Tuesday, April 05, 2016

What about the Differences in the Resurrection Accounts?

Skeptics will often challenge the reliability of the resurrection accounts recorded in the gospels because they have differences.  I have argued in the past that these minor discrepancies are exactly what we would expect to see if the gospels truly are eyewitness accounts.  Moreover, if the gospels agreed on every single detail, skeptics would cry, "Collusion!"1  

While much is made of the minor discrepancies in the accounts, many overlook what they agree on regarding the resurrection. According to Dr. William Lane Craig, the gospels agree that:

"Jesus of Nazareth was crucified in Jerusalem by Roman authority during the Passover Feast, having been arrested and convicted on charges of blasphemy by the Jewish Sanhedrin and then slandered before the governor Pilate on charges of treason.  he died within several hours and was buried Friday afternoon by Joseph of Arimathea  in a tomb, which was shut with a stone.  Certain female followers of Jesus, including Mary Magdalene, having observed his interment, visited his tomb early on Sunday morning, only to find it empty.  Thereafter, Jesus appeared alive from the dead to the disciples, including Peter, who then became proclaimers of the message of His resurrection."2

The gospels actually agree on much and the minor discrepancies between them actually add to the circumstantial case that they are indeed eyewitness accounts.

Courage and Godspeed,


1. For those who want to learn more about the the differences in the gospels, I recommend Jim Wallace's excellent post on the topic here.  Jim's background as a cold-case homocide detective affords him a unique perspective.

2. William Lane Craig, On Guard, p. 243.

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