Due to having frequent discussions with my “inerrant and literal” bible friend lately the Gospel messages have been on my mind. I know there are several places in the bible that supposedly report on the same event. If, as my friend, believes, every word in the bible is literally true and directly from God’s mouth (through the totally obedient hands of men’s pens) then why do the places that supposedly report the same thing use different words and sometimes seem to convey quite different meanings? I, personally take this to enforce my belief that the words are from men who either didn’t understand what Jesus was really saying or just forgot the exact words he used. The Gospels were generally written at least twenty years after the events reported so I can see where the events lost some clarity over the years. I know that is generally the case for me when I look back twenty years in my life. I can’t remember the exact words but do remember “some” of the events that I think played a significant part in my life.
I think most Christians believe that Jesus is the absolute center of the Bible and the Gospels are about the only place where his direct words are recorded. So to me they take front and center in my study of what it means to be a disciple of Christ. I certainly don’t as my friend seems to say often believe that the Gospel writers were lying because they didn’t use the same words. They, like many of us today, were just at different stages of their understanding of what Jesus being Lord was all about. Even though they were inspired by God to write what the did doesn’t mean that their understanding of the events were from an identical mindset. The diversity of the reporting I believe adds to our understanding of the words of Jesus instead of taking away from it. We learn that different men saw things from different perspectives. I haven’t done much study the other writings of the times that were not included in the Bible but it certainly would have been interesting to hear a woman’s perspective of the Gospel accounts. It’s is a shame that Mary (Jesus’ mother) or Mary Magdalene did not get a spot in the New Testament list. They were both very involved in Jesus’ ministries and would have been faithful reporters.
Ok, so starting with the next post I will be spending some time looking at the parallel reports of the same events in the Gospels to see what I can glean from them. I will try to learn the different messages that the Gospel writer took from Jesus’ words. I will be using the NIV Bible for this study. I pray the Holy Spirit will guide me through this study to learn the messages that Christ intends. All glory and honor be to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.