We have all heard of the Gospel contradictions Professor Bart Ehrman regularly presents in his speeches/debates. I was planning to excerpt from Geza Vermes’ detailing of the “flat contradictions between the sources [Gospels]” concerning the resurrection accounts from his book (The Resurrection) and thought it would be beneficial and fair to bring forward a Christian scholar, Mike Licona, to discuss the wider topic of contradictions within the Gospels so we can hear the evangelical Christian refutation/response.
It was astonishing to note Mike Licona, despite being one of the most respected Christian apologists around, was offering very little to counter the flat out contradictions within the Gospels.
Not even Licona can defend the indefensible though he does state for a lot of the contradictions there are easy answers and for others the answers are more complex.
Video description reads: Bart Ehrman contends that the Gospels are unreliable because they contain contradictions. Mike Licona answers.
This segment is an edited version of a 4-part video series. An HD version with discussion questions for groups may be downloaded FREE at http://www.4truth.net/ehrman
Amongst the contradictions Mike Licona mentions:
-Was Jesus “crucified” on the day of the Passover meal or the day after?
- Was Jesus “crucified” at 9 am or noon?
- Did Jesus carry the cross all the way or part of the way?
- Did both thieves curse Jesus or just one?
- How many women went to the tomb? One or more than one?
- How many angels were seen – one or two?
- Did Jesus appear to the disciples in Jerusalem or Galilee
Amazingly, Licona – though being a Biblical Inerrantist – puts forward the idea if there were irreconcilable contradictions between the Gospel accounts, the Gospels could still be trustworthy despite the contradictions. I don’t agree – if they contain irreconcilable contradictions (which they do) then doubt must be shed on the reliability of the Gospels on matters such as the crucifixion and the resurrection. You can’t simply accept the contradictions and maintain the validity of the accounts of alleged events which are dear to you due to your theological presuppositions.
Licona catches Ehrman out…
Licona points out an inconsistency on the part of Professor Bart Ehrman. Ehrman believes the crucifixion is one of the most certain facts in history whilst simultaneously believing the Gospels are unreliable. Ehrman is inconsistent here. Sadly, Christians generally ignore this in their clamber to quote mine from Professor Bart Ehrman in order to lend their belief in a crucifixion support from hostile scholarship.
Mike Licona misses the point
Licona highlights a contradiction between eye-witnesses of the sinking of the Titanic in his attempt to illustrate peripheral contradictions have no bearings on the bigger picture. Uh, the contradictions within the Gospels do not remain mere peripheral contradictions when we look at the bigger picture – the theological picture.
His comparison is fallacious. How in the world can Mike Licona simply accept/ignore the contradictions whilst believing the Gospels are inspired by God. Is he saying God inspired men to contradict each other and author confusion?
Licona can draw fallacious comparisons between eye witness testimony of the Titanic and the authors of the Gospels until the cows come home – the comparison will always be fallacious for two main reasons:
1.The gospels are alleged to have been “inspired” by God yet contain clear contradictions. The eye witness accounts of the Titanic are not alleged to have been “inspired” by God.
2. The Titanic survivors would have been in a state of shock and fright – thus peripheral contradictions are excused. What excuse do the Gospel writers have for contradicting each other?
The Bible verse which refutes the “resurrection”