The Resurrection: How reliable are the Gospels?

There are times where the Gospels are consistent, and times where they are inconsistent about the events surrounding Jesus’ resurrection.  Here is a chart comparing the events between the Gospels:

So, how many men and how many angels really were at the tomb?

There is consistency about the general events, but the details clearly aren’t all coming from reliable sources – otherwise there wouldn’t be so much differentiation.

Considering this is the key event that Christianity is based on, the inaccuracies should suggest that we read the rest of the Gospel accounts with an awareness of the possibility of error.  If the defining moments of Jesus have consistency issues, the less important Jesus moments have a greater possibility of larger issues of inconsistency with what really happened.

 

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2 Responses to The Resurrection: How reliable are the Gospels?

  1. Derek says:

    “If the defining moments of Jesus have consistency issues, the less important Jesus moments have a greater possibility of larger issues of inconsistency with what really happened.”

    The events surrounding the resurrection are certainly confusing. This is compounded by the fact that we have multiple sources all describing the same event with a disregard for their fellow authors’ chronology and scope. Some Gospels include information that others leave out. I can go into more detail on this if you’d like, but ultimately what you’re observing lends the Gospels more credibility than anything else.

    • jasonjshaw says:

      Actually it lends credibility that the story was fairly widespread for there to be such variance between the Gospels. Credibility that it actually happened is increased, though there is a possibility that the story began with someone telling it with conviction to a group of gullible people when it may not have been true. I do side with you that it seems to come across as having significant credibility in it possibly having been an actual event.

      It is questionable as to how accurate the descriptions of the event were though. An earthquake seems to be something that wouldn’t have easily been forgotten or neglected.

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