Feeding Miracle Compared - Synoptic Gospel And John

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Feeding Miracle Compared - Synoptic Gospel and John

Feeding Miracle Compared - Synoptic Gospel and John




Historical Analysis4

Literary Analysis6

Theological Analysis7





The Gospels are their own type of literature. They are partly history (in relaying historical facts), somewhat propaganda piece (designed to elicit a response) and partly a story that brings listeners (as they were be read aloud) the “Good news of the Kingdom of God” come to earth. In this way, they are unique and require to be read in a very different way.

The Feeding Miracle is a truly astonishing story, perhaps one of the most memorable miracles performed by Jesus. The miracle is also referred to as the "miracle of the five loaves and two fish" in John's Gospel. This is one of the many examples where Jesus uses an unfavorable situation to teach an invaluable lesson, not only to the disciples but also to the people.

The Gospels state that when Jesus heard of the death of John the Baptist, he withdrew by boat to a peaceful place as he wanted to be alone. A crowd was following Jesus and when he saw so many people, he had compassion on them. In the evening, Jesus' disciples came suggesting that the crowd be sent home as there is not enough food and it was getting late. Jesus refused and directed the people to sit down. There were only five loaves of bread and two fishes, which Jesus broke into pieces. He then gave them to the disciples telling them to distribute them into the people. Even though all the people ate to their full, there were twelve baskets of broken pieces left over.

While each Gospel has, its own account of the Feeding Miracle, one theme is central, Jesus is a mighty worker of miracles. This essay serves to compare and contrast the Gospel of John's account of the feeding with the synoptic Gospels. The miracle is found in John 6:1-15, to the parallel accounts found in the synoptic Gospels, Matthew 14:13-21, Mark 6:32-44, and Luke 9:10-17.


The comparison of the Feeding Miracle can be better understood if presented in a more detailed and categorized manner.

Historical Analysis

Under a general analysis, the feeding of the five thousand has relatively similar historical centralities throughout the Gospels. In each of the Gospel accounts, there is the retreating of Jesus, the following of the multitudes, concern about feeding the multitudes, and the left over loaves. However, the Gospel of John is distinct as it offers a more detailed account of the Feeding Miracle in comparison with the synoptic Gospels.Each account starts with the retreat of Jesus and subsequent following by the multitudes. (Matt. 14:13, Mark 6:32- 33, Luke, 9:10-11, John 6:1-2) John's account specifically states that Jesus went to the Sea of Tiberias, while Matthew and Mark simply state Jesus withdrew on a boat, and Luke has Jesus withdrawing to Bethsaida. The differences in the details of Jesus and the Disciples' retreat can be attributed to a variance in source materials among ...
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