ABC:Luke 7

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Verse 3[edit]

TheThinkingAtheist.com claims the Bible is wrong about the following passage in the section "Who Brought the Capernaum Centurion’a Request to Jesus?", and makes the following comments (italicized):[1]

Matthew 8:5 And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him,
It’s the centurion himself who comes.

Luke 7:3 And when he heard of Jesus, he sent unto him the elders of the Jews, beseeching him that he would come and heal his servant.
The centurion sends some elders.

Luke 7:6 Then Jesus went with them. And when he was now not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to him, saying unto him, Lord, trouble not thyself: for I am not worthy that thou shouldest enter under my roof:
The centurion sends friends. Same book, same chapter as "elders."

All of these passages complement one another, rather than contradicting. Luke 7:3-6 shows evidence of a pattern, first the centurion sent elders begging Jesus to come, and then when Jesus was in the neighborhood he sent friends to keep urging Jesus to come. Finally when Jesus arrived the centurion states belief that Jesus can heal the servant without even entering (Matthew 8:5), which may have been why Jesus applauded the centurion for his trust. (Luke 7:9)

As an interesting sidenote, the centurion may have been Cornelius, the only righteous centurion named in the Bible, whose household became the first non-Jewish Christians. (Acts 10)

Verse 36[edit]

TheThinkingAtheist.com claims the Bible is wrong about the following passage, and makes the following comments:[1]

Matthew 26:6 Now when Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper,
7 There came unto him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and poured it on his head, as he sat at meat.

The anointing happens in Bethany, at the house of Simon the leper. An unnamed woman anoints Jesus. Oil is placed on Jesus’ head.

Luke 7:36 And one of the Pharisees desired him that he would eat with him. And he went into the Pharisee's house, and sat down to meat.
37 And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster box of ointment,

The anointing takes place at the house of a Pharisee in Galilee. Oil is placed not on Jesus’ head, but on his feet.

John 12:3 Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment.

It isn’t an unnamed woman sinner who anoints Jesus, but Mary who does the honors.

The Matthew and John passages relate the same incident involving Mary, as does Mark 14:3, but the Luke 7 passage is obviously not even the same incident. It doesn't even occur close to the same time! The incident with Mary occurs near the end of the Gospels right before the Passover/Crucifixion, whereas the Luke 7 incident is much earlier in Jesus' ministry. Whoever claimed this as a contradiction has a serious issue with telling time, and that's putting it nicely. These are obviously two different cases.

Maybe the critic was just additionally ignorant that anointing was not a rare occasion by any means in ancient Israel, but done constantly. It was done for daily cleanliness. (Matthew 6:17) It was done for burials. (Mark 14:8) It was done by the disciples and Jesus when healing the sick. (Mark 6:13, John 9:11) It was done for appointing kings (1 Chronicles 29:22, 2 Chronicles 23:11) and priests (Leviticus 4:5, Leviticus 8:12) so that God's leaders were actually termed God's "anointed." (1 Samuel 2:10, 1 Chronicles 16:22) It was done to purify vessels of the temple (Leviticus 8:10-11), altars (Numbers 7:84-88, and the garments of priests. (Exodus 29:29) In other words, if they just assumed these were the same incident because they thought anointing was a rare occasion, they made a big mistake in being completely ignorant of what Israel was like; anointing was a major part of Israelite practice in numerous facets of life.

And as for the critic claiming a contradiction because "It isn’t an unnamed woman sinner who anoints Jesus, but Mary who does the honors"? This would be like someone referring to you as "that person over there" and another referring to you by name, it's obviously not a contradiction to just refer to someone with a descriptor instead of a name. The logic in claiming that a contradiction is just ridiculous; it's obviously not a contradiction to just give more detail about someone. If one writer wants to refer to her as a woman and another by name, they certainly are not contradicting. This would be like referring to George Clooney as "an actor" and as "George Clooney", both statements are true and accurate, he is both an actor and George Clooney.

Sources[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 TheThinkingAtheist. Bible Contradictions. Retrieved from http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/page/bible-contradictions.