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Author Topic: Luke Says the 11, but John Says Thomas was Not There. Contradiction?  (Read 6462 times)

Rick-O

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 I have been sharing the Word of God online when a skeptic asked me a question which has bugged me for a long time. His question was to this effect:

  "Luke 24:33-36  says that the 2 disciples from Emmaus found the ELEVEN [apostles] together when they witnessed to the fact of the resurrection. But John 20:19-24 negates this by saying that Thomas was not there when that happened [when the two witnessed about the resurrection]. This is a contradiction. How can Luke say that there were Eleven and John say there were actually 10 when that happened? "
 
How do we reconcile the seeming contradiction?
 
 

Bradley

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Re: Luke Says the 11, but John Says Thomas was Not There. Contradiction?
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2006, 08:59:07 PM »
Rick,

Luke has included more of a summary overview of these events.  Notice the chapter includes Jesus appearing to the disciples and then jumps right to his ascension into heaven.  If this was the only recorded gospel, one might conclude the ascension happened on the same day as when he appeared to the disciples, but we know from the other gospels that this is not the case.

I would say Luke has used the phrase the "Eleven" because he was describing an overview of these two events, whereas John, went into more detail to describe the account of Thomas which spanned another eight days.

Each Gospel offers a different perspective to the life and teaching of Jesus.  Luke records a completely different response than John does to the appearing of Jesus:

Luke 24:36-37
36 And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace [be] unto you.
37 But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit.

John 20:19-20
19 Then the same day at evening, being the first [day] of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace [be] unto you.
20 And when he had so said, he shewed unto them [his] hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord.

Is this a contradiction?  No, Luke sensed fear, while John sensed gladness.  Two different perspectives.  Each written by holy men as moved by the Holy Spirit (2 Pet 1:21).  The Bible is not a detailed history book of everything Jesus accomplished, because it does not have the room.

John 21:25
25 And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.

Bradley

Rick-O

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Re: Luke Says the 11, but John Says Thomas was Not There. Contradiction?
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2006, 11:35:16 PM »


I would say Luke has used the phrase the "Eleven" because he was describing an overview of these two events, whereas John, went into more detail to describe the account of Thomas which spanned another eight days.

Thank you Brad. Can you expound more about your statement above? sorry if i am slow in picking up

 

Bradley

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Re: Luke Says the 11, but John Says Thomas was Not There. Contradiction?
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2006, 01:55:02 PM »
>>>I would say Luke has used the phrase the "Eleven" because he was describing an overview of these two events, whereas John, went into more detail to describe the account of Thomas which spanned another eight days.

Thank you Brad. Can you expound more about your statement above? sorry if i am slow in picking up<<<


John 20:18-19, 24-26
18 Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and [that] he had spoken these things unto her.
19 Then the same day at evening, being the first [day] of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace [be] unto you.

24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.
25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.
26 And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: [then] came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace [be] unto you.

John 21:1
1 After these things Jesus shewed himself again to the disciples at the sea of Tiberias; and on this wise shewed he [himself].

John 21:14
14 This is now the third time that Jesus shewed himself to his disciples, after that he was risen from the dead.

Luke 24:18, 32-36
18 And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said unto him, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days?

32 And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?
33 And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them,
34 Saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon.
35 And they told what things [were done] in the way, and how he was known of them in breaking of bread.
36 And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace [be] unto you.

John provided different details of the events including the two separate appearances within the closed room and another account at the sea of Tiberias.  Notice in John's account it was Mary who appeard to the ten apostles, while Luke's account included Cleopas.  Do we know if Lukes account is descibing the first appearance of Jesus to the disciples in the closed room, or is it the secon appearance of Jesus to the disciples in the closed room?

I think it is quite possible Luke left out some of the details of the separate visits and did not focus on the doubt of Thomas.  He combined the two separate visits of Jesus into one.  He did not provide an exact timeline in his account.  It was many days later that Jesus ascended into heaven, but Luke did not give account of the time changing.  The same with his description of the appearance of Jesus to the "Eleven" in the room with closed doors.  He did not provide the details of the time between the two visits and treated them as one.

Also, the Strong's definition of the word is:

1) eleven

a) of the eleven disciples alive after the death of Judas

From this definition we see that eleven is a description of the group and does not necessarily imply all the members at one time.  So even if Luke was descibing the first visit of Jesus to the closed room, he could have used the phrase "Eleven" to describe the group, even though, all were not present.

Bradley

Rick-O

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Re: Luke Says the 11, but John Says Thomas was Not There. Contradiction?
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2006, 04:54:42 PM »


1) eleven

a) of the eleven disciples alive after the death of Judas

From this definition we see that eleven is a description of the group and does not necessarily imply all the members at one time.  So even if Luke was descibing the first visit of Jesus to the closed room, he could have used the phrase "Eleven" to describe the group, even though, all were not present.

Bradley



 Okay my friend get your drift on what you said above these words in italics.
 
But What do you mean that the Eleven were not Eleven in these words above?  How can Luke call them the eleven and yet they are not eleven?

 

Bradley

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Re: Luke Says the 11, but John Says Thomas was Not There. Contradiction?
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2006, 05:47:04 PM »
>>>But What do you mean that the Eleven were not Eleven in these words above?  How can Luke call them the eleven and yet they are not eleven?<<<

Definition a) of the eleven disciples alive after the death of Judas

He could possibly be using the word in the general sense, as a group.  Like saying we met with the choir last week.  By using the word choir, it does not mean that every member of the choir was present.

Bradley

Rick-O

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Re: Luke Says the 11, but John Says Thomas was Not There. Contradiction?
« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2006, 09:40:20 PM »



Ah yes.....i see.

 Supposing I am a new believer in the Lord and I read this portion of the Word, how would I know that "Eleven" here is used as a title and not a literal figure?

 What is the basis of saying that Eleven is used as a title and not a literal number?


 

Bradley

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Re: Luke Says the 11, but John Says Thomas was Not There. Contradiction?
« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2006, 10:13:09 PM »
>>>Supposing I am a new believer in the Lord and I read this portion of the Word, how would I know that "Eleven" here is used as a title and not a literal figure?<<<

If we were reading mere words, then I suppose it could be a concern, but the Gospel is so much more than mere words, it is the power of God.  If we do not have the Spirit teaching us, we will never understand God's Word.  When we come across something we do not understand, then we must search out the matter, and pray for the wisdom to understand.  Then, we must compare the spiritual with the spiritual to find our answer.

We do not need to doubt God's power to protect and teach His children.

1 Thessalonians 1:5
5 For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.

Hebews 4:2
2 For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard [it].

1 Corinthians 2:6-7
5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
6 Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought:
7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, [even] the hidden [wisdom], which God ordained before the world unto our glory:

1 Corinthians 2:10-11
10 But God hath revealed [them] unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.
12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know [them], because they are spiritually discerned.
15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.

Proverbs 25:2
2 [It is] the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings [is] to search out a matter.

Bradley



Rick-O

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Re: Luke Says the 11, but John Says Thomas was Not There. Contradiction?
« Reply #8 on: November 04, 2006, 12:41:59 AM »
 
You know Brad, i have a theory. Just a theory. to be honest with you this has bothered me big time really. I believe that the Bible is God's Word and therefore it is inerrant and infallible.

  My mind is currently searching for the last piece to fit the puzzle.  I thought about it and here it goes.  Add, correct, object if you find anything wrong with this theory of mine.

   Joh 20:24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.

 I believe those three words i highlighted is the key. When the 2 disciples from Emmaus returned to Jerusalem, they found the literal Eleven gathered together there. Their testimony to the Eleven took some time, you see it would take some time really to recount their experience: the Lord's opening up to them the Old Testament Scriptures, their fellowship with the Lord when they sat on the table and etc.

Somewhere between their testimony giving and the Lord's appearance, it maybe that Thomas went from the scene and at the point when the Lord appeared Thomas was not there.

When i thought of that i thought that i found the solution UNTIL i read Mark 16:12-14:

Mr 16:12 After that he appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country. 13 And they went and told it unto the residue: neither believed they them. 14á Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.


It is a parallel account to Luke 24:33-36. When i read Mark, i thought "nah.......my theory is proven wrong."
Maybe i should take the "Eleven-as-a-title" solution.

However, i am now toying with the idea that maybe what many scholars said about Mark 16:9-20 is indeed right. that Mark 16:9-20 is not part of the original. That it was not Mark who wrote it. Somebody filled up the abrupt ending Mark left.

Scholars said that Mark 16:9-20 is not found in many of the ancient copies. They said that Mark 16:9-20 is composed of 75 words in the original and that 15 of these words cannot be found somewhere else in the rest of the book!!! And that 11 other words in addition to the 15 is somewhat peculiar only in these set of verses [Mark 16:9-20].

So if these verses are not part of the original, if it is true, then the seeming contradiction would vanish away simply because Mark 16:9-20 is something that is not part of the puzzle that we try to fit in.

What do you think?




midas

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Re: Luke Says the 11, but John Says Thomas was Not There. Contradiction?
« Reply #9 on: November 04, 2006, 01:54:53 AM »
Believed by most modernistic textual scholars? A claim which is impossible to support?

If verses 9-20 are not a part of the genuine text of Mark, the "abrupt" ending at verse 8 is probably because the original closing verses were lost???  Consider this then--that God could not preserve His Word well enough to get us the complete text of Mark without a few verses falling off the paper at the end!

Whatever the case, it should not make any difference in any doctrines or practice because we compare scripture to scripture  to support what God says and not necessarlry on just one verse

The KJV has stood its ground on the tests of time, and it include 9-20 - This arguement could go on for days, weeks, and months with everyone saying this scholar said this and this scholar said that - and at the end of the day, nothing will change -

Rick-O

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Re: Luke Says the 11, but John Says Thomas was Not There. Contradiction?
« Reply #10 on: November 04, 2006, 02:31:22 AM »
Believed by most modernistic textual scholars? A claim which is impossible to support?

If verses 9-20 are not a part of the genuine text of Mark, the "abrupt" ending at verse 8 is probably because the original closing verses were lost???  Consider this then--that God could not preserve His Word well enough to get us the complete text of Mark without a few verses falling off the paper at the end!

Whatever the case, it should not make any difference in any doctrines or practice because we compare scripture to scripture  to support what God says and not necessarlry on just one verse

The KJV has stood its ground on the tests of time, and it include 9-20 - This arguement could go on for days, weeks, and months with everyone saying this scholar said this and this scholar said that - and at the end of the day, nothing will change -


point noted.

do you have any ideas how to reconcile the texts in question?



midas

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Re: Luke Says the 11, but John Says Thomas was Not There. Contradiction?
« Reply #11 on: November 04, 2006, 02:45:10 AM »
No, I reading Bradley posts, researching the scriptures, and waiting to see if someone else is going to jump in on this ... not making much headway ... 

Rick-O

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Re: Luke Says the 11, but John Says Thomas was Not There. Contradiction?
« Reply #12 on: November 04, 2006, 02:56:38 AM »
No, I reading Bradley posts, researching the scriptures, and waiting to see if someone else is going to jump in on this ... not making much headway ... 

honestly, i am tentative about my position. I have sent e-mails to different persons [about 15] about this. so far one replied [a pastor] saying exactly like what Bradley proposed.


Midas, personally do you find the "Eleven-as-title solution" plausible?


andreas

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Re: Luke Says the 11, but John Says Thomas was Not There. Contradiction?
« Reply #13 on: November 04, 2006, 03:17:02 PM »
<<<Scholars said that Mark 16:9-20 is not found in many of the ancient copies. They said that Mark 16:9-20 is composed of 75 words in the original and that 15 of these words cannot be found somewhere else in the rest of the book!!! And that 11 other words in addition to the 15 is somewhat peculiar only in these set of verses [Mark 16:9-20].>>>

Ah!The scholars!Forgot about them.As a matter of interest,16:9-20,though not mentioned by the Vatican and Sinai,it is found in almost all Greek manuscripts which contain Mark.It is also quoted by Ireneous and Hippolytus, in the second and third centuries, which predate the Vatican and Sinai.

andreas.
kai ean diabainhs dió udatos meta sou eimi kai potamoi ou sugklusousin se kai ean dielqhs dia puros ou mh katakauqhs flox ou katakausei Isaiah 43:2

midas

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Re: Luke Says the 11, but John Says Thomas was Not There. Contradiction?
« Reply #14 on: November 04, 2006, 08:28:56 PM »
Rick-O

Here is an interesting link with a view that supports Bradley thoughts

http://www.christiancourier.com/articles/print/does_the_expression_the_eleven_luke_2433_constitute_an_error

I'm sure we can all find links that support and links against - So on this one, the Holy Spirit is going to have to tell you what is truth and what is not -

One thing we know for sure (the truly saved and believers) is that the bible is the true and accurate word of God with no contradictions. We can point out things and discuss however the Holy Spirit does the convincing -

If someone is an unbeliever and wants to argue contradictions and say they won, case closed -  that's OK - It doesn't mean they really won  It doesn't mean the bible is not true = It means God chose not to let them understand for whatever reason ...

Again, someone without the Holy Spirit helping them = they will just not understand and believe they are right ...

 


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