Some people think there are many “contradictions” in the Gospels, and for this reason, we cannot take them as historically reliable sources.

First off, it is by no means obvious that there are true contradictions in the Gospels. There are, as many Church Fathers recognized, differences in the details we see in the Gospels. But as long as the possibility of harmonizing those details remains, one cannot infer from the presence of mere differences that there are true contradictions.

But here’s what’s more interesting. Even if it were true that the Gospels contained contradictions, that, by itself, would not undermine the truth of Christianity. Nor would it undermine our ability to know that Christ was divine. The most it would show is that the doctrine of Biblical inerrancy is false, but Christianity (at least in some general form) could still be true even if Biblical¬†inerrancy is false. [For the record, I do NOT think Biblical inerrancy is false, I am merely stating, for the sake of argument, what the consequences might be for Christianity if there were such errors in the Gospels.]

In other words, even in spite of any alleged contradictions, Jesus Christ could still be divine and we could still reliably come to know that fact based on the “gist” or the broad outline of what the Gospels teach about him.

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