Some have confused the account of the healing of the nobleman’s son in John 4:43-54 with the other accounts in the synoptic gospels (Matthew 8:5-13 and Luke 7-10) of the healing of the Centurion’s servant. They say that John used the material from the synoptics to craft a similar story.
It is most likely that John, writing pre-AD70, had indeed read Matthew and Luke’s account of the life of Jesus. But that doesn’t mean he had to make up a story.
I beg to differ. First, John, the author of the fourth gospel, was a first hand eye witness to the ministry of Jesus. As such he would not likely make such a mistake, nor make such a clumsy attempt to fool others.
Second, the differences in the events are pretty obvious. One is a nobleman while the other is a soldier. The nobleman is most likely in Herod’s court and thus a Jew while the Centurian is in the Roman army and most liklely a gentile. One is concerned for his son (Gr. huios, “son” in Jn 4:46), the other for his servant (Gr. dulos, “servant” in Lk 7:2-10). In the one case Jesus is in Cana while in the second he is in Capernaum. In the first the illness is a fever, and the second it is paralysis. One begs that Jesus come home with him, the soldier strongly opposes the idea of Jesus coming home with him and asks that Jesus just give the command for his servant to be healed. And Jesus seems to scold the nobleman’s faith while he praises the soldier’s faith.
I’m thinking that some scholars have a bit too much time on their hands and want to see connections where none exist while denying the connections that do. “Lord save us from intellectualizing faith to the degree where it is a science and not a faith at all.”