Unraveling ‘Discrepancies” in the Gospel’s Resurrection Narratives

A Closer Look at the Credibility of the Accounts

Transcript is Below

This is a segment from “Finding Jesus” where I addressed what can, for some, be an uncomfortable and distressing fact that the Resurrection narratives in the four Gospels don’t exactly line up.

Does that mean we can’t trust the veracity of the Gospels, or of the Gospel writers? Absolutely not. Listen as I explain why these variances in the four accounts actually makes the Gospel narratives more credible. Get the Podcast at its portal site

Transcript is below:

Now, things get a little bit hairy when we talk about the Resurrection narratives. It’s in all four Gospels, but things get hairy because there’s some variance from one Gospel to another. There’s some variances in the details. Was there one angel or were there two? Were there no angels?

Was the tomb open and empty when Mary Magdalene got there, or was it closed already and she had to see the angel move it? Did she see Jesus first? And then she ran to the apostles? Or did the events happen in a different sequence or in a different order? Some people, particularly atheists, will point that out in saying, there are four different accounts.

They’re not really different accounts, but there are four different accounts, or four different sets of details and, order of things. In the four Gospels, that means the Bible is not the Word of God because it can’t even get its own details right. Let me just address that really very briefly. The four Gospels were written, by four different people in four different traditions.

And they were written across a span of time. Now, if all four Gospels were giving their accounts of this one event, And all of their details lined up perfectly, that would be suspicious. Because that is an indication that the story was rehearsed, that the story was worked out, details were worked out, and then there was some agreement that was arrived at, where all four gospel writers Decided, okay, this is how it went down.

If they all, if all four accounts lined up perfectly, that would be suspicious. Anyone who investigates crime, for instance, or does background checks, they will tell you this. That sometimes details are too perfect. They’re too perfect to be believable. That there are details here that don’t line up actually makes the gospel more believable.

Now, Are these details, the details that don’t line up, are they important? No, they are not. What’s important, and yet another reason why the Gospel is so credible, what’s important is the substance in the accounts of each of the four Gospels. It doesn’t matter if there was one angel, two angels, no angels, or an army of angels at the tomb.

Because what’s important there, what’s important in the narrative that we get out of that, Jesus wasn’t in the tomb. What’s important that we get out of there? He’s resurrected. Did Jesus encounter Mary at the tomb? Or did Jesus encounter Mary, as it says in another gospel, on the road or on her way to the apostles?

Because those are two different details. Well, that detail doesn’t matter. Where he encountered Mary Magdalene doesn’t matter. What matters is that there was an encounter. Also, whether or not he encountered Mary Magdalene really doesn’t matter either. Because the whole point of this narrative is Jesus was not in the tomb.

Jesus was resurrected. What happens between A to Z does not matter. Not substantially, anyway. There are things that we get from certain details, and things that perhaps we’re deprived of in the absence of certain details. Okay. Okay, but that’s not the point of the narrative. That’s not the point of the account.

The point of the account is not to say how A got to Z. The point of the account is to say, there’s A and there’s Z and there’s 24 letters in between. That’s the point of the account. The point of the accounts in these Gospels is that the tomb was empty because Jesus had risen from the grave.

Signup for my Newsletter

Stay up to date on everything I publish, and get an occasional exclusives.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here
Captcha verification failed!
CAPTCHA user score failed. Please contact us!

See More


Subscribe to get notified of new podcasts & episodes