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Evidence of this can be seen in the conflicts between them: to take a few examples, according to the synoptic gospels, Jesus' mission took one year, was spent primarily in Galilee, and climaxed with a single visit to Jerusalem at which he cleansed the Temple of the money-changers, while in John, Jerusalem was the focus of Jesus' mission, he visited it three times (making his mission last three years rather than one), and the cleansing of the Temple took place at the beginning rather than the end of the ministry.The first three gospels are called the "synoptics", from a Greek phrase meaning "seen together", because they put the events of Jesus' life in the same order and have many of the same stories and sayings, often in the same or very similar words.The gospel authors altered the traditions at their disposal (their sources) to serve their own ends — thus Matthew and Luke have frequently edited Mark, and the contradictions and discrepancies between John and the synoptics make it impossible to accept both as reliable In that long chain of transmission the texts have been corrupted, leading Origen to complain in the 3rd century that "the differences among manuscripts have become great, ...[because copyists] either neglect to check over what they have transcribed, or, in the process of checking, they make additions or deletions as they please." Despite this, scholars are confident that the gospels do provide a good idea of the public career of Jesus, and that critical study can attempt to distinguish the ideas of Jesus from those of later authors and editors.The synoptic gospels represent Jesus as an exorcist and healer who preached in parables about the coming Kingdom of God.
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For various reasons modern scholars are cautious of relying on them uncritically, but nevertheless they do provide a good idea of the public career of Jesus, and critical study can attempt to distinguish the original ideas of Jesus from those of the later authors.
In the immediate aftermath of Jesus' death his followers expected him to return at any moment, certainly within their own lifetimes, and in consequence there was little motivation to write anything down for future generations, but as eyewitnesses began to die, and as the missionary needs of the church grew, there was an increasing demand and need for written versions of the founder's life and teachings.
He states that he offers no sign as proof (Mark) or only the sign of Jonah (Matthew and Luke).
Jesus preaches in Jerusalem, launching his ministry with the cleansing of the temple.