Adding the gospels together and pretending the result makes sense is like adding apples and oranges and calling them bananas!
Some writers of yesteryear attempted to combine the four gospels into one coherent narrative, as if they TRUTHFULLY describe the same events from only slightly different perspectives. They do not; their perspectives are VERY different.
For a start, most of the material in the Fourth Gospel is not found in the other gospels, and most of the material in the other gospels is not found in the Fourth. From the opening passages about the pre-existence of the ‘Word’, the contrast could not be greater. Yeshua, the reluctant Messiah of the Synoptics who taught the coming of the Kingdom of G_d, has been replaced in the Fourth Gospel with an other-worldly ‘Christ’ figure making extravagant claims about his own identity. And that isn’t the only difference.
In the Synoptics, Yeshua ministered in Galilee for less than a year before heading south to Jerusalem to confront the authorities. In the Fourth Gospel, his ministry lasted 3-4 years and Galilee is barely mentioned.
The sequence of events is also different. For instance, the well-known incident in which an angry Yeshua drives the moneychangers from the Jerusalem temple takes place in the second chapter of ‘John’, but in his final week in the Synoptics.
There is no birth story in the Fourth Gospel, and no mention of Bethlehem; Yeshua is explicitly described as coming from Nazareth. Nor does it say what happened to the risen Yeshua after he had appeared to the disciples.
That’s why adding the gospels together and pretending the result makes sense is like adding apples and oranges and calling them bananas. There are too many contradictions!
©David Lawrence Preston, 22.5.2019
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Hay House/Balboa Press, 2015