the Lord’s life from beginning to end. John doesn’t do that, he focuses on the Lord’s ministry in and around Jerusalem. In the synoptic Gospels, we have Christ presented to man to be received, but man fails the test and Christ is rejected. In John, Christ is rejected by man and Israel from the beginning, and God’s sovereign ways in grace and resurrection brought in. Another difference is the audience. In the synoptic gospels we often have Jesus preaching to multitudes, but in John He is very often seen in a pastoral role, speaking to individuals... and it is to those individuals that He reveals the deepest truth of His Person!

General Comparison

Matthew
Mark
Luke
John
Theme:
The Son of David
The Perfect Servant
The Son of Man
The Son of God
Presenting the Lord:
As the true Messiah to Israel - in connection with the promises made to Israel, but as Emmanuel, Jehovah the Savior.
In active service in the gospel - preaching the Word - the work that He came to accomplish personally as living on the earth.
As He was, a man on the earth - the Person whom we should have met every day had we lived at that time in Judea, or in Galilee.
In the glory of the Person of Jesus, the Son of God - that which He is in His own Divine nature.
Perspective:
Written for the Jew.
Written for the Roman.
Written for the Greek.
Written for the Church.
Written By:
A Jewish Tax-gatherer.
A young man who traveled with Paul and Barnabas
A gentile physician who later traveled with Paul
The "Disciple Whom Jesus Loved"
Opening Statement:
"The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham."
"The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God."
"...to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us..."
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."
Ending of the Gospel:
Ascension not recorded. Ends with the Lord in resurrection power on the earth, the disciples given the great commission.
Ascension recorded. Ends with disciples "going forth, preaching everywhere, the Lord working with them."
Ascension recorded. Ends with promise of the Holy Ghost to come, and the disciples in the Temple praising.
Ascension not recorded. "These are written that ye may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God".
Genealogy:
Traced to David, then back to Abraham. Genealogy through the natural father's side, through which the royal line would pass.
No Genealogy.
It is not necessary to know a servant's genealogy.
Traced all the way back to Adam, the first man. Genealogy through the mother's side; i.e. seed of the woman (the "he" of Genesis 3:15).
No Genealogy. Emphasis is on Him being the Son of God.

Other Interesting Statistics

Category
Matthew
Mark
Luke
John
Number of Old Testament quotations
37
18
18
13
Occurrence of the word 'immediately'
18
42
8
7
Number of Miracles Narrated
20
18
20
8
Number of Parables Recorded
21
9
27
0

Word Occurrences

English Word
Greek Word
Matthew
Mark
Luke
John
Dispensational Terms
End of the age 
 
5
-
-
-
Kingdom of the Heavens
 
32
-
-
-
Action-Related Terms
Immediately
εὐθέως, εὐθύς
18
42
8
7
Preach
κηρύσσω 
9
14
9
-
Moral Terms
Kingdom of God
 
5
15
33
2
Woe
οὐαί 
13
2
14
-
Parable
παραβολή 
17
13
18
-
People
λαός 
15
3
36
3
Power
δύναμις 
13
10
15
-
Terms Related to the Divine Nature
Glory, glorify
δόξα, δοξάζω
12
4
22
42
Father, The
πατήρ 
44
5
17
122
Life
ζωή 
7
4
6
36
Light
φῶς 
7
1
6
23
Love (divine)
ἀγαπάω, ἀγάπη
9
5
14
44
Love (friendly)
φιλέω 
4
-
1
13
Truth
ἀληθεια 
1
3
3
25

 * Taken from the Concise Bible Dictionary

Parables in the Four Gospels

Parable Recorded
Sum
Matthew
Mark
Luke
John
1
-
-
ch.14, v.28
-
1
-
-
ch.14, v.31
-
3
ch.2, v.21
ch.5, v.36
-
3
ch.2, v.22
ch.5, v.37
-
1
-
-
ch.13, v.6
-
3
ch.13, v.28
ch.21, v.29
-
3
ch.4, v.21
ch.8, v.16
-
1
-
-
-
1
-
-
ch.12, v.42
-
1
-
-
ch.11, v.5
-
1
-
-
ch.10, v.30
-
1
-
-
ch.14, v.16
-
1
-
-
-
2
-
ch.6, v.47
-
1
-
ch.13, v.34
-
-
1
-
-
-
2
-
ch.13, v.20
-
1
-
-
ch.15, v.8
-
2
-
ch.15, v.4
-
1
-
-
-
3
ch.4, v.30
ch.13, v.18
-
1
-
-
-
1
-
-
ch.18, v.10
-
1
-
-
ch.19, v.12
-
1
-
-
ch.15, v.11
-
1
-
-
ch.12, v.16
-
1
-
-
ch.16, v.19
-
1
-
ch.4, v.26
-
-
1
-
-
-
3
ch.4, v.3
ch.8, v.5
-
1
-
-
-
1
-
-
-
1
-
-
-
1
-
-
ch.7, v.41
-
1
-
-
-
1
-
-
ch.18, v.2
-
1
-
-
ch.16, v.1
-
1
-
-
-
1
-
-
ch.12, v.35
-
3
ch.12, v.1
ch.20, v.9
-
Sum
 
21
9
27
0

Miracles in the Four Gospels

Miracle Narrated
Sum
Matthew
Mark
Luke
John
2
-
ch.11, v.14
-
1
-
ch.8, v.22
-
-
1
-
-
-
ch.9, v.1
2
-
ch.7, v.1
-
2
-
ch.1, v.23
ch.4, v.33
-
3
ch.5, v.1
ch.8, v.27
 
1
-
-
-
1
ch.2, v.3
ch.5, v.18
-
1
-
-
-
ch.5, v.1
3
ch.10, v.46
ch.18, v.35
-
4
ch.6, v.35
ch.9, v.12
ch.6, v.5
2
ch.8, v.1
-
-
3
ch.1, v.40
ch.5, v.12
 
1
-
-
ch.22, v.50
-
3
ch.1, v.30
ch.4, v.38
 
3
ch.5, v.38
ch.8, v.49
 
1
-
-
ch.7, v.11
-
1
-
-
-
2
ch.11, v.12
-
-
1
-
ch.7, v.31
-
-
3
ch.9, v.17
ch.9, v.38
 
1
-
-
ch.5, v.1
-
1
-
-
-
ch.21, v.1
1
-
-
ch.14, v.1
-
3
ch.5, v.25
ch.8, v.43
 
1
-
-
-
ch.4, v.46
1
-
-
-
ch.11, v.43
3
ch.4, v.37
ch.8, v.22
 
2
ch.7, v.24
-
-
1
-
-
ch.17, v.11
-
3
ch.3, v.1
ch.6, v.6
 
1
-
-
-
ch.2, v.10
1
-
-
-
3
ch.6, v.48
-
ch.6, v.19
1
-
-
Ch13, v.11
-
Sum
 
20
18
20
8