As I move forward into this gospel, the first four lines of it come back to me. It's written to Theophilus that he may know the truth about the things on which he's been instructed. In other words, there's intention in how this gospel is being shaped. Not everything that appears in this gospel appears in the other gospels (the birth narrative, for example); and not everything that appears in the other gospels appears in this one. Why does the author choose to present the life of Jesus in this way, not others? Why does it matter that John the Baptist is included in the story of Jesus' life? Why does it matter that John's parents were a priest (the father) and a descendant of Aaron (the mother)? What is this gospel writer (or gospel writers) trying to tell us?
Moreover, what has been lost, added, and mixes up in this narrative as one manuscript after the next has been copied and distributed throughout the centuries, up to the time of Gutenberg's revolutionary method for mass production of texts?