When we turn to the first four Books in the New Testament we see that the headings are, ‘The Gospel according to Saint Matthew,’ Mark, Luke, John, by which is meant that these men wrote them. In the first, are 28 Chapters; in the second, 16; in the third 24; and in the fourth, 21; 89 chapters altogether. The first three are called the Synoptic Gospels (Greek: sun and opsis, conspectus, seeing together) because they present the same general view of the several events, because they go over the same ground in the story they tell, whereas the author of the Fourth Gospel follows lines of his own. For this reason the writers of the first three Records are called the Synoptists. The Gospels which, as to the size are mere pamphlets are the most precious Writings in all the world. But for what we are told in them there would have been no proceeding Old Testament, and no following Acts, Epistles, and Revelation. They are the heart of Divine revelation, because they are the record of the manifestation of God on earth, in the Person of His Son, for the purpose of redemption.
A Guide to the Gospels, p8, Pickering & Inglis, London 1948