DCCC Apologetics Course II SOLUTION TO NEW TESTAMENT RIDDLES Lesson 10

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Alleged Discrepancies

INTRODUCTION

critical scholars claim the New Testament contains contradictions. We consider the alleged contradictions as riddles or puzzles. Most of the problems are found in the gospels where we have four different accounts of the life and teaching of Christ, each from a different perspective.

Merrill Temney observed that Matthew is a formal portrait of Jesus as the Messiah; Mark has snap-shot photos of Jesus in action as the Servant of God: Luke is a long movie film of Jesus as the Son of Man. John is an X-ray picture of Jesus as the Eternal Word and the Divine Son of God. Thus, each gospel writer looks at Christ’s life and teachings from a different point of view, contributing a part of the four-fold picture of the total truth the Bible teaches on a particular subject related to Christ.

 

LESSON AIM:

To capacitate the student to analyze alleged New Testament discrepancies and to pray for, search for, and find, solutions.

 

LESSON OBJECTIVES:   you will…

  1. Learn how to refute some of the most difficult alleged discrepancies that critics use to reject the inerrancy of the New Testament
  2. Learn how to pray for wisdom and search for solutions to New Testament problem texts.

 

THE PROBLEM OF THE MUSTARD SEED

  1. Problem
    1. Critics claim Jesus thought the mustard seed was the smallest of all seeds (Matthew 13:32 Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field, 32 which indeed is the least of all the seeds; but when it is grown it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches.” (NKJV))
  2. Solution:
    1. Jesus did not say the mustard seed is the smallest (superlative) seed, but smaller () than other seed in Palestine.
    2. Mark 4: 31-32 (Then He said, “To what shall we liken the kingdom of God? Or with what parable shall we picture it? 31 It is like a mustard seed which, when it is sown on the ground, is smaller than all the seeds on earth; 32 but when it is sown, it grows up and becomes greater than all herbs, and shoots out large branches, so that the birds of the air may nest under its shade.”(NKJV)) Jesus compared mustard seed with other seed sown by farmers in Palestine.
    3. In the Mishnah, Jewish rabbis who lived before, during and after Jesus, also used the mustard seed to refer to very small things.

CONTRADICTORY INSTRUCTIONS TO THE APOSTLES

  1. Problem: Mark 6:8 permits the apostles to take a staff and to wear sandals, but not to take money or an extra tunic during their evangelistic journeys. But Matthew 10:9-10 appears to forbid taking a staff or sandals as well as the other things
  2. Solution: The Greek word for “take” in Mark 6:8 that permits the apostles “to take” a staff and wear sandals is from airo αἴρω [(airō 142)a primary verb; to lift; by implication to take up or away; figurative to raise (the voice), keep in suspense (the mind); specially to sail away (i.e. weigh anchor); by Hebrew [compare <H5375> (nasa’)] to expiate sin :- away with, bear (up), carry, lift up, loose, make to doubt, put away, remove, take (away, up).—Strong’s Talking Greek & Hebrew Dictionary] which means to “carry.” The Greek word for take in Matthew 10:9-10 is Ktaomai [κτάομαι (ktaomai 2932) a primary verb; to get, i.e. acquire (by any means; own) :- obtain, possess, provide, purchase. —Strong’s Talking Greek & Hebrew Dictionary]
  3. Exception Examined In Luke 22:35-36 Jesus prepared the apostles for world evangelism by permitting them to take money and extra sandals, because Gentiles were not responsible to support them until they were converted.

THE DIFFERENT REPORTS OF THE HEALING OF THE BLIND BEGGAR

  1. Problem:
    Matthew 20:29-34[i] reports that Jesus healed two blind men when He was leaving Jericho, but Mark 10:46-52[ii] reports that Jesus healed one blind man, Bartimaeus, when He was leaving Jericho, and Luke 18:35-43[iii] reports that Jesus healed one blind man when He was entering Jericho.

 

  1. One or Two Blind Men? Matthew supplemented the accounts of Mark and Luke by noting that two blind men were healed, not merely one. This is not a contradiction but a fuller picture of the whole story. Matthew was an eyewitness of the event. Mark and Luke were not eyewitnesses. Their sources may have been apostles who were walking in the back croup and arrived after the first blind man was healed and saw only the second healing.
  2. Entering or Leaving Jericho? Matthew and mark said Jesus was leaving Jericho and Luke says Jesus was entering Jericho. In Jesus time two Jericho’s existed; old Jericho was situated a short distance north of new Jericho.
    1. Old Jericho was constructed between 134 and 104 B.C. by John Hyrcanus on the northern mound. New Jericho was constructed later by Herod the Great on the southern mound.
    2. Thus, Jesus, coming from the north entered old Jericho first and was leaving the old city and entering new Jericho, when the healings occurred.

CURSING OF THE WITHERED FIG TREE: FIRST OR SECOND DAY?

  1. Problem:

Matthew 21:18-22 appears to contradict Mark 11:12 -14, 20-24 by reducing to one morning what Mark records as two mornings.

  1. Mark 11:12-14, 20-21 records that Jesus cursed the fig tree on one morning and that the fig tree did not wither until the next morning.
  2. Matthew 21:18-22 says that the fig tree was cursed and withered on the same day, in apparent contradiction to Mark.
  1. Solution: A detailed comparison of Matthew’s and Mark’s reports.
    1. Day one: Mark 11:1-11 and Matthew 21:1-11
      1. Mark and Matthew report Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem.
      2. Mark, not Matthew, records Jesus return to Bethany on day 1.
    2. Day Two: Mark 11:12-19 and Matthew 21:12-17
      1. Only Mark tells of the trip from Bethany to Jerusalem on day 2.
      2. Only Mark tells of the cursing of the fruitless fig tree on the journey from Bethany to Jerusalem on the morning of day 2.
      3. Both Mark and Matthew record that Jesus entered the Temple and drove out the money changers and merchants on day 2, through Matthew does not specify that I was on day 2 as Mark did.
      4. At the end of day 2 Matthew specifies that they returned to Bethany, whereas Mark simply says they left Jerusalem.
    3. Day Three: Mark 11:20-28 and Matthew 21: 18-23.
      1. Mark and Matthew report that Jesus returned to Jerusalem on the day after the Temple cleansing. Only Mark says this was day 3.
      2. Only Matthew says Jesus cursed the fig tree that morning.
      3. Only Matthew tells us that the fig tree immediately (instantly) withered after this curse and that the apostles were amazed.
      4. Mark 11:21; however, reports a different reaction on the part of Peter when he saw the withered tree: “Peter remembered and said to Jesus, Rabbi, look! The fig tree you cursed has withered.”
      5. The fact Peter “remembered” the curse, implies that he was referring to Jesus’ curse on day 2, not day 3.
    4. Why did Peter refer only to the curse on day 2 without noting the second curse that Matthew recorded on day 3?
      1. The apostles likely walked together in small groups of 3 or 4 as they traveled toward Jerusalem.
      2. Matthew likely walked with Jesus at the front of the group. Thus Matthew and some other apostles heard Jesus curse the tree a second time on day 3 and saw it wither before their very eyes.
      3. Peter and his fellow travelers were likely in the third group, 20 to 40 yards behind Jesus group and did not hear Jesus curse the tree a second time and did not see it wither instantaneously.
      4. Peter, arriving a few minutes after the 2nd cursing and withering, saw that the tree was already withered and recalled the first cursing on the previous day (Day 2), and marveled that the tree had already withered in only one day, not knowing that Jesus had curse it a second time and that it withered immediately only moments before Peter arrived on the scene.
    5. Why did Jesus curse the tree a second item? The same reason that Paul repeated an anathema two different times in Galatians 1: 8-9, for emphasis.
    6. Matthew and Mark supplement and complement each other’s record, giving us a full picture of what happened, without contradiction.

DIFFERENT CROWS OF THE ROOSTER

  1. Problem:
    Matthew 26:34, 69-75; Luke 22:34; and John 13:38; 18:15-26 record Jesus prediction that Peter world deny Jesus three times before the rooster crowed. They also record the fulfillment of Jesus’ prediction, mentioning only one rooster crowing. Mark 14:30 says that Jesus predicted that Peter would deny Jesus three times before the rooster crowed twice. Mark 14:72 reports that the rooster crowed a second time after peter’s third denial. Biblical skeptics say the two crows of Mark contradict the one crow recorded by the other writers.
  2. Solution:

Lenski in his commentary on Mark notes that Pliny, a Roman, divided the night into two crows of the rooster:

  1. The first crowning of the rooster occurred during the third watch of the night (from midnight to 3:00 A.M.
  2. The second crowing (secundum galicinium) of the rooster occurred during the fourth watch (from 3:00 to 6:00 A.M.)
  3. Mark, writing for a Roman audience, knew that the public was well unaware of the two crows of the rooster linked to the different watches of the night. Thus, Mark precisely noted that the three denials occurred before the second crowing, not the first crowing.
  4. Also, the main source for Mark’s gospel was Peter, and only Peter knew precisely that there were 2 crowing during and after Peter’s 3 denials

DIFFERENT HOURS WHEN JESUS WAS CRUCIFIED

  1. Problem:
    John 19:14-16[iv] says Jesus was condemned to die on the crows by Pilate in the 6th hour. Mark 15:25[v] says Jesus was crucified the 3rd hour and Mark 15:33[vi] says that darkness came over the land at the 6th hour and remained until the 9th hour, when Jesus died. Critics say that Mark contradicted John by lacing Jesus on the crow 3 hours before He appeared before Pilate.
  2. Solution: Mark used Jewish time and John used Roman time.
    1. The Jewish day began at 6:00 a.m.; thus, Mark’s designation of the 3rd hour as the time of Jesus was nailed to the cross was 9:00a.m.
    2. Notice in Acts 2:15 that Peter said the apostles were not drunk (after speaking in other languages by the power of the Holy Spirit) because it was only the 3rd hour. The 3rd hour could not be 3:00 p.m. (Roman time), but 9:00 am (Jewish time), too early for men already to be drunk.
    3. Mark 15:33 says that darkness came over the land from the 6th hour to the 9th hour, Jewish time from 12:00 noon to 3:00 p.m.
      1. Mark 15:33-37 says Jesus died in the same 9th hour (3:00p.m.)
      2. Luke 23:53 said that Jesus was buried just before the Sabbath began t 6:00p.m. that evening
    4. John used Roman time.
      1. John said Jesus appeared before Pilate and was condemned to die at the 6th hour, 6:00 a.m. Roman time.
      2. All the gospel writers show that Jesus was up all night Thursday and Friday morning until He appeared the last time before Pilate at 6:00a.m.; early Friday morning.
      3. Thus, Jesus was condemned by Pilate at 6:00 a.m., crucified at 9:00 a.m., died at 3:00 p.m. and was buried before 6:00 p.m.
      4. John 1:39 reports that two disciples met Jesus at the 10th hour and spent the whole day with Him. If the 10th hour were Jewish time it would be four in the afternoon when they met Him  and their stay “all day” would have only been 2 hours (the Jewish day ended at 6:00 p.m. at sunset. If 10:00 a.m. (Roman time), then staying all day with Jesus makes sense.
      5. John 20:19 reports that Jesus met with His apostles after His resurrection “on the evening of that 1st day of the week.” The evening of the 1st day of the week in Jewish time occurred on the previous Saturday night before His resurrection on Sunday morning. Therefore, John had to be using Roman time when he said that Jesus met with the apostles “on the evening of the same day that Jesus was resurrected.” That could only be Sunday evening.
    5. The alleged discrepancy is resolved by recognizing that Mark used Jewish time and John used Roman time.

ARE CHRIST’S FINAL WORDS ON THE CROSS CONRADICTORY IN THE FOUR GOSPELS?

  1. Problem: (Randel Helms, Gospel Fictions, New York: Prometheus Books, 1988), 15-18
    1. Helms claims the gospel writers contradicted each other when recording Christ’s last words on the cross.
    2. “According to Matthew and Mark, the dying words of Jesus were, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
    3. “According to Luke, Jesus’ dying words were ‘Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.””
    4. “But according to John, they were, “it is accomplished.”
  2. Solution: Jesus said all of the words recorded by the four gospel writers in short sequence to each other about 3:00p.m. (the ninth hour)
    1. Matthew and Mark did not say they were quoting Jesus’ final words on the cross, but that he “cried out in a loud voice, “My God, My God why have you forsaken me?”
    2. Matthew and Mark record these words of Jesus as being spoken just before a soldier offered Jesus a drink of vinegar (Matthew27:45-48[vii]; Mark 15:33-36[viii]).
    3. After Jesus drank the vinegar Matthew 27:50[ix] reports that Jesus “cried out again in a loud voice” just before He gave up His spirit. Matthew and Mark recorded the words Jesus cried out before He drank the vinegar, but did not record the words when He cried out in a loud voice the second time. Matthew and Mark did not claim that the last words of Jesus were about God forsaking Him.
    4. John 19:28-29 explains why the soldier offered Jesus a drink: Jesus said, “I am thirsty.”
    5. After drinking, John 19:30[x] reports that Jesus said, “ it is finished.” John then adds, “with that he bowed His head and gave up his spirit.
    6. But how did Jesus give up His spirit, rather than God taking it? Luke is the only writer to record how Jesus gave up His spirit and what were really the last words He spoke just before He died: “Father, into your hand I commit my spirit.” Then Luke adds “when he had said this, He breathed His last (Luke 23:46[xi])
    7. Helm’s failure to read carefully the gospel accounts, and his bias against any literature that shows credence in god and miracles, led him to create his own “fictitious” contradictions rather than find them in the gospels.

 

WAS JESUS IN THE HEART OF THE EARTH FOR 3 DAYS AND 3 NIGHTS?

 

  1. Problem:
    Matthew 12:40[xii] says the Son of Man was to be in the heart of the earth 3 days and 3 nights in the same manner that Jonah was in the belly of the big fish for 3 days and 3 nights. Matthew 27:57-28:6[xiii] indicates Jesus was in the grave parts of 3 days and only 2 nights (Friday, Saturday and Sunday during daytime, but only on Friday and Saturday night), an apparent contradiction with 3 days and 3 nights.
  2. Three Solutions:
    1. Possible solution No 1 – Rounded off number
      1. Christ was in the grave parts of 3 days, which ordinarily has 3 periods of daylight and 3 periods of night time.
      2. Jesus rounded off these days into 3 days and 3 nights in order to fit the precise expression in Jonah 1:17[xiv] that he was in the belly of the whale 3 days and 3 nights.
    2. Possible solution No 2 – Figurative language.
      1. Johan 1:17 says he was in the belly of the big fish for 3 days and 3 nights
      2. Jonah is the “figure” or “symbol” Jesus used to illustrate His future death and burial: the reality of Chris’s burial and resurrection does not have to fit in every detail of the figure or symbol, but only in similarity.
    3. Possible solution No 3 – “in the heart of the earth” could be a figurative symbol to indicate “under the control of Satan,” which occurred in the betrayal, capture, trial, crucifixion and burial of Christ.
      1. In Luke 9:22 Jesus predicted that he must be rejected by the Jewish leaders, be killed and on the third day be raised, implying that His betrayal and rejection by the Jewish leaders were included in the 3 days, not just the time He was in the grave.
      2. If the betrayal and capture of Jesus on Thursday night be included, there were precisely 3 nights as well as 3 days involved.
    4. Conclusion: Any of these possible solutions is adequate to refute the charge that Jesus spoke a contradiction or that the apostles misunderstood what Jesus said.

CONTRADICTORY APPEARANCES?

  1. Problem:
    1. John 20: 10-20 reports that Jesus first appeared to Mary Magdalene and later to the eleven apostles
    2. Mark 16:9-14 reports that Jesus appeared first to Mary Magdalene, then to two disciples on the road and that night to the eleven apostles.
    3. Matthew 28: 1-10 reports that Jesus appeared to a group of women who went to the tomb, heard from an angel that Jesus had risen, and were heading back to the city to report the news to the apostles. Matthew does not report Jesus’ appearance to Mary Magdalene, or to the two disciples, nor to all of the apostles that night.
    4. Luke 24: 4-49 does not record that Jesus appeared to any of the women, but reports His appearance to two disciples on the road, and later to the eleven apostles that night.
    5. Many scholars have concluded that Christ’s first appearance to Mary, according to Mark and John; contradict Matthew, who says Jesus appeared to all of the women, and Luke, who reports no appearances to any of the women.
  2. Solution:
    1. When the women who went to the tomb heard the angel’s report that Jesus had risen, Matthew 28:8[xv] says, they “hurried away…and ran to tell His disciples.”
    2. Mary Magdalene, who was part of this group of women, apparently knew where Peter and John were staying near the garden where Jesus was buried.
    3. Thus, John reports that Mary went by herself to report the empty tomb to Peter and John (John 20:1-2[xvi])
    4. Mary, John and Peter ran back to the tomb. When Peter and John returned home, Mary stayed by the tomb and Jesus appeared first to her in the garden (John 20:10-17[xvii]; Mark 16:9[xviii])
    5. In the meantime, the other women were still traveling on the long journey back to the location where the other apostles were staying.
    6. Jesus disappeared from the garden and appeared to the rest of the women still traveling the long road. Jesus made His second appearance to this group of women.
    7. The third appearance was to the two disciples traveling on the road to Emmaus and the fourth appearance on the same day occurred in the evening to all eleven apostles.

DID MATTHEW CITE THE WRONG OLD TESTAMENT PROPHET?

  1. Problem:
    Matthew 27:9-10 appears to attribute the words of Zechariah to Jeremiah

    1. Matthew 26: 14-16 – Judas agreed to betray Jesus for 30 pieces of silver.
    2. Matthew 27: 3-5 When Jesus was condemned to die; Judas threw the 30 pieces of silver into the temple, then left and hanged himself.
    3. Matthew 27: 6-8 reports that the chief priests took the betrayal money and purchased a potter’s field as a burial place for foreigners, and that this field came to be called “The field of Blood.”
    4. Matthew 27:9-10 says, and then what was spoke by Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled. “They took the thirty silver coins, the price set on him but the people of Israel, and they used them to buy the potter’s field, as the Lord commanded me.
    5. The words quoted above as being spoken by Jeremiah, are actually found in Zechariah 11:12-13 and not in Jeremiah’s prophecy.
  2. The Solution of Lenski:

Lenski says that Zechariah was part of a prophetic scroll that included all of the prophets with Jeremiah at the head of the scroll. A quotation of any prophet in the scroll cold be quoted as from Jeremiah.

  1. Matthew elsewhere quoted Isaiah by name (Matthew 4:14; 12:17; 13:14).
  2. Luke 4:17 shows that a separate scroll existed for Isaiah alone.
  1. The Claim of Scribal Change:

Some claim that the original text of Matthew 27:8-10  attributed the prophecy to Zechariah and that a later scribe changed the name to Jeremiah.

  1. Only 1 or 2 manuscripts mention Zechariah, whereas thousands of manuscripts, including all of the most ancient ones, say Jeremiah.
  2. Why would thousands of scribes change the name of Zechariah to Jeremiah, when the words are found in Zechariah’s work, not Jeremiah’s?
  1. The Claim of Spoken not Written:
    Matthew 27:8-9 says that the prophecy was “spoken,” not “written,” by Jeremiah. Thus some scholars claim that Jeremiah spoke this prophecy, but did not write it, and it came down as an unwritten tradition.

    1. Matthew 2:17-18 quotes Jeremiah 31:15 as having “spoken” the words instead of having “written them.” Therefore, the words “spoken” do not prove that the words were not also written.
    2. It is highly unlikely that Matthew quoted an unwritten prophecy of Jeremiah because the actual words are recorded in the book of Zechariah.
  2. Claims of Jeremiah’s Prophecy
    some scholars claim that Jeremiah 18:2-7; 19:1-14; and 32:1-44 predicted Judas’ betrayal of Jesus for 30 pieces of silver and the purchase of a potter’s field. However, a careful reading of these verses in Jeremiah shows that none of these passages in Jeremiah refer directly to the time of Jesus.
  3. Solution Presented by Ted Stewart
    Solution requires knowledge of different kinds of fulfilled prophecy:

    1. Direct fulfillment of prophecy: Matthew quoted the verses of Zechariah 11:12-13 that evaluated God’s Shepherd at 30 pieces of silver, which we to be thrown in the temple and end up in the hands of Potter.
    2. Conceptual fulfillment of prophecy: The significance of the potter’s field is not understood without the prophecies of Jeremiah which explain the spiritual concept of a potter’s field.
      1. Jeremiah 18:1-6 described the sinful condition of the Jews of his day as being marred or spoiled clay in the hands of the potter and thus good for nothing except to be destroyed.
      2. Jeremiah 19:1 -4 god sent Jeremiah to purchase a clay jar from a potter and smash it by the potsherd gate, in a field of broken pots and marred clay, where Jews sacrificed their children to false gods.
      3. Only Jeremiah explains the symbolic meaning of the potter’s field as a place where broken pots and spoiled clay represented the spiritual condition of the Jews who killed their own sons and later killed God’s Son, Jesus.
      4. Matthew 27:9-10 fulfilled the predictive words of Zechariah 11:12-13 and the spiritual concept of a potter’s field in Jeremiah 18,19,32.
    3. Why did Matthew mention only Jeremiah and not Zechariah?
      1. New Testament writers often quoted prophecies without naming the author.
        1. Matthew 1:22-23 quotes Isaiah 7:14 without naming Isaiah.
        2. Mark 1:2-3 cited Malachi 3:1 and Isaiah 40:3, but only named Isaiah.
      2. All knowledgeable Jews and Christians knew that the prediction of the 30 pieces of silver for a potter’s field was found only in Zechariah 11:12-13, even though Matthew did not name Zechariah.
      3. Only Jeremiah’s prophecies show the symbolic meaning of a potter’s field. Thus, Matthew named Jeremiah as the source so the reader would look to Jeremiah for the meaning of the deeper spiritual concepts of Zechariah’s words.

SELF EXAM FOR LESSON TEN

  1. What two observations help to solve the problem of Jesus statement about the mustard seed?
    • ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    • ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  2. Answer the apparent contradiction concerning instructions given to the apostles in Mark 6:8 and Matthew 10:9-10
    • ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    • ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  3. What solution does the teacher offer concerning the different reports of the healing of the blind beggar in Matthew 20:29-34, Mark 10:46-52 and Luke 18:35-43?
    • ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  4. State and solve the problem of the cursing of the fig tree.
    • Problem:
      1. ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
      2. ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
      3. ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    • Solution: A detailed comparison of Matthew’s and Mark’s reports.
      1. _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  1. Discuss the problem of the different hours when Jesus was crucified.
    • ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  2. Give three possible solutions for the possible discrepancy of Jesus being in the tomb for three days and three nights.
    • Three Solutions:
    • Possible solution No 1
      1. __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________.
      2. __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________.
      3. __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    • Possible solution No 2
      1. __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
      2. ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    • Possible solution No 3
      1. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
      2. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  1. Cite the problem in Matthew 27:9-10 and offer a solution to this problem.
    • Problem: ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  • Solution Presented by Ted Stewart
    1. Solution requires knowledge of different kinds of fulfilled prophecy:
      1. Direct fulfillment of prophecy: __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
      2. Conceptual fulfillment of prophecy: __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
        1. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
        2. __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

SELF EXAM FOR LESSON TEN ANSWER SHEET

  1. What two observations help to solve the problem of Jesus statement about the mustard seed?
    • Jesus did not say the mustard seed is the smallest (superlative) seed, but smaller () than other seed in Palestine
    • Jesus compared mustard seed with other seed sown by farmers in Palestine.
  2. Answer the apparent contradiction concerning instructions given to the apostles in Mark 6:8 and Matthew 10:9-10
    • Solution: The Greek word for “take” in Mark 6:8 that permits the apostles “to take” a staff and wear sandals is from airo αἴρω [(airō 142)a primary verb; to lift; by implication to take up or away; figurative to raise (the voice), keep in suspense (the mind); specially to sail away (i.e. weigh anchor); by Hebrew [compare <H5375> (nasa’)] to expiate sin :- away with, bear (up), carry, lift up, loose, make to doubt, put away, remove, take (away, up).—Strong’s Talking Greek & Hebrew Dictionary] which means to “carry.” The Greek word for take in Matthew 10:9-10 is Ktaomai [κτάομαι (ktaomai 2932) a primary verb; to get, i.e. acquire (by any means; own) :- obtain, possess, provide, purchase. —Strong’s Talking Greek & Hebrew Dictionary]
    • Exception Examined In Luke 22:35-36 Jesus prepared the apostles for world evangelism by permitting them to take money and extra sandals, because Gentiles were not responsible to support them until they were converted.
  3. What solution does the teacher offer concerning the different reports of the healing of the blind beggar in Matthew 20:29-34, Mark 10:46-52 and Luke 18:35-43?
    • Matthew supplemented the accounts of Mark and Luke by noting that two blind men were healed, not merely one. This is not a contradiction but a fuller picture of the whole story. Matthew was an eyewitness of the event. Mark and Luke were not eyewitnesses. Their sources may have been apostles who were walking in the back croup and arrived after the first blind man was healed and saw only the second healing.
  4. State and solve the problem of the cursing of the fig tree.
    • Problem:
      1. Matthew 21:18-22 appears to contradict Mark 11:12 -14, 20-24 by reducing to one morning what Mark records as two mornings.
      2. Mark 11:12-14, 20-21 records that Jesus cursed the fig tree on one morning and that the fig tree did not wither until the next morning.
      3. Matthew 21:18-22 says that the fig tree was cursed and withered on the same day, in apparent contradiction to Mark.
    • Solution: A detailed comparison of Matthew’s and Mark’s reports.
      1. Day one: Mark 11:1-11 and Matthew 21:1-11
      2. Mark and Matthew report Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem.
      3. Mark, not Matthew, records Jesus return to Bethany on day 1.
      4. Day Two: Mark 11:12-19 and Matthew 21:12-17
      5. Only Mark tells of the trip from Bethany to Jerusalem on day 2.
      6. Only Mark tells of the cursing of the fruitless fig tree on the journey from Bethany to Jerusalem on the morning of day 2.
      7. Both Mark and Matthew record that Jesus entered the Temple and drove out the money changers and merchants on day 2, through Matthew does not specify that I was on day 2 as Mark did.
      8. At the end of day 2 Matthew specifies that they returned to Bethany, whereas Mark simply says they left Jerusalem.
      9. Day Three: Mark 11:20-28 and Matthew 21: 18-23.
      10. Mark and Matthew report that Jesus returned to Jerusalem on the day after the Temple cleansing. Only Mark says this was day 3.
      11. Only Matthew says Jesus cursed the fig tree that morning.
      12. Only Matthew tells us that the fig tree immediately (instantly) withered after this curse and that the apostles were amazed.
      13. Mark 11:21; however, reports a different reaction on the part of Peter when he saw the withered tree: “Peter remembered and said to Jesus, Rabbi, look! The fig tree you cursed has withered.”
      14. The fact Peter “remembered” the curse, implies that he was referring to Jesus’ curse on day 2, not day 3
      15. Why did Peter refer only to the curse on day 2 without noting the second curse that Matthew recorded on day 3?
      16. The apostles likely walked together in small groups of 3 or 4 as they traveled toward Jerusalem.
      17. Matthew likely walked with Jesus at the front of the group. Thus Matthew and some other apostles heard Jesus curse the tree a second time on day 3 and saw it wither before their very eyes.
      18. Peter and his fellow travelers were likely in the third group, 20 to 40 yards behind Jesus group and did not hear Jesus curse the tree a second time and did not see it wither instantaneously.
      19. Peter, arriving a few minutes after the 2nd cursing and withering, saw that the tree was already withered and recalled the first cursing on the previous day (Day 2), and marveled that the tree had already withered in only one day, not knowing that Jesus had curse it a second time and that it withered immediately only moments before Peter arrived on the scene.
  1. Discuss the problem of the different hours when Jesus was crucified.
    • It simply a matter of who’s clock you’re looking at.
    • The Jewish day begins at 6 a.m. so the 3rd hour would be 9:a.m.
    • The Roman day was the same as ours, their day began at midnight, so the 3rd hour would have been 3:a.m.
    • Mark used Jewish time and John used Roman time.
    • The Jewish day began at 6:00 a.m.; thus, Mark’s designation of the 3rd hour as the time of Jesus was nailed to the cross was 9:00a.m.
    • Notice in Acts 2:15 that Peter said the apostles were not drunk (after speaking in other languages by the power of the Holy Spirit) because it was only the 3rd hour. The 3rd hour could not be 3:00 p.m. (Roman time), but 9:00 am (Jewish time), too early for men already to be drunk.
    • Mark 15:33 says that darkness came over the land from the 6th hour to the 9th hour, Jewish time from 12:00 noon to 3:00 p.m.
    • Mark 15:33-37 says Jesus died in the same 9th hour (3:00p.m.)
    • Luke 23:53 said that Jesus was buried just before the Sabbath began t 6:00p.m. that evening
    • John used Roman time.
    • John said Jesus appeared before Pilate and was condemned to die at the 6th hour, 6:00 a.m. Roman time.
    • All the gospel writers show that Jesus was up all night Thursday and Friday morning until He appeared the last time before Pilate at 6:00a.m.; early Friday morning.
    • Thus, Jesus was condemned by Pilate at 6:00 a.m., crucified at 9:00 a.m., died at 3:00 p.m. and was buried before 6:00 p.m.
    • John 1:39 reports that two disciples met Jesus at the 10th hour and spent the whole day with Him. If the 10th hour were Jewish time it would be four in the afternoon when they met Him  and their stay “all day” would have only been 2 hours (the Jewish day ended at 6:00 p.m. at sunset. If 10:00 a.m. (Roman time), then staying all day with Jesus makes sense.
    • John 20:19 reports that Jesus met with His apostles after His resurrection “on the evening of that 1st day of the week.” The evening of the 1st day of the week in Jewish time occurred on the previous Saturday night before His resurrection on Sunday morning. Therefore, John had to be using Roman time when he said that Jesus met with the apostles “on the evening of the same day that Jesus was resurrected.” That could only be Sunday evening.
    • The alleged discrepancy is resolved by recognizing that Mark used Jewish time and John used Roman time.
  2. Give three possible solutions for the possible discrepancy of Jesus being in the tomb for three days and three nights.
    • Three Solutions:
    • Possible solution No 1 – Rounded off number
      1. Christ was in the grave parts of 3 days, which ordinarily has 3 periods of daylight and 3 periods of night time.
      2. Jesus rounded off these days into 3 days and 3 nights in order to fit the precise expression in Jonah 1:17 that he was in the belly of the whale 3 days and 3 nights.
      3. Jonah 1:17 Now the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.(NKJV)
    • Possible solution No 2 – Figurative language.
      1. Johan 1:17 says he was in the belly of the big fish for 3 days and 3 nights
      2. Jonah is the “figure” or “symbol” Jesus used to illustrate His future death and burial: the reality of Chris’s burial and resurrection does not have to fit in every detail of the figure or symbol, but only in similarity.
    • Possible solution No 3 – “in the heart of the earth” could be a figurative symbol to indicate “under the control of Satan,” which occurred in the betrayal, capture, trial, crucifixion and burial of Christ.
      1. In Luke 9:22 Jesus predicted that he must be rejected by the Jewish leaders, be killed and on the third day be raised, implying that His betrayal and rejection by the Jewish leaders were included in the 3 days, not just the time He was in the grave.
      2. If the betrayal and capture of Jesus on Thursday night be included, there were precisely 3 nights as well as 3 days involved.
      3. Conclusion: Any of these possible solutions is adequate to refute the charge that Jesus spoke a contradiction or that the apostles misunderstood what Jesus said.
  1. Cite the problem in Matthew 27:9-10 and offer a solution to this problem.
    • Problem: Matthew 27:9-10 appears to attribute the words of Zechariah to Jeremiah

 

  • Solution Presented by Ted Stewart
    1. Solution requires knowledge of different kinds of fulfilled prophecy:
      1. Direct fulfillment of prophecy: Matthew quoted the verses of Zechariah 11:12-13 that evaluated God’s Shepherd at 30 pieces of silver, which we to be thrown in the temple and end up in the hands of Potter.
      2. Conceptual fulfillment of prophecy: The significance of the potter’s field is not understood without the prophecies of Jeremiah which explain the spiritual concept of a potter’s field.
        1. Jeremiah 18:1-6 described the sinful condition of the Jews of his day as being marred or spoiled clay in the hands of the potter and thus good for nothing except to be destroyed.
        2. Jeremiah 19:1 -4 god sent Jeremiah to purchase a clay jar from a potter and smash it by the potsherd gate, in a field of broken pots and marred clay, where Jews sacrificed their children to false gods.

 

 

 

 

[i] Matthew 20:29-34 Now as they went out of Jericho, a great multitude followed Him. 30 And behold, two blind men sitting by the road, when they heard that Jesus was passing by, cried out, saying, “Have mercy on us, O Lord, Son of David!” 31 Then the multitude warned them that they should be quiet; but they cried out all the more, saying, “Have mercy on us, O Lord, Son of David!” 32 So Jesus stood still and called them, and said, “What do you want Me to do for you?” 33 They said to Him, “Lord, that our eyes may be opened.” 34 So Jesus had compassion and touched their eyes. And immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed Him.(NKJV

[ii] Mark 10:46-52 Now they came to Jericho. As He went out of Jericho with His disciples and a great multitude, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the road begging. 47 And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 48 Then many warned him to be quiet; but he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 49 So Jesus stood still and commanded him to be called. Then they called the blind man, saying to him, “Be of good cheer. Rise, He is calling you.” 50 And throwing aside his garment, he rose and came to Jesus. 51 So Jesus answered and said to him, “What do you want Me to do for you?” The blind man said to Him, “Rabboni, that I may receive my sight.” 52 Then Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus on the road. (NKJV)

 

[iii] Luke 18:35-43 Then it happened, as He was coming near Jericho, that a certain blind man sat by the road begging. 36 And hearing a multitude passing by, he asked what it meant. 37 So they told him that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by. 38 And he cried out, saying, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 39 Then those who went before warned him that he should be quiet; but he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 40 So Jesus stood still and commanded him to be brought to Him. And when he had come near, He asked him, 41 saying, “What do you want Me to do for you?” He said, “Lord, that I may receive my sight.” 42 Then Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has made you well.” 43 And immediately he received his sight, and followed Him, glorifying God. And all the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God.(NKJV)

 

[iv] John 19:14-16 Now it was the Preparation Day of the Passover, and about the sixth hour. And he said to the Jews, “Behold your King!” 15 But they cried out, “Away with Him, away with Him! Crucify Him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar!” 16 Then he delivered Him to them to be crucified. So they took Jesus and led Him away.(NKJV)

 

[v] Mark 15:25 Now it was the third hour, and they crucified Him.

[vi] Mark 15:33 Now when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour.(NKJV)

 

[vii] Matt 27:45-48 Now from the sixth hour until the ninth hour there was darkness over all the land. 46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” 47 Some of those who stood there, when they heard that, said, “This Man is calling for Elijah!” 48 Immediately one of them ran and took a sponge, filled it with sour wine and put it on a reed, and offered it to Him to drink.(NKJV)

[viii] Mark 15:33-36 Now when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. 34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” which is translated, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” 35 Some of those who stood by, when they heard that, said, “Look, He is calling for Elijah!” 36 Then someone ran and filled a sponge full of sour wine, put it on a reed, and offered it to Him to drink, saying, “Let Him alone; let us see if Elijah will come to take Him down.” (NKJV)

[ix] Matt 27:50 And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit (NKJV)

[x] John 19:28-30 After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, “I thirst!” 29 Now a vessel full of sour wine was sitting there; and they filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on hyssop, and put it to His mouth. 30 So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit. (NKJV)

[xi] Luke 23:46 And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, “Father, ‘into Your hands I commit My spirit.’ ” Having said this, He breathed His last(NKJV)

[xii] Matt 12:40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. (NKJV)

[xiii] Matt 27:57-66 Now when evening had come, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who himself had also become a disciple of Jesus. 58 This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be given to him. 59 When Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, 60 and laid it in his new tomb which he had hewn out of the rock; and he rolled a large stone against the door of the tomb, and departed. 61 And Mary Magdalene was there, and the other Mary, sitting opposite the tomb. 62 On the next day, which followed the Day of Preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees gathered together to Pilate, 63 saying, “Sir, we remember, while He was still alive, how that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise.’ 64 Therefore command that the tomb be made secure until the third day, lest His disciples come by night and steal Him away, and say to the people, ‘He has risen from the dead.’ So the last deception will be worse than the first.” 65 Pilate said to them, “You have a guard; go your way, make it as secure as you know how.” 66 So they went and made the tomb secure, sealing the stone and setting the guard. Matt 28:1-6 Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. 2 And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it. 3 His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. 4 And the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men. 5 But the angel answered and said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. 6 He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay (NKJV)

[xiv] Jonah 1:17 Now the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.(NKJV)

[xv] Matt 28:8  So they went out quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to bring His disciples word

[xvi] John 20:1-2 Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. 2 Then she ran and came to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.”

[xvii] John 20:10-17 Then the disciples went away again to their own homes. 11 But Mary stood outside by the tomb weeping, and as she wept she stooped down and looked into the tomb. 12 And she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. 13 Then they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.” 14 Now when she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” She, supposing Him to be the gardener, said to Him, “Sir, if You have carried Him away, tell me where You have laid Him, and I will take Him away.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to Him, “Rabboni!” (which is to say, Teacher). 17 Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.’ ”

[xviii] Mark 16:9 Now when He rose early on the first day of the week, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom He had cast seven demons.

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