Author Topic: Conflicting narratives the crucifixion and resurrection accounts of Jesus  (Read 268 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Raafat

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 75
  • Faith: I don't know
  • Jurisdiction: The World
Hi

The other day I was reading about the evidence for crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus.

However I was astonished to find that the stories rely heavily on the New Testament narratives as there's virtually no other source and they are very contradictory!


For example was Jesus crucified on Passover according to Synoptic gospels or on the day before it according to the gospel of John?


Did Mary Magdalene see an angel and the risen Jesus and tell the other disciples according to the gospel of Matthew or she didn't meet anyone and ran back to the disciples to tell them that someone stole the body? 

For further reading please read this:
https://outreachjudaism.org/resurrection-evidence/

Offline CarolS

  • Lurker Extraordinaire
  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 176
  • Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church
This is a popular tactic used to attack Christianity. I have seen this on both Jewish and Muslim websites. They compare the Gospels and then because of differences in the accounts they try to disprove our faith.

First of all, it is important to focus on what they all agree on: that Jesus Christ did indeed rise from the dead. 

Viewing the Holy Gospels as witness accounts, the fact that they are not all identical , does not speak against the truth of the account, rather it makes the Gospel accounts more authentic rather than just carbon copies under 4 different names.

As any official of a court of law, or police would affirm, in any group of witnesses each person might relate the story differently, especially when describing a particularly dramatic event.
Have you ever imagined a world with no hypothetical situations?

Offline CarolS

  • Lurker Extraordinaire
  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 176
  • Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church
The Gospels exist not as historical documents but as Holy Spirit inspired words which are there to guide us to salvation.

Each one of the four Gospels was written at a different point in time and directed to a different audience. Together, they provide us within a years time what we need to strengthen and confirm our faith as we hear these words in Church or at home.
Have you ever imagined a world with no hypothetical situations?

Offline scamandrius

  • A man of many, many turns
  • Merarches
  • ***********
  • Posts: 9,305
  • Faith: Greek Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: DOWAMA of AANA
Try this experiment:  You and three of your friends look out a window.  You each list the first thing you see.  You're probably going to get four different answers most likely.  That doesn't make each of you wrong nor each of you right.  Your friend may have seen a car which you didn't because your position at the window didn't allow you to see it.  Same thing with the Gospels.  Four different writers, four different points of view.  As someone else said, the main point is that Jesus rose from the dead.  Were there two angels or only one?  Or were they men dressed in white?  The point is that there was a supernatural witness.  Was Mary the first witness or Peter?  There was a human witness.  The devil may be in the details, but if we forget the overall point of these gospel stories, then our faith, says Blessed Augustine, is indeed in vain.
Da quod iubes et iube quod vis.

Offline Raafat

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 75
  • Faith: I don't know
  • Jurisdiction: The World
This is a popular tactic used to attack Christianity. I have seen this on both Jewish and Muslim websites. They compare the Gospels and then because of differences in the accounts they try to disprove our faith.

First of all, it is important to focus on what they all agree on: that Jesus Christ did indeed rise from the dead. 

Viewing the Holy Gospels as witness accounts, the fact that they are not all identical , does not speak against the truth of the account, rather it makes the Gospel accounts more authentic rather than just carbon copies under 4 different names.

As any official of a court of law, or police would affirm, in any group of witnesses each person might relate the story differently, especially when describing a particularly dramatic event.


Yes it is important to focus on what they agree upon,  however,  it is equally important to see the conflicts and why they are conflicting each other.

They are witness accounts who happen not to be witnesses in the first place. Their conflicts make the point that it is not an conspiracy or they meant to lie but it certainly raise the question whether there was just rumors and legends about a risen Jesus there.

Offline Raafat

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 75
  • Faith: I don't know
  • Jurisdiction: The World
The Gospels exist not as historical documents but as Holy Spirit inspired words which are there to guide us to salvation.

Each one of the four Gospels was written at a different point in time and directed to a different audience. Together, they provide us within a years time what we need to strengthen and confirm our faith as we hear these words in Church or at home.

God's inspiration ought to have made the narratives more consistent with each other.
I don't see how differing perspectives explain John's Magdalene who didn't see Jesus and ran back to the disciples claiming someone stole the body and Matthew's Magdalene who conversed with an angel and the risen Jesus!


Or the date when Jesus was crucified,  is it the Passover or the day before.

This doesn't get explaines with different perspectives kind of apologetics.

Offline Raafat

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 75
  • Faith: I don't know
  • Jurisdiction: The World
Try this experiment:  You and three of your friends look out a window.  You each list the first thing you see.  You're probably going to get four different answers most likely.  That doesn't make each of you wrong nor each of you right.  Your friend may have seen a car which you didn't because your position at the window didn't allow you to see it.  Same thing with the Gospels.  Four different writers, four different points of view.  As someone else said, the main point is that Jesus rose from the dead.  Were there two angels or only one?  Or were they men dressed in white?  The point is that there was a supernatural witness.  Was Mary the first witness or Peter?  There was a human witness.  The devil may be in the details, but if we forget the overall point of these gospel stories, then our faith, says Blessed Augustine, is indeed in vain.

I see your point.. But theses are not just differing details they are very much indeed conflicting.
Which Magdalene is right? John's or Matthew's? That is an example.

Offline Arachne

  • Trinary Unit || Resident Bossy Boots
  • Section Moderator
  • Merarches
  • *****
  • Posts: 9,989
  • Care to join me in a maniacal laughter?
  • Faith: Cradle Greek Orthodox. Cope.
  • Jurisdiction: Antiochian Archdiocese, UK
Which Magdalene is right? John's or Matthew's? That is an example.

The Magdalene went with the other women and met the angel there. While the others left (too frightened to say anything to anyone), she lingered behind, met with Jesus and went to inform the disciples. Looks like a bit of incredulity stood her in good stead, like it did for Thomas.

At least, if were playing 'reconstruct a crime scene from witness accounts', that's how I'd go about it.
'Evil isn't the real threat to the world. Stupid is just as destructive as evil, maybe more so, and it's a hell of a lot more common. What we really need is a crusade against stupid. That might actually make a difference.'~Harry Dresden

~ Bookshelf ~ Jukebox ~

Offline Volnutt

  • Dull Sublunary Lover
  • Toumarches
  • ************
  • Posts: 11,980
  • too often left in the payment of false ponchos
  • Faith: Evangelical by default
  • Jurisdiction: Spiritually homeless
Also important to keep in mind that even the most conservative Gospel dating schema has them being written down decades after the fact. How confident are you that you'd be able to accurately record the little details of something that you and your friends did ten or twenty years ago (let alone sixty), especially if those little details are probably not all that important to you guys? I mean, ancient people probably had slightly better memories than we do because constant exposure to text and other media tends to dull the faculty, but still.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2018, 08:30:29 AM by Volnutt »
On an extended hiatus from this site. Please pray for me and my family.

I'm sorry to any that my posts might offend.

Offline Iconodule

  • Toumarches
  • ************
  • Posts: 14,260
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Ecumenical Patriarchate (ACROD)
It happens all the time, to ordinary people. Often friends and I will argue about the details of events we witnessed together- "No, that's not how it happened, here's how it happened"; "No, he didn't say that, he said this" etc. Which is why someone trying to settle any argument with "Trust me, I was there" is always a bit suspect.
Quote
When a time revolts against eternity, the only thing to set against it is genuine eternity itself, and not some other time which has already roused, and not without reason, a violent reaction against itself.
- Berdyaev

If you would like a private forum for non-polemical topics, comment here.

Offline augustin717

  • Taxiarches
  • **********
  • Posts: 6,645
  • Faith: Higher Criticism
  • Jurisdiction: Dutch
Which Magdalene is right? John's or Matthew's? That is an example.

The Magdalene went with the other women and met the angel there. While the others left (too frightened to say anything to anyone), she lingered behind, met with Jesus and went to inform the disciples. Looks like a bit of incredulity stood her in good stead, like it did for Thomas.

At least, if were playing 'reconstruct a crime scene from witness accounts', that's how I'd go about it.
Thats called harmonization . Its What pre-critical exegesis had been doing essentially.
"I saw a miracle where 2 people entered church one by baptism and one by chrismation. On pictures the one received by full baptism was shinning in light the one by chrismation no."

Offline platypus

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 22
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church in America
If you're curious about the resurrection, I cannot recommend the book Surprised by Hope by N.T. Wright highly enough. He makes a really strong case for belief in the literal resurrection of Christ, and explains why it is so significant. The argument you brought up, as well as others are all covered.

Bishop Wright taught New Testament studies at Oxford and Cambridge, in case you're at all concerned about his academic credibility.

Surprised by Hope convinced me of the resurrection, and it's largely thanks to that book that I'm a Christian.
"Eternal truth finds no favorable soil where one encounters at every turn the skeptical, sarcastic query 'what is truth,' where life insurance takes the place of eternal hope." -Hieromonk Antonius

Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher; all is vanity. -Ecclesiastes 12:8

Offline scamandrius

  • A man of many, many turns
  • Merarches
  • ***********
  • Posts: 9,305
  • Faith: Greek Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: DOWAMA of AANA
Try this experiment:  You and three of your friends look out a window.  You each list the first thing you see.  You're probably going to get four different answers most likely.  That doesn't make each of you wrong nor each of you right.  Your friend may have seen a car which you didn't because your position at the window didn't allow you to see it.  Same thing with the Gospels.  Four different writers, four different points of view.  As someone else said, the main point is that Jesus rose from the dead.  Were there two angels or only one?  Or were they men dressed in white?  The point is that there was a supernatural witness.  Was Mary the first witness or Peter?  There was a human witness.  The devil may be in the details, but if we forget the overall point of these gospel stories, then our faith, says Blessed Augustine, is indeed in vain.

I see your point.. But theses are not just differing details they are very much indeed conflicting.
Which Magdalene is right? John's or Matthew's? That is an example.

But do those differences obscure the main point?  You're getting lost in the weeds.
Da quod iubes et iube quod vis.

Offline augustin717

  • Taxiarches
  • **********
  • Posts: 6,645
  • Faith: Higher Criticism
  • Jurisdiction: Dutch
Try this experiment:  You and three of your friends look out a window.  You each list the first thing you see.  You're probably going to get four different answers most likely.  That doesn't make each of you wrong nor each of you right.  Your friend may have seen a car which you didn't because your position at the window didn't allow you to see it.  Same thing with the Gospels.  Four different writers, four different points of view.  As someone else said, the main point is that Jesus rose from the dead.  Were there two angels or only one?  Or were they men dressed in white?  The point is that there was a supernatural witness.  Was Mary the first witness or Peter?  There was a human witness.  The devil may be in the details, but if we forget the overall point of these gospel stories, then our faith, says Blessed Augustine, is indeed in vain.

I see your point.. But theses are not just differing details they are very much indeed conflicting.
Which Magdalene is right? John's or Matthew's? That is an example.

But do those differences obscure the main point?  You're getting lost in the weeds.
Probably not, but they do raise questions about the literary genre of the main narrative . Is it history, is It fiction?
« Last Edit: June 14, 2018, 11:38:07 AM by augustin717 »
"I saw a miracle where 2 people entered church one by baptism and one by chrismation. On pictures the one received by full baptism was shinning in light the one by chrismation no."

Offline scamandrius

  • A man of many, many turns
  • Merarches
  • ***********
  • Posts: 9,305
  • Faith: Greek Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: DOWAMA of AANA
Try this experiment:  You and three of your friends look out a window.  You each list the first thing you see.  You're probably going to get four different answers most likely.  That doesn't make each of you wrong nor each of you right.  Your friend may have seen a car which you didn't because your position at the window didn't allow you to see it.  Same thing with the Gospels.  Four different writers, four different points of view.  As someone else said, the main point is that Jesus rose from the dead.  Were there two angels or only one?  Or were they men dressed in white?  The point is that there was a supernatural witness.  Was Mary the first witness or Peter?  There was a human witness.  The devil may be in the details, but if we forget the overall point of these gospel stories, then our faith, says Blessed Augustine, is indeed in vain.

I see your point.. But theses are not just differing details they are very much indeed conflicting.
Which Magdalene is right? John's or Matthew's? That is an example.

But do those differences obscure the main point?  You're getting lost in the weeds.
Probably not, but they do raise questions about the literary genre of the main narrative . Is it history, is It fiction?

You're applying the standards of a text based society to that of an oral society where there will not always be internal consistencies.  At one time the library of Alexandria boasted it had 129 versions of Homer's Iliad.   Which was correct?  None, yet all. Language is fluid, especially the spoken word.  Also, the ancients didn't have such rigid definitions of genre, even literary genre which was only going to be accessible to, at most, 10% of the world's population.  you're imposing our standards onto theirs. 
Da quod iubes et iube quod vis.

Offline RaphaCam

  • Taxiarches
  • **********
  • Posts: 6,070
  • It is honourable to reveal the works of God
    • Em Espírito e em Verdade
  • Faith: Big-O Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Exarchate of Gotham City
For example was Jesus crucified on Passover according to Synoptic gospels or on the day before it according to the gospel of John?
No gospel says Christ was crucified on Passover, they say the Holy Supper was celebrated one day before Passover, so some get to the anachronical conclusion crucifixion should have been on Passover. If you were attending an Orthodox parish instead of just questioning Scripture, you might have realised the liturgical day starts at sunset, as Jewish days were counted, so this question would be pretty easy for you: in a traditional counting (either Jewish or Byzantine), Holy Supper and the crucifixion both happened on the same day. I'm not really trying to criticise you, just showing an example of how the Bible gets clearer as you live the faith.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2018, 11:53:56 AM by RaphaCam »
"May the Lord our God remember in His kingdom all Holy Catholic Apostolic Church, which heralds the Word of Truth and fearlessly offers and distributes the Holy Oblation despite human deficiencies and persecutions moved by the powers of this world, in all time and unto the ages of ages."

Anyhow when God was asked he said Eastern Orthodox is true Church and not Catholic Church. So come home and enjoy.

Offline RobS

  • Formerly "nothing"
  • Archon
  • ********
  • Posts: 3,390
  • Christ Is Risen!
  • Jurisdiction: The thrilling romance of Holy Orthodoxy
Try this experiment:  You and three of your friends look out a window.  You each list the first thing you see.  You're probably going to get four different answers most likely.  That doesn't make each of you wrong nor each of you right.  Your friend may have seen a car which you didn't because your position at the window didn't allow you to see it.  Same thing with the Gospels.  Four different writers, four different points of view.  As someone else said, the main point is that Jesus rose from the dead.  Were there two angels or only one?  Or were they men dressed in white?  The point is that there was a supernatural witness.  Was Mary the first witness or Peter?  There was a human witness.  The devil may be in the details, but if we forget the overall point of these gospel stories, then our faith, says Blessed Augustine, is indeed in vain.

I see your point.. But theses are not just differing details they are very much indeed conflicting.
Which Magdalene is right? John's or Matthew's? That is an example.

But do those differences obscure the main point?  You're getting lost in the weeds.
Probably not, but they do raise questions about the literary genre of the main narrative . Is it history, is It fiction?

You're applying the standards of a text based society to that of an oral society where there will not always be internal consistencies.  At one time the library of Alexandria boasted it had 129 versions of Homer's Iliad.   Which was correct?  None, yet all. Language is fluid, especially the spoken word.  Also, the ancients didn't have such rigid definitions of genre, even literary genre which was only going to be accessible to, at most, 10% of the world's population.  you're imposing our standards onto theirs.
Exactly.

His use of "history" and "fiction" are modern notions. Our historical standards today are vastly different than antiquity, if one could even compare the two.

I'm not implying that means we take everything recorded in antiquity as historical fact.

I have no problem with those questioning the historicity of Jesus but you need to be consistent and cast doubts on a whole bunch of other figures too. That still places you in the fringe however.

All modern historians agree Jesus existed historically.

However if you are Orthodox, I'm not sure why you would care so much about a "historical Jesus" anyway.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2018, 11:59:49 AM by RobS »
"The business of the Christian is nothing else than to be ever preparing for death (μελεπᾷν ἀποθνήσκειν)."

— Saint Irenaeus of Lyons, Fragment XI

Modernist thinking and being consists of nothing but uncritical acceptance.

Offline RobS

  • Formerly "nothing"
  • Archon
  • ********
  • Posts: 3,390
  • Christ Is Risen!
  • Jurisdiction: The thrilling romance of Holy Orthodoxy
After going through my first Lent and Pascha, I have to say the crucifixion and resurrection accounts make so much more sense to me in a liturgical context.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2018, 12:11:03 PM by RobS »
"The business of the Christian is nothing else than to be ever preparing for death (μελεπᾷν ἀποθνήσκειν)."

— Saint Irenaeus of Lyons, Fragment XI

Modernist thinking and being consists of nothing but uncritical acceptance.

Offline augustin717

  • Taxiarches
  • **********
  • Posts: 6,645
  • Faith: Higher Criticism
  • Jurisdiction: Dutch
Try this experiment:  You and three of your friends look out a window.  You each list the first thing you see.  You're probably going to get four different answers most likely.  That doesn't make each of you wrong nor each of you right.  Your friend may have seen a car which you didn't because your position at the window didn't allow you to see it.  Same thing with the Gospels.  Four different writers, four different points of view.  As someone else said, the main point is that Jesus rose from the dead.  Were there two angels or only one?  Or were they men dressed in white?  The point is that there was a supernatural witness.  Was Mary the first witness or Peter?  There was a human witness.  The devil may be in the details, but if we forget the overall point of these gospel stories, then our faith, says Blessed Augustine, is indeed in vain.

I see your point.. But theses are not just differing details they are very much indeed conflicting.
Which Magdalene is right? John's or Matthew's? That is an example.

But do those differences obscure the main point?  You're getting lost in the weeds.
Probably not, but they do raise questions about the literary genre of the main narrative . Is it history, is It fiction?

You're applying the standards of a text based society to that of an oral society where there will not always be internal consistencies.  At one time the library of Alexandria boasted it had 129 versions of Homer's Iliad.   Which was correct?  None, yet all. Language is fluid, especially the spoken word.  Also, the ancients didn't have such rigid definitions of genre, even literary genre which was only going to be accessible to, at most, 10% of the world's population.  you're imposing our standards onto theirs.
yes and no. Even in Antiqquity the had done notion that some historians are more reliable than others, some poets are better than others. Point taken though. I don’t actually disagree .
But it is dishobesr to defend the Gospels - on top of their theological role the clearly display -as exact historiography as some still  do. .

"I saw a miracle where 2 people entered church one by baptism and one by chrismation. On pictures the one received by full baptism was shinning in light the one by chrismation no."

Offline Orthodox_Slav

  • A sinful servant of God
  • Elder
  • *****
  • Posts: 270
  • Господи Иисусе Христе, Сыне Божий, помилуй мя
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Moscow Patriarchate
in my opinion, if you just mash the gospels together you can get the Jesus story and the exact details are not important as long as we have the basics that christ was crucified and rose again three days later!

Gospodi pomilui!

kyrie eleison!

lord have mercy!
not every quiet man is humble but every humble man is quiet         st Isaac the Syrian