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Thread: Contradiction? Matthew/Mark vs Luke - Last Supper Chronology?

  1. #16

    Re: Contradiction? Matthew/Mark vs Luke - Last Supper Chronology?

    Quote Originally Posted by MyRock View Post
    For me it's the fact that Jesus said what he said, rather then when he said it.

    When I've been told something by a work colleague and then am told the same thing by a different person in a slightly different way, I don't discount the story completely.

    For example: I'm not invited to a wedding of a co-worker, but two of my work friends are. Now they mention the best mans very funny speech. One points out the best man spilt his wine glass during the toast before telling me about the speech. My other friend tells me about the speech then mentions the glass spillage.

    I don't now dis-believe that these events happened at all.
    There would be no reason for you to question whether or not the wine glass was spilled or that the best man gave a funny speech. What would be in question is what happened first. You have one witness telling you that the glass was spilled "during" the speech while the second witness is telling you that it was spilled "after" the speech.

    See the problem? It's not a matter of the glass not being spilled. It's not a matter of the funny speech being given. What's problematic is when in the timeline of events each specific event occurred. Surely we can agree that either the glass was spilled "during" or "after" or possibly before (meaning both witnesses were incorrect), but we cannot say that it happened both "during" and "after."

    In the gospel passages, it is impossible for Matthew/Mark to identify key specific events that took place in the upper room while at the same time Luke identifies those same key events but in a different chronological order. We must accept one account and discard the other in reference to the timeline (not the actual messages themselves). Much like the best man at your co-worker's wedding, several events took place, but it is physically impossible for both accounts to be objectively correct since they directly contradict each other (as the glass could not be spilled both "during" and "after" the speech).


  2. #17

    Re: Contradiction? Matthew/Mark vs Luke - Last Supper Chronology?

    Quote Originally Posted by david View Post
    Going by this theory, I tried an idea out to see if it might work. let's say these are the events in question: betrayal part, the breaking of bread part, and the drinking vine part. Matthew and Mark both have it in the same order: betrayal-bread-vine. But Luke has it in the opposite order: vine-bread-betrayal. If Jesus repeated both the betrayal and the vine events then it would look like this:

    betrayal - vine - bread - vine - betrayal.
    vine - betrayal - bread - betrayal - vine

    i chose the former because it looked more plausible to me (but you can try out the sequences yourself).

    however this would mean that jesus gave out the cup of fruit of the vine twice... either it was given out twice or, the first time it was given to one part of the group, and the second time it was given to the other part of the group.
    Hi David,

    Thanks for this attempt. The concept is interesting, but I don't see how it actually works out. In order to place Jesus saying the Kingdom statement and the betrayer statement twice, it also requires that they all questioned the betrayer was twice.

    There are three verses or passages that are out of order in Luke. Luke 22:15-18, 19-20, and 23.

    The order in Luke is: Kingdom, Communion, Betrayer Declared, Betrayer Condemned, All Question Themselves.

    The order in Matthew/Mark is: Betrayer Declared, All Question Themselves, Betrayer Condemned, Communion, Kingdom (Matthew and Mark add the Betrayer dipping with Hand between Questioning and Condemnation; Matthew adding Judas' question "Is it I" after Condemnation).

    It's interesting that Kingdom, Communion is at the beginning in Luke but at the end in Matthew/Mark only reversed (Communion, Kingdom). Luke has Betrayer Declared, Betrayer Condemned, All Question, while Matthew/Mark reverses Betrayer Condemned, All Question to All Question, Betrayer Condemned. It's almost as if these two accounts (Luke vs Matthew/Mark) are a mirror image of each other, though this falls apart as you look at the point at which the mirror resides, as it is not a perfect reflection: Betrayer Condemned and Question order in Luke is reversed in Matthew/Mark, leaving Betrayer Declared in the same position.

    So, at whatever position we shift Luke down to align a specific event with Matthew/Mark, there are additional events that then conflict, even if we allow for the repetition, there is still difficulty in placing Judas from John into the time frame.

    When I read through the individual accounts, they all really seem to be referencing the same events (not events repeated several times). Just from a logical standpoint, I would have to ask why Jesus is repeating himself so much? Why are the disciples also repeating themselves? Doesn't seem to jive.

    The JW publications state that "apparently Luke was not written in chronological order." Of course, they adhere to Matthew/Mark's chronology because they don't want Judas at communion (because they say only the 144,000 can take communion).

    I am leaning toward the gospel writers not adhering to chronology (but not because of the JW explanation) simply because there seems to be no way to resolve the conflict without violating at least one individual timeline, or accept that Scripture is not inerrant (which would be fine if, in fact, Scripture were only infallible, but I need to do more research on the subject before I make a decision).


  3. #18

    Re: Contradiction? Matthew/Mark vs Luke - Last Supper Chronology?

    I've done some research on the chronology and harmony of the Gospels. I have found that there's a critical assumption concerning the timing that is often made which causes confusion when trying to correlate the records.

    This site shows detailed quotes, descriptions, charts and diagrams . It includes information on the Last Supper.

    Besides harmonizing the 4 accounts, the site makes the following ovservation: By starting with the chronology in the Gospel of John, noting Yahushua’s attendance at the Feasts, and correlating this to the Synoptic Gospels, we discover that his public ministry was approximately a year long, with no significant gaps in the record.

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