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Title: Biblical Contradictions (Alleged)
Source: The Bible
URL Source: [None]
Published: Feb 23, 2024
Author: Vicomte13
Post Date: 2024-02-23 14:47:21 by Vicomte13
Keywords: None
Views: 3178
Comments: 28

John 20:1-2 Now the first day of the week Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. Then she ran and came to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.”

Luke 24:1-10 Now on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they, and certain other women with them, came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared. But they found the stone rolled away from the tomb. Then they went in and did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. And it happened, as they were greatly perplexed about this, that behold, two men stood by them in shining garments. Then, as they were afraid and bowed their faces to the earth, they said to them, "Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen! Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee, saying, 'The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.'" And they remembered His words. Then they returned from the tomb and told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them, who told these things to the apostles."

Matthew 28:1-10 Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it. His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. And the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men. But the angel answered and said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you." So they went out quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to bring His disciples word. And as they went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, "Rejoice!" So they came and held Him by the feet and worshiped Him. Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid. Go and tell My brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see Me."

Mark 16:1-8 Now when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, that they might come and anoint Him. Very early in the morning, on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen. And they said among themselves, “Who will roll away the stone from the door of the tomb for us?” But when they looked up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away—for it was very large. And entering the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a long white robe sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him. But go, tell His disciples—and Peter—that He is going [a]before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to you.” So they went out quickly and fled from the tomb, for they trembled and were amazed. And they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.

Read those. What do they have in common? They all start on the day after the sabbath.

And that's it. These are four very, very different stories about THE most important event in the Bible: the resurrection. If this were four witnesses testifying in court, the jury would reject them. They don't differ on little things; they differ on EVERYTHING.

In John's account, there's nobody at the tomb. In Mark's, there's a "young man". Mark uses the word for "angel" throughout his Gospel, but not here. But that's a quibble. Maybe the "young man" described in Mark is the angel described in Matthew. But wait, Luke has TWO angels...or men. Zero, one and two: contradiction.

In John's account, Mary Magdalene comes back and doesn't know what has happened at all, "we don't know where they've laid him!" But that's impossible, considering that two angels - or men - just TOLD Mary Magdalene and all the other women that he had been resurrected. And then there is the one angel, in Matthew, who told them that he was raised and going before them in Galilee. The man in Mark says the same thing - that Jesus is in Galilee and will see them there. So, which is it.

What is more, Matthew and Mark both have an angel, or a boy, telling them that Jesus is risen, and that they will see him in Galilee. But John has a stupefied Mary Magdalene having no idea where Jesus is, and then has Jesus seeing them all, not in Galilee, but in the upper room a few times several days later. But wait, Jesus appears to the women right there at the tomb, and they grab his feet, but he tells them to tell the men to meet him in Galilee.

Wait, no, John has Mary Magdalene back at the tomb, weeping because Jesus is gone, after the men have come and looked, and Jesus appears to her and says not to touch him, because he hasn't risen yet.

Hmmm. And, for their part, the women in Mark are so afraid they don't tell anybody.

Now you're going to tell me: there is no contradiction here! After having been SHOWN contradiction after contradiction. So, you're going to lie to my face, because the alternative is to admit the obvious: the Bible has contradictions in it. Simple as that. It was written by men, not God, and those men had different stories, and they recorded what they knew. And some of that was inaccurate, incorrect, wrong.

That's not a hard thing to say, because it's OBVIOUS when you look at the varied stories of the resurrection. It's only hard for you if you've made the Bible an idol and said it's perfect.

And it isn't saying that it's perfect that makes it an idol, no, it's THIS: Most people see the imperfections in the Bible, acknowledge it was written by men and thus is subject to human imperfections, but that it nevertheless broadly accounts the truth of God in the world, of Jesus being his son. The imperfections and contradictions in the details mean that you cannot get too literal about those details, but the overall picture it gives is true. Scholarship helps one understand these things, and not be troubled by them.

The idolatry comes in when you claim that a thing that clearly isn't perfect, is perfect, when you deny the obvious, and then when you state that if it ISN'T letter perfect, then it's all a lie. Well, then it's all a lie by YOUR standards, because I've already shown you a weakness in the text. There are many more. This doesn't trouble MY faith in God or in Jesus. But YOU say that if one doesn't believe in the Bible's letter perfection, then it all falls apart. You have made an idol of the Bible, which then forces you to be intellectually dishonest and say there are no contradictions, because YOUR religion says that if it isn't, then your religion shatters like glass because then there's "no authority".

So, you'll look at the contradictions that I just showed you, that everybody can see in plain English, and you'll lie in your denial and say there's no conflict, because the alternative is to admit the conflict and have your faith in God shatter. And THAT, my friend, is why God said not to make idols. You've made your Bible an idol, and claimed that because it's the word of God, it IS God - perfect. But none is perfect but God, and the Bible ISN'T God. Obviously - look at the imperfections in it!

Get rid of your idolatry. Remain a Christian and faithful to God,

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#1. To: All (#0)

Another simple, real, and direct Biblical contradiction:

Mark 6:8 He commanded them to take nothing for the journey except a staff — no bag, no bread, no copper in their money belts -

Luke 9:3 And He said to them, “Take nothing for the journey, neither staffs nor bag nor bread nor money; and do not have two tunics apiece."

So, staff or no staff? This is a DIRECT contradiction. To be clear, this is not an issue for MY faith - I know the Bible is written by humans and is a human document with human errors in it. WHO CARES if Jesus told them to take a staff or not to?

But this is a TITANIC problem for you if the Bible is your idol. It's a howling contradiction, and the Bible is FULL of them. For you to look at that and assert "There are no contradictions" anyway, means you're lying to yourself - everybody else can just LOOK at the passages, CLEARLY there is a contradiction.

But because you are an idolator of the Bible, you CANNOT ADMIT even the SLIGHTEST contradiction, even if it is staring you in the face and biting you in the ass.

Once you admit to one contradiction, the seal has been broken, and you've admitted the Bible is not perfect. To you, that means it doesn't come from God.

Well, it DOES come from God, through the INSPIRATION of men. Inspired men can err, and DO, obviously. No big deal for me, a HUGE deal for you, because YOU have asserted that God WROTE it - that's YOUR belief. If so, then God wrote errors into the Bible, and you can't trust it.

So, there's a contradiction for you, right there. Your Bible is not perfect. One of the two authors is wrong about a point - a trivial point to me - but a point that looms like a MOUNTAIN over your whole faith. For YOU have said the Bible MUST BE perfect.

Well, it isn't. Obviously. Still a Christian? You SHOULD still be. The only thing that should have been shattered here is your idol - YOU made the Bible your idol - IT never told you to. Well, your idol failed. That's not God failing.

Now admit it, pull your head out of your ass, and stop believing that it's perfect and "there are no contradictions" yeah there are. You've seen two. I'll show more.

The Bible's imperfect, and that's a fact. SO WHAT? Why would you EXPECT a book written by men to be perfect? That would make the Bible God, and it's not God. God is God.

Vicomte13  posted on  2024-02-23   15:51:21 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#2. To: Vicomte13 (#0)

There are no contradictions. You are to dumb to know that. Different people arrived at different times and witnessed different things. I used to work for a guy who brought this up. I'm not going to take the time to go thru it and show you everything. Someone else already did it.

Answering The Objections Of The Critics Concerning The Number Of Women The first objection of the critics is that there are contradictions concerning the number of women who went to the tomb. Matthew mentions Mary Magdalene and the other Mary, i.e., two women; Mark mentions Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome, i.e., three women; Luke simply mentions “the women,” while John mentions only Mary Magdalene, i.e., one woman.

But writers have every right to select facts according to their purposes. Mark obviously feels it is important to report that Salome was also at the tomb while Matthew does not. Perhaps Salome was the woman, or one of the two women, who reported the events to Mark.

Or, because Matthew learned of this event from a different source which may not have included Salome, he does not mention her. We cannot know the reason why one author selects information another author does not. Such information is simply not given, nor does anyone have the right to expect that it should be. It would make any writer’s job virtually impossible for him to meticulously list all the specific reasons for including the details he did and why he did not include other details.

The critics charge that Luke disagrees with Matthew and Mark because Luke merely mentions “the women.” But this is absurd. Notice, none of the Gospel writers say it was only two women, or only one woman, or only these three women. Each writer describes those he wants to recognize— either because of a specific emphasis he has or because that is all the information he knows. But none of the writers give wrong or contradictory information. If one of the four writers had said only so and so went to the tomb and another writer said only somebody else specifically went to the tomb, then we would have a contradiction.

Today, it is perfectly reasonable for two modern newspaper reporters to de­scribe a women’s gathering honoring three particular ladies, and to either name the specific individuals present or to refer to one woman representative of the entire group, or to just cite the “honored women” of the occasion. Similarly, in referring only to “the women,” Luke does not contradict Matthew and Mark; he is simply less specific.

The critics charge that John contradicts Matthew, Mark and Luke because he mentions only one woman, Mary Magdalene, who went to the tomb.

There are two possibilities. First, as we discuss elsewhere, all the women set out for the tomb, and Mary arrived first. John simply records the fact of Mary arriving first. We explain why below. Or second, it may be as simple as stating John only chooses to write about Mary even though he could have written about all of them.

But again, John didn’t say only Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and no other women. There is no reason why John should not concentrate upon Mary Magdalene if he has reason to do so.

Probably the reasons John concentrates upon Mary Magdalene are because

Jesus’ first Resurrection appearance was to Mary Magdalene, not one of the apostles according to Mark’s appendix (Mark 16:9). Mary had looked into the tomb and seen the two angels (John 20:11-12). Jesus may have appeared to Mary first because He knew of her complete dedication and earnestness in following Him. John has already recorded in 19:25 that Mary was at the cross while Jesus was dying. In John 20:1, she went to His tomb early on Sunday morning. In 20:10-14, Mary remained outside the tomb crying. All of these things reveal how much Mary loved Jesus. In 20:17, Mary was personally commis­sioned by Jesus to go and tell the disciples the good news. Anyone who reads John 20:1-18 will see that the entire section stresses the importance of Mary Magdalene: What she did, how she came running to Peter and John, how Mary subsequently met Jesus at the tomb, and how she was commissioned to give a message to the apostles. It is not surprising then that the Apostle John should choose to single out Mary Magdalene in his reporting of these events.

We must also keep in mind that each of the writers learned their information from different sources. Luke records, “It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this [knowledge of the fact of the empty tomb and the angels’ message concerning Jesus’ Resurrection] to the apostles” (Luke 24:10).

Picture the different women, immediately after their dramatic encounter with the angels, each explaining what she had seen and what she thought was impor­tant to any one of the eleven apostles who happened to be standing by her at the moment. This would explain why certain facts are mentioned and other facts are omitted. Luke might have heard a little bit from each of the women or most of it from just one.

Cambridge graduate John Wenham in his book, The Easter Enigma, lists the following reasons why Luke and Mark, for example, might have presented differ­ent pieces of the total story. Probably, “…Luke’s is a straightforward account written from Joanna’s point of view [Joanna was a wealthy supporter of Jesus whose husband was ‘steward’ to Herod Antipas, ruler of Galilee.] (Luke 8:3; 24:10), whereas Mark is an account written from the point of view of the other three women.”[1] Similarly, John’s account could be written strictly from Mary’s viewpoint.

John might have correctly assumed that the majority of Christians already knew that this group of women went to the tomb. But he decided to share addi­tional details of what had happened to Mary Magdalene which others may not have known.

Indeed, when Luke mentions “the others with them” (Luke 24:10), one could even assume that at that first Easter morning visit to the tomb, more than three women were present. If Luke is describing the women who were actually at the tomb, then there were at least five women (Joanna and “the others,” signifying at least one more person than Salome). It is also possible that the “other women” mentioned by Luke were present and part of those who collectively “told this [event] to the apostles.”

In conclusion, we know that at least three women were present, possibly more. We also can see none of the accounts contradict. None of the writers state “only” a specific number of women were present at the tomb. No modern critic can give a good reason why each writer was not free to select the details he, in fact, chose to record.

Answering The Objections Of The Critics Concerning Who First Came To The Tomb As noted earlier, John may have concentrated on Mary Magdalene to the exclusion of the other women. But it is more probable that Mary was actually the first person to the tomb. Thus, we believe this second option is preferable. Let’s say all the women had planned to meet at the tomb and left their homes at approximately the same time. Mary arrived first, observed the empty tomb and before her companions arrived, ran to tell Peter and John that the tomb was empty (See Q. 19, 33). Matthew, Mark and Luke could talk generally about all of the women going to the tomb. They would be correct. John could report the fact that Mary reached the tomb first. He would be correct.

If our assumption is valid, this explains John’s account as it stands. Nor does it conflict with anything the other Gospel writers assert. But here we must observe there are unannounced breaks in two of the Gospels. These occur in Mark 16 between verses 1 and 2 and in Matthew 28 between verses 1 and 2, and again between verses 4 and 5. For proof that the Gospel writers employ this abbrevi­ated writing style see Question 16. Acknowledging these breaks permits us to see that Mary was first to the tomb and that the other women came shortly after she left. Further, in Luke 24:9-11, Luke’s inclusion of Mary with the other women who report what happened at the tomb is not in conflict with our reconstruction. (For a probable chronological sequence of events here, see that offered by Geldenhuys in Q. 35).

But there are other views. For example, noted Roman Catholic scholar John Lilly believes that Mary was first to arrive (while it was still dark), but that she was still present when the other women arrived at the tomb. Lilly adopts the view that all the women mentioned by the Gospel writers were, as a group, first to arrive at the tomb. Answering the general question, “Who discovered the empty tomb?”, he states:

We say without a moment’s hesitation: All of them! And perhaps others besides. Each evangelist tells the story in his own particular way with his own particular plan and purpose in view. St. John evidently wants to lead up to the discovery of the empty tomb by [Peter] and himself, and as these got the first inkling of what had happened from Magdalene, he introduces her alone, passing over her companions in silence, for there would be no particular point in mentioning them…. St. Matthew does not introduce details which are not strictly necessary, and since according to the Mosaic Law two witnesses were enough to establish a fact, he mentions no others, although he does not deny that others shared in the startling discovery of the empty tomb. Mark adds the name of Salome to the group of women who went early Sunday morning to the tomb of Jesus. The reason for Mark’s mentioning these three women is probably that he has already told us that they assisted at a distance at the crucifixion of Jesus, and his mention of them at the tomb on Sunday morning is designed to show that their love and devotion were not extinguished by the horrible death of their Master on the cross.[2] Answering The Objections Of The Critics Concerning When The Tomb Was Visited The critics allege that contradictions exist concerning the specific time the women went to the tomb. After all, didn’t Matthew say “at dawn,” while Mark says “just after sunrise”?

But consider modern reporting of Easter “Sunrise” Services. Who would charge a reporter with error because he stated the events began “at dawn” while another reporter said that they began “just after sunrise”? “At dawn” includes “just after sunrise.” Even 20th century reporters do not use scientifically precise chro­nology in their reporting; why should we expect it of the Gospel authors? Further, what if the two reporters are discussing different “beginnings”—preliminary events vs. the official start of the service? Both phrases, “at dawn” and “just after sunrise,” can involve a significant time span. If we say we went to the beach “at dawn,” the hearer understands that we could mean anything from several min­utes before sunrise till several minutes after sunrise. Thus, there is no contradic­tion between Matthew and Mark.

The critics next charge that Luke disagrees with Matthew and Mark because Luke says, “very early in the morning,” not “at dawn” per Matthew or “just after sunrise” per Mark. But again, “very early in the morning” includes the descriptions given by both Matthew and Mark. In fact, the phrase could refer to any time after 1 a.m.! When one gets up “very early in the morning,” this can include a signifi­cant span of time, certainly at least half an hour before dawn until just after sunrise. Therefore, Luke does not contradict anything Matthew or Mark says.

But the critics charge that with John we certainly have a contradiction. John says, “While it was still dark.” This phrase the critics allege is certainly not com­patible with “at dawn” or “just after sunrise” when obviously it would not be “still dark.” But consider again the normal use of language. “While it was still dark” can describe conditions that exist “at dawn.” Everyone who has been up “at dawn” certainly knows it is not yet the full light of day. In fact, depending on weather conditions, it can be quite dark even “at dawn” or “just after sunrise.”

If we only consider the manner in which language is typically used, we can see that there is no necessary contradiction between Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Even the most “discrepant” of the accounts—”just after sunrise” and “while it was still dark”—can easily refer to the same period of time.

There are other facts that must be considered which further indicate there is no contradiction between these accounts. What if each writer is describing a certain period of time at which the women either left their houses, or traveled, or the point in time when they actually arrived at the tomb? Dr. Gleason Archer carefully examined the original language used by the writers and concluded:

They [the women] apparently started their journey from the house in Jerusalem while it was still dark (skotias eti ouses), even though it was already early morning (proi) (John 20:1). But by the time they arrived [at the tomb], dawn was glimmering in the East (te epiphoskouse) that Sunday morning (eis mian sabbaton) (Matthew 28:1). (Mark 16:2, Luke 24:1, John 20:1 all use the dative: te mia ton sabbaton.) Mark 16:2 adds that the tip of the sun had actually appeared above the horizon (anateilantos tou heliou—aorist participle; the Bezae codex uses the present participle, anatellontos, implying “while the sun was rising”). [3] So, if one reads the accounts carefully and takes note of the fact that the women were on a journey to the tomb, not only is there no basis to assume a contradiction, one actually wonders why anyone would accuse these writers of such a thing. Obviously, there could be many unstated reasons why each writer would include different details of the same event. Because he does, this does not show contradiction; rather, it shows truthfulness in his reporting.

Lilly not only observes the harmony existing among the four accounts but also supplies an additional reason explaining why they differ: the delay of certain of the women to purchase spices. This would require additional time and explain the difference between John’s Gospel and the others. In this event, Mary herself would have arrived at the tomb alone, before the other women.

It should be noted that all four evangelists agree on the day: it was Sunday; that they all agree on the time: it was very early in the morning. The only discrepancy is that Mark tells us that the sun had already risen, while John says that Mary Magdalene went to the sepulcher while it was still dark. Pere Lagrange has an obvious solution: “It is clear that in Mark’s account the women are delayed by the purchase of spices. We may suppose then that Magdalene, leaving this matter to the other women, went alone and much in advance of the other women to the tomb,” even while it was yet dark, and that the other women who had stopped to purchase ointments did not reach the sepulcher until the sun had risen.[4] John Wenham provides an overall succinct summary, proving that there is no contradiction concerning the time element in the four narratives:

There is perhaps no need to insist upon any distinction between Matthew’s “toward the dawn”, Mark’s “very early”, Luke’s “early dawn” and John’s “while it was still dark.” Darkness and light are relative terms and it would be perfectly possible, and not inaccurate, for one person to describe the time as “early dawn” which another described as “still dark.” It needs to be remembered, however, that it could have been undeniably dark on the women’s departure and undeniably light on their arrival, particularly if their starting point were Bethany. Furthermore, it should be noted that the words “went” in Matthew, Mark and Luke translate the same verb as the “came” in John and that either translation would be possible in any of the cases, it depending on what standpoint the writer is thought to be adopting. If John is thinking of Mary Magdalene setting off from Bethany, the translation “went to the tomb early, while it was still dark” would be precisely accurate. Similarly, Matthew’s “toward the dawn… went” suggests the same Bethany standpoint —the two Marys started their journey just before dawn. Mark’s “very early” could well represent Peter’s recollection of the Marys and Salome leaving John’s house and Luke’s “at early dawn” would fit well enough the departure of Joanna and “Susanna” from the Hasmonean palace. These distinctions may be too fine, but we undoubtedly get a consistent and coherent picture if we see the first departures as being in the dark and the last arrivals as being before [full] sunrise.[5] Whether we are considering the number of women at the tomb or the time element, it is clear that there is no contradiction between the Gospel accounts.

Answering The Objections Of The Critics Concerning Who Supplied The Spices To Anoint Jesus’ Body And When This Occurred When Mark and Luke report that the women bought spices for anointing Jesus’ body on Sunday morning, and John records that Nicodemus supplied the spices and applied them to Jesus’ body on Friday evening, the critics claim this is another contradiction.

John records that on Friday evening (before the Sabbath began), “Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about 75 pounds. Taking Jesus’ body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, and strips of linen. This was in accor­dance with the Jewish burial custom” (John 19:39-40).

But according to Luke certain unnamed women had followed Jesus from Galilee. They saw Him crucified, saw the tomb and how the body was laid and “went home and prepared spices and perfumes” (Luke 23:56). They rested on the Sabbath, but on Sunday morning they brought the spices to the tomb to anoint Jesus’ body (Luke 24:1).

According to Mark 16:1-2, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome purchased additional spices and went to the tomb on Sunday morning to anoint Jesus’ body.

This is not a contradiction because although the women were intending to anoint Jesus’ body with the spices, they never had the opportunity to do so. When they arrived at the grave, the body was already absent and Christ was resurrected.

Why the women wanted to anoint Jesus’ body after Joseph had already done so is probably easily answered. Lilly observes, “Decent burial according to the standards of the day was the most highly cherished and ardently desired lot of every Jew; its privation was deemed a frightful misfortune. Relatives and friends of the deceased considered it a grave obligation to discharge this office on behalf of their departed.”[6] Most likely, the women felt that in the rush after the crucifixion to move Jesus’ body, it was not properly prepared before the Sabbath had started. They feared some important element might have been overlooked.

Further, the critic charges that only Mark and Luke mention that the women brought spices, whereas Matthew and John do not mention this at all. But why should anyone consider this a contradiction?

All four Gospel writers would have known that the body of Jesus required anointing according to Jewish burial custom. It is perfectly reasonable for two to mention this fact and the other two to assume it.

There is no contradiction concerning the anointing of Jesus’ body. Both Wenham[7] and Lilly[8] further discuss these passages and prove that there is no error or contradiction in them.

We must also remember that the Gospel writers are independent reporters of these events. The hallmark of independent reporting is differences in content.

For example, in a court of law, it is always true that four witnesses describing a traffic accident (or a crime) will each supply different information. Characteristi­cally, witnesses notice and report matters which are unique, relevant or important to them. But no judge would ever instruct a jury to ignore what a dependable witness says merely because different details were reported.

The same is true for the Gospel writers. Each one devotes differing amounts of space and detail to the women coming to the tomb. Matthew and Mark supply 8 verses each (Matthew 28:1-8; Mark 16:1-8), yet both mention things the other does not. Luke gives 10 verses (Luke 24:1-10) while John gives only 2 verses (John 20:1-2).

It is unreasonable to assume that every Gospel writer would record the event in precisely the same way, giving precisely the same details. This would be evidence of collusion, not independent testimony.

Consider the illustration of a group of employees at an important business luncheon. Ask each employee to file a report of the event later that day. One may recount how taken he was with the day’s speaker. Another may recall how im­pressed she was with the good service and quality of the food. One other indi­vidual may remember the important things discussed over lunch; another only how pretty the waitresses were. If we were to take all the reports of the employees and compare them, would we charge that they contradicted one another merely because they listed different details according to what impressed them most?

There is no reason to demand that the Gospel writers must report the same detail. When the critic charges contradictions exist merely because the accounts differ, he is being unfair. He is holding the Gospel writers to a standard to which he would not subject anyone else, least of all himself.

7. Do The Critics Today Still Use These Alleged Contradictions To Deny The Resurrection Accounts? Modern liberal theologians and rationalistic, atheistic skeptics agree when it comes to the alleged contradictions in the Resurrection narratives. Virtually every liberal theologian and/or skeptic on The John Ankerberg Show commenting upon the issue has either denied the Resurrection of Christ or cast doubts upon the narratives because of these alleged contradictions.

For example, we shall now examine the beliefs and accusations of some contemporary critics who have appeared on our show.

8. Does Episcopal Bishop John Shelby Spong Teach The Gospel Narratives Are Greatly Confused? The controversial Episcopal Bishop John Shelby Spong stated in his debate with the late Evangelical scholar Dr. Walter Martin, “There is great confusion in the Gospel narratives themselves about a lot of the details of [the] Resurrec­tion—great confusion! You cannot harmonize Luke with John, for example.”[9]

In his book, The Easter Moment, Bishop Spong expands on his beliefs that the differences and alleged contradictions in the Resurrection accounts cast doubt upon the Resurrection itself:

Something so very basic to the Christian proclamation as the Resurrection is thus the subject of great confusion and contradiction even in the writings of the gospels, the primary written Christian witnesses. Let me summarize the points of conflict. Who went to the tomb at dawn on the first day of the week? Paul says nothing about anyone’s going. Mark says that Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome went. Luke says that Mary Magdalene, the other Mary, Joanna, and some other women went. Matthew says that Mary Magdalene and the other Mary only went. John says that Mary Magdalene alone went.[10] 9. Why Is Bishop Spong Wrong In Claiming Great Confusion Exists In The Resurrection Narratives? Bishop Spong charges there is great confusion in the Resurrection narratives. But the evidence shows that the confusion may lie with the critic. We have just demonstrated above that, not only is there no confusion concerning who first visited the tomb, there is no contradiction concerning the time the women went to the tomb.

As to Bishop Spong’s specific charges, we should note, first of all, that there is no necessity for Paul to mention the visitors to the tomb on Easter morning. Paul was converted to the Christian faith several years after the Resurrection. It was, therefore, natural for him to leave the discussion of the particular happenings of Easter morning to those who were close to or participants in the actual events.

Further, notice that Bishop Spong is putting words in the writers’ mouths that they never stated. Bishop Spong claims Matthew and John use such words as “only” or “alone” in referring to specific people who went to the tomb. But anyone who reads the texts can plainly see that Matthew never said that it was only Mary Magdalene and the other Mary who went to the tomb. He merely mentions these two women without excluding others. Also, John does not say that only Mary Magdalene went to the tomb. As we have seen above, he selects her from among the other women for reasons central to his purpose.

10. Do Critics Often Misconstrue Exactly What The Resurrection Narratives Claim? Unfortunately, critics often do misrepresent what the Bible really teaches. For example, Central American diplomat and agnostic John K. Naland, in his debate on The John Ankerberg Show with theologian and lawyer Dr. John Warwick Montgomery, also claimed the following concerning the first visit to the tomb: “The first question: Who went to the tomb? Was it Mary Magdalene alone? Was it Mary Magdalene with another woman? Was it Mary Magdalene with three women? Was it Mary Magdalene with five women?”[11]

Here we see Mr. Naland does not have his facts straight. Notice again that no Gospel account mentions only Mary Magdalene went to the tomb. No account mentions only Mary Magdalene and another woman came to the empty tomb, or that only three other women came to the tomb.

In considering all of the above material, what may we conclude? We must conclude that no contradiction exists between the number of women who went to the tomb on Easter morning and when this event occurred.

If three or more women went as a group to the tomb, then each writer could focus on the particular women he wanted to emphasize. Each writer could focus on a particular woman, women, or the group as a whole according to his pur­poses.

Further, if the women lived different distances from the tomb, then when they each started their journey, the time factor would have been slightly different. Notice, each writer was free to report the time the women left their homes and started their journey, the time during any part of the journey itself, or the time when they arrived at the tomb.

Finally, each Gospel writer could have received the information from which he wrote his account from one or more of the women. Each woman would naturally tell the event from her perspective, mentioning the details that seemed relevant to her and omitting the others.

A K A Stone  posted on  2024-02-23   17:15:51 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#3. To: Vicomte13 (#1)

But this is a TITANIC problem for you if the Bible is your idol.

So now you say Jesus worshipped Idols. What an idiotic statement.

The only idol we have discussed is your worship of a piece of cloth and statues of Mary.

A K A Stone  posted on  2024-02-23   17:17:09 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#4. To: Vicomte13 (#0)

Most people see the imperfections in the Bible

Yep go with the masses Vic.

13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:

14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

A K A Stone  posted on  2024-02-23   17:18:42 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#5. To: Vicomte13 (#0)

it was written by men

You sound like the serpent again.

“Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?”

A K A Stone  posted on  2024-02-23   17:19:38 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#6. To: Vicomte13 (#0)

The idolatry comes in when

You pray to a piece of toast that looks like Mary. Or to her statue. Or you replace the Pope with Gods word.

Stuff like that Vic.

A K A Stone  posted on  2024-02-23   17:20:46 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#7. To: Vicomte13 (#1)

You are very tricky leaving out matthew 10:10. Very subtle like a serpent.

Again I will allow someone else to answer your question. It is obvious but the obvious isn't your strong suit Vic.

DO MATTHEW 10:10, MARK 6:8, AND LUKE 9:3 CONTRADICT? by Shawn Brasseaux

Matthew 10:10: “Nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat.”

Mark 6:8: “And commanded them that they should take nothing for their journey, save a staff only; no scrip, no bread, no money in their purse:”

Luke 9:3: “And he said unto them, Take nothing for your journey, neither staves, nor scrip, neither bread, neither money; neither have two coats apiece.”

The above verses are part of Jesus’ original commissioning of His 12 apostles. Some have imagined a contradiction concerning the statements about these “staves.” Matthew 10:10 and Luke 9:3 agree that the apostles are not to take staves (plural of “staff,” as in a walking stick). Yet, Mark 6:8 says they are to take nothing “save [except] a staff only.” What are they to do? Take a staff, or not take any?

It has been said that the easiest explanation is the most plausible. How sad it is that rather than trying to keep the Bible simple, people have complicated it! They do not have spiritual eyes to appreciate any spiritual truths, so they use their own human resources to “do the best they can” and still cannot make sense of the Bible. However, beloved, if we give the Bible the benefit of the doubt, and use the eyes of faith, the Holy Spirit will honor that attitude and He will show us how to understand the Bible’s various oddities.

What is the easiest explanation here? The Lord Jesus allowed them to use one walking staff, just not bring along another (or special) one. In other words, they did not need to go out a buy another staff to prepare for their journeys (thus giving them two or more staves, which Jesus forbade). No, just they just needed to bring along the one staff they already had. They did not need to pack a bag with money or extra clothes, either. Bringing along more supplies was unnecessary. The Messianic believers whose houses they would visit, those people would provide for their needs, for “the workman is worthy of his meat” (Matthew 10:10b).

As a final note, if we look at these verses from another angle, the above explanation further proves likely. Jesus told them in Matthew 10:10: “Nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat.” Certainly, Jesus was not telling them not to bring shoes along. The rocks of Palestine are sharp and jagged. No, He was implying a second pair of shoes was unnecessary. And, notice how Luke 9:3 mentions not bringing “two coats:” “And he said unto them, Take nothing for your journey, neither staves, nor scrip, neither bread, neither money; neither have two coats apiece.” They were certainly to wear clothes, just not bring along a second coat (“tunic” or “shirt”). Again, the emphasis is on not bringing extra supplies—extra shirts, extra shoes, extra staves. God’s people, the Messianic Jews, would take care of these apostles’ material needs on their journeys. They were to bring along one walking stick, and if they needed a replacement, their converts could provide. How simple, friends, how simple the Word of God is if we just read and believe it!

A K A Stone  posted on  2024-02-23   17:27:57 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#8. To: Vicomte13 (#0)

Two Strikes Vic. Are we playing one inning or a full 9.

Bring it.

A K A Stone  posted on  2024-02-23   17:28:57 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#9. To: A K A Stone (#2)

I never mentioned the number of women as a contradiction. No. The number of angels, yes. What Mary Magdalene said. Yes. What Jesus told them. Yes. Different people at different times? Nope, that’s not what the text says. You said you weren’t going to go to any length to explain. Then you explained at enormous lengths, focusing on something I didn’t even bring up. Fundamentally dishonest.

Vicomte13  posted on  2024-02-23   20:06:54 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#10. To: Vicomte13 (#9)

im sorry that was cut and pasted. You should know i dont write that good. i lost the tab and didnt have the link address.

A K A Stone  posted on  2024-02-23   21:16:08 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#11. To: Vicomte13 (#1)

Your comment number 1 has been answered and disproven in post number 7.

Once you acknowledge that I will get back to the angels. If you can't do that there is no need for me to do that as it will be a waste of time.

A K A Stone  posted on  2024-02-24   15:13:48 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#12. To: Vicomte13 (#0) (Edited)

Wow, that's a very long post, and there are a lot of "apparent" contradictions as I also point out in my book, "The Gospels: An Astronomical Guide."

Here is my response:

First and foremost, Mark's Gospel was the first Gospel written, and he only gives a brief account of each of the Gospel stories.

Later, Matthew and Luke wrote their Gospels which expand on the events in Mark's Gospel. Of the two I trust Matthew the most, because he was there when the resurrection happened. Mark and Luke weren't. and weren't even Jews, or anywhere in the area. Like a k a Stone has said, Mark and Luke probably got their information from two different people, probably women, who may or may not have been one of the eye-witnesses. Even so, any "contradiction" can be explained by Mary visiting the tomb twice. Problem solved.

Much later, when he was about a hundred years old, John wrote his gospel. His main purpose was to add a few things that the other 3 Gospels left out. Like Jesus indicating in His last words to the apostles that John would live to see Him return (which happened in 95 or 96 AD on the Isle of Patmos).

Of the four, only Matthew records an "astronomical" event that lets us know exactly when the resurrection of Jesus took place. Actually, he gives us three clues.

First, there was a eclipse of the sun and a great earthquake when Jesus drew his last breath on the cross. We now know that was April 21st, 4 BC, easily proven with any star-tracking software. I used Distant Suns (Vers. 2). Early in the morning, Sunday April 23rd, there was an aftershock which evidently rolled the stone away from the entrance to the tomb. It happened before sunrise as Matthew indicates.

So everything happened just as recorded, but as told by 4 different people.

interpreter  posted on  2024-03-08   16:17:57 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#13. To: interpreter (#12)

So everything happened just as recorded, but as told by 4 different people.

Yep.

Now you just need to stop your blasphemous view that other parts of the Bible aren't reliable. It all is reliable. Calling God a liar is a big mistake. Vic makes that mistake thinking he is smarter than God is and what he says is true and above what God revealed to us in his word.

A K A Stone  posted on  2024-03-08   17:55:10 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#14. To: A K A Stone (#13)

So everything happened just as recorded, but as told by 4 different people. Yep.

Now you just need to stop your blasphemous view that other parts of the Bible aren't reliable. It all is reliable. Calling God a liar is a big mistake. Vic makes that mistake thinking he is smarter than God is and what he says is true and above what God revealed to us in his word.

When did I say other parts of the Bible are unreliable?

What I said was, if a Bible story does not agree with the scientific and historical facts, it should be thrown in the trash.

Hopefully Vic will someday realize that every story in the Bible can easily be proven to be true. It is true that some of the stories have been "romanticized" somewhat by the author that wrote them, but they are all based on historical facts. Every one of them.

I have never called God a liar.

peace, Barry Midyet

interpreter  posted on  2024-03-08   20:01:05 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#15. To: interpreter (#14)

What I said was, if a Bible story does not agree with the scientific and historical facts, it should be thrown in the trash.

That makes it sound like you think the Bible should be thrown in the trash.

Thanks for correcting.

What has been romanticized?

A K A Stone  posted on  2024-03-08   21:50:05 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#16. To: A K A Stone (#15) (Edited)

What I said was, if a Bible story does not agree with the scientific and historical facts, it should be thrown in the trash. That makes it sound like you think the Bible should be thrown in the trash.

Thanks for correcting.

What has been romanticized?

An example of a story being embellished (or romanticized) is Luke's account of the birth of Jesus. First, Luke was probably not even born yet, and was writing about the event some 70 years later. We do not know who told Luke their account of the event, but over a period of 70 years of just oral retelling of the story, the story and the details tend to get embellished with each retelling.

Luke and Matthew are telling the same story, but there are a lot of differences only because Matthew was there, and Luke wasn't. The wise men (or astrologers) were actually shepherds who watched the stars while tending their sheep at night. The sign in the sky the shepherds saw is the same sign in the sky that the "magi" saw in Matthew's version. The Dead Sea scrolls reveal that they lived in the Qumran community which is due east of Jerusalem as Matthew tells us. The dead sea scrolls calls the magi the "Calendar Keepers." They watched the moon and the stars in order to keep the Hebrew calendar accurate and also to figure out when certain events were supposed to occur, including the birth of the Messiah.

It was a bright Star in the East (Venus) that the magi/shepherds were following. It's the same star in the east on the Israeli flag which represents when the Messiah is to be born. As Jesus tells us in the last chapter of the Bible, He is that bright morning star.

In summary, Matthew's account of the birth of Jesus is more accurate because he was there (in Israel). And Luke wasn't there and had to rely on word of mouth, and over time the story came to be "romanticized" (or embellished).

Hope that helps, Barry

interpreter  posted on  2024-03-09   13:46:32 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#17. To: interpreter (#12)

I am fine with that, as long as you acknowledge that the Bible itself is contradictory in many places. That, to me, is the soul of this debate. God did not write the Bible - men did - and it has the sort of imperfections in it we would expect of anything produced by men, facts said in one book that are contradicted by another. This is all obvious, and as long as one admits it, then I have no particular issue with which things one wishes to emphasize and what one wants to view with diminished importance.

The assertion that the Bible itself is perfect and does not contradict itself is obviously false - I can point to at least 30 obvious contradictions without breaking a sweat. And here I speak of real contradictions, where the text says one thing in one place, and the opposite in another. I do not speak here of places where the story contradicts science, only where it directly contradicts itself.

Vicomte13  posted on  2024-03-09   14:06:07 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#18. To: Vicomte13 (#17) (Edited)

To: interpreter I am fine with that, as long as you acknowledge that the Bible itself is contradictory in many places. That, to me, is the soul of this debate. God did not write the Bible - men did - and it has the sort of imperfections in it we would expect of anything produced by men, facts said in one book that are contradicted by another. This is all obvious, and as long as one admits it, then I have no particular issue with which things one wishes to emphasize and what one wants to view with diminished importance.

The assertion that the Bible itself is perfect and does not contradict itself is obviously false - I can point to at least 30 obvious contradictions without breaking a sweat. And here I speak of real contradictions, where the text says one thing in one place, and the opposite in another. I do not speak here of places where the story contradicts science, only where it directly contradicts itself.

I understand what you are saying, but I dont agree with your choice of words.

As I told aka stone, any differences between the account of the same event in the four Gospels are easily explained because, at least with Mark and Luke, they were NOT there (while Matthew and John were there).

So Mark and Luke had to rely on word of mouth and over time the oral retelling of an event tends to get "embellished" over time. But I would not call it a contradiction -- that is too strong a word. I think we are arguing over semantics here.

brother Barry

interpreter  posted on  2024-03-09   14:42:21 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#19. To: Vicomte13 (#17)

I am fine with that, as long as you acknowledge that the Bible itself is contradictory in many places.

There you go again thinking you are superior to God and can't show any contradictions.

Just like the one up thread you never acknowledged you were wrong again.

There are no contradictions just a guy who thinks he knows more than he does because he doesn't have ears to hear because because he lacks faith in God. You think God is to weak to preserve his word and he needs fools like you to correct it. Blasphemous you are.

A K A Stone  posted on  2024-03-09   15:40:53 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#20. To: interpreter (#16)

An example of a story being embellished (or romanticized) is Luke's account of the birth of Jesus. First, Luke was probably not even born yet, and was writing about the event some 70 years later. We do not know who told Luke their account of the event, but over a period of 70 years of just oral retelling of the story, the story and the details tend to get embellished with each retelling.

You don't have faith that God can preserve his word perfectly.

Hopefully some day you will have more faith.

A K A Stone  posted on  2024-03-09   15:42:42 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#21. To: Vicomte13 (#17)

Mark 3:29 But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation.

You say the holy spirit isn't real and can't preserve Gods word. You think God is a wuss.

You should do some self examination.

A K A Stone  posted on  2024-03-09   17:26:03 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#22. To: A K A Stone (#20) (Edited)

You don't have faith that God can preserve his word perfectly.

Hopefully some day you will have more faith.

I don't have "faith" that there is a God because I know there is a God. That's because I research each event in the Bible through other (secular) sources in order to prove or disprove all of the stories. And I haven't been able to disprove anything yet. NADA.

I realize, like Vicom says, that there minor differences between different accounts of the same event, but that is because 4 people who see the same event are going to describe it 4 different ways. And maybe each one will leave out a little detail or add a little detail. That doesn't change the underlying event at all. That's how we get the full picture.

Barry

interpreter  posted on  2024-03-10   0:46:52 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#23. To: A K A Stone (#19)

I never "acknowledged I was wrong" about anything. You don't understand what I am saying. That's all.

Vicomte13  posted on  2024-03-10   13:56:44 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#24. To: Vicomte13 (#23)

I never "acknowledged I was wrong" about anything.

That is a true statement. You think you are never wrong.

A K A Stone  posted on  2024-03-11   9:39:34 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#25. To: A K A Stone (#24)

You don't either. The difference between us is that you virulently attack people with whom you disagree. I don't.

Vicomte13  posted on  2024-03-12   8:30:35 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#26. To: Vicomte13 (#25)

You have mail on a different subject.

A K A Stone  posted on  2024-03-12   21:24:32 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#27. To: A K A Stone (#21)

I think you have the wrong idea about the Holy Spirit. Actually there are seven of them. It is their job to guide us to the truth (Revelation 1). We arrive at the truth by comparing all 4 Gospels, written by 4 different people, and each providing some clues. And then compare the Gospels to the rest of the Bible, etc.

In another place, the Bible says to "study" to show yourself approved (by God and / or the Holy Spirit). It wouldn't say to study the Bible if everything were as simple as you try to make it sound .

Hope that helps,

Barry

interpreter  posted on  2024-03-12   21:25:55 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#28. To: A K A Stone (#26)

Read it and replied

Vicomte13  posted on  2024-03-16   16:58:15 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


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