The Four Gospel Controversy

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Before any conclusions can be made regarding the message of the Four Gospels, it is important to consider whether they are historically accurate. Arguments swing between them being either accurate in their portrayal of historical events, or that very few of the events in them took place. Even the central figure of the gospels, Jesus Christ, receives a mixed response from scholars. Many scholars would agree that Christ is a historical figure. The issues that cause controversy are the miraculous events surrounding His life. The best source of information regarding the historical events of Christ’s life are the Four Gospels. The historical accuracy of the setting in these Gospels is crucial to the argument regarding the authenticity of the miraculous…show more content…
These are contradictions within the various texts of the same Gospel, and also variances between the Four Gospels themselves. Within the various copies of each Gospel there are contradictions. These contradictions usually have no impact on the theological message and are usually grammatical, punctuation, or spelling errors. These minor scribal errors do not detract from the overall consistency between the various copies. The greater issue would be the contradictions in events between the Four Gospels. Where the ancient scholarly pursuit was to find harmony, the current scholarly drive is to find discord between the Four Gospels, any small find becomes bloated out of proportion to show the whole work to be fake. One of the main contradictions, that the author is aware of, is the account of Judas’ death. Matthew 27:3-8 has Judas throwing the bribe money away before hanging himself, the priests using the money to buy a field for burial. Acts 1:18 has Judas buying the field with the bribe money and dying in the field from a fall. This historical inconsistency does not affect the consistency of Christ’s theological message. The ancient Eastern minds were not as fixated on an accurate history and timeline as the modern Western world. Even the differences in the timeline for Christ’s movements can be easily explained. The various authors of the Four Gospels grouped some of Christ’s actions around purpose rather than sticking to a strict timeline. When an account is consistent in the Four Gospels this is a problem. When there are some small inconsistencies in the account this is also a problem. It seems as if it is not the consistencies or inconsistencies that are the problem. The problem is scholars looking for problems wherever they can invent

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