Featured Link

Dec 31, 2011

99 Do buildings collapse as a consequence of sin

It’s Mr. Luke

In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus says a certain tower collapsed; it fell down on sinners who didn't deserve it more than other sinners did.   

Luke 13:1 Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. 2 Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? 3 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. 4 Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them--do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”  

All you sinners, a building could fall down on you as a result of sin. After all, you’re sinners, a class which includes virtually everybody.  

Incidentally, those who are not sinners could be destroyed by divine plan, anyway, to spare them from an evil world. In the Old Testament, Isaiah the prophet says so, says that the righteous perish because they are being taken away from evil times--  

Isaiah 57:1 The righteous perish, and no one ponders it in his heart; devout men are taken away, and no one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil. 

Recap: So, either way--whether you're sinful or righteous--the Bible God could snuff you out for a purpose.  

Related topic:

98 Is Yahweh ever unmerciful

The Old Testament Book of Jeremiah (c. 600 BC) says: 
God will make the Judeans (his people) pay big because they turned away from him

Jeremiah 19:3 Listen to what the Lord says, you kings of Judah and citizens of Jerusalem! The Lord God of Israel who rules over all says, I will bring a disaster on this place that will make the ears of everyone who hears about it ring! 4 I will do so because these people have rejected me and have defiled this place. ... 9 I will make them so desperate that they will eat the flesh of their own sons and daughters and the flesh of one another.

In the New Testament God isn’t merciful or forgiving any more than he is in the Book of Jeremiah. For example, Matthew says God would seriously punish anyone who refused to listen to the disciples   

Matthew 10:14 If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet. 15 Truly I tell you, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.

Recap: God will get you for ignoring or turning away from his disciples’ words. Now that’s "good news" (cough).

Look it up:

Dec 30, 2011

97 A feminist didn’t make this rule

The Old Testament Book of Deuteronomy includes a law that forbids women to hit men below the belt in a fight  

Deuteronomy 25:11 If two men are fighting and the wife of one of them comes to rescue her husband from his assailant, and she reaches out and seizes him by his private parts, 12 you shall cut off her hand. Show her no pity. 

Recap: The woman will be severely punished for her infraction of this law. Something tells me women didn’t sponsor this law.  

Look it up:

Dec 29, 2011

96 Was Judas an invention

The Apostle Paul writes (c. AD 55) that there were twelve disciples after Jesus’ resurrection

1 Corinthians 15:3 [W]hat I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve

Paul says there were twelve. But he should have known that Judas hanged himself in the story of Jesus and the disciples. Thus there were just eleven disciples when the risen Jesus appeared to them. Further, the Gospels (AD 70s-80s) talk of “eleven disciples” at the time the risen Jesus reunited with his disciples. I say Paul never heard the tale of the betrayal of Jesus, so he says there were twelve. I suspect that Judas was an invention sometime after Paul. 

Related post: 
93 Which disciple did Jesus love 

Dec 28, 2011

95 Does the newly risen Jesus greet ten disciples

It’s Mr. John vs Mr. Luke

The Gospel of John says the newly risen Jesus appeared to the disciples, but Thomas wasn’t in the room 

John 23:19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. ... 24 Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came.

It says that Thomas saw Jesus a week later

25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” 26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” 28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!

The Gospel of Luke says the newly risen Jesus appeared to the eleven disciples in the room! 

Luke 24:33 [Two followers] got up at once and went back to Jerusalem, where they found the eleven disciples gathered together with the others and saying, 34 "The Lord is risen indeed! He has appeared to Simon!" 36 Suddenly the Lord himself stood among them and said to them, "Peace be with you." 37 They were terrified, thinking that they were seeing a ghost.

Luke says “eleven disciples.” Yet Thomas was away someplace in the Gospel of John.

Recap: Luke counts eleven disciples in the room. John counts ten. I say one of them has misspoken himself.

Dec 27, 2011

94 Does the Angel of Death seek complainers

In the New Testament letter 1 Corinthians, written by the apostle Paul, Paul says that Christian complainers invite death

1 Corinthians 10:1 I want you to remember, my friends, what happened to our ancestors who followed Moses. ... 5 God was not pleased with most of them, and so their dead bodies were scattered over the desert. ... 8 We must not be guilty of sexual immorality, as some of them were--and in one day twenty-three thousand of them fell dead. 9 We must not put the Lord to the test, as some of them did--and they were killed by snakes. 10 We must not complain, as some of them did--and they were destroyed by the Angel of Death. 11 All these things happened to them as examples for others, and they were written down as a warning for us.

Um, very nice. It sounds like really Good News (cough) or a reign of terror.

Related post:

Dec 26, 2011

93 Which disciple did Jesus love

The Gospel of John mentions a disciple whom Jesus loved at the last supper. The disciple is unidentified 

John 13:23 One of his disciples, the one Jesus loved, was at the table.

The Gospel of John says Jesus loved all of the disciples

John 13:24 I give you a new commandment--to love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.

In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus bestowed a kingdom on the disciples at the last supper. They were all worthy

Luke 22:29 And I confer on you a kingdom, just as my Father conferred one on me, 30 so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

In the Gospel of John again, Jesus even loved Lazarus although Lazarus wasn’t one of the original twelve disciples

John 11:1 Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 (This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair.) 3 So the sisters sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.”

Thus Jesus loved people who were outside the charmed circle of the disciples. He loved his main disciples and those who weren’t his main disciples. Yet there was the anomalous “disciple whom Jesus loved,” and thus a Gospel oddity.

Recap: John says Jesus was partial to a particular disciple. But Jesus showed love for all his disciples. The other Gospels failed to mention the disciple whom Jesus loved. And other New Testament books don't mention him, either. I doubt that the original tale about Jesus included the beloved disciple. It appeared just in the Gospel of John. So I say the writer of John invented the beloved disciple.

Related post on my other blog:
09 Did the Apostle John write John

Dec 23, 2011

92 Was there a greatest disciple

The Gospel of John says a beloved disciple sat at a place of honor at the last supper. He was seated next to Jesus

John 13:23 One of his disciples, the one Jesus loved, was at the table to the right of Jesus in a place of honor.  

But the Gospel of Luke says at the last supper the disciples started an argrument about who was the worthiest among them

Luke 22:24 A dispute also arose among [the disciples] as to which of them was considered to be greatest. 

I say they already had at least a year to have a picture of where they stood with respect to their savior and his plans. They should have known by then.

Recap: Luke says a dispute broke out among the disciples about which of them was the greatest. Meantime John says one of them was seated at the place of honor. That should have given them a hint. Thus John vs Luke.

Related post:
93 Which disciple did Jesus love 

Dec 19, 2011

91 Will Christians do greater works than Jesus’

The Gospel of John says:
Devout Christian believers will do greater deeds than Jesus did 

John 14:12 I tell you the solemn truth, the person who believes in me will perform the deeds that I do, and will perform greater deeds than these, because I am going to the Father. 

But when did the apostles surpass the miraculous works of Jesus? I will say they never did.

Dec 17, 2011

90 Did Noah walk with God but get drunk

In the Old Testament book of Genesis, Mr. Noah walked with God

Genesis 6:9 Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God.

But in Genesis again, Noah got drunk

Genesis 9:20 Noah, a man of the soil, proceeded to plant a vineyard. 21 When he drank some of its wine, he became drunk.

However, the Old Testament Book of Proverbs denounces drunkenness

Proverbs 23:20 Do not spend time among drunkards.

The New Testament is down on drunkeness, too 

Ephesians 5:18 And do not get drunk with wine, which is debauchery.

1 Corinthians 6:10 Thieves, the greedy, drunkards, the verbally abusive, and swindlers will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Recap: An upright man who walked with God, Noah got himself completely drunk on wine. But the Bible teaches that getting oneself heavily intoxicated is ungodly. But Noah, a godly man, tied one on.

Nov 30, 2011

89 Will wisdom ever bring you sorrow

A Proverb vs Ecclesiastes

The Old Testament book of Proverbs says wisdom is a good thing, a very good thing

Proverbs 4:5 Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or swerve from them. 6 Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. 7 Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom.

But the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes says wisdom brings sorrow  

Ecclesiastes 1:18 With much wisdom comes much sorrow; the more knowledge, the more grief.

Recap: The Bible advises everybody to gain in wisdom. Another Bible book warns that wisdom comes at a price, because the more wisdom you have, the more sorrow you have. Uh, what? Thus Proverbs vs Ecclesiastes.

88 Should we put away childish things

It’s Psalm vs 1 Corinthians


An Old Testament psalm lends special credibility to what children say

Psalm 8:1 O Lord, our Lord, your greatness is seen in all the world! Your praise reaches up to the heavens; 2 it is sung by children and babies.

But the New Testament letter Corinthians, written by Paul, teaches that a child’s talk lacks in maturity and grown-ups should put such talk behind them

1 Corinthians 13:11  When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. 

Recap: Although a Psalm values praise to God sung by children, 1 Corinthians warns against childish talk, thinking, and reasoning.

Nov 29, 2011

87 Could an angel get misinformed

Now it’s Mr. Matthew vs Mr. Matthew
The Gospel of Matthew says an angel told Joseph, the husband of Mary, that it was safe to return to Israel. The angel said that nobody sought to harm the child Jesus any longer. The way was clear for the family to leave Egypt and return to Israel 

Matthew 2:19 After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt 20 and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the child’s life are dead.”

Matthew says, too, that Joseph dreamed another dream. It told him to avoid Judea. He shouldn't return to there because someone was still on the lookout for the child

Matthew 2:22 But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning in Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Having been warned in a dream, he withdrew to the district of Galilee, 23 and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth.

Recap: An angel told Joseph that his family was safe. But a follow-up dream warned him of danger. I say it appears that the angel was an misinformed one. Thus Matthew vs Matthew.

Nov 28, 2011

86 Do you go to hell because God is love

It’s Hebrews vs 1 John

The New Testament letter Hebrews says, better believe in the Christian doctrine or go to hell

Hebrews 10:28 Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him who said, "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," and again, "The Lord will judge his people." 31 It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

But the letter 1 John teaches that God is love  

1 John 4:8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

Recap: It's a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God, who is love. Um ... 

Nov 27, 2011

85 Could animal sacrifice remove your sin

Here’s Hebrews vs Leviticus

The New Testament letter to the Hebrews teaches that animal sacrifice can't take
                             away sins

Hebrews 10:4 [It] is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. ... 12 Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins.

But the Old Testament Book of Leviticus teaches that it can take away sins

Leviticus 16:27 The bull and the goat for the sin offerings, whose blood was brought into the Most Holy Place to make atonement, must be taken outside the camp; their hides, flesh and offal are to be burned up. ... 30 because on this day [Yom Kippur] atonement will be made for you, to cleanse you. Then, before the LORD, you will be clean from all your sins. ... 34 This is to be a lasting ordinance for you: Atonement is to be made once a year for all the sins of the Israelites." And it was done, as the LORD commanded Moses.

Recap: The Christian writer of Hebrews denounces animal sacrifice. He says animal sacrifice can't remove sin. But before Christianity God put animal sacrifice in place for the removal of sin. It was good enough for God. Thus Hebrews vs Leviticus.

Related post on my other blog:

Nov 26, 2011

84 Should Christians drink Jesus' blood

It’s Mr. Matthew vs Leviticus 

In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus commanded his devotees to drink his symbolic blood

Matthew 26:27 [H]e took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you. 28 This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” 

In the Old Testament Book of Leviticus, God gaves a commandment against consuming blood. It was well before the advent of Christianity

Leviticus 17:10 Any Israelite or any alien living among them who eats any blood--I will set my face against that person who eats blood and will cut him off from his people. ... 12 Therefore I say to the Israelites, "None of you may eat blood, nor may an alien living among you eat blood."

Recap: Jesus said to drink his blood. But Leviticus prevented it. Thus Matthew vs Leviticus.

Related post:

Nov 18, 2011

83 Does God ever change his mind

The Old Testament Book of Numbers says God doesn't change his mind

Numbers 23:19 God is not ... a son of man, that he should change his mind.

The Old Testament Book of Malachi says it too

Malachi 3:6 I the LORD do not change.

I infer from it that God wouln't ever change the commands he gave to humans, either.

But in the Old Testament book of Genesis, just green plants were food before the great Flood. After the great Flood, Noah walked out of the ark and God said everything was fit to eat now, plants and meat

Genesis 9:3 Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything.

Later God changed his mind and named which animals were fit to eat, not just any old animals like before

Leviticus 11:1 The LORD said to Moses and Aaron, 2 "Say to the Israelites: 'Of all the animals that live on land, these are the ones you may eat.’”

And also which kinds of fishes were fit to eat now

10 [A]ll creatures in the seas or streams that do not have fins and scales--whether among all the swarming things or among all the other living creatures in the water--you are to detest.

And what kinds of birds were edible now

13 These are the birds you are to detest and not eat because they are detestable....

Thus God changed his commands.

Recap: God changed his mind and commanded new diets. It could be argued that God planned it all along, that there was a changeable master plan despite what food was okay in Genesis 9.

Or Biblicists could argue that God didn’t change but only his commands did. But I say it only squares the circle; in other words, their explanation doesn't jibe.

Related post on my other blog:
88 Should we overlook the differences in the Gospels

Nov 13, 2011

82 Is immortality original to Christianity

Pre-Christian Greeks and Romans believed that they could be godlike in the afterworld. And once in heaven, the mortal body underwent a change to an immortal one. Heroes were the top canditates to be rewarded with immortality in heaven. They could even be made one with the Olympian gods. 

For example in 44 BC the Romans believed Julius Caesar, their emperor, was made a god after his death. Caesar became a god thanks to the power and blessing of the god Jupiter. Then the Romans prayed to Caesar, hoping he might hear the prayer and protect Rome.

For another example, the gods carried the first Roman king to heaven, to the abode of the gods, after his death eight centuries before Christ. The Roman senators explained to the people that he had been made co-equal with the god Mars. Imagine believing in that kind of thing. 

Christianity says Christians receive a glorified body in heaven, too. In fact the new bodies will be godlike like Jesus.  

In the New Testament letter 1 Corinthians, written by the apostle Paul, Paul preaches that Christians will put on the likeness of the Savior in the next life 

1 Corinthians 15:49 Just as we wear the likeness of the man made of earth, so we will wear the likeness of the Man from heaven. 50 What I mean, friends, is that what is made of flesh and blood cannot share in God's Kingdom, and what is mortal cannot possess immortality. 51 Listen to this secret truth: we shall not all die, but when the last trumpet sounds, we shall all be changed in an instant, as quickly as the blinking of an eye. For when the trumpet sounds, the dead will be raised, never to die again, and we shall all be changed.

Recap: Ancient Greco-Roman religious belief and Christianity taught that any deserving man and woman gets an immortal body in the afterlife. Since Greco-Roman religious dogma was older than Christianity, it could be said that the dogma about transformation wasn't a Christian original one.

Related post on my other blog:
53 Is God mysterious and controversial

Nov 12, 2011

81 Is divine human nature a free gift

Now 2 Peter vs 2 Peter

The New Testament letter 2 Peter, allegedly written by the apostle Peter, says that God gives Christians supernatural gifts

2 Peter 1:3 God's divine power has given us everything we need to live a truly religious life through our knowledge of the one who called us to share in his own glory and goodness. 4 In this way he has given us the very great and precious gifts he promised, so that by means of these gifts you may escape from the destructive lust that is in the world, and may come to share the divine nature.” 

The letter declares that Christians receive divine gifts during their lifetime. The catch is that Christians are required to be extra nice

5 For this very reason do your best to add goodness to your faith; to your goodness add knowledge; 6 to your knowledge add self-control; to your self-control add endurance; to your endurance add godliness; 7 to your godliness add Christian affection; and to your Christian affection add love.  

They should be kind to people or their divine gift might go to waste  

8 These are the qualities you need, and if you have them in abundance, they will make you active and effective in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But if you do not have them, you are so shortsighted that you cannot see and have forgotten that you have been purified from your past sins.

It’s as if Christians have won a lottery prize worth lot of money but then must go to work to get it.

Further, there’s a chance that they won’t get to heaven if they become negligent in their Christian duties

11 In this way you will be given the full right to enter the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 

Recap: I would expect they are assured a place in heaven once they have a ticket to get there. But they must do things to earn the gift, their new divine nature. A gift is supposed to be free.

Nov 11, 2011

80 Is it okay to test the Lord

In the Old Testament Book of Judges, Gideon the soldier tested to see whether God would keep a promise  

Judges 6:36 Gideon said to God, "If you [God] will save Israel by my hand as you have promised-- 37 look, I will place a wool fleece on the threshing floor. If there is dew only on the fleece and all the ground is dry, then I will know that you will save Israel by my hand, as you said." 38 And that is what happened. Gideon rose early the next day; he squeezed the fleece and wrung out the dew--a bowlful of water.

Even when God passed the test, Gideon devised a second test 

39 Then Gideon said to God, "Do not be angry with me. Let me make just one more request. Allow me one more test with the fleece. This time make the fleece dry and the ground covered with dew." 40 That night God did so. Only the fleece was dry; all the ground was covered with dew.

But in the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus rebuked Satan for tempting him to test God. Jesus declared that it was wrong to test God 

Matthew 4:7 Jesus answered him, “It is also written: 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'” 

Recap: Gideon tested God. But Jesus says you mustn't. Thus Judges vs Matthew. 

Oct 31, 2011

79 Did Jesus come to judge the world (2)

In the Gospel of John, Jesus says he doesn’t judge people but God does. Hm, as if there’s a difference   

John 12:47 As for the person who hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge him. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save it. 48 There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; that very word which I spoke will condemn him at the last day.  

Recap: Jesus won’t judge you. But the Bible God will. Well, I say it comes to the same either way.

Related post:
46 Did Jesus come to judge the world (1)

Oct 27, 2011

78 Was child sacrifice taboo in the Bible

It’s Judges vs Leviticus

In the Old Testament Book of Judges, Jephthah the warrior promised to make a burnt offering to the Lord 

Judges 11:31 [W]hatever comes out of the door of my house to meet me when I return ... will be the LORD's, and I will sacrifice it as a burnt offering.” 

The irony: his daughter was the first thing to come out of the house  

34 When Jephthah returned to his home ... who should come out to meet him but his daughter.

His promise involved a child sacrifice. And the Lord accepted it 

39 ... and he did to her as he had vowed. 

In the Old Testament Book of Genesis, God told Abraham to go and sacrifice his son. Again the Lord was okay with the idea of a child sacrifice 

Genesis 22:2 God said [to Abraham], "Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about." 

The good news was, at the last minute an angel stopped Abraham from going ahead and carrying out the sacrifice  

9 He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. 10 Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. 11 But the angel of the LORD called out to him from heaven, "Abraham! ... 12 "Do not lay a hand on the boy," he said. "Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God." 

The thing is, though, child sacrifice is expressly prohibited in the Old Testament Book of Leviticus

Leviticus 20:3 The LORD said to Moses, 2 “Say to the Israelites: ‘Any Israelite or any alien living in Israel who sacrifices any of his children to Molech must be put to death.’”

Recap: Leviticus seems to hint that the pagan god Molech was the problem and child sacrifice wasn't. Say that God ordered a biblicist to sacrifice a child today. The guy might rationalize: “Okay as long as the sacrifice isn't to Molech.”

So let's sum up. With respect to Molech, the Lord said no. But when it came to Jephthah and Abraham, the Lord said yes. Thus Judges vs Leviticus.

Oct 25, 2011

77 Did the risen Jesus appear to a crowd of 500

In the New Testament letter 1 Corinthians, written by the apostle Paul, Paul claims the risen Jesus appeared to five hundred followers.

But the Gospels of the New Testament failed to record the event and so did the Book of Acts. In fact the other letters of the New Testament don't say anything about it, either. 

The thing is, Paul talks about something he had only heard 

1 Corinthians 15:3 I passed on to you what I received, which is of the greatest importance: 4 that [Christ] was buried and that he was raised to life three days later, as written in the Scriptures; 5 that he appeared to Peter and then to all twelve apostles. 6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred of his followers at once, most of whom are still alive, although some have died.

Recap: I say Paul merely heard an unsubstantiated rumor about the resurrection.

Related post on my other blog:
12 Did a crowd of five hundred see the risen Jesus

Oct 23, 2011

76 Did the risen Jesus say to go to Galilee (2)

The Gospel of Matthew says an angel and the risen Jesus told the disciples to go to Galilee. It's around sixty miles north of Jerusalem.

The disciples were in Jerusalem when the angel said they should go to Galilee where they would see the risen Jesus 

Matthew 28:7 [The angel told the women,] Go quickly now, and tell his disciples, "He has been raised from death, and now he is going to Galilee ahead of you; there you will see him!" 

Jesus had risen from the grave and instructed his disciples to go to Galilee, too. They were still in Jerusalem

Matthew 28:10 “Do not be afraid," Jesus said to [the women]. "Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me." ... 28:16 The eleven disciples went to the hill in Galilee where Jesus had told them to go.

But the Gospel of Luke says that Jesus had risen from the dead and told the disciples to stay where they were in Jerusalem

Luke 24:33 [Two followers of Jesus] got up at once and went back to Jerusalem, where they found the eleven disciples gathered together with the others. ... 35 The two then explained to them what had happened on the road, and how they had recognized the Lord when he broke the bread. 36 While the two were telling them this, suddenly the Lord himself stood among them and said to them, "Peace be with you." ... 49 I myself will send upon you what my Father has promised. But you must wait in the city until the power from above comes down upon you." ... 50 Then he led them out of the city as far as Bethany [not a mile from Jerusalem], where he raised his hands and blessed them. ... 52 They worshiped him and went back into Jerusalem, filled with great joy, 53 and spent all their time in the Temple giving thanks to God.  

Recap: Matthew says they were told to go to Galilee. But Luke says they were told to stay put in the city. So I say the authors heard incompatible stories and wrote them down.

Related post:

Oct 20, 2011

75 Didn't Luke know the women saw the risen Jesus

The Gospel of Matthew says that the women saw the risen Jesus.

But wait!

The Gospel of Luke doesn't say anything about it!

Matthew says the women saw an angel at the empty sepulcher. And they also encountered Jesus along the path

Matthew 28:8 So they left the tomb in a hurry, afraid and yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9 Suddenly Jesus met them and said, "Peace be with you." They came up to him, took hold of his feet, and worshiped him.

But not Luke, who doesn't report it. Instead he says the women enountered an angel, then hurried and told the disciples

Luke 24:6 [The angel told the women,] He is not here; he has been raised. Remember what he said to you while he was in Galilee: 7 "The Son of Man must be handed over to sinners, be crucified, and three days later rise to life." 8 Then the women remembered his words, 9 returned from the tomb, and told all these things to the eleven disciples and all the rest. 10 The women were Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Mary the mother of James; they and the other women with them told these things to the apostles. 

Recap: The Gospel of Luke failed to mention Jesus' appearance to the women. Yet the resurrection of Jesus was a central event. I doubt that the author merely had an attack of the forgetsies. I suspect he knew a different unsubstantiated rumor about the resurrection and wrote it down.

Related post:

Oct 19, 2011

74 Why didn't the male disciples believe the women

In the Gospel of Luke, the women see the empty burial place of Jesus and hurry and tell the disciples. The disciples listen but disbelieve. 

Angels at the tomb have told the women their master has been raised

Luke 24:8 [T]he women remembered [Jesus' prediction], 9 returned from the tomb, and told all these things to the eleven disciples and all the rest. ... 11 But the apostles thought that what the women said was nonsense, and they did not believe them.

I say it's odd that the disciples accused the women of telling idle tales about angels at the tomb. The disciples had spent lots of time in the presence of a miracle worker; he'd walked on water and raised the dead. Their master had done amazing things, so a report of angels and an empty tomb should've gladened them. But instead they acted as if to say “Nah--no angels could’ve showed up at an empty tomb ... Why there's not even the slightest chance ... It couldn't ever happen in this world.” 

I say that when they completely doubt it’s very curious behavior and an inconsistency of the Gospel.

Related post on my other blog:
70 Were women's testimonies trusted