We are going to look at Contradictions. Does the Bible contradict itself? There are basic kinds of contradictions. The first is the synoptic contradictions. How do you explain the contradictions between Matthew, Mark, and Luke as to the events of Christ. How do you explain the contradictions or similarities? There are differences in wording if you look at Matthew, Mark, and Luke. In Matthew and Mark they are reviling Christ and in Luke one of them repents. There are also similarities in order of things, Christ had a ministry in Galilee, he has a traveling ministry and a ministry in Jerusalem.
There are also temptations in Matthew, turn the stone into bread and to jump off the temple. In Luke he turns the order to, turn the stone into bread, worship me, and jump off the temple. How do you resolve the orders of things between both writers?
There are similarities in the events and the order of things. Still we have to resolve the differences. Let’s look at Luke 1: 1-4
1: For as much as many have taken in hand to set forth (in order) a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us,
2: Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word;
3: It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus,
4: That thou mightiest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed.
What Luke is saying here is that I am going to research things and present everything in an orderly manner. It is like doing a college paper. Luke wanted Theophilus to know that these things really occurred. So what you have here is selection and purpose. You can see the same thing in John 20: 30 – 31.
30: And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book:
31: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.
So what you see is that many things occurred in Christ but you see the writer’s selected events to convey the message of Christ to the world. They might be out-of-order and the wording is different but the core message is the same. What the learned scholars have left out is common sense, in regards that we are all individuals. With our own perception of things in the world around us. So the arguments on style and writing between the gospel writers becomes mute. The core of the event is still there.
The other thing that occurs is harmonization of the gospels between each other. We have to remember that in English we expect events to be in an orderly manner. However when we translate to Greek, the same literary prose does not exist. You can have two witness to an event and ask them to tell what they saw. You are going to get different accounts of what they say but both witnesses will be in harmony as to the essences of the event. You have the same occurrences in the Bible.
If you look at the birth of Christ, Matthew starts with the genealogy of Christ and Luke starts with the angels visit. Then they both come together and Jesus was born and the shepherds came to visit them. Then they both agree that Jesus ends up in Nazareth years later. So you have a different beginning, the birth and the same ending then you have totally different things happening in between. When you look at Matthew you have the Magi coming , Herod killing the babies and the flight to Egypt. Herod dies and Joseph comes back to Nazareth. In Luke you have the circumcision, Jesus in the temple and then he is in Nazareth. Circumcision occured after 8 days. The Magi came a year later? How do you explain the time.?
So what you see here are the events of Christ’s birth, which are more interesting to the Jews instead of to the gentiles. Gentiles where consider the heathens of the time. So do all details have to coincide with each other? No because we live in an imperfect world. Scholars make their money off of creating doubt in the minds of Christians. Harmonization will correct the contradictions in the synoptic gospels.
We can sit here all day all day and squabble about the syntax of the writers language but we forget the times they lived in and the education they received. These were men led by the Holy Spirit. Why would Christ let them distort the Biblical events that occurred. This would not have happened.
Look at the argument of two donkeys. Matthew writes that Christ was riding on one colt and a fold going into Jerusalem and in Luke, Mark and John there was only one donkey. In the overall scheme of things does it really matter. The core essence of the story he entered Jerusalem on a donkey. Does it take away from the essence of the narrative? No it does not. We have an obsession with details but we have to remember we are dealing with individuals.
We look at another aspect of the Bible in the area of Hermeneutics the science of interpretation of the Bible. How do we study our Bible? We can see contradictions example; Christ says you are against me and in another place it says If you are with me. At first glance that is the opposite. The problem lays in the interpretation of the scriptures. The first statement refers to the Pharisees and the second refers to the believer. Interpretation of the scripture is paramount to the understanding of the Bible.
Then we cross the plateau of slavery. I have seen the comments on slavery that the Bible is in concert with slavery. All one has to do is look at the writings of Paul.
For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;
Definition of menstealers is someone who deals in slaves.
So then you look at the last commandment in the Ten Commandments;
You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor. Slavery is debunk in the last commandment.
When people come together and say there are contradictions in the gospels, ask them can you show me one? The vast majority of people will have a problem in answering that question. The majority of the time the question becomes mute. The person asking the question does not know what he is talking about.
The contradiction comes in the interpretations of the verses . Sometimes Christ is talking to the Pharisees and then Paul is talking to us. People mimic others what they have heard they do not study the context of the Word. They are just refusing to believe in Christ simple as that. Like it says not everyone who says Lord ,Lord will enter the KIngdom of the Lord. Again this why only a few will enter the Kingdom because the people have been led astray.
Pick up your Bible and immerse yourself in the waters of righteousness and dry yourself off in Truth and shed the darkness.