The Gospel Of John and The Synoptics Don’t Conflict at All Concerning the Chronology of the Temple Cleansing
It is sometimes (often) frequently claimed that the Synoptics have Jesus cleanse the Temple at the end of his ministry whilst John has him do it at the beginning. This is incorrect. The Synoptics and John BOTH have Jesus cleanse the Temple at the end of his ministry.
The only difference is that John fits in much more ‘end of ministry’ material than the Synoptics between the Temple cleansing and Jesus’ death and resurrection.
Consequently, there is no conflict in chronology, only poor readings or misunderstandings. It is an error to read the story of the cleansing of the Temple at the beginning of John’s Gospel and imagine that the event had to have taken place at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. John never said it did.
Readers of the Gospels would do well to take seriously the intelligence of the text’s authors. They weren’t stupid. They were brilliant theologians who knew their subject far better than moderns do. Where we see contradiction it usually resides in our rather paltry reading skills rather than in the texts themselves. Not always, to be sure, but usually. The chronology of the cleansing of the Temple is one such example.