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D., then we would have good reason for believing that they were written by the disciples of Jesus Himself.
No in-depth study is needed to notice these three documents share a lot of common information (figure 12-1 shows these relationships).
The reliability of these earliest complete copies of books is indicated by the fact that they closely correspond to earlier portions of books. We do not have the original manuscripts, but the earlier manuscripts from which our complete texts are descended have not perished without a trace. They correspond closely to our texts listed above, and it is a fair inference that the missing portions would show the same correspondence. From the 3rd century: two leaves of a codex with some of the text of chapters 1, 16 and 20 of John. In essence, he demonstrates that the Synoptic Gospels can only have taken shape in the Jewish culture of the first half of the 1st century A. Riesner, Jesus als Lehrer, Mohr, Tübingen 1988 The Birth of the Synoptic Gospels, Franciscan Herald Press, Chicago 1987, p.61 The Hebrew Christ. Blizzard, Understanding the Difficult Words of Jesus: New Insights from a Hebraic Perspective, Rev.
We now have 76 manuscripts of portions of the New Testament going back to the 4th century or earlier. It is now regarded as practically established that the four Gospels as we know them were circulating in Egypt as separate books within the first half of the second century. Looking at the table below, we can see that the oldest manuscripts of certain major works of Plato, Caesar, Cicero and Horace date from the 9th century; of Thucydides, Herodotus, Sophocles and Aristotle from the 10th; of Tacitus from the 11th—yet no one doubts that these manuscripts, though ever so many centuries later than their authors’ day, are, substantially, the uncorrupted descendants of the originals. D., and thus they evince the authenticity of their content and origin. Language in the Age of the Gospels, Franciscan Herald Press, Chicago 1989, p.324 A Hebrew Translation of the Gospel of Mark, 2nd. ed., Center for Judaic-Christian Studies, Dayton, Ohio 1994 De Vir.
Traditionally, therefore, they are referred to as the synoptic gospels Most of the content of 606 out of the 661 verses (approximately 90%) of Mark appears in Matthew.
That means that out of the 1068 verses in Matthew, about 500 (close to half) contain information also found in Mark.