I’ve heard this statement so many times, but when pressed for examples, most people can’t come up with concrete contradictions at all, they come up with discrepancies. The difference is that with a contradiction, it is impossible for both statements to be true. With a discrepancy, the statements do not agree, but they could both be true. An example would be in Matthew 20:30 two blind men sought Jesus, but Luke 18:35 only mentions one blind man. Now, a careful reading of Luke will reveal that he does not say ONLY one blind man. Obviously if there are 2, there was also one. The two verses are not mutually exclusive. They could easily both be true. If you want a detailed answer to a lot of proported discrepancies, go here. I hope you will read on for a much broader view.
I personally believe the discrepancies actually add credibility to the New Testament, not detract from it. Here is how.
Some would say that the entire idea of Jesus’ resurrection was a hoax put forth by some grave robbing apostles. Now lets imagine that is true for a second. If you were among a group of people trying to pull off a huge lie, wouldn’t you all get your stories straight? And if you had the statements of one of your fellow conspirators, wouldn’t you be careful to agree with his/her statement completely? Wouldn’t you also be vague and avoid a lot of details so it would be harder to catch you in your lie? When people give false statements to police they give as few details as possible. The simple fact that there are many details in each gospel and that they don’t all match each other exactly shows that the writers were attempting to write what they themselves experienced or knew. They were not purposefully promoting a lie.
But then this is where it gets very interesting. They all agree exactly that Jesus died on the cross and physically rose from the dead. We are back to the resurrection. The discrepancies actually lend credibility to the physical resurrection of Jesus. And if Jesus rose from the dead, it rocks the world, but more importantly: it rocks YOUR world.[cref logically-christian Logically Christian Home Page]