The Gauntlet

This entry was posted by on Tuesday, 3 January, 2006 at

For some time now, I have realized that there would be several options when I finished my “Read Through The Bible In A Year” program. I could begin again from day 1. I could start at Genesis or some other point and merely read without a schedule. I could dump the Bible entirely and start in on the Qur’an or something else. I could always, of course, just stop.

I had my regrets as I approached the final days of the year. I have physically looked at every word on every page of the Bible, but there were definitely times, perhaps even whole books, that I paid no attention to as I read. I prayed that the final days would be meaningful, that God might have saved the best for last, as it were.

As I believe I have mentioned, the program I was doing had the books of the Bible all out of order, and I would read two or three chapters from the Old Testament and a chapter or half a chapter from the New Testament, depending on length, each day. So it was that the last selection of the last day was Luke chapter 24: the resurrection.

A couple days earlier I had seen “The Easter Quiz” online. It had many questions like “How many women went to the tomb?”, “Who else was there?” etc. The answers were multiple choice, with each answer having a verse reference from a different Gospel. The point, of course, was to show the wild inconsistencies among the various Gospel accounts.

So, immediately after finishing Luke, I flipped over to John and read that account of the resurrection. Then I reread Luke. It was obviously the same basic story, but the details were distinctly different. Well, certainly Christian apologists have been working this out for centuries, so I turned to the internet to see what they had to say. I first went to, a site that I have been to several times and honestly, I rarely find their answers convincing, but it seemed like a good a place as any to start. On this issue, they had a quote by Dorothy Sayers stating that the different details “can be made to fall into a place in a single orderly and coherent narrative, without the smallest contradiction or difficulty…”

Then there was a list of six “skeptical objections:”
1. Christ’s resurrection is a myth, not history. With a link to the answer.
2. The Resurrection stories are full of contradictions.
3. Miracles are not possible. With a link to the answer.
4. The body was stolen. With a link to the answer.
5. Jesus only fainted and then recovered from his wounds. With a link to the answer.
6. The witnesses were just “seeing things.” With a link to the answer.

No, I did not bother to read the five answers that they did provide. I was busy having unkind thoughts toward the people who run that site.

So I went to Google, and one of the hits was the website of Josh McDowell, a name I recognized as an author. He explained that the fact that the different authors gave different details only enforced their truthfulness, because if they were exactly the same it would be obvious that they all came from a single source. Which is a good point, but does not help to explain why the details some chose to provide flatly contradict details that others choose to provide. He also picked out a couple of the supposed contradictions and explained, in general terms, how they might not necessarily be contradictory, all without quoting a single verse of the actual text.

If this can all be explained “without difficulty,” why are you people making it so difficult?

I went back to Google, and noticed that many of the other hits were just various non-Christian sites proclaiming that the resurrection accounts were indeed full of contradictions. I have no doubt that if I had kept searching, I would have found a site with the explanation I was looking for, but I stopped there. Maybe this was not a simple answer that would be handed to me so that I could merely think, “Ok, whatever,” and go on as before. It was the last day of the year, the end of the road; I had read the Bible cover to cover, and here was the big finale that I was looking for.

This is THE issue; all of Christianity depends on the resurrection of Jesus, the Christ. The very authenticity of the Bible hinges upon the reconciliation of these few chapters. I am not interested in some perfunctory explanation; I will look into this myself, and see if I personally can reconcile this “without contradiction or difficulty” to my own satisfaction.

Leave a Reply

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload the CAPTCHA.