Don’t worry about the position of the stories in the Gospels just yet.
Look at the order in which the each Gospel writer places the related stories:
- If Mark is the standard (the first) then note how the others use or don’t use his material.
- Matthew omits the first fig tree segment
- Luke substitutes it with Stones Cry Out segment, and a long series with a “stones” theme.
- Matthew adds a section on Children and Infants
John simply chooses the Temple Cleansing and the Authority Question units and omits the rest. But interestingly he omits the Vineyard stories but adds the wine story and places it before Temple cleansing. Is he knowingly substituting the Cana Wedding story for the Vineyard series in the other gospels and moving its order? Finally John adds the section on “Trusting and knowing human nature”.
Would it surprise you to know that “trust” is the same word in Greek as “believe” or “faith’? John has returned to his “believe” theme again.
Ponder on these for a bit. We will continue with John’s focus in the next Gem. I won’t deal with purpose or changes in Matt, Mark or Luke. Why? That is for you to do if you wish to. I am merely giving you another way to look at the differences in the Gospels. I hope you will agree it is a powerful way. In fact it is purely biblical and enables you to track the author’s purpose and themes a whole lot easier.
This is why a harmony of the Gospels is a good tool to have in your library or with your study books. You can get them in hard copy, even in Indonesian but there is a harmony of the Gospels available for free on E-Sword. This is something I suggested to the creator of E-sword a few years ago and Rick Meyers included it about 8 months later. My favourite harmony in English is Robert L Thomas and Stanley N Gundry’s, A Harmony of the Gospels. Published by Moody Press Chicago (1979). There are others available but in my opinion Thomas and Gundry’s is the best.
It’s not the pace of life that concerns me, it’s the sudden stop at the end.Anon
People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did but people will NEVER forget how you made them feel.Anon