Inconsistencies In The Gospels Prove Their Veracity

How Inconsistencies in the Gospels actually prove they are eyewitness accounts

By Misty Callahan

Luke 1:1-4 states, “Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile an account of the things accomplished among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of the word, it seemed fitting for me as well, having investigated everything carefully from the beginning, to write it out in consecutive order, most excellent, Theophilus; so that you may know the exact truth about the things you have been taught.” When one reads through the New Testament books, one quickly realizes that there are discrepancies between the written accounts. Skeptics often point to these discrepancies as proof of their falsehood. Yet, as Lydia McGrew and J. Warner Wallace show in their works, “Hidden In Plain View” and “Cold Case Christianity“, those same discrepancies actually help prove their veracity.

Knowing What To Look For

Admittedly, when I was first introduced to the concept of “undesigned coincidences” or, as J. Warner Wallace calls them, “eyewitness support statements”, it was a little difficult to understand. Why would stories that didn’t match up, be “proof” of their veracity? Yet, once you understand the argument, it becomes pretty compelling. It is another strong link in the cumulative case for the truth of Christianity. But you have to know what to look for. As J. Warner Wallace, a cold case homicide detective, points out:

“Unless you’ve worked a lot with eyewitnesses and have become familiar with the nature of apparent contradiction in eyewitness accounts, it’s easy to assume that people are lying (or are mistaken) simply because they don’t agree on every detail or have ignored some facts in favor of others…While we might complain about two accounts that appear to differ in some way, we would be even more suspicious if there were absolutely no peculiarities or differences. If this were the case with the Gospels, I bet we would argue that they were a result of some elaborate collusion.”

Essentially, if the Gospels were identical in all aspects in their telling of the life of Jesus, one could reasonably consider that the disciples did conspire to “make up a story”. But since there are differences, skeptics take the opposite tack: they accuse the Gospels of being faked because of those differences…

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