6 Misconceptions About the New Testament
By Leah Baugh
1. The Gospels give contradictory accounts of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection.
Ask any detective or journalist and they will tell you that eyewitness accounts of the same event are never exactly alike. We have an overwhelming amount of redundancy between the four Gospels, more overlap than dissimilarity. When there are differences, they are minor and do not significantly change the basic account. If anything, it would be more suspicious if everyone told exactly the same details, as if they had collaborated beforehand to get their story straight.
2. Paul and Jesus teach different things.
People argue that since the Gospels are full of Jesus’ teachings on the kingdom of God while Paul’s focus seems to be on justification, Paul must be teaching something Jesus never taught nor intended to teach. Revelation throughout the Bible unfolds in an organic step-by-step way, rather than all at once. Christ inaugurated what the apostles built upon through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Additionally, a concept may be present despite the lack of specific vocabulary naming the concept. Christ clearly indicated that salvation could only come through him (Jn. 3:16-17; Jn. 14:6) despite never using the word “justification.” Likewise, Paul also taught that Christians who trust in Christ have an eternal inheritance, are called sons of God, and will be resurrected when Christ returns. All these things are elements of the kingdom Christ also taught.
3. James and Paul teach two different salvations.
Throughout his epistles, Paul emphasizes over and over again justification by faith alone. This is especially clear in Romans and Galatians. The book of James would seem to teach a contradictory salvation of faith plus works (Jm. 2:14-17). However, the book of James never…