"Easter Quiz" on alleged contradictions in the Gospels

I came across this article called “Easter Quiz”:


The actual purpose of the “Quiz” is to demonstrate some alleged “contradictions” between the Gospel accounts.

  1. Who first came to the tomb on Sunday morning?
    a. one woman (John 20:1)
    b. two women (Matt. 28:1)
    c. three women (Mark 16:1)
    d. more than three women (Luke 23:55-56; 24:1,10)
  1. She (they) came
    a. while it was still dark (Matt. 28:1; John 20:1)
    b. after the sun had risen (Mark 16:2)
  1. The woman (women) came to the tomb
    a. to anoint the body of Jesus with spices (Mark 16:1-2; Luke 24:1)
    b. just to look at it (Matt. 28:1; John 20:1)
  1. The women had obtained the spices
    a. on Friday before sunset (Luke 23:54-56; 24:1)
    a. after sunset on Saturday (Mark 16:1)
  1. The first visitor(s) was/were greeted by
    a. an angel (Matt. 28:2-5)
    b. a young man (Mark 16:5)
    c. two men (Luke 24:4)
    d. no one (John 20:1-2)
  1. The greeter(s)
    a. was sitting on the stone outside the tomb (Matt 28:2)
    b. was sitting inside the tomb (Mark 16:5)
    c. were standing inside the tomb (Luke 24:3-4)
  1. After finding the tomb empty, the woman/women
    a. ran to tell the disciples (Matt. 28:7-8; Mark 16:10; Luke 24:9; John 20:2)
    b. ran away and said nothing to anyone (Mark 16:8)
  1. The risen Jesus first appeared to
    a. Mary Magdalene alone (John 20:14; Mark 16:9)
    b. Cleopas and another disciple (Luke 24:13,15,18)
    c. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary (Matt. 28:1,9)
    d. Cephas (Peter) alone (1 Cor. 15:4-5; Luke 24:34)
  1. Jesus first appeared
    a. somewhere between the tomb and Jerusalem (Matt. 28:8-9)
    b. just outside the tomb (John 20:11-14)
    c. in Galilee - some 80 miles (130 Km) north of Jerusalem (Mark 16:6-7)
    d. on the road to Emmaus - Miles (11 Km) west of Jerusalem (Luke 24:13-15)
    e. we are not told where (Mark 16:9; 1 Cor. 15:4-5)
  1. The disciples were to see Jesus first
    a. in Galilee (Mark 16:7; Matt. 28:7,10,16)
    b. in Jerusalem (Mark 16:14; Luke 24:33,36; John 20:19; Acts 1:4)
  1. The disciples were told that they would meet the risen Jesus in Galilee
    a. by the women, who had been told by an angel of the Lord, then by Jesus
    himself after the resurrection (Matt. 28:7-10; Mark 16:7)
    b. by Jesus himself, before the crucifiction (Mark 26:32)
  1. The risen Jesus
    a. wanted to be touched (John 20:27)
    b. did not want to be touched (John 20:17)
    c. did not mind being touched (Matt. 28:9-10)
  1. Jesus ascended to Heaven
    a. the same day that he was resurrected (Mark 16:9,19; Luke 24:13,28-36,50-51)
    b. forty days after the resurrection (Acts 1:3,9)
    c. we are not told that he ascended to Heaven at all (Matt. 28:10, 16-20;
    John 21:25; the original Gospel of Mark ends at 16:8)
  1. The disciples received the Holy Spirit
    a. 50 days after the resurrection (Acts 1:3,9)
    b. in the evening of the same day as the resurrection (John 20:19-22)
  1. The risen Jesus
    a. was recognized by those who saw him (Matt. 28:9; Mark 16:9-10)
    b. was not always recognizable (Mark 16:12; Luke 24:15-16,31,36-37; John 20:14-15)
  1. The risen Jesus
    a. was physical (Matt. 28:9; Luke 24:41-43; John 20:27)
    b. was not physical (Mark 16:9,12,14; Luke 24:15-16,31,36-37; John 20:19,26; 1 Cor. 15:5-8)
  1. The risen Jesus was seen by the disciples
    a. presumably only once (Matt. 28:16-17)
    b. first by two of them, later by all eleven (Mark 16:12-14; Luke 24:13-15,33,36-51)
    c. three times (John 20:19,26; 21:1,14)
    d. many times (Acts 1:3)
  1. When Jesus appeared to the disciples
    a. there were eleven of them (Matt. 28:16-17; Luke 24:33,36)
    b. twelve of them (1 Cor. 15:5)

How can these alleged contradictions be answered?

I’m sure there are some apologetics links which answer them, could anyone recommend any?

just a thought…they each were written by different men?:shrug: I mean if they were written by the same author you might have one story but these were written by different men.

Obviously the stories are not completely consistent. I don’t think any of the details changes the overall message though.


As hellopeople said the message is what is important. From common scholarly understanding not all the Gospel writers were present during the events of the New Testament and a couple of them received their information either by word of mouth or from a document called simply “Q”. Though the Gospels are divinely inspired, the minute details are not consistent. Also, you have to be aware that due to literary styles in the Gospels each Gospel was meant to target a specific audience…one to the Jews, one to the Gentiles, etc.
As being a former correctional officer and supervisor I can relate to the inconsistencies. For example an inmate who needed to be restrained due to trying to inflict harm upon himself, may have needed to be forcibly restrained. After the event, reports are written by each member involved in the altercation. Surprisingly, reading the reports afterwards would give you so many inconsistencies because everyone saw something different, though only one thing actually happened.

Yes, I’m aware of this. However, I know that there are apologetic articles and essays which have been written about the alleged inconsistencies, which is why I am asking if anyone can direct me to them because I’m having trouble finding some, myself.

This is from a Protestant apologetics website:

How many men or angels appeared at the tomb?

Matt 28:2; Mark 16:5; Luke 24:4; John 20:1-2, 12

An angel of the Lord on the stone (Matthew 28:1-2) - “Now after the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to look at the grave. 2And behold, a severe earthquake had occurred, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled away the stone and sat upon it.”

A young man (Mark 16:5) - “And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting at the right, wearing a white robe; and they were amazed.”

Two men (Luke 24:4) - “And it happened that while they were perplexed about this, behold, two men suddenly stood near them in dazzling apparel.”

Two angels (John 20:1-2,12) - "Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene *came early to the tomb, while it *was still dark, and *saw the stone already taken away from the tomb. 2And so she *ran and *came to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and *said to them, “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him. . 12and she *beheld two angels in white sitting, one at the head, and one at the feet, where the body of Jesus had been lying.”

There is no discrepancy at all. An angel of the Lord moved the stone and was sitting upon it outside (Matthew 28:2). The two men (Luke 24:4) were angels (John 20:12). Mark 16:5 presents the only potential issue and it isn’t the only one at all. If there were two angels in the tomb, then there was at least one. This one was on the right. Therefore, we see that there was one angel outside and two on the inside of the tomb.

cognitive dissonance is a bear isn’t it? You are trying resolve with as much spin as you can and really it is a pretty weak attempt.
These are NOT the only discrepancies but they are the most dynamic.
It is a flawed book. Admit this it makes things easier even if you continue to believe

Click onto the Aquinas Study Bible link below and click onto any of the Gospel links, and you will find St. Augustine’s Harmony on the Gospels. I have every passage in an easy to use format, all of Augustine’s explanations are on the bottom of each chapter of the webpages. Augustine provides highly detailed explanations on every so-called contradiction or discrepecy. There are no contradictions and there are no reason for Christians to come to that conclusion because not only Augustine but many other great Catholic minds have cleared up any accusations of contradictions.

Also, I am putting together a synopsis of the Gospels in chronological order with quotes from great Catholic commentators that explain the harmonization and order of the Gospel events. It should be ready for the printing press before Christmas.

Commenting on 3 1/2 year old threads is just silly. Why not start a new thread?

Any account of an incident is bound to have different descriptions depending on who saw it, where they were at the time, and to whom they were speaking. A number of witnesses having the same story raises a suspicion of collusion. What is important then is the commonalities in the different accounts.The Gospels agree that Jesus died and rose again, in accordance with the Scriptures. Now where have I heard that before?:wink:

Cognitive dissonance,maybe?

When I see posts like this atheist I can tell that this person has no experience dealing with witnesses. If multiple accounts are all exactly the same, it indicates collusion.

FYI - These are *differences *in these Gospels, not contradictions.


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