From Mark to John: the development of the gospels


Gospel editions and links


For a full explanation of the upper part of the diagram: Go to 'Synoptic gospel sources'

For a full explanation of the lower right part of the diagram: Go to 'The formation of the gospel of John'



Approximate dates


year (CE) document
45 logia
70 Mark
90 Matthew
95 Luke 1st edn
100 Acts
105 Luke 2nd edn
105 John 1st edn
110 John 2nd edn
115 John 3rd edn

The two editions of Luke

There exists overwhelming evidence that the first edition of Luke lacked the birth narratives, i.e. Luke 1:5 - 2:52. Luke may have belatedly realized the popularity of Matthew's birth stories, so he decided to use a few of their features (such as the birth in Bethlehem and the angel saying "And you shall give him the name Jesus") as the basis for a more impressive set of stories in a second edition of his own gospel.