Let's go looking there, then:
1. How did Mary and Joseph know Mary was Expecting God’s son?
- Joseph was told about it in a dream, so he decides not to divorce pregnant Mary. (Matthew 1:18-20)
- An angel told Mary. (Luke 1:26-31)
2. When was Jesus born?
- When Quirinius was Governor of Syria (6-12 AD) (Luke 2:2)
- When Herod the Great was King (37-4 BC) (Matthew 2:1)
3. Where was Jesus born?
- In the house in Bethlehem where Joseph and Mary live (Matt 1:18 – 2:23)
- In a stable in Bethlehem to where Joseph and Mary have travelled to take part in a census (Luke 1:4 – 2:40)
4. Who came to see Jesus when he was born?
- Unspecified number of ‘wise men’ from the East (Matthew 2:1)
- Unspecified number of shepherds (Luke 2:8)
5. When did Jesus become God’s son?
- When he was resurrected (Acts 13:32-33)
- When he was baptised (Luke 3:22)
- When Mary conceived him (Luke 1:35)
6. When did Jesus cleanse the Temple?
- The week before he died (Mark 11:15)
- Right at the beginning of his three-year ministry (John 2:14-16 )
7. How many ‘signs’ did Jesus do in Jerusalem?
- Water into wine – the ‘first sign’ (John 2:11)
- Many more signs follow (John 2:23)
- Then he heals a centurion’s son – the ‘second sign’ (John 4:54)
8. When was Jesus crucified?
- The day before Passover at about noon (John 19:14)
- On the day of Passover at 09:00 (Mark 15:25)
9. Who asked Jesus where he was going at the ‘Last Supper’?
- Peter – “Lord, where are you going?” (John 13:36)
- Thomas – “Lord, we do not know where you are going.” (John 14:5)
- Jesus – “... none of you asks me where I am going.” (John 16:5)
10. What were Jesus’ last words on the cross?
- “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.” (Luke 23:46)
- “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” in Armaic. (My god, my god, why have you forsaken me?) (Mark 15:34)
11. When was the land cast into darkness and the curtain in the Temple ripped?
- At the moment of Jesus’ death (Mark 15:38)
- When Jesus was still alive (Luke 23:45)
So, if those claiming to be eye-witnesses to the events can't agree on anything, no use looking in their records to find Jesus.
Which leaves us with... precisely nowhere.
No wonder Jesus' followers keep asking us if we've found him. (Tweet this)
Jesus Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible (and Why We Don't Know About Them) Bart D Ehrlman