EWTN Catholic Q&A
Apparent contradictions
Question from Dr. Albert R. Miller on 01-14-2013:

Matthew, Mark and Luke write that Jesus went into the desert for 40 days after His baptism to be tempted by the devil. Mark adds that Jesus went immediately into the desert. John writes that the day after the baptism of Jesus, He met Andrew and others, the second day He went into Galilee, and the third day Jesus was at the wedding in Cana. Where was Jesus after His baptism; in the desert or in Galilee?

Answer by Richard Geraghty on 03-04-2013:

Dear Dr.,

The Gospel accounts are not to be read with the kind of precision we would expect today of a witness in court or of an investigative reporter. Remember that the accounts are derived from the words of Christ or his mother and passed down by word to others. There were no books involved. The tradition was oral. Thus there will be differences in details. The central point is that Christ did go into the desert to be tempted by the devil. Christ did change water into wine at the wedding feast due to the plea of his mother. Those who comment on scripture have to spend years learning the original languages they were written in and the way that ancient peoples recorded what they saw and remembered.

Dr. Geraghty