Does the bible contract itself? The short answer is no, the bible does not contradict itself. It is all about the context and noting the fine details, which many ignore when making this accusation. Many people say the four gospels contradict one another. They were written by different authors, from different angles for different types of readers.
Matthew was a Jewish tax collector in the employ of the Roman government. He was despised by his fellow Jews, yet Christ called him to be a disciple. He instantly provided a feast so his colleagues might also meet Jesus, Mark 2:15.
The gospel of Matthew portrays Jesus as a King, and you hear the accountant’s voice in the way he organized his writing. His account of Jesus’ life was to present Jesus of Nazareth to the Jews. He shows Jesus as the Son of David and the Son of Abraham, fulfilling the Old Testament prophecies of the long-awaited Messiah. The Jewish hierarchy rejected and crucified their Messiah. While the Kingdom of Heaven was at hand, it was still future.
Matthew used 42% of unique material and included 53 Old Testament quotes.
The Gospel of Mark was written to the Romans, presenting Jesus as a servant. Mark was the son of Mary, a wealthy woman of prominence in Jerusalem, Acts 12:12. He was a close friend and possible disciple of Peter and Barnabas was his cousin. Mark failed on his first missionary journey with Paul, but later became a valuable asset to Paul, Colossians 4:10.
It is a book of action, rather than who Jesus said He was. This gospel contains only 7% of unique material and included 36 Old Testament quotes.
Gospel of Luke
Luke gives an entirely different aspect of the Messiah, concentrating on Jesus as the compassionate Son of Man. Luke was a physician, a close friend and companion to Paul, and the only Gentile author in the New Testament. Although he was an eyewitness of Jesus’ ministry, Luke 1:2, he carefully researched his material.
Luke’s writing reveals his interest in medical matters. He also gives women a prominent place, as did Jesus. Luke used 59% of unique material and has particular details surrounding the birth of Christ. He included 25 Old Testament quotes.
Matthew, the longest gospel, appears to be the first gospel written, so Mark and Luke would have had reference to it, creating the Synoptic Gospels. All three include many of the same stories and often in a similar sequence.
Gospel of John
Finally, there came the book of John, written to the Jews and Gentiles around 20 to 30 years after the other three gospels. John was a Palestinian Jew and brother of James, He came from a well-to-do Galilean family and belonged to the inner circle of Jesus’ disciples. He and his brother were known as the ‘sons of thunder’, Mark 3:17. He played a prominent role in the early church in Jerusalem.
His gospel deals with the nature and person of Christ, as the Son of God. This book contains no parables, and only seven miracles. John was determined to show the physical actuality of the man they called Jesus. His writing contains 92% original material, only 20 Old Testament quotes.
John’s Gospel concludes with the statement that there are many other things Jesus did. If it was all written down, even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written, John 21:25.
Does the Bible Contradict Itself?
So, does the Bible contradict itself? The short answer is no. For example, the anointing of Jesus for His burial, by two different women. In John 12 it is an unknown woman, six days before the Passover, who anoints His head. In Matt 26 and Mark 14, Mary, the sister of Martha, anointed the feet of Jesus, two days before Passover. Difficulties arise only when you try to make the two separate incidents into one.
Genealogy of Jesus
Others claim the genealogies of Matthew 1 and Luke 3 are a contradiction. Matthew follows the genealogy down to Joseph, through David’s son, Solomon. This proved that Jesus had the genealogical right to sit on the throne of David, though born of a virgin.
Luke’s gospel looks at it through Mary’s lineage, through David’s son Nathan. Here Jesus is presented as the Saviour of all humanity as Kinsman-Redeemer. The fact is that David’s line became cursed at Conish, that none of his descendants would prosper and be allowed to sit on David’s throne, Jeremiah 22:28. As Jesus came from the line of Mary, He was not subject to this curse.
Does the Bible contradict itself? The answer is still no. What some consider a contradiction, simply means, “Take a deeper look. There are 39 books in the Old Testament and 27 in the New Testament. They were written by around 40 different authors, on three different continents, in three different languages, and compiled over 1500-1600 years. Then you come to the multitudinous translations into English, which only increases the arguments.
We have an amazing library covering everything relating to humanity. Scholars and theologians love to argue, but the central theme remains the same. It is viewed in the light of a Heavenly Father’s nature, righteousness, faithfulness, mercy and love and mankind’s inherent sinfulness.