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The Nuttall Encyclopedia
The name by which the four accounts in the New Testament of the character, life, and teaching of Christ are designated; have been known since as early as the 3rd century, of which the first three are called "Synoptic," because they are summaries of the chief events, and go over the same ground in the history, while the author of the fourth gospel follows lines of his own; the former aim mainly at mere narrative, while the object of the latter is dogmatic, as well as probably to supply deficiencies in the former; moreover, the interest of John's account centres in the person of Christ and that of the others in His gospel; the writers were severally represented as attended, Matthew by a man, Mark by a lion, Luke by an ox, and John by an eagle.
Wood, James, ed. Entry for 'Gospels'. The Nuttall Encyclopedia. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/nut/g/gospels.html. Frederick Warne & Co Ltd. London. 1900.