Dialogue with Father James Martin– Part Seven

Dialogue with Father James Martin– Part Seven September 23, 2023

Q. It seems to me beyond dispute that while the Synoptics are from a Galilean and Galilean disciple perspective, the Fourth Gospel is largely from a more Judaean perspective, with mostly Judaean miracles (sharing only the feeding of the five thousand miracle with the other three Gospels as the only ministry miracle mentioned by all 4).   Would you agree?  This would help explain why the Fourth Gospel is so different, focusing on things Jesus said and did in and around Judaea and also Samaria.


A. Yes, and in fact it wasn’t until I started researching the story for this book that I realized that. It also helps to explain something that I admit in the book always had long bothered me: why the story of Jesus’s “greatest miracle” was only in John’s Gospel.  

One would think that this supreme miracle would have certainly been something that the Synoptic writers would have wanted to include, even highlight.  But when you realize that they already had two stories of Jesus’s raising someone from the dead at their disposal—Jairus’s daughter in Capernaum and the Widow of Nain’s son—even if they may have known about Lazarus, since it was in Judea and not Galilee, they didn’t see the need to include it.  Also, one scholar said that the Synoptic authors may not have known the “great theological masterpiece” that the story would become, that is, with all the details that John included.

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