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I have noticed several Gospel passages which contradict each other - I hope someone can help me out.

St. Matthew 2:23 - "And coming he [Joseph] dwelt in a city called Nazareth; that it might be fulfilled which was said by the prophets: That he shall be called a Nazarene". This implies that Mary and Joseph lived somewhere else before Jesus was born and they fled to Egypt, and only then lived in Nazareth. But St. Luke 1:26-27 states "And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God into a city of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph". This shows that Joseph and Mary already lived at Nazareth before Jesus was born. Isn't this a contradiction?

The account of the Resurrection in the four Gospels has several differences as well.


St. Matthew 28 - "And in the end of the sabbath, when it had begun to dawn towards the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalen and the other Mary, to see the sepulchre. And, behold, there was a great earthquake. For an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and coming rolled back the stone and sat upon it...And the angel, answering, said to the women, Fear not you; for I know you seek Jesus who was crucified, He is not here: for he is risen, as he said."
St. Mark 16 "And, when the sabbath was passed, Mary Magdalen, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome brought sweet spices, that coming they might anoint Jesus. And very early in the morning, the first day of the week, they came to the sepulchre, the sun being now risen. And they said to one another: Who shall roll back the stone from the door of the sepulchre? And, looking, they saw the stone rolled back. For it was very great. And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed with a white robe; and they were astonished. Who saith to them; Be not affrightened. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen; he is not here."
St. Luke 24 "And of the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they [the women] came to the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled back from the sepulchre. And going in they found not the body of the Lord Jesus. And it came to pass, as they were astonished in their mind at this, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel. And as they were afraid and bowed down their countenance toward the ground, they said unto them: Why seek you the living among the dead? He is not here, he is risen.
St. John 20 - And on the first day of the week Mary Magdalen cometh early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre; and she saw the stone taken away from the sepulchre. She ran therefore and cometh to Simon Peter and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith to them: They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre; and we know not where they have laid him. Peter therefore went out, and that other disciple, and they come to the sepulchre. And they both ran together; and that other disciple did outrun Peter and came first to the sepulchre. And when he stooped down he saw the linen cloths lying, but yet he went not in".

The details of these accounts are very different. With St. Matthew we have an earthquake and an angel rolling back the stone in full view of the women, St. Mark says the women saw the stone rolled back, went in and then talked with the angel, St. Luke's account has two angels, and St John mentions only Mary Magdalen finding the stone rolled back and running to Sts. Peter and John. Which one of these is true?

I hope someone can help me straighten this out.

michaeorapronobis Wrote:I have noticed several Gospel passages which contradict each other - I hope someone can help me out.

St. Matthew 2:23 - "And coming he [Joseph] dwelt in a city called Nazareth; that it might be fulfilled which was said by the prophets: That he shall be called a Nazarene". This implies that Mary and Joseph lived somewhere else before Jesus was born and they fled to Egypt, and only then lived in Nazareth. But St. Luke 1:26-27 states "And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God into a city of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph". This shows that Joseph and Mary already lived at Nazareth before Jesus was born. Isn't this a contradiction?

The account of the Resurrection in the four Gospels has several differences as well.


St. Matthew 28 - "And in the end of the sabbath, when it had begun to dawn towards the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalen and the other Mary, to see the sepulchre. And, behold, there was a great earthquake. For an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and coming rolled back the stone and sat upon it...And the angel, answering, said to the women, Fear not you; for I know you seek Jesus who was crucified, He is not here: for he is risen, as he said."
St. Mark 16 "And, when the sabbath was passed, Mary Magdalen, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome brought sweet spices, that coming they might anoint Jesus. And very early in the morning, the first day of the week, they came to the sepulchre, the sun being now risen. And they said to one another: Who shall roll back the stone from the door of the sepulchre? And, looking, they saw the stone rolled back. For it was very great. And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed with a white robe; and they were astonished. Who saith to them; Be not affrightened. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen; he is not here."
St. Luke 24 "And of the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they [the women] came to the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled back from the sepulchre. And going in they found not the body of the Lord Jesus. And it came to pass, as they were astonished in their mind at this, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel. And as they were afraid and bowed down their countenance toward the ground, they said unto them: Why seek you the living among the dead? He is not here, he is risen.
St. John 20 - And on the first day of the week Mary Magdalen cometh early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre; and she saw the stone taken away from the sepulchre. She ran therefore and cometh to Simon Peter and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith to them: They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre; and we know not where they have laid him. Peter therefore went out, and that other disciple, and they come to the sepulchre. And they both ran together; and that other disciple did outrun Peter and came first to the sepulchre. And when he stooped down he saw the linen cloths lying, but yet he went not in".

The details of these accounts are very different. With St. Matthew we have an earthquake and an angel rolling back the stone in full view of the women, St. Mark says the women saw the stone rolled back, went in and then talked with the angel, St. Luke's account has two angels, and St John mentions only Mary Magdalen finding the stone rolled back and running to Sts. Peter and John. Which one of these is true?

I hope someone can help me straighten this out.

 
There are no contradictions here.  Luke says that Joseph and Mary lived in Nazareth before Jesus was born; Matthew says they settled there after returning from Egypt.  Both could be true.
 
Matthew doesn't say the women saw the stone being rolled back.  Luke has two angels speaking; Matthew mentions that one spoke but does not deny that another may have spoken.  In John's account, Mary Magdalen may have gone to the tomb with the other women, but she is the one who ran to tell Peter and John. 
 
Besides, none of these are eyewitness accounts.  The writers gathered their information from different eyewitnesses, and every witness remembers things a little differently.  The passages are substantially similar, and it seems to me that the differences  among the accounts argue in favor of the veracity of the story itself.  The Gospel writers have not colluded to produce a harmonized account, but have presented the raw data. 
A Harmonization Of The Birth Narratives:
http://www.tektonics.org/af/birthnarr.html

On the Alleged Discrepancies In The Easter Narratives:
http://www.tektonics.org/qt/rezrvw.html

www.tektonics.org is generally a great site for resolving internal textual tensions or supposed "contradictions" but be careful as the site is Protestant and contains some erroneous theology.