Are there Contradictions in the Gospels?

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Lesson

How can we trust the Bible when it is so full of mistakes and internal contradictions? Really? Where are they? Doesn't harmonization help us see how the gospels can describe the same event but in different terms? If the Bible and science and history disagree, doesn't the Bible, properly interpreted, deserve the benefit of the doubt?

Outline

1. Challenge

2. “Synoptic Problem” and Harmonization

a. Description

1) Wording

2) Order

b. What do the Synoptics say about themselves?

1) Selection (Luke 1:1-4; John 21:25)

2) Purpose (John 20:30-31)

3. Harmonization

a. Definition

b. Example of Jesus’ early years

c. Other examples

1) Two cleansings of the temple

2) Order of the temptations

d. Modern biographies’ obsession with insignificant details

1) Jesus’ death

2) One or two donkeys

4. Hermeneutics

a. Romans 4 and James 2:23

b. Slavery

5. Contradictions between Bible & history or science

a. Secular source is wrong

b. Science is wrong, or incomplete

c. Our understanding of the Bible wrong

6. Conclusions

a. Ask the person where the “contradictions” are

b. There is almost always a conservative answer if you look for it

c. Scripture has shown itself to be basically believable