Sunday, 22 May 2011

Contradictions in the Gospels – Geza Vermes

The Jesus scholar, Geza Vermes begins by writing: "Finally, there are flat contradictions between the sources" and goes on to list many inter-Gospel discrepancies.

How many women visited the tomb? The Gospels contradict each other!

Vermes sees these contradictions as being a death blow to the reliability of the witnesses within the Gospels - one can only imagine the damage to the credibility of the unknown Gospel authors.

1. The accounts differ regarding the number and identity of the women who visited the tomb: one, Mary Magdalene, in John and Mark B; two, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary in Matthew; three, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Salome, in Mark A; and several, Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James and other women from Galilee, in Luke. Such variations would have rendered the testimony unacceptable in a Jewish court.

How many people were seen at the tomb? The Gospels contradict each other!

2. The number of persons seen by the women at or in the tomb and the message they have received from them vary too. In John two angels appear to Mary Magdalene, but they do not ask her to do anything. In Luke the two men remind the women of Christ’s prophecy about his resurrection. In Matthew and in Mark A, the one angel entrusts Mary Magdalene and her friends with the duty to convey to the apostles the news of the resurrection of Jesus and an invitation to meet him in Galilee. However, in Mark the women do not obey this command; nor do we find there, not even in the longer ending, a reference to a trip to Galilee.

Number and location of the apparitions of Jesus - more contradictions

3. The number and the location of the apparitions of Jesus also greatly differ in the various Gospels. In Mark A there is none. In John, prior to his apparition to the apostles, Jesus shows himself to Mary Magdalene, in Matthew, to the women on their way to the apostles; in Luke to the two disciples in Emmaus and to Peter alone in Jerusalem, while Mark’s longer ending speaks of apparitions of Jesus to Mary Magdalene in Jerusalem and to the travelling disciples away from the capital. A vision by all the apostles occurring in Jerusalem is reported by Luke and Mark B (the longer version of Mark). The same is referred to in John, except that on the first occasion Thomas is absent and eight days later he is present. By contrast, according to Matthew, a Galilean mountain is the setting of the only apparition of Jesus to the apostles, while in John’s supplementary evidence the Sea of Tiberias is the site of a final vision of Jesus by seven apostles. Luke, by contrast, expressly excludes any departure from Jerusalem, so for him no visionary encounter with Jesus can be situated in Galilee.

Confusion or Contradicition?

4. The apostolic mission is conferred on the disciples by the risen Jesus in Jerusalem according to John, Luke and the longer ending of Mark. According to Matthew this happens in Galilee. No actual meeting is stated in Mark A, although a confusing mention of a promised encounter in Galilee figures in the instructions five by Mark’s young man to the three women at the tomb.

Place of the ascension?The Gospels contradict each other!

5. Jesus’ ascension to heaven takes place in Jerusalem in Mark B and by implication in John; in Bethany according to Luke; and on the Mount of Olives (in the area of Bethany) in the Acts of the Apostles. The sources are however, at variance as regards the date of the event. Mark B puts it as Easter Sunday, but in the Acts it happens forty days later. Luke is equivocal. ‘He led them out as far as Bethany’ could be understood as immediately following Jesus’ address to the apostles on the day of the resurrection, but the previous mention of staying in Jerusalem until they are ‘clothed with power from on high’ (an allusion to Pentecost) might suggest that Luke both in his Gospel and in the Acts allows nearly six weeks to elapse between Easter and the Ascension. In John, Jesus’ journey to the Father is implied as happening on Easter Sunday, too.

[Quotes taken from The Resurrection, Geza Vermes, Penguin Books, 2008, pages 109-111]



MR said...

Lest I be accused of endangering his family, I will not disclose Kamal Saleem’s real name. Nor do I want to be “destroying reputations with unresearched words,” as the book warns. So with the blessing of the Calvin College president, I telephoned his former employer, Focus on the Family, and with the help of colleagues John Hubers, an RCA pastor, and Habeeb Awad of Hope College, investigated his background. I spoke with Jim Daly, president of Focus on the Family, and with his assistant Ron Reno, who described his own job as “looking at everything we do with a cynical eye.” What I was saying jibed with their own reservations about Kamal Saleem’s story when they first heard it in staff devotions. Their concerns had to do not with his fabricated terrorist past but with his implausible conversion story. The physician treating Kamal Saleem took him into his own home because his medical bills were excessive and he had no health insurance? Then why the reluctance to identify the doctor, or the city and hospital where it happened? said...

Jihad Watch: The nation's leading legal expert on Sharia and its relationship to American law, David Yerushalmi, here tears the cover off the common assertion that anti-Sharia legal initiatives are unnecessary, because Sharia isn't being used in American courts in the first place:
New Study Finds Shariah Law Involved in Court Cases in 23 States CSP

Washington, DC, May 17, 2011 - The Center for Security Policy today released an in-depth study-- Shariah Law and American State Courts: An Assessment of State Appellate Court Cases. The study evaluates 50 appellate court cases from 23 states that involve conflicts between Shariah (Islamic law) and American state law. The analysis finds that Shariah has been applied or formally recognized in state court decisions, in conflict with the Constitution and state public policy.
Some commentators have tried to minimize this problem, claiming, as an editorial in yesterday’s Los Angeles Times put it that, “…There is scant evidence that American judges are resolving cases on the basis of shariah.” To the contrary, our study identified 50 significant cases just from the small sample of appellate court published cases.
Others have asserted with certainty that state court judges will always reject any foreign law, including Shariah law, when it conflicts with the Constitution or state public policy. The Center’s analysis, however, found 15 trial court cases, and 12 appellate court cases, where Shariah was found to be applicable in these particular cases.
The facts are the facts: some judges are making decisions deferring to Shariah law even when those decisions conflict with constitutional protections.
On the releasing the study, the Center for Security Policy’s President, Frank J. Gaffney, Jr., observed:
"These cases are the stories of Muslim American families, mostly Muslim women and children, who were asking American courts to preserve their rights to equal protection and due process. These families came to America for freedom from the discriminatory and cruel laws of Shariah. When our courts then apply Shariah law in the lives of these families, and deny them equal protection, they are betraying the principles on which America was founded."

Anonymous said...

Dr. S.M. Lockridge: "That's My King"

minoria said...

I had answered many of the details referred to in the article simply based on the Synoptic relation and the Compression technique as used by Luke:

It is in French but it can be translated(somewhat bad but 95% intelligible) by GOOGLE TRANSLATE:

Here is the Article:


In his book Forged(2011) he says 1 Peter which claims to BE BY PETER(1 Peter 1:1:"Peter,servant and apostle of Jesus Christ.." is a forgery for,among other reasons,that it says in 1 Peter 5:13:"The church which is in BABYLON(Rome) salutes you".


BEFORE 64 AD Jerusalem was still in existence and Rome had still not persecuted the Christians(they were considered to be a Jewish sect,so they didnt have to sacrifice to the Emperor's statue) and so Peter would NOT call Rome BABYLON.

Babylon under Nebuchanezzar had DESTROYED the TEMPLE in 586 BC.Rome did it in 70 AD,Rome was in that sense "Babylon".So for Ehrman ROME was only called BABYLON AFTER 70 AD,so 1 Peter is a forgery.

The historical Peter died in 64 AD,BEFORE the Temple was destroyed by "Babylon".

Ehrman does not believe Jesus in 30 AD told Peter and others the Temple would be destroyed.The only one who would be able to do it would have been ROME.If Jesus did say it then I dont see why Peter would not have referred to Rome as babylon in a letter,knowing about the prophecy.