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Because the testimonies of these four witnesses are extremely important in shaping our
understanding of the Savior, detailed examination is often necessary. The results are enlightening
and rewarding, even though challenges and difficulties often persist. Differences and
even inconsistencies between the four Gospels beckon the best of minds to ponder and to
reflect on their meaning. Can these differences be constructively understood and explained?
As seen in chart 7-2, where one begins, in any literary work, often determines where
the work will also end, for it fundamentally influences the author’s outlook, perspective,
selection of episodes for inclusion, wording, and the resultant overall character of the work.
With respect to the four Gospels, these consequences are demonstrated in chart
illustrates how the overall purpose of each Gospel writer is manifested and carried out
through several salient particulars in each Gospel.
Robert C. Patch, “The Gospel in the Gospels,” Ensign, September 1974, 38–41.