Why are there gaps in Jesus’ timeline in the Gospels?

Last week, I received several questions from a Resurrection member who had been using a DVD series to study as a part of a small group. I will take some time today and over the next few days to respond as I believe that there may be others who are interested as well. Always feel free to email me questions on topics about which you would like to see me write.

Are there any theories as to why there are such huge gaps in Jesus’ timeline as recorded in the canonical Gospels?

I believe that there are time gaps in the story of Jesus as recorded in the gospels as they are not intended to be a historical account as I would understand a book of history today. They are documents of faith that are written with a purpose such as the one described in Luke 1:3-4 (TNIV), “With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.” They are written as accounts of faith. It seems as if the stories of Jesus birth, his public ministry, death and resurrection are those stories that are most critical to the sustenance of the faith of those who read and hear the words.

In addition, John recognizes that there are stories that have not been recorded. John 21:25, TNIV – “Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.” There are many stories of Jesus and they bring life in many different ways.

What else would you add?

I want to thank the member of the congregation who brought these questions to my attention. Please feel free to follow up with an email for clarification.

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