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Why Do the Gospels Differ on the Resurrection? (7 of 7)
The variations of the eyewitness accounts of the Resurrection of Christ are often cited as contradictions, but this argument should be easily dispelled if we just take a moment to think about what is being communicated. Just as we saw earlier, doctrine spread throughout scripture is not intended to be taken out of the context of the scripture as a whole and we must also use this line of reasoning when looking at the eyewitness accounts of the resurrection. This applies to the resurrection or any of the events of Jesus' life. If you have four people describing the same event, why should it be thought to be a contradiction if each gives details that one or more of the others do not mention. If one disciple said that Jesus was resurrected the third day and the next said the fourth day, then we would have a contradiction; however, if one account gives details that add to the picture, this is not a contradiction at all.
Think for a moment about the criminals crucified with Jesus. In Matthew 27:38-44 the priests were mocking Jesus and saying, "He could save others, but cannot save Himself". They challenged Him to prove that He was the son of God by coming down off the cross and then they will believe Him. The book of Matthew states that the thieves crucified with Him cast the same words at Him. Luke gives another account from other eyewitnesses to the resurrection. Luke was not an eyewitness. He interviewed a large number of witnesses and compiled their testimonies into a letter sent to Theophilus detailing the life of Jesus which we now call the book of Luke. Look at his account of the crucifixion in Luke 23:39-43
39 And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us.
40 But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation?
41 And we indeed justly; for we receive ...
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