My wife told me, “Anyone who says there are no contradictions in the Bible has never read a harmony of the Gospels.” I agree, but this is my testimony.
For four months before becoming a Christian, I was arguing almost daily at work with Sgt. Roger Thomas, my supervisor, but also an assistant pastor at a local Church of God in Christ. He was outspoken and filled with joy. Though I was arguing with him, had recently become an atheist, and thought Christianity was oppressive, I had great honor and respect for Roger and his joy. I would regularly argue him into a corner, and then he would laugh and say, “You’ll make a great Christian one day, Paul. I love your smile.”
I had seen a book once on contradictions in the Bible, and I wanted to find it so I could show Roger the contradictions. I couldn’t find it at the local library, so I decided I would write one myself. I got myself a Bible, and I started with the Gospels. It wasn’t very long before I lost track of looking for contradictions. I was marveling at Jesus. He certainly didn’t seem “sweet,” like everyone said he was. He was amazing, awe-inspiring, majestic, yet humble. He was kind, but he was sharp with those who opposed and frustrated with those who lacked faith.
I was not surprised, then, that the apostles believed he was the Son of God even after having a chance to find fault with him for 3 years. I was, however, overcome by the very idea. I might be able to convince a person or two that I was the sinless Son of God for three minutes. Maybe even three hours, but surely not for three days. Jesus got 11 men who lived with him and followed him around for three years to risk their lives for the proclamation that he was God’s Son.
It was not long until someone else I was arguing with got past all my arguments by asking one question. “None of that matters,” he said, “the only question is whether Jesus is the Son of God.”
I realized with a bit of horror that I did believe he was the Son of God. Jesus did not teach the same things I did. He did not live the way I did. Admitting he was the Son of God would mean significant changes in my life, but I had to be honest.
I said, “yes,” and the whole world changed. I was flooded with joy. Light was brighter, green was greener, life was filled with hope.
I asked God, quietly and inwardly, “What did you do to me? What is this?” He said, “I just baptized you in my Holy Spirit.”
I never got to the contradictions. I only found those after reading and re-reading the Gospels quite a few times. I still don’t care about them. I still care only that Jesus is the Son of God, and I have never regretted those changes I had to make, the many that the Spirit of God required of me after those first few changes, the troubles that come with obeying the Spirit of God, and of course I have never regretted the innumerable blessings and the fellowship with heaven that come from knowing Jesus.
I recommend to anyone that you go find those Gospel contradictions. You can find them better with a harmony of the Gospels, but if you want to keep your life, enjoy the world, and perish, you might want to find other reading. The Gospels will take your life, put you on a course against the pleasures of your body, and grant you a down payment, an escrow, on eternal life, the gift of the Holy Spirit.