04 July 2010

Gospel chronology

Some people assert that the gospels have no contradictions. Others acknowledge that the authors of the gospels were each trying to convey different theological messages and adherence to the facts was not really something they were aiming for.

The gospels themselves provide plenty of evidence against the first view. Downright contradictions, inconsistent orderings, and strange omissions all make it clear that these authors were working from a small set of common stories which were supplemented with different claims. Now, I am not claiming that the gospel authors made up the rest, although that is a possibility. They may have just come from different traditions which, over time, had diverged.

The situation gets worse if you try to reconcile the gospels with what we know of the historical events at the time. DeistPaladin has a couple a great videos which show the result of attempts to reconcile the gospels with history.