Are the Gospels historically reliable accounts of the life of Jesus? In this video, Mike Licona provides 5 criteria for assessing ancient historical literature for their reliability and focuses on one of them: The author or their source was capable of recalling the past accurately.
Training in rhetoric was part of the educational process for aspiring authors in antiquity. That process included work using compositional textbooks, also referred to as rhetorical handbooks. Exercises in these trained the student to alter texts in the interest of paraphrasing. Not surprisingly, when reading ancient texts, including the Gospels, we observe their authors altering their source texts as trained. This practice resulted in differences in the way a story was reported. The differences are minor but of interest.