Sign in to follow this  
Sunday21

Why did the Lord allow apparent contradictions?: comparison of the 4 gospels

Recommended Posts

Have you noticed that the 4 gospels do not always agree?

They describe the same events differently: (https://jesusmemoirs.wordpress.com/2017/10/23/the-synoptic-gospels-literary-sources/)

  • The general lack of agreement between Matthew and Luke when departing from Mark’s order.
    • When was Peter’s mother-in-law and the leper healed in Mark (1:29-31, 40-45), Matthew (8:1-4, 14-15), and Luke (4:38-39; 5:12-15).
    • When did Jesus visit the synagogue in Nazareth in Mark 6:1-6, Matthew 13:54-58, and Luke 4:16-30?

Jesus’s words are reported differently

  • Compare the beatitudes in Matthew 5:3-12 and Luke 6:20-23 (cf. woes in 6:24-26)
  • Compare the Lord’s prayer in Matthew 6:9-13 and Luke 11:2-4.
  • Compare the sayings about Wisdom in Matthew 11:19 and 23:34-35 (cf. 11:28-30; Sirach 51:25-26) and Luke 7:35 and 11:49.

 

https://bible.org/seriespage/12-are-there-contradictions-gospels

 

A. REPORT OR NO REPORT?

  • The women reported the resurrection to the men (Matt. 28:8).
  • The women did not report the resurrection to the men (Mark 16:8).

 

B. STAFF OR NO STAFF?

The context of this puzzle is Jesus’ first commission of the twelve disciples as he sent them out to preach during his own ministry. We focus on the staff or walking stick, but the excerpted explanation, below, notes another difference.

 

Why did the Lord allow apparent contradictions to exist in the Bible?

Edited by Sunday21

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My answer: I do not think line by line accuracy is that important to the Lord.

i think He wants us to contact Him in prayer to confirm our testimonies.https://www.lds.org/scriptures/nt/james/1.17

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.

For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.

A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

 

The Lord is not interested in encouraging the approach of focusing on the tiny details of the scriptures. The scriptures do contain hyperbole and overstatements. 

http://www.tentmaker.org/Biblematters/hyperbole.htm

Noah’s flood is described as killing off anyone not on the ark yet his descendants shortly thereafter were intermarrying with Pagans. So where did these pagans come from? I suggest that the flood did not wipe out everyone other than the ark’s crew but only those in a specific area.

Trying to establish truth entirely by looking at written records is not going to lead you to the truth. At some point, you need to ask a specific question in prayer.

Edited by Sunday21

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think allow or not allow is really the appropriate context in which to consider the information.  God gave us agency, and only interferes as needed.  I think men wrote the information as best they could, men compiled the information as best they could.  Some men altered the information.  And walah!  A scriptural record with occasionally incorrect information.  Obviously God did not feel the need to intervene.  It is probably better for His plan that people recognize the imperfections of those He calls and chooses, as opposed to viewing them as inerrant.  We don't want people worshiping the apostles do we?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, anatess2 said:

The Bible is true as far as it is translated correctly.

My point is that those who are disturbed by apparent contradictions in ancient or modern text are: 1) wasting their time. Don't you have any laundry/genealogy/cleaning to do?

2) straining beyond the mark. If you want revelation on how to live your life, read the most recent collection of conference talks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Sunday21 said:

Why did the Lord allow apparent contradictions to exist in the Bible?

9ab37a55d199e3def22c3f9b637ffbc7--story-

 

If you've got a few evenings to spare, this is a very interesting lecture series on the origins of a good bit of the New Testament.  I couldn't get the audio-only download to work, but for the most part you'll catch nearly everything just from listening: https://oyc.yale.edu/religious-studies/rlst-152

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Sunday21 said:

Why did the Lord allow apparent contradictions to exist in the Bible?

Why would he not allow such a thing? Whence the assumption that the Bible must necessarily be "perfect"? No literary work given in any mortal tongue can achieve that status.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, CV75 said:

I think because He knew He would reconcile and make known what was important in the Restoration.

True! And for those who lived before the restoration? The morale is not to get bent out of shape about some minor inconsistencies and pray about it! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Sunday21 said:

True! And for those who lived before the restoration? The morale is not to get bent out of shape about some minor inconsistencies and pray about it! 

Amen. I see the Great Apostasy as one application of the principle from John 12:24, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit." The Church and the many plain and precious parts of the scriptural texts "died," only to bring forth the Restoration and latter-day scripture. It is a testimony of the power of God, just as the resurrection was in relation to Christ's death.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Gospels aren’t “histories” in the modern sense of the word.  They were likely based on memories and/or oral traditions that were years or decades old before they were written down for the first time.  They were directed to various audiences, by authors whose agendas didn’t completely coincide.

Think of it this way:  you would expect four photographs of me to look pretty darned similar; and if one photograph has key differences from the other three, you might well dismiss that photograph as a fake.  

But, four different oil paintings of myself done by four different painters?  Those will almost inevitably have differences, depending on how different painters perceive my features and which aspects of my appearance and character they wished to emphasize (not to mention differences of individual style).  The differences don’t mean that any of the paintings of me are wrong; they just mean that the paintings aren’t photographs.

For the most part the Bible is a series of portraits, not photographs.  I am evolving to the view that we may be doing the Gospels a bit of a disservice when we obsessively try to “harmonize” them, resolve every discrepancy, and come up with a definitively comprehensive “timeline” of Jesus’ life.

Edited by Just_A_Guy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/9/2018 at 2:30 PM, Just_A_Guy said:

The Gospels aren’t “histories” in the modern sense of the word.  They were likely based on memories and/or oral traditions that were years or decades old before they were written down for the first time.  They were directed to various audiences, by authors whose agendas didn’t completely coincide.

 

And the above is true. Mark was the first Gospel written in the 50’s AD (although some scholars argue the mid to late 30’s).  John was written in the 80’s - 90’s AD.  And yes all the Gospels had different audiences and different themes that they concentrated on. The “contradictions” people like to point out tend to ignore the fact that it is not uncommon for people who saw the same incident will have different recollections of the event. Having previously worked in law enforcement I saw this quite frequently. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Considering that the New Testament is considered inspired and a step above earthly documents, I am not sure that there is a satisfactory answer to the original question-at least for those who do not believe in a Restoration. Are there any similar contradictions in the accounts of Jesus in the Book Of Mormon?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/8/2018 at 5:57 AM, Sunday21 said:

Why did the Lord allow apparent contradictions to exist in the Bible?

Because the point of the scriptures isn''t accuracy, but rather to bring us to Christ. The Bible (and 4 Gospels in particular) does the later despite the former.  As long as it does the later, why should God care about the former? He doesn't care because it doesn't matter to His eternal scheme of things--particularly given additional scriptures and the power of continued revelation.. 

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

Edited by wenglund

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, lonetree said:

Considering that the New Testament is considered inspired and a step above earthly documents, I am not sure that there is a satisfactory answer to the original question-at least for those who do not believe in a Restoration. Are there any similar contradictions in the accounts of Jesus in the Book Of Mormon?

Hi @lonetree, Good to hear from you! No I do not believe that a similar situation exists in the Book of Mormon. You can obtain a copy here. https://www.mormon.org/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, lonetree said:

Considering that the New Testament is considered inspired and a step above earthly documents, I am not sure that there is a satisfactory answer to the original question-at least for those who do not believe in a Restoration. Are there any similar contradictions in the accounts of Jesus in the Book Of Mormon?

Perhaps you have in mind the various versions of the First Vision?

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
51 minutes ago, wenglund said:

Perhaps you have in mind the various versions of the First Vision?

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

No, I had in mind accounts of Jesus in the Book of Mormon. Though I have read about them, I am not familiar with the versions of the First Vision.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, lonetree said:

No, I had in mind accounts of Jesus in the Book of Mormon. Though I have read about them, I am not familiar with the versions of the First Vision.

3 Ne chapter 11.

No, just one account and no contradictions. 

So what is your favorite part of the Book of Mormon?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Sunday21 said:

3 Ne chapter 11.

No, just one account and no contradictions. 

So what is your favorite part of the Book of Mormon?

I last read the Book of Mormon straight through in the '90s, and my favourite then was the book of Jacob. There were parts of it that resembled Old Testament wisdom literature like Ecclesiastes(and parts that didn't). There are passages in Alma that stand out as well-though I haven't read the whole thing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
35 minutes ago, lonetree said:

I last read the Book of Mormon straight through in the '90s, and my favourite then was the book of Jacob. There were parts of it that resembled Old Testament wisdom literature like Ecclesiastes(and parts that didn't). There are passages in Alma that stand out as well-though I haven't read the whole thing.

My fav is 3 Ne 11 when Christ appears. I do wish the 2nd coming would get here...maybe by the end of March? I really need a vacation!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎2‎/‎17‎/‎2018 at 10:26 PM, lonetree said:

Considering that the New Testament is considered inspired and a step above earthly documents, I am not sure that there is a satisfactory answer to the original question-at least for those who do not believe in a Restoration. Are there any similar contradictions in the accounts of Jesus in the Book Of Mormon?

The reason the Book of Mormon does not have any incidents of this is because it was compiled almost entirely by one man, Mormon, and completed by that man's son, Moroni, following Mormon's death.  While the record contains the writings and words of many prophets and men of God, those words were included at Mormon's discretion, himself being a prophet guided by the influence of the Holy Spirit in regards to what to include.  Accounts such as that in 3rd Nephi, when Christ appeared, walked amongst, and taught the people here in the Americas, may quite possibly have actually had many source documents with varying details, which Mormon condensed into a single version as inspired.  This is why it is called the Book of Mormon.

Interestingly, the Holy Bible partially gets its name also from its compilation format.  It is the collection of holy 'books', but in this instance, there is no singular author or compiler, otherwise the four gospels might possibly have been condensed into a single version containing the truth's and details from each.  While the original authors of the content within both books were inspired men of God, only the Book of Mormon has a single primary compiler who was called of God to accurately organize the information.  The contents of the Holy Bible have been voted on again and again by counsels, where we assume most were sincerely seeking the will of God, but who still disagreed as to what that was.  To this day the traditional Catholic version of the Bible contains what is commonly known as the Apocrypha, where most mainstream editions do not.

The Bible and Book of Mormon both hold incalculable spiritual and historic value.  Hopefully this helps to explain why there would be multiple versions of the same story in one book but not the other.

Edited by person0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/8/2018 at 1:04 PM, NightSG said:

9ab37a55d199e3def22c3f9b637ffbc7--story-

 

If you've got a few evenings to spare, this is a very interesting lecture series on the origins of a good bit of the New Testament.  I couldn't get the audio-only download to work, but for the most part you'll catch nearly everything just from listening: https://oyc.yale.edu/religious-studies/rlst-152

I started viewing the Yale course a couple of years ago. Stopped when the instructor told the students the KJV was basically useless. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, lonetree said:

I started viewing the Yale course a couple of years ago. Stopped when the instructor told the students the KJV was basically useless. 

For modern "students," it is; they can't handle the language.  Too many of them are getting out of high school barely able to comprehend simple, concise English, so the KJV looks as odd to them as Chaucer does to us.  Short of re-educating them from about second grade on, a more simplified Bible is about the only way they're going to understand it.

Something like this, maybe: http://babylonbee.com/news/tldr-edition-66-books-bible/

Edited by NightSG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this