ABC:Matthew 20

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Verse 29

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

Matthew 20:29 And as they departed from Jericho, a great multitude followed him.
30 And, behold, two blind men sitting by the way side, when they heard that Jesus passed by, cried out, saying, Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou Son of David.

Jesus healed the two men in verse 34.

Mark 10:46 And they came to Jericho: and as he went out of Jericho with his disciples and a great number of people, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the highway side begging.
47 And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out, and say, Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me.

There was only one blind man.

Mark 10:46 never says there was "only" one blind man, it just happens to mention one. It's not uncommon for witnesses in court to only mention people at a scene they consider relevant. No court would take seriously a claim that the testimony of witnesses contradicts because they mention different unconflicting details of what occurred; it's just taken for granted their accounts need to be accepted as different perspectives of what occurred until they disqualify themselves as dishonest, or the evidence does.

Mark perhaps interviewed Bartimaeus or someone in his family who mentioned him specifically, while Matthew mentioned both people. This isn't in any way a contradiction, just mentioning varying levels of detail about what happened. The Gospels are different accounts from different people. You expect different levels of detail in different accounts so long as there's no clear conflict, which there isn't here.

Had the Mark passage used the word "only" then there would be a contradiction, but nowhere is the word found in the passage. The critic is putting words in God's mouth, essentially.

Sources

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