In my previous post I began discussing the difference between differences and contradictions. I see contradictions as a kind of difference, one that cannot be reconciled. Some statements are just different: Jimmy Carter was a peanut farmer; Jimmy Carter was president. Different but not mutually exclusive. Others are contradictory: Jimmy Carter became president in 1976; Jimmy Carter became president in 1992. Both can’t be true at the same time.
UNLESS you figure out a way to reconcile them, for example, by saying that Jimmy Carter became president twice, once in 1976 and again in 1992. But THAT reconciliation can be shown to be false by other facts (that at Bill Clinton became president in 1992). Eventually in a case like this, one has to concede: yes, the two statements about Jimmy Carter are in fact contradictory. In this instance, one of them is true and the other false. In other instances, you can have contradictory statements *both* of which are false (Bill Clinton first became president in 1962; Bill Clinton first became president in 2002). But you can’t have contradictory statements both of which are right.
The New Testament is filled with different claims about Jesus, and only some are contradictory. The question is: which is which? Here are two examples I rather like from the end of the Gospels, in this case the resurrection narratives.Some intriguing and controversial stuff here. Join the blog and you can see! Click here for membership options