Ep.1091: Contradictions (Part VI): Do the Accounts of Jesus’ Life Contradict Themselves?
Comparing the inconsistent Gospel records of Jesus’ life and teachings
This continues our series on Bible Contradictions. The life of Jesus as a man on earth was filled with wonder, teaching and miracles. His obedience to his Father’s will was the centerpiece of his mission, as he came to pay the ransom price for Adam. Critics say Jesus’ earthly life was also filled with contradictions. They say these discrepancies are reasonable cause to doubt the validity of what he did, taught and stood for. They also point to these inconsistencies as proof the Bible is not the unerring word of God. Once again, we will look at some of the Scriptures the critics bring up and examine them. Our objective is simple – find out what these several citations actually mean in the light of context, history and common sense!
Wasn't his name supposed to be Immanuel?
These contradictions surrounding Jesus began even before he was born! One particular discrepancy has to do with his name. When Mary got pregnant the angel Gabriel appeared to both Joseph and Mary separately. This angel, sent from God in heaven, specifically tells them to name the child "Jesus." This is easy and understandable so far. In the Gospel of Matthew Chapter 21, Matthew adds this was to be a direct fulfillment of the Isaiah prophecy about a virgin conceiving. Again, understandable...until Matthew tells us the name of the child would be “Immanuel.” Why wasn’t Jesus named Immanuel? Why did an angel of God tell them to name him Jesus, in direct contradiction to the prophecy?
Which is right?
Looking at this issue from where we sit today can raise a legitimate question regarding the integrity of Scripture. And this is just one of the multiple problems regarding Jesus’ life and ministry. Several other questions deal with easily-traceable things like time and place. For example, when did Jesus start his teaching? Was it before or after John the Baptist was put in prison? (The Bible seems to say both.) What about after Jesus was baptized? Two of the gospels say he went into the wilderness for 40 days to fast and pray. The Gospel of John seems to indicate he was at a wedding three days after his baptism. What about the temptations in the wilderness? The two Gospels that list them put them in a different order!
When we have these issues listed out for us in this way, it can really look daunting. Why are there so many things, often simple things, that don’t seem to make sense? The good news is, these things DO make sense! Check out our September 16, 2019 podcast, “Contradictions (Part VI): Do the Accounts of Jesus’ Life Contradict Themselves?” We meticulously cover every one of the questions we have alluded to here, as well as some others. We found that each and every issue has a logical, scriptural and context-based answer. These answers are not only solid in their reasoning, they solve the potential doubts that can easily arise when someone challenges your faith by waving these Scriptures in front of you.
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