After Jesus and his disciples arrive in Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover, all four Gospels follow the same basic passion plot-line: Jesus and his disciples eat an evening meal, Jesus goes out to the garden to pray and is soon arrested, and finally, Jesus is put on trial that morning and crucified. But if you were to go back and take note of the key details and compare them side by side, what you’ll find is that the author of John has something quite different to say regarding these events; differences that cannot be reasonably reconciled with the other gospels as I’m about to argue. The specific contradictions I’m referring to are the day and time of Jesus’ crucifixion. Not what day of the week it was, but what type of day it was. Perhaps it would be easier addressed in the form of a question: Was Jesus crucified on Passover day at 9am as the synoptics say, or on the Day of Preparation for the Passover at noon as John says? Chances are good that this is the first time you’ve heard of this contradiction and I expect you to be a bit skeptical of this claim just as I was when I first read about it in Bart Ehrman’s book, Jesus, Interrupted. But I invite you to join me in this investigation in determining whether or not there is in fact a problem that cannot be reconciled. Throughout this discussion I’ll be incorporating scholarly commentary and references to support my position, as well as addressing the arguments that have been made against it.

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Let’s dive right into the gospel accounts of Luke and Matthew and read what they say happened after Jesus’ resurrection. Afterwords, we’ll try putting them together to see if there are any problems that cannot be harmonized. To save time, I’ve condensed the events of each gospel in a summarized list below, but feel free to click on the links and read the accounts in full.

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While I may not care for many of the things that result from religion, artwork certainly isn’t one of them. The paintings it has inspired throughout history are not only magnificently done, but present very entertaining depictions of Biblical events as the artists saw them. Take a look to see what I mean…

Is it just me or are there DECAPITATED BABY HEADS FLYING IN THE AIR? I also can’t help but see God giving the birdie while Adam uses his arms in the expression of, “hey man, she ate it first…” On a further note, that lion at the bottom looks awfully frightened of his creator. What a pussy-cat.

DOMENICHINO – Adam and Eve, 1623-25, Oil on Canvas, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Grenoble

In Mark 2:23-28, Jesus is confronted by Pharisees because his disciples had been walking through a grain field, eating the grain on the Sabbath. Jesus wants to show the Pharisees that “Sabbath was made for humans, not humans for the Sabbath,” and so he reminds them of what the great King David had done when he and his men were hungry…how they went into the Temple “when Abiathar was the high priest” and ate the show bread, which was only for the priests to eat. The problem with this passage in Mark is that when you go back and look at the Old Testament passage that Jesus is citing (1 Sam. 21:1-6), it turns out that David did this not when Abiathar was the high priest, but, in fact, when Abiathar’s father Ahimelech was.

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