By Steven D. Miller
I was once confronted by an atheist who insisted that the Bible cannot be true because every Crucifixion and Resurrection story is irreconcilable with every other. He insisted that the apostles were deluded mythmakers incapable of discerning fact from fiction.
By that point in time I knew enough to ignore what the churches were preaching, and to get the truth from the original source. I put each gospel’s story side by side sequentially by verse and the time of day. There are no conflicting stories.
- Pilate found Jesus innocent of any crime and kept trying to release him. (Matthew 27:24, Mark 15:10, Luke 23:4 &14-22, John 18:38), so how can these both of the following be true?
A. Military Martial-Law authority had to execute the Jew’s judgment because they were prohibited from executing anyone (John 18:31), and
B. The Jews had a right to execute their own criminals and blasphemers (Matthew 27:1, John 8:5,59 John 10:31, John 19:7&12) and Pilate had washed his hands of all jurisdiction.
2. How can both of these be true?
A. Pilate handed Christ over to his executioners at the sixth hour (John 19:14), and
B. Christ was executed at the third hour (Mark 15:25)
3. What did Pilate’s write on his sign? Hint: one states that it is a quote, the others are only commentary, but the English translations capitalized them as if they were quotations.
A. Matthew 27:37 THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.
(original Greek “Ουτοςεστιν Ιησυο Βασιλευς των Ισδαιων ”)
B. Mark 15:26 THE KING OF THE JEWS
(original Greek O Βασιλευς των Ισδαιων ”)
C. Luke 23:38 THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.
(original Greek εστιν ο Βασιλευς των Ισδαιων ”)
D. John 19:19 JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS.
(original Greek “Ιησυς ο Ναζωυαιος ο Βασιλευς των Ισδαιων ”)
4. Why are all these true?
A. First Corinthians 6:10 thieves cannot go to heaven,
B. Luke 23:43 “And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.”
C. several days later John 20:17 “… I am not yet ascended to my Father: …”
5. Can both of the following be explained? Hint: There is no lie in your Bible except for translation deceptions.
A. Matthew 27:62-63 the chief priests and Pharisees, on a Sabbath, went to Pilate asking that guards be posted at the tomb,
B. The Chief Priests were steadfast sticklers for their dogmatic rules. They would not have abandoned their Sabbath duties at the Temple to defile themselves by visiting the despised Pilate. Just as they would not do in John 18:28.
6. Which one of the following is correct? The others are easily explained. Only the Roman guards witnessed the Resurrection. One is a travel itinerary stated in the King James English of the year 1611. One is a later visit to the empty tomb. Another is a misunderstanding by the translator.
A. Mary Magdalene, alone, arrived at the tomb while it was still dark to find the stone already rolled away, does not enter the tomb, then returns later to see two angels sitting inside the tomb; (John 20:1 and 20:12)
B. Mary arrives with two other women after sunrise, they find the stone already rolled away, they enter the tomb and see one angel sitting inside the tomb. Mark 16:2-5,
C. Mary arrives with more than two other women, they enter the empty tomb, it came to pass thereabout: two angels stood by them. Luke 24:4,
D. After the Sabbath at dawn, Mary and Mary went to the tomb, an angel descended from heaven and rolled away the stone and sat on the stone. Matthew 28:2
7. How can both of these be true?
A. Peter was the first apostle into the tomb John 20:6, and
B. Peter was the last apostle into the tomb Luke 24:12
8. How can all of the following be true?
· Resurrected Christ first appears to some disciples, without Thomas, behind locked doors before sunset Sunday evening, John 20:19. (Biblical days end at sunset)
· Resurrected Christ first appears to all eleven disciples in Galilee after a 70 mile trip (more than one day’s walk), Matthew 28:17
· Resurrected Christ first appears to all eleven disciples, including Thomas, Sunday evening in Jerusalem Mark 16:14, Luke 24:33-49.
· Resurrected Christ first appears to Thomas eight days later, John 20:26
T or F:
Pagan fertility symbols (colored eggs, baskets of grass, rabbits, suggestive lilies) symbolize vicarious atonement for sin, praise for God, righteous living, and the death and resurrection of Jesus.
T or F:
Biblical springtime symbols (the blood of unblemished lambs, unleavened bread, and a sheaf of grain waved toward heaven) symbolize vicarious atonement for sin, praise for God, righteous living, and the death and resurrection of your only possible hope of eternal salvation.
T or F:
The word “Easter” occurs only once in the Bible, in Acts 12:4, as a festival observed by Herod Antipas.
The answers are in my free PDF The Sign of Jonah: Christ’s only divine credential.