On the Differences in the Four Gospels

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It would appear to be, we may believe, an unwitting attempt to defeat the purpose of the Spirit of God in giving us four gospels to try to harmonise them. The Person of Christ is so inscrutable to the human mind that only by presenting Him in this fourfold manner can we be given a glimpse of His glory. Everything in each gospel is recorded consistently with the particularly object before the Spirit, and details which serve that object are included and other details which do not serve that purpose are excluded. This accounts for some items being found in only one gospel. It also accounts for the differences in details in recording the same incident. Even the arrangement of the record is given with this in view, and consequently the chronological order of the events is often ignored. We can't on any account assume that the historians fell into error: they were safeguarded from that by the Spirit of God who inspired them and what they wrote, and brought all things to their remembrance in accordance with the Lord's own promise on the night in which He was betrayed. That there are difficulties which we cannot solve is to be anticipated, seeing that it is God's word. Had it been the word of a mere man, we might have been able completely to understand it but God, being infinite, it is to be expected that His writings will partake of that same character. How then can finite man apprehend the infinite? Moreover, if in the interests of a special object some details are omitted in order to make the record serve the particular purpose in view, is it not likely that, did we know such omitted details, we should find there has been on inaccuracy and certainly no misrepresentation? Furthermore, often by putting all the records together we can form a complete picture which had it been presented as a whole would never have conveyed to us the distinctive teaching of each writer. We may confidently assume then that Scripture has no mistakes.

But the interpretation of Scripture, being that of fallible man often in mistaken and, consequently, great men differ in their explanation of certain passages. In such case we must be content with stating our convictions and leave the reader to judge for himself.

Taken from the book Jesus the Christ, A Survey of Matthew's Gospel, by E.W. Rogers


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