Are the four gospels consistent ?

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polonius
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Are the four gospels consistent ?

Post #1

Post by polonius »

There are four gospels supposedly named after their authors: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

They are supposed to have been dictated by God. Do they contain any contradictions? If so, does this show that God contradicts himself?

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Re: Are the four gospels consistent ?

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Post by DavidLeon »

polonius wrote:
Sat Jun 20, 2020 10:17 am
There are four gospels supposedly named after their authors: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

They are supposed to have been dictated by God. Do they contain any contradictions? If so, does this show that God contradicts himself?
The short answer is that the four gospels are consistent given the fact that they are four separate accounts of the same events in a myriad of variables. The vast majority of actual contradictions in the Bible are numerical due to copyist errors. The writing of the gospels were allegedly inspired but the translation was not inspired, meaning that if there were actual contradictions they either reflected discrepancies of the writers due to variations in the stream of time of the events or, far more likely, misinterpretations and therefore do not indicate that God contradicts himself.

I can elaborate on such possible cases should they be presented to me.
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Re: Are the four gospels consistent ?

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Post by brunumb »

DavidLeon wrote:
Sat Jun 20, 2020 6:57 pm
The vast majority of actual contradictions in the Bible are numerical due to copyist errors. The writing of the gospels were allegedly inspired but the translation was not inspired, meaning that if there were actual contradictions they either reflected discrepancies of the writers due to variations in the stream of time of the events or, far more likely, misinterpretations and therefore do not indicate that God contradicts himself.
So much for "meticulously recorded" events. It's hardly the word of God when it contains so much meddling and so many discrepancies due to the hand of human beings. You really have to wonder just what "inspired" by God really entails.
Christianty: 2000 years of making it up as you go along.

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Re: Are the four gospels consistent ?

Post #4

Post by Zzyzx »

DavidLeon wrote:
Sat Jun 20, 2020 6:57 pm
polonius wrote:
Sat Jun 20, 2020 10:17 am
There are four gospels supposedly named after their authors: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

They are supposed to have been dictated by God. Do they contain any contradictions? If so, does this show that God contradicts himself?
The short answer is that the four gospels are consistent given the fact that they are four separate accounts of the same events in a myriad of variables.
Perhaps some are unfamiliar with what is known as “The Synoptic Problem” – consideration of the conflicts and the evidence of verbatim copying from each other or from a common source. https://www.britannica.com/topic/biblic ... ic-problem
DavidLeon wrote:
Sat Jun 20, 2020 6:57 pm
The vast majority of actual contradictions in the Bible are numerical due to copyist errors.
Kindly cite verifying evidence.
DavidLeon wrote:
Sat Jun 20, 2020 6:57 pm
The writing of the gospels were allegedly inspired but the translation was not inspired,
Key word is “allegedly”.

How do you know that translations were not 'inspired'? Where is that confirmed?
DavidLeon wrote:
Sat Jun 20, 2020 6:57 pm
meaning that if there were actual contradictions they either reflected discrepancies of the writers due to variations in the stream of time of the events or, far more likely, misinterpretations and therefore do not indicate that God contradicts himself.
Perhaps readers cannot trust the Bible to mean what it says and say what it means?

How can it be known that tales of 'resurrection' are not misinterpretations, copyist errors, mistakes in translation, editing omissions / additions, or pious fraud? The 'evidence' is nothing more than unverified tales in an ancient religion-promoting book.
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Re: Are the four gospels consistent ?

Post #5

Post by Dimmesdale »

I can't think of a contradiction off the top of my head, but there's one writer who I was reading recently, Spong, who made the point that the resurrection of Jesus "evolved" from gospel to gospel with Jesus being from one end not even appearing to most fleshly (nail marks, etc), and thus we should be circumspect that any one gave the same narrative, as it were.

For me, that commits him to the logically fallacious position of "Absence of evidence = evidence of absence", whereas it (the first part of the equation) doesn't (lead to the second..). The Gospels may not have evolved in the way he'd thought. In short, it's an interpretation. And that interpretation goes for theists too. Theists could just say that each Gospel simply focused on different things, for a variety of reasons, such as potential audiences, the fact that God is "hidden" and prefers to work incognito, reveal himself progressively (as is espoused by the new and old testaments by Christians more explicitly) etc.

I'll give another example. Spong maintains that in Corinthians Paul only says that Jesus was "risen" but doesn't go into specifics. Well, what if Spong considered the fact that Corinthians was literature less in the vein of a first-hand account and more a doctrinal thesis, as I suspect was Paul's main aim, being the "first Christian theologian."

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Re: Are the four gospels consistent ?

Post #6

Post by Miles »

DavidLeon wrote:
Sat Jun 20, 2020 6:57 pm
polonius wrote:
Sat Jun 20, 2020 10:17 am
There are four gospels supposedly named after their authors: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

They are supposed to have been dictated by God. Do they contain any contradictions? If so, does this show that God contradicts himself?
The short answer is that the four gospels are consistent given the fact that they are four separate accounts of the same events in a myriad of variables.
Actually they're not entirely consistent. They have significant contradictions, often among one another.

Contradiction in number: demon-possessed men, blind men, and angels


Two demon-possessed men (Matt. 8:28) vs. one (Mk. 5:2)
Two blind men (Matt. 20:30) vs. one (Mk. 10:46)
Two angels at the tomb (Lk. 24:4) vs. one (Mk. 16:5)



Contradiction in the nature of events: The Temptation of Jesus

Luke 4:9-11. After the Spirit led Jesus into the desert the devil puts Jesus on a high place at the edge of the Temple and tells him to jump off if he's really the son of god

VS

Matthew 4:8-11. After the Spirit led Jesus into the desert the devil takes Jesus to the top of a very high mountain and shows him all the kingdoms of the world and all the wonderful things in them.


Contradiction in the time of events: when the last supper took place

Matthew 26:17, Mark 14:12, Luke 22:7 The last supper takes place on the first day of the Passover

VS

John 19:14 The last supper takes place a day earlier and Jesus is crucified on the first day of the Passover


Contradiction in the nature of events: Who bought the Potters Field?

Matthew 27:7 the chief priests buy the field.

VS

Acts 1:18 Judas buys the field.


DavidLeon wrote:
Sat Jun 20, 2020 6:57 pm
The vast majority of actual contradictions in the Bible are numerical due to copyist errors.
Perhaps, but in any case they remain to mislead the reader
The writing of the gospels were allegedly inspired but the translation was not inspired, meaning that if there were actual contradictions they either reflected discrepancies of the writers due to variations in the stream of time of the events or, far more likely, misinterpretations and therefore do not indicate that God contradicts himself.
And why do you think that is? Here we have a supposedly omnipotent and omniscient god who took the trouble to dictate his wants, needs, and stories---and four times no less---so, as we're told, they'll be recorded and passed down for posterity, yet is quite aware that along the way they'll be screwed up by incompetent copyists and blundering translators. As I see it, these contradictions point to a god who's either

A) incompetent himself

B) Doesn't care that errors crop up in later years

C) Was unable to prevent the errors

D) For some odd reason actually wants the errors

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Re: Are the four gospels consistent ?

Post #7

Post by brunumb »

Miles wrote:
Fri Jun 26, 2020 11:16 pm
As I see it, these contradictions point to a god who's either

A) incompetent himself

B) Doesn't care that errors crop up in later years

C) Was unable to prevent the errors

D) For some odd reason actually wants the errors
Or (as I see it)
E) An imaginary being created by humans
Christianty: 2000 years of making it up as you go along.

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Re: Are the four gospels consistent ?

Post #8

Post by JehovahsWitness »

Miles wrote:
Fri Jun 26, 2020 11:16 pm

Contradiction in number: demon-possessed men, blind men, and angels


Two demon-possessed men (Matt. 8:28) vs. one (Mk. 5:2)
Two blind men (Matt. 20:30) vs. one (Mk. 10:46)
Two angels at the tomb (Lk. 24:4) vs. one (Mk. 16:5)


Contradiction in number : A misnomer if ever there was one. Any number over one can include any other. In other words if someone refers to two individuals the "one" of someone else's account would be covered.
Account #1: I met Mr and Mrs Brown outside the post office yesterday.

Account #2: I met Mr Brown outside the post office yesterday.

Account #3: I met the Brown family outside the post office yesterday.

Account #4: I met the Mrs Brown outside the post office yesterday. She was alone, absolutely nobody else was not with her.
Which of the above accounts presents a seeming contradiction? Although all four refer or imply different numbers why and how does only ONE of the four present a real "Contradictions in number"?

Look at the picture below and decide if the statements that follow are TRUE or FALSE.

Image
  • The man is holding a green apple
  • The man is holding a red apple
  • The man is holding two apples
If all three statements can be TRUE despite not being exhaustive, they are not contradictory.
IMPORTANT : The gospels rarely uses natural or counting numbers in the ABSOLUTE, when refering to events. Thus it would be a mistake to assume that "an angel" or "a man" in singular means there is only one present rather than only one is being refered to -> "The man was holding one apple which was green" is a true statement even if the fact that he is ALSO holding one red apple (making an absolute total of two) is omitted.



JW





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Re: Are the four gospels consistent ?

Post #9

Post by JehovahsWitness »

HOW MANY ANGELS WERE AT THE TOMB ? Two angels at the tomb (Lk. 24:4) vs. one (Mk. 16:5)
Luke 24:4 : While they were perplexed about this, look! two men in shining garments stood by them.
Mark 16:5 : When they entered into the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a white robe, and they were stunned.

Image

ANSWER: It seems there were at least two men (angels), both initially outside with the women. Either one of the two subsequently went inside, sat down and urging them to join him or a third appeared /materialized* inside to take on that role.


* angels, evidently have the power to appear and disappear at will. The angels ("men") probably materialized out of view, after the women initially arrived and finding the stone rolled away and the tomb open were..."perplexed".







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Last edited by JehovahsWitness on Fri Jul 03, 2020 11:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Romans 14:8

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Re: Are the four gospels consistent ?

Post #10

Post by JehovahsWitness »

Miles wrote:
Fri Jun 26, 2020 11:16 pm

Contradiction in the nature of events: The Temptation of Jesus

Luke 4:9-11. After the Spirit led Jesus into the desert the devil puts Jesus on a high place at the edge of the Temple and tells him to jump off if he's really the son of god

VS

Matthew 4:8-11. After the Spirit led Jesus into the desert the devil takes Jesus to the top of a very high mountain and shows him all the kingdoms of the world and all the wonderful things in them.


Can you explain why you think the above represents a contradiction?








JW
INDEX: More bible based ANSWERS
http://debatingchristianity.com/forum/v ... 81#p826681


"For if we live, we live to Jehovah, and if we die, we die to Jehovah. So both if we live and if we die, we belong to Jehovah" -
Romans 14:8

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