Well just like with any story there is often more than one point of view and these for men inspired by God prove it. When you dive deeper into the history of each Gospel and learn who they were written by, where they were composed and understand the place they were meant to be received that changes a lot of things. For instance, Matthew has a lot of Jewish references so most scholars think he was writing to a predominately Jewish audience. We know for a fact that Luke was writing his book to Theophilus, who was either a gentile ruler or a group of gentiles, so the way he wrote did not focus as much on Israelite Law, but more on the humanity of Jesus. Now, when John wrote his account he was writing to the whole world, in an effort to explain that Jesus was the eternal God of the universe that chose to put on human flesh in order to restore our ability to have a right relationship with Himself. The disadvantages of having four Gospels and especially three of them that read in a rather similar manner, is that at times they can seem contradictory to a casual reader; while making it harder to accept the truths of Scripture. It can also be difficult to understand why one author chose to emphasize one thing over another, or where the material even came from. Take for instance Luke 15, he is the only Gospel writer to contain these stories; why doesn’t Mark or Matthew mention the prodigal son?
The best answer that I would be able to provide to a friend who is looking to make that distinction is to ask “Do you believe God to be in ultimate control?” If the answer is yes than I would refer them to 2 Timothy 3:16 which says “All Scripture is God breathed…” Once you have settled in your heart that the Lord has guided these men to write the original transcripts, then trust that what we have is the closest thing we can to the original words God intended for us to live by. Yes over the years there may have been some redaction by copyist, but we still must believe that the Lord has corrected any errors that could have possibly been made in transcription or supposed correction.