Do The Gospels Disagree About Jesus?

by Clark Bates

A standard method of attack against the New Testament inerrancy is to pit one or two books against each other.  While this approach has been used with the epistles, it is most often used with the Gospels.  A clear example of this is found in the work of Bart Ehrman.  Both on his blog[1] and in interviews[2], Ehrman insists that Gospels such as Mark and Luke present different, even contradictory depictions of Jesus.  During an interview on the famous show, The Colbert Report, he stated,

“In Mark’s Gospel, for example, Jesus goes to His death in deep agony, over what’s happening to him, and doesn’t seem to understand why it’s happening to Him.”

Conversely, says Ehrman,

“When you read Luke’s Gospel, He’s not in agony at all.”

Now, it must be remembered that much of Ehrman’s popularity comes from his dynamic personality and his ability to speak convincingly about his positions.  He is a very educated, very informed scholar, and much of what he says passes, without question, from those who hear him.  This is especially true when his audience already doubts the New Testament.  Unfortunately, many young believers also hear these statements and, presuming he would not blatantly speak a lie, accept that he must have a point, and do not investigate the claim.  The result?  Many young Christians abandon their faith, or at least the Bible, as hopeless and irrelevant.

But here’s the rub: It doesn’t take much to bring down Ehrman’s claim!  Let’s take a short investigation into the Gospels of Mark and Luke and see for ourselves if what the professor says really matches what the Gospels depict.  Regarding Mark, the professor claims that Jesus is not only in agony, but that he seems to be completely unaware of why he’s being put to death…

Do The Gospels Disagree About Jesus?