Why do the Gospels contradict each other?????

United Arab Emirates
August 23, 2009 6:07am CST
Take for instance the Resurection of Christ. The Sunday morning is depicted differently by each of the Gospels. There are many instances that the gospel contradicts upon. What do you think could be the reasons????
1 person likes this
8 responses
• United States
23 Aug 09
I think it is simply the fact that you have different perspectives of the same activity. If four people saw the same wreck happen at the corner, then their would be four different perspectives of the same thing. Each one would have seen the incident just a little bit differently base on their perspective.
• United Arab Emirates
25 Aug 09
If Bible is a set of perspective written by men then it can no longer be from God. So why do people call it the ultimate truth from God. Can it be possible the truth might have been altered to suit the perceptions of the author?
• United States
4 Sep 09
Anthony: Here is a website that will help you answer these questions. http://www.gotquestions.org/four-Gospels.html Question: "Why did God give us four Gospels?" 1) To give a more complete picture of Christ. While the entire Bible is inspired by God (2 Timothy 3:16), He used human authors with different backgrounds and personalities to accomplish His purposes through their writing. Each of the gospel authors had a distinct purpose behind his gospel and in carrying out those purposes, each emphasized different aspects of the person and ministry of Jesus Christ
• Australia
30 Aug 09
Anthony, I have to disagree that there are contradictions. Others have already pointed out that four different men wrote the Gospels from four different perspectives - but I must add that they wrote as God inspired them. While inspired by God, this doesn't mean a mechanical dictation. God used the personalities and attributes of the men, but gave approval to the content. If there had been a mechanical dictation, wouldn't we have four identical Gospels? Had this been so, there would be only one Gospel account. Instead, we have four - all agreeing, but from differing perspectives. This is why we see Matthew, a Jew, portraying Jesus as the prophesied King who fulfills the Old Testament prophecies. Matthew wrote particularly to Jews and spoke of their interests. Mark portrayed Jesus as the obedient Servant and concentrated on Jesus' miracles and actions, appealing primarily to the Romans. Luke, the physician, was more historical in nature and presented Jesus as the Son of Man, appealing more to the Greeks. Then we have John. John presented Jesus as the divine Son of God, the Saviour of the world. His appeal was to the Church and he concentrated on Jesus' teachings. Let us not forget that these men were eye-witnesses of Jesus' life. I have known, loved and served my loving heavenly Father, through the Lord Jesus Christ, for 50 of my 73 years, and He has proven again and again the absolute truth of His Word.
• Australia
30 Aug 09
First, let me say I appreciate a logical mind like yours, which questions and seeks answers. The first part of your reply, about writers not being present during conversations, is a valid point from a human stand. The same could be said of much of the Bible, especially sections of the Old Testament, but if we accept that the Scriptures are God inspired, this question is clearly answered. The clearest illustration of this is the apostle Paul, whose writings, especially Romans, are applauded as the most logical of all time. Romans is studied in law colleges as the highest form of logic. Galatians tells us that Paul spent 3 years alone with God being taught by God. Just as God taught Paul, so God caused His chosen writers to record His own chosen words. They didn't need to actually hear the words spoken, if God gave them that information. John was indeed an eye-witness and was present, with Mary, at the crucifixion. There is evidence that Matthew was a disciple, but I'll agree this is debatable. It could have been another Matthew. Luke (who also wrote Acts) and Mark were prominent in the early Church, accompanying Paul and were eye-witnesses of events then. Peter, though not a writer of a Gospel, was of course an eye-witness. As far as I can see, there is no discrepancy about the day of the last supper. It was indeed the Passover. A misconception can occur here through the word "sabbath". Sabbath had more than one meaning. There was the weekly sabbath, but also special sabbaths. In the Greek, (the language in which the Gospels were written) the annual Passover sabbath is recorded as THE Sabbath. (Greek uses emphatic for "the") Most writer agree there were two temple cleansings. I cannot find anywhere where John says Jesus' ministry lasted a year. In the Scriptures, angels are always men who often appear in the form of man. I see no discrepancy in one person seeing an angel and another seeing a man dressed in white. Abraham did not recognise the men who visited him as angels. I cannot see that John talks of two angels who "transform themselves" into Jesus. With regards the resurrection, while Mark and Luke do not record an event, they are not to be taken as saying "No. It didn't happen". Like you, I like proof. Yes, I can accept things by faith, but this is because of the many infallible proofs already experienced. There have been so very many things in Scripture ridiculed by "experts" in the world, who have had to eat their words. I am thinking as one instance, of Hezekiah's tunnel. "Experts" ridiculed its existence for centuries - until it was unearthed not very long ago and now found EXACTLY as recorded in Scripture. Today, hundreds of tourists walk through that tunnel every day. I suppose I believed about Hezekiah's tunnel "by faith" simply because I know God's Word is true - but now there is proof. In my 50 years of studying the Scriptures I have not found even one contradiction which stands true.
• United Arab Emirates
31 Aug 09
Thank you so much for your post Sir. I applaude the way you have explained to me my questions. What you are saying is without a shadow of a doubt the strongest response in this discussion. Your answers are sensible too. Now I have two point of views to the contradictions or complements in the bible. I have come to the conclusion that though we can never prove what actually happened we can always come to the best possible conclusions. We can always accept whatever helps us grow. Whether Jesus resurrected or not, whether there are contradictions or not, the bottom line is, Jesus lived. All Gospels agree on his teachings. For me He has resurrected in my heart. I don't care whether he physically resurrected or not. I believe He spoke about how to live like a human being and not how to be a good christian. Discussions with people like you are very fruitful and will help young people like us to clear our doubts. Although I agree your point of view but it still requires faith on my part to believe it. Since there are always two sides and both are right depending on the way you see it. And when I think of this I think of the Lord's word " Many are called but few are chosen. Thank you once again. In my books this discussion is closed.
• United Arab Emirates
31 Aug 09
Thank you so much for your post Sir. I applaude the way you have explained to me my questions. What you are saying is without a shadow of a doubt the strongest response in this discussion. Your answers are sensible too. Now I have two point of views to the contradictions or complements in the bible. I have come to the conclusion that though we can never prove what actually happened we can always come to the best possible conclusions. We can always accept whatever helps us grow. Whether Jesus resurrected or not, whether there are contradictions or not, the bottom line is, Jesus lived. All Gospels agree on his teachings. For me He has resurrected in my heart. I don't care whether he physically resurrected or not. I believe He spoke about how to live like a human being and not how to be a good christian. Discussions with people like you are very fruitful and will help young people like us to clear our doubts. Although I agree your point of view but it still requires faith on my part to believe it. Since there are always two sides and both are right depending on the way you see it. And when I think of this I think of the Lord's word " Many are called but few are chosen". Thank you once again. In my books this discussion is closed.
@boisson (256)
• Hong Kong
23 Aug 09
They're written by different people, and the Bible was initially just word of mouth before people decided to compile a whole lot of gospels together. Believe it or not, there is even a gospel of Judas Iskariot, but we're not going to talk about that :3 So, we have different gospels by different people with different perspectives and ways of thinking. If that's not enough already, these stories were also initially passed on through word of mouth, which means that the storytellers might have added their own parts in too. Furthermore, we then translated these Hebrew writings into English with the new King James Version. Whoa (:
• United Arab Emirates
25 Aug 09
Thanks so much on the info. can you tell me more about the gospel of judas iscariot?
• United Arab Emirates
26 Aug 09
Hey that's interesting. Fake gospels. Boisson would you like to add to this?
@boisson (256)
• Hong Kong
26 Aug 09
I don't know if it's a fake or no :3 I only remember reading a while back that the gospel of Judas was only just recently found and that it portrays Judas as a loving and sincere friend of Jesus who was later asked personaly by Jesus to betray him for reasons I do not yet know. 'Course, if it's fake then I shall stick to the old Judas-betrays-son-of-Man-for-cash story.
• Germany
24 Aug 09
This question I had asked myself (and my teachers) for many many years. The solution I have found from Jesus' words given by a dictation through the inner word to the Austrian musician Jakob Lorber (1800 - 1864) in his "New Revelation". In English the "New Gospel of John" is available at least in major parts from www.franky1.com and there you can find the Lord's explanations. It is not about assumptions of some theologists and historians, it is simply about the historical origin and the purpose of the Gospels in the household of God.
@veganbliss (3903)
• Adelaide, Australia
12 Nov 11
Yes, there are a great many contradictions between them - maybe hundreds, but certainly more than we have time & space on here to discuss properly. Some have mentioned the authors wrote from different times & places & cultures, though the Church teaches us that these books were written by immediate companions & apostles of Jesus Christ, faithful eye-witnesses to his work and word, commanded & inspired by Christ / God / the Holy Ghost (which one is not explicit), to write and publish these wonderful biographies of Jesus. This is explicitly the teaching and dogma of the Church: no real Apostolic author, no true Gospel. Through 'pious Christian fraud & forgery', there were fraudulently in vogue some couple of hundred “books current under an Apostle’s name in the Early Church, such as the Epistle of Barnabas and the Apocalypse of St. Peter,” that quoted from the Catholic Encyclopaedia (iii, 274), it admits of these fraudulent “sacred writings” — with Apostolic titles. Our Ecclesiastical authority then states the “certain indubitable marks” whereby true Apostolic authenticity, essential to validity and credence, must be known: “For the primitive Church, evangelical character was the test of Scriptural sacredness. But to guarantee this character it was necessary that a book should be known as composed by the official witnesses and organs of the Evangel; hence to certify the Apostolic authorship, or at least sanction, of a work purporting to contain the Gospel of Christ.” (Catholic Encyclopaedia iii, 274.) All purported “Gospels” as to which Apostolic authorship or sanction could not be guaranteed and certified were, of course, spurious, as is natural and proper. Yet, for centuries, false and forged “Gospels,” etc, as the two just named, bore the Apostolic certificates of authenticity — now confessed to be false. According to the names “supplied” to the Four Gospels, as to the other New Testament books, the “Apostolic” authors were Jews; the same is supposedly true of most of the now confessed apocrypha. All these were forgeries in the names of Jewish pseudo-apostles. But all of the Gospels, the other New Testament Books & the forged apocrypha, were written in Greek. Self-evidently, these “ignorant & unlearned” peasant Apostles, speaking a vulgar Aramaic-Jewish dialect, could neither speak nor write Greek, —if they could write at all. It was also the Greek Septuagint and Greek forged Oracles that were exclusively used by the Greek Fathers and priests in all the Gospel-propaganda work of the first three centuries. Obviously, the Gospels and other New Testament booklets, written in Greek and quoting 300 times the Greek Septuagint, and several Greek Pagan authors, as Aratus, and Cleanthes, were written, not by illiterate Jewish peasants, but by Greek-speaking ex-Pagan Fathers and priests far from the Holy Land of the Jews. There's more proof that the Gospels were not written by Jews. Traditionally, Jesus and all of the “Apostles” were Jews; all their associates and the people of their country with whom they came into contact, were Jews. But throughout the Gospels, scores of times, “the Jews” are spoken of, always as a distinct and alien people from the writers & mostly with a sense of racial hatred & contempt. A few instances only need be given; they all betray that the writers were not Jews speaking of their fellow Jews. The Greek writer of “Matthew” says: “this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day” (Matthew xxviii, 15), — showing, too, that it was written long afterwards; a Jew must have said “among our people,” or something similar. It is recorded by “Mark”: “For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, except they wash their hands of it, eat not, holding to the tradition of the elders” (Mark vii, 3); no Jew writing for his fellow-Jews would explain or need to explain this Jewish custom, known to & practiced by “all the Jews.” Luke names a Jew and locates geographically his place of residence: “Joseph, of Arimathea, a city of the Jews”; an American writer, speaking of Hoboken, could not say “a city of the Americans” nor did Jews need to be told by a Jew that Arimathea was a “city of the Jews.” The Greek priest who wrote “John” is the most prolific in telling his Pagan readers about Jewish customs and personalities; absurd in a Jew writing for Jews: “After the manner of the purifying of the Jews” (ii, 6); “And the Jews’ passover was at hand” (ii, 13) “Then answered the Jews, and said unto Jesus” (iii, 1); “Then there arose a question between some of John’s disciples—[all Jews]— & the Jews about purifying” (iii, 25); “And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus” (v, 16); “Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him” (v, 18). But wait - here's more: “And the passover, a feast of the Jews, was nigh” vi, 4); no American would say “the Fourth of July, a holiday of the Americans,” though a French writer might properly explain this. “After these things Jesus would not walk in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill him” (vii, 1); “for they feared the Jews: for the Jews had agreed already” (ix, 22); “His disciples said unto him, Master, the Jews of late sought to stone thee with stones” (xi, 8); “As the manner of the Jews is to bury” (xix, 40), which need be explained to no Jew. These and many like passages prove that no Jews wrote the Gospels; that they were written by foreigners for foreigners; these foreigners were Greek-speaking aliens unfamiliar with Jewish customs; the writers were therefore ex-Pagan Greek priests who were zealously “selling” the “glad tidings of great joy” to the ignorant and superstitious Pagan populace.
• United States
25 Aug 09
I think they're different because they're written by four different people with their own point of view. The main thrust is the same in each - "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life."
• United Arab Emirates
25 Aug 09
Hi, I agree that the Bible is written by four different people with different perceptions. They all are trying to convey the same message. But if you look at it the Bible is the Word of God filled with promises. If I as a believer were to believe in those promises I must be able to put all my faith on it. The only way I can do this if I believe for sure that it is from God. Now if they are different and more so perceptions from men then how can I trust those promises. Also, if God wants to convey his messsage wouldn't it be better to convey it through just one Gospel or with four gospels which agree with each other. If you wish to see it yourself please go through the account of resurrection in all four gospels. YOu will get the point I am trying to convey. Thanks for you post i appreaciate your view.
• United States
24 Aug 09
Anthony, As stated by many other responses already, there are differing points of view, but one thing remains true through all of it. The Gospels do NOT contradict each other in any way. Take Luke for instance. Luke was a doctor, therefore, most of the content in that book is very detailed and colorful. Just because someone doesn't notice the same level of detail that someone else may, doesn't mean their account of the same occurance is any less accurate, or in any way contradictory. After seeing the title of your post, I had to bring this to your attention. The Bible, as a whole is not contradictory, but complimentary to itself through and throughout. I also know that there are some books that have been omitted from its current content, but as a whole, the message of the Bible is one and intact, and that is the message of salvation through Jesus Christ.
• United Arab Emirates
25 Aug 09
Hi, Thanks for bringing this to my attention. I love reading the Bible but there are certain things which I needed clarity on. You are right Luke's Gospel is colourful. What I wanted to know was why they were so different. For eg. In one gospel it says they found two angels on the tombstone during resurrection. While in one it says there was just one angel. In one gospel it says Mary Magdalene mistook Jesus to be the gardener and in another it says that she and other women found an angel telling them that he is risen. All I am trying to figure out is why the resurrection is depicted so differently. Because if I am asked by someone outside my faith I should be able to explain it to him? Hope you see what i am trying to say. Thanks
• United States
4 Sep 09
Question: "Why did God give us four Gospels?" Answer: ) To give a more complete picture of Christ. While the entire Bible is inspired by God (2 Timothy 3:16), He used human authors with different backgrounds and personalities to accomplish His purposes through their writing. Each of the gospel authors had a distinct purpose behind his gospel and in carrying out those purposes, each emphasized different aspects of the person and ministry of Jesus Christ. This website may help you: http://www.gotquestions.org/four-Gospels.html