Why Do Gospel Accounts differ?

Jesus on the cross.This is one of those questions which atheists use to stump Christians. They think that because there are differences in numbers of people or different dates which events happened on that it invalidates the gospels.

Christians who haven’t studied scripture and listened to excellent Bible scholars such as Hank Hanegraaff and John MacArthur are at a distinct disadvantage. They don’t realize that two of the gospels were eyewitness accounts and the other two were written by friends of eyewitnesses.

As I tweeted to one atheist, “think court. Judges look for similarities in witness testimonies, not discrepancies.” Only prosecutors seek inconsistencies but that’s not the way to understand scripture.

It doesn’t matter that there were one or two demon-possessed men from whom  Christ cast out the legion of evil spirits. The point is that it happened.
Ancient scrollsSome atheists stump naive believers with the two names for where Christ was crucified. The fact is that Calvary and Golgotha are the same names for the location of Christ’s crucifixion but they are derived from different languages.

The purpose for including or not including stories must be understood as well. Matthew wrote to Jewish believers while Mark wrote to Gentiles. John sought to show Christ’s deity while Luke was an investigative reporter.
cover of How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity
This post is getting long so suffice it to say that the gospels don’t contradict each other. Had they been exact copies, people could cite collusion between the authors.

Thanks to good Bible scholars and their radio shows, I’ve learned so much. Learn what I learned, and what I had to unlearn, by purchasing How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity. Written in narrative form, it shows how I was led out of error and into truth.

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Author: bruce Atchison - author

I'm a legally-blind freelance writer as well as the author of three memoirs and scores of articles. Contact me for details.

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