Bible Versions List & Source Manuscripts

Introduction:

Have you ever studied the variations between Bible versions? Different ‘versions’ exist, because they are not the same. While Muslims agree that Bibles have variations in wordings of verses due to translations, the examples we will be talking about in this series cannot be attributed to translation issues, but instead only to MISSING or ADDED verses. It can’t be a different wording of a passage (translation issue), if the passage itself is missing entirely in one, and found in another.

You can view a list of over 100+ Versions of the English Translation, and see what sources were used when writing it, of the Bible versions HERE.

Below is a chart showing a quick glance of some verses which appear in some Bibles, and not in others.

Disputed Passage Chart

Bible Corruption Series: Part 2 – 1 John 5:7, The Three That Bear Record in Heaven

In this series, I will discuss some of the most significant disputed passages found in Bibles today. I will use the Biblegateway.com website to compare Bible versions parallel to each other, with screenshots, so that you can see why they are so significant, as well as Bible commentaries from the same site, as well as Biblehub.com

Let’s get started. First up is….

The three that bear record in heaven (known as the Comma Johanneum)

1 John 5:7-8

1 John 5.7 8 Comma Johanneum

This verse was proven to be a forgery, and was removed from modern Bible translations, but still exists in versions such as the most popular Bible used today…the King James Version.

Biblical scholar, Benjamin Wilson (1817-1900), wrote an interlinear translation of the New Testament, and was the founder of the Church of God. This translation is known as the Emphatic Diaglott, which is containing the Greek and English translations side by side. It is based upon the renderings of eminent critics and the various readings from the Vatican manuscript.

Mr. Wilson says in the footnotes of his Emphatic Diaglott translation:

“This text concerning the heavenly witness is not contained in any Greek manuscript which was written earlier than the fifteenth century. It is not cited by any of the ecclesiastical writers; not by any of early Latin fathers even when the subjects upon which they treated would naturally have lead them to appeal to it’s authority. It is therefore evidently spurious.” [i](see screenshot below)

1 John 5.7 8 Emphatic Diaglott footnotes

The Comma Johanneum found its way into the 3rd edition of the Dutch Catholic scholar and humanist Desiderius Erasmus’ Greek text in 1522, which included the passage, despite he was convinced that it did not belong in 1 John, but added it due to pressure from the Catholic Church.[ii]

Modern day Biblical Scholar, Daniel B. Wallace PhD., the senior New Testament editor of the NET Bible, and the Executive Director for the Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts, states:

“However, the evidence—both external and internal—is decidedly against its authenticity.”

He continues to say: “There is no sure evidence of this reading in any Greek manuscript until the 1500s; each such reading was apparently composed after Erasmus’ Greek NT was published in 1516. Indeed, the reading appears in no Greek witness of any kind (either manuscript, patristic, or Greek translation of some other version) until AD 1215 (in a Greek translation of the Acts of the Lateran Council, a work originally written in Latin). This is all the more significant, since many a Greek Father would have loved such a reading, for it so succinctly affirms the doctrine of the Trinity. The reading seems to have arisen in a fourth century Latin homily in which the text was allegorized to refer to members of the Trinity.  From there, it made its way into copies of the Latin Vulgate, the text used by the Roman Catholic Church.”[iii]

Allah tells us:

“O People of the Book! Commit no excesses in your religion: Nor say of Allah aught but the truth. Christ Jesus the son of Mary was (no more than) a messenger of Allah, and His Word, which He bestowed on Mary, and a spirit proceeding from Him: so believe in Allah and His messengers. Say not “Trinity” : desist: it will be better for you: for Allah is one Allah: Glory be to Him: (far exalted is He) above having a son. To Him belong all things in the heavens and on earth. And enough is Allah as a Disposer of affairs.” Qur’an 4:171

Bible Corruption Series: Part 3 – John 7:53-8:11, Pericope of the Adulteress

John 7:53-8:11 is a disputed passage and considered to be an insertion added to the Bibles, which came later in time. Analysts of the Greek texts and manuscripts of the Gospel of John have stated that this passage was “certainly not part of the original text of St John’s Gospel.”[i]

Bart D. Ehrman, is an American professor and scholar, currently the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is one of North America’s leading scholars in his field, having written and edited 30 books, including three college textbooks. Ehrman’s work focuses on textual criticism of the New Testament, the historical Jesus, and the development of early Christianity. Ehrman agrees it is a corruption in his book Misquoting Jesus, explaining that the words and phrases used in the passage, were not in accordance with John’s style, and wordings.[ii]

The passage is telling the story of how Jesus was teaching at the temple when an adulteress was brought to him. Those that brought her to Jesus reminded how Moses had stated the law for such a crime, was that she should be stoned. They then asked Jesus what he had to say about it, and Jesus told the people that the one that had no sin could be the first to cast the first stone, and none of them were without sin, so they walked away without punishing the woman.

After discussing the textual issue of this passage, later in this article, I will also explain a conundrum resulting from this passage about the laws of the Old Testament vs. the fact that in this passage Jesus contradicts those laws, more in depth..

John 7:53-8:11 reads:

53 “And every man went unto his own house.”

8:1 “Jesus went unto the mount of Olives. 2 And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them. 3 And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, 4 They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. 5 Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? 6 This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not. 7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. 8 And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. 9 And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. 10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? 11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.”

There are 267 Greek manuscripts, which are the earliest versions, and are considered the most important by textual analysts, and none of those 267 contain this passage. Newer Bibles that were compiled, and wrote after the more ancient manuscripts were discovered, either omit the passage or add a note along with the passage, stating it was not found in the more ancient manuscripts. See image below for an example of such note as found in the New International Version (NIV).

John 7.53 8.11 KJV NIV Pericope of Adulteress

Another very interesting and important footnote, is found at the bottom of the Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition Bible (RSVCE) below.

John 7.53 8.11 RSVCE Pericope of Adulteress

Footnote ‘b’, says it is ‘regarded’ as ‘inspired’… BY THE CHURCH, and even states that it believed that it was not written by John. It seems suspicious for the ‘church’ to claim ‘inspiration’ out of thin air with no documented proof from the earliest manuscripts. If it isn’t written by John, and the author is unknown for the verse, how can they claim it to be ‘inspired’?

History of the Text

Papyrus66 excluding John 7.53 8.12

This passage is not in the early Greek manuscripts. It is also not found in Papyrus 66 (P66) or Papyrus (P75) which are dated to be from the 100s or early 200s. The important codices ‘L’ and ‘Delta’ do not contain the passage either. It is also not found in the Sinaiticus or Vaticanus from the 300s. The first Greek & Latin manuscript to have it was the Codex Bezae from the 400s or 500s, which contained both the Greek and Latin translations side by side.

Both Catholic and Protestant scholars in the 16th century wanted to search for the most accurate Greek versions instead of depending on the Vulgate Latin one, and they discovered that John lacked the passage. Interestingly, in the Greek Church lectionary, it goes from John 7:37-8:12, BUT… skips over the twelve verses of the periscope.

Majority of the modern translations include it, while some of them add a note to it, indicating it had no witnesses in the ancient manuscripts.

Ancient texts that do not have the pericope

Papyri 66 (c. 200) and 75 (early 3rd century); Codices Sinaiticus and Vaticanus (4th century), also apparently Alexandrinus and Ephraemi (5th), Codices Washingtonianus and Borgianus also from the 5th century, Athous Lavrensis (c. 800), Petropolitanus Purpureus, Macedoniensis, and Koridethi from the 9th century and Monacensis from the 10th; Uncials 0141 and 0211; Minuscules 3, 12, 15, 21, 22, 32, 33, 36, 39, 44, 49, 63, 72, 87, 96, 97, 106, 108, 124, 131, 134, 139, 151, 157, 169, 209, 213, 228, 297, 388, 391, 401, 416, 445, 488, 496, 499, 501, 523, 537, 542, 554, 565, 578, 584, 703, 719, 723, 730, 731, 736, 741, 742, 768, 770, 772, 773, 776, 777, 780, 799, 800, 817, 827, 828, 843, 896, 989, 1077, 1080, 1100, 1178, 1230, 1241, 1242, 1253, 1333, 2106, 2193, 2768 and 2907; the majority of lectionaries; some Old Latin, the majority of the Syriac, the Sahidic dialect of the Coptic, the Garima Gospels and other Ethiopic witnesses, the Gothic, some Armenian, Georgian mss. of Adysh (9th century); Diatessaron (2nd century); apparently Clement of Alexandria (died 215), other Church Fathers namely Tertullian (died 220), Origen (died 254), Cyprian (died 258), Nonnus (died 431), Cyril of Alexandria (died 444) and Cosmas (died 550).[iii]

Now, for the conundrum I mentioned earlier that I said I would discuss, that this passage causes.

The Mosaic Law vs. the Ruling from Jesus

Now, if we were to accept this passage of the periscope to be true, it would be a direct contradiction to the words attributed to Jesus in Matthew 5:17-19.

Matthew 5.17 19 NIV Not to abolish the OT Laws

Think about the extent of Jesus placing such importance on NOT changing any of the Old Testament laws. He stated that it is not to be changed by even one letter, until the earth disappears! Christians tend to say this is not what is meant by this verse, but if you look at the Christian scholar commentaries, found on Christian Bible websites, you will see for example in the Matthew Henry Bible Commentary (as seen below), how Henry affirms that he is in fact referring to the Old Testament laws, and that they should not be changed, as they are correct.

Matthew 5.17 19 Not to abolish the OT Laws Matthew Henry Commentary

Also worth pondering over is that if we accept the passage of the pericope of the adulteress, that means Jesus was changing that law that he was urging and demanding that it would not and should not be changed until the earth disappeared, and if anyone does, they would be considered the least in the Kingdom of Heaven…so that would suggest that Jesus would be considered the least in the Kingdom of Heaven himself! Surely you can see what a conundrum this makes. Jesus would not lower his status in heaven by doing such.

Now, what exactly did the Mosaic laws state, in the Old Testament that Jesus said not to change in relation to this passage?

The passages relate to the punishment of death, even stoning, to be given for adultery. The verses of Deuteronomy 22:22-24 and Leviticus 20:10 agree on the punishment, which contradicts the punishment found in the pericope.

Deut 22.22 24 Stone the adulterer
Leviticus 20.10 adulterers to be killed

Now, should we follow the words of Jesus in Matthew, which has foundation in manuscripts, or do we follow the words of Jesus in verses not found in the ancient manuscripts? Which is the more logical answer? The pericope of the adulteress is easily a corruption invented later and inserted into the Bible.

Bible Corruption Series: Part 4 – Mark 16:9-20, Resurrection of Jesus

A very distinct belief of Christians today about the resurrection of Jesus, was not found in the most ancient manuscripts. The passage in question is Mark 16:9-20, which you can read below in a screenshot taken from Biblegateway.com. Many Bible versions end at passage 8, and provide the note, others do not. As you can see in the NIV Bible, as well as many other Bible versions, you will see a note stating it was not found in the ancient manuscripts, similar to this example below. Versions such as the KJV however, never mention it.

Mark 16.9 20 Resurrection of Jesus Missing in Ancient manuscripts

The extended passage of 9-20 is provided along with the note as seen here:

Mark 16.9 20 Longer Ending

Asbury’s Bible Commentary provided on the same website for this passage reads:

Asbury Commentary of Mark 16.9 20

Even the Bible commentators state that it probably ended at verse 8, but let’s look at the section that is highlighted in green. In the green section, Asbury states that a later scribe possibly added it to make it match the stories of Matthew, Luke, and John’s accounts of this story.

It is a well-known fact that there is debate amongst Bible scholars about which gospel is the oldest, and which took from the other. Let’s see what they have to say about this and how it points more to this being a corruption in the Bible.

According to CARM, the Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry, author Matt Slick, an ordained minister, holding his Masters of Divinity from Westminster Theological Seminary, in his article titled When were the gospels written and by whom? [i], explains when the gospels were written, as well as other interesting details that need to be take into account. I will be providing excerpts of what he said about each gospel below in blue text. The bold, underline, highlights, and black text is my own.

Matthew: (estimated between 50 – 70 A.D.)

“The early church unanimously held that the gospel of Matthew was the first written gospel and was penned by the apostle of the same name (Matt. 10:2-4). Lately, the priority of Matthew as the first written gospel has come under suspicion with Mark being considered by many to be the first written gospel. The debate is far from over.

The historian Papias mentions that the gospel of Matthew was originally in Aramaic or Hebrew and attributes the gospel to Matthew the apostle.

“”Irenaeus (ca. a.d. 180) continued Papias’s views about Matthew and Mark and added his belief that Luke, the follower of Paul, put down in a book the gospel preached by that apostle, and that John, the Beloved Disciple, published his Gospel while residing in Asia. By the time of Irenaeus, Acts was also linked with Luke, the companion of Paul.””

This would mean that if Matthew did write in Aramaic originally, that he may have used Mark as a map, adding and clarifying certain events as he remembered them. But, this is not known for sure.

The earliest quotation of Matthew is found in Ignatius who died around 115 A.D. Therefore, Matthew was in circulation well before Ignatius came on the scene. The various dates most widely held as possible writing dates of the Gospel are between A.D. 40 – 140. But Ignatius died around 115 A.D. and he quoted Matthew. Therefore Matthew had to be written before he died. Nevertheless, it is generally believed that Matthew was written before A.D. 70 and as early as A.D. 50.”

Now, if we agree with Irenaeus and Papias, that it was written in Aramaic originally, then we have to accept it was not the first, and taken from Mark and ‘added things’. Now, having that in mind, let’s see what he says about Mark.

Mark: (estimated between 55 – 70 A.D.)

“Mark was not an eyewitness to the events of Jesus’ life. He was a disciple of Peter and undoubtedly it was Peter who informed Mark of the life of Christ and guided him in writing the Gospel known by his name. “Papias claimed that Mark, the Evangelist, who had never heard Christ, was the interpreter of Peter, and that he carefully gave an account of everything he remembered from the preaching of Peter.” Generally, Mark is said to be the earliest gospel with an authorship of between A.D. 55 to A.D. 70.”

Origen Adamantius, one of the early Christian theologian Bible scholars, wrote on textual criticism and biblical exegesis in Greek. He said that the Gospel of Peter agreed with the Gospel According to the Hebrews and that they were widely circulated throughout the early Church.[ii]

We must take note that in the early days of Christianity, there were many divisions already existing, and believing various conflicting things, and the teachings of Peter were one of many various teachings. Peter was an apostle, with first-hand accounts, yet the gospel attributed to him, was rejected and was determined to not have been written by Peter. It is not included in the canonical gospels and considered apocryphal, accepted primarily amongst the Gnostic Christians.

The Gospel of Peter shouldn’t be confused with 1st Peter and 2nd Peter, which are found in today’s Bibles. However, while the 1st is accepted by scholars to actually belong to Peter, the 2nd Peter has had much controversy over the centuries as to who the actual author of it is. Despite the uncertainty though, you will find it in the Bible, accepted as divinely inspired, even when the identity of the author and their credibility is left unknown.

Some argue that Peter used a secretary to write a polished text for 1st Peter, and that he wrote 2nd Peter himself, showing the rugged fisherman way of speaking that was un-refined, as a possible indication of why they vary so drastically in style and wordings, hence causing doubts of authorship of it. However, authorship of 2nd Peter to be Peter is ruled out because it was written after the death of Peter…so why is it attributed to him and included in the Bible? Can anyone just write whatever, and say it was authored by another, and get it included into the Bible can labeled ‘divinely inspired’? Really?

In regards to Mark, how can anyone say that Mark was ‘divinely inspired’ when he was not an eye-witness for Jesus, having never met nor heard Jesus himself, and is merely telling his own accounts based on what he had heard from Peter?

Is such a central story about Jesus not worth Peter to tell to Mark? Wouldn’t that be included? You would surely think so, but it simply isn’t. Who has the right to just go adding complete sections to a chapter written by another in this gospel as if it was there to start with? Remember, Mark is considered the oldest by most, so the others took accounts from Mark, so where did this ‘extended’ version originate from? This is a clear example of Bible alteration, presenting the reader with stories that were not told by that writer, as if they had been.

Luke: (assumed before 62 A.D)

“Luke was not an eyewitness of the life of Christ. He was a companion of Paul who also was not an eyewitness of Christ’s life. But, both had ample opportunity to meet the disciples who knew Christ and learn the facts not only from them, but from others in the area. Some might consider this damaging to the validity of the gospel, but quite the contrary. Luke was a gentile convert to Christianity who was interested in the facts. He obviously had interviewed the eyewitnesses and written the Gospel account as well as Acts.”

Here we see that Luke also, was not inspired, nor a witness, and companion was Paul, who also was not a witness, nor inspired. Slick states that he “obviously had interviewed the eyewitnesses”, however; the passage in the image below doesn’t state that, it is just an assumption.

It doesn’t state what exactly he investigated, nor whom he spoke to. He could have easily just taken his information of accounts from Paul. In Acts 1:1-3, also written by Luke, he refers back to his gospel (Luke 1:3) as shown below, where we see his clarification about his source of knowledge, or non-mention of source actually, very clearly, and he still doesn’t say ‘how’ or ‘where’ or ‘whom’ he took the information from that he carefully investigated.

Luke 1.3 Luke is not Inspired

John (estimated 80-90s A.D.)

“The writer of the gospel of John was obviously an eyewitness of the events of Christ’s life since he speaks from a perspective of having been there during many of the events of Jesus’ ministry and displays a good knowledge of Israeli geography and customs.

The John Rylands papyrus fragment 52 of John’s gospel dated in the year 125-135 contains portions of John 18, verses 31-33,37-38. This fragment was found in Egypt. It is the last of the gospels and appears to have been written in the 80’s to 90’s. Most scholars say it was written in the early 90’s. This means that the time span between the original writing of John and its earliest copy (fragment) is approximately 35-45 years.”

So, based on the information above, John is the only one of the four that is claimed to be an eyewitness account of anything, written by that eyewitness, yet it is the later most written gospel attributed to be written in the 80s or 90s A.D.

Now for an interesting twist regarding John and Peter, that demonstrates another problem in the Bible.

Peter and John were both considered to be illiterate, according to Acts!

Acts 4:13, as shown below from four different popular Bible versions compared side by side, clearly states it:

Acts 4.13 Four Translations Paralell about Illiterate John and Peter

Critics may argue “but not all of them say illiterate, so it can be just a variation on translations”; However, if we go back to the Greek scripture, the word in question is “agrammatoi”, which literally means ‘unlettered,’ that is, ‘illiterate.’ Here is a screenshot of the Greek text from BibleHub with the word highlighted in blue.

Acts 4.13 Greet Text

Then if you check within the same site, the Thayer’s Greek Lexicon dismisses the claim of poor translation as the blame.

Thayers Greek Lexicon Definition illiterate Acts 4.13

Questions to keep in mind are:

So, what is true?

Assuming we go with the notion Peter was illiterate, this would possibly explain why Mark wrote from the stories of Peter, but still, there is the question of 1st and 2nd Peter. We can pass off 1st Peter has having been wrote via a secretary for Peter, but not 2nd Peter, so was he literate or not, because Luke said he wasn’t.

If we go with the notion that John was literate, then that means Luke is a liar saying that he wasn’t. It also would make Luke definitely not inspired by God, as explained earlier, posing a different problem entirely in the Bible.

If we go with the notion that John was illiterate, then that means the Gospel according to John is not authored by him, leaving authorship unknown, and dubious. How can we take something where the author is unknown, and call is something true and ‘divinely inspired’, much less ‘word of God’? So, either way, there is a problem existing as you see.

I will leave it for you to decide which corrupted view you want to believe or not believe, because either way, it is proven to be a problem regardless…

In my next article, which will basically be a continuation of part 4; I will supplement the story of the resurrection, by explaining with proofs, how the story of the ‘Empty Tomb’ is filled with lots of flaws, due to each of the 4 gospel’s account the story contradicting the other on all the details surrounding it.

You can read parts 1-3 of this series, which are linked below under the recommended reading section.

Bible Corruption Series: Part 5 – Conflicting Gospels on the Empty Tomb & Ascension to Heaven

The details surrounding the story of the empty tomb and ascension of Jesus have numerous variations existing between the gospels. They are not minor differences that can be dismissed. I’m going to provide you with some simple, easy to read charts below, for each topic in the story that contradicts between gospels to compare and contrast details easily.

Warning: This article is very long due to the number of the variations and contradictions.

Question #1: Who was ‘initially’ present at the tomb?

When number of people present, and who those people were all vary, it makes you question which story is the correct one.

Why are different people stated to be present?

Why their actions/roles, and who said what different?

Why is the position of the stone different?

See the below chart to see the variations.

Who was initially present at the tomb?
Matthew 28:1-10Mary MagdaleneOther MaryAngel in whiteSome GuardsAngel came down from heaven and rolled the stone, and sat on itAngel spoke to herAfter the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men. The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.” So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”
Mark 16:1-6Mary MagdaleneOther MarySalomeA Man in whiteStone was already rolled awayMan in white sitting on the right in the tombMan said not to be afraid.When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?” But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.   “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him.
Luke 24:1-11Mary MagdaleneOther MaryJoanna“others with them”Two men in glowing clothesStone was already rolled awaySuddenly, while there, the 2 men appearTwo men speak to the womenOn the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women (listed in later verse) took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners*, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” Then they remembered his words. When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of Jamesand the others with them who told this to the apostles. But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense.
John 20:1Mary MagdaleneStone was already rolled awayEarly on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. (in 2-10, she ran to get Peter and others, then came back)
John 20:11-18Mary MagdaleneTwo AngelsJesusStone had already been rolled awayTwo angels sitting inside where the body was putAngels spoke to her(after she went and got Peter and the disciples)Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot. They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?” “They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus. He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?” Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.” Jesus said to her, “Mary.”She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”). Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” ** Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her.

Notice how they say Jesus was a prophet, and no mention of being the ‘son of God’, nor “God”.

** He says he is going to “my father and your father, my God, and your God”, hence he isn’t God, nor part of a trinity.

Question #2: What time was it?

Two of the gospels simply describe it to be at or after sunrise, another says “very early morning” which could mean before or after sunrise, and then the 4th says it was before sunrise, while it was still dark.

After sunrise is very different from darkness.

What time was it?
Matthew 28:1At dawnAfter the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.
Mark 16:2Just after sunriseVery early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb
Luke 24:1Very early morningOn the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb.
John 20:1Before dawn while still darkEarly on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance.

Question #3: Did a discussion take place or not?

Did angels tell the women Jesus had risen and to tell the disciples, or did a young man in white, two men, or no one at all?

Did a discussion take place or not?
Matthew 28:5-7One angel tells the women Jesus has risen, instructs them to tell the disciplesThe angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”
Mark 16:5-8 *A young man in white says Jesus has risen, and instructs to tell the disciples, BUT the women tell nothing to anyoneAs they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed. “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’” Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.
Luke 24:5-8Men said that Jesus had risen, no instructions though to tell the disciplesIn their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” Then they remembered his words. (9-12 They told the disciples, without being instructed to)
John 20:1-11No one said anything to her, she told others someone took Jesus’ body, and NOT that he had risen!(the guards could have told her this)Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”   So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen. Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.) Then the disciples went back to where they were staying.(Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene)Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb

Remember from Part 4 of this series, we discussed the corruption of Mark 9-20 as being a later addition to the Bible, which is not found in the most ancient manuscripts. Verses 9-20 contains the story of Jesus appearing to Mary, and drove out demons from her, and rebuked the 11 disciples as they ate, about them not believing. He tells them to spread the message, and that the people that believe and get baptized would be saved. He also says that those that hold snakes and drink poison will not be harmed.

If this is a corruption that was added later, this puts people at great risk of danger from snakes and poison. There are Pentecostal Christians today that take up snakes, and even their pastors have died from those snakes. Read my article titled “Snake Bites & Drinking Poison: The True Test of Faith in the Bible”to learn more about it.

Now, back to the contradicting story passages…

Question #4 – How did the women feel and react?

Were the women feeling afraid, happy, terrified and trembling, bewildered, shocked, upset, or crying?

Did they run to tell the disciples, or remained quiet and said nothing?

How did the women feel and react?
Matthew 28:8Afraid, but happyRan to tell disciplesSo the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples.
Mark 16:8Afraid, trembling, and bewilderedSaid nothing to no oneTrembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.
Luke 24:9Feelings not mentionedTold the disciplesWhen they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others.
John 20:1-11Shocked, and upset because Jesus was removed by someone, then she stood outside the tomb cryingRan to tell Peter and another discipleEarly on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!” So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen. Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.) Then the disciples went back to where they were staying.(Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene)Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb

Question #5 – Who (of all people) did Jesus appear to FIRST?

Did Jesus appear to (the two Marys), or (only Mary Magdalene), or (Cleopas and his companion), or (Cephas aka Peter)?

Who did Jesus appear to first?
Matthew 28:8-10Mary MagdaleneOther MarySo the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”
Mark 16:9Mary Magdalene(footnote states 9 onwards was not part of the original text), but the verses mention: “When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons.”
Luke 24:13-18Cleopasand his companionNow that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them;  but they were kept from recognizing him. He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?” They stood still, their faces downcast. One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?”
John 20:14Mary MagdaleneAt this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.
1 Corinthians 15:5Cephas (Peter)and that he appeared to Cephas

Question #6 – How did Jesus behave after the resurrection?

Did Jesus say to go to Galilee, or did he not have plans at all to go to Galilee? See the chart below for other questions in doubt.

Behavior of Jesus after the resurrection
Matthew 28:9-10Says to go to Galilee where they can see himSuddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”
Mark 16:9-15Drove out 7 demons from Mary MagdaleneThen appears to two peopleAppeared to 11 and rebuked them for lack of faithSaid to preach the GospelWhen Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons. She went and told those who had been with him and who were mourning and weeping. When they heard that Jesus was alive and that she had seen him, they did not believe it. Afterward Jesus appeared in a different form to two of them while they were walking in the country. These returned and reported it to the rest; but they did not believe them either. Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen. He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.
Luke 24:13-20Appeared to Cleopas and anotherAsked them what they were talking about.Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing him. He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?” They stood still, their faces downcast. One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” “What things?” he asked. “About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him*
John 20:16-17Says that he hasn’t ascended yet, but that he will, and to tell the others.No plans to see them at GalileeJesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”). Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”**

Notice how they say Jesus was a prophet, and no mention of being the ‘son of God’, nor “God”.

** He says he is going to “my father and your father, my God, and your God”, hence he isn’t God, nor part of a trinity.

Question #7 – Which disciples went to the tomb?

Was it Peter, or Peter and another disciple, or no one at all?

Which disciples went to the tomb?
Matthew 28:8-10NoneSo the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him.  Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”
Mark 16:8-11NoneTrembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid. When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons. She went and told those who had been with him and who were mourning and weeping. When they heard that Jesus was alive and that she had seen him, they did not believe it.
Luke 24:12PeterPeter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened.
John 20:3-4PeterOther discipleSo Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first.

Question #8 – Which disciple did Jesus appear to first?

Was it 11 disciples at once, or 2 walking in the countryside, or only Cephas aka Peter?

Which disciple did Jesus appear to first?
Matthew 28:16-1811 disciples all at the same time in GalileeThen the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.  Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
Mark 16:12-132 disciples while walking in the countryAfterward Jesus appeared in a different form to two of them while they were walking in the country. These returned and reported it to the rest; but they did not believe them either.
Luke 24:13-162 disciples while walkingNow that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing him.
John 20:19-2011 of the disciples togetherOn the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.
1 Corinthians 15:5Cephas (Peter)and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve.

Question #9 – Were the disciples told to do anything?

Were they told to go to Galilee and make disciples and baptize and teach them, or were they asked for food and to preach about repentance and forgiveness and stay in the city of Jerusalem?

Were the disciples told to do anything?
Matthew 28:10Go to GalileeThen Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”
Matthew 28:19-20Make disciples, baptize them, and teach themTherefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.
Mark 16:14-16Preach the gospel to everyone and baptize themLater Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen. He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.
Luke 24:36-49Asked them for food.Preach repentance and forgiveness of sinsStay in the city(The disciples were eating, and he appeared to them in Jerusalem)And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate it in their presence.* He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.” Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.
Acts 1:4-5Stay in Jerusalem and waitOn one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

Luke 24: 36-49 describes them eating fish at Jerusalem with the disciples (See also text in red in the next section in John 21: 1-20, that sounds like a merging of two different stories.) John’s account describes a scene of them fishing at the Sea of Galilee. Details are similar, despite having a very different scene described (one is a meal setting, the other is a fishing scene).

Question #10 – When and where did the ascension occur?

Were they at the mountain of Galilee and no ascension mentioned, or were they eating near Jerusalem and it happened on resurrection day, or did it happen in Bethany on resurrection day, or at the Sea of Galilee while fishing, or in Jerusalem at the Mount of Olives 40 days after the resurrection?

When and where did the ascension occur?
Matthew 28:16-20Although at a mountain in Galilee, no ascension is mentioned.Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Mark 16:14-19While eating, in or near Jerusalem(Same day as resurrection)Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen. He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.” After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God.
Luke 24:50-53After leading them to Bethany(Same day as resurrection)When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them. While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven. Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God.
John 21:1-20Sea of Galilee while fishing(3x total)Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Galilee.…Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus. He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?” “No,” they answered.* He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish. Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water. The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards. When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread.   Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.” So Simon Peter climbed back into the boat and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead.
Acts 1:8-9, 12Mount of Olives on the outskirt of Jerusalem(40 days after resurrection)But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”  And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight.…Then the apostles returned to Jerusalem from the hill called the Mount of Olives, a Sabbath day’s walk from the city.

Question #11 – How many people witnessed the ascension?

Was it 11 disciples, or was it 11 disciples plus two others and those with them (unknown number), or was it Peter, Thomas, Nathanael, James, John, and 2 Others?

How many people witnessed the ascension?
Matthew 28:1-20NoneNone, no ascension is mentioned.
Mark 16: 14-1911 DisciplesLater Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen. He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.” After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. 20 Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.
Luke 33:3511 DisciplesTwo OthersThose with them -(number unknown)They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.” Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.
John 21:1-2PeterThomasNathanaelJamesJohn2 OthersAfterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Galilee. It happened this way: Simon Peter, Thomas (also known as Didymus), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee (James and John), and two other disciples were together.

Conclusion:

After reading all these various accounts of various topics, how can anyone claim that these books are ‘inspired by God’ when they all contradict each other on practically every point, detail, characters, places, and chain of events? Does God forget his own story? I don’t think so.

In Islam, we do not even believe he was crucified, nor raised from the dead. Allah tells us that he saved Jesus and raised him to heaven, replacing him with another that was made to appear to be him.

“And their saying, “We killed the Messiah, `Isa son of Maryam, Messenger of Allah.” … They did not kill him and they did not crucify him but it was made to seem so to them. Those who argue about him are in doubt about it. They have no real knowledge of it, just conjecture. But they certainly did not kill him. Allah raised him up to Himself. Allah is Almighty, All-Wise.” Qur’an 4:157-158

Books of the Bible and Summary of Each