August 25, 2002 / Volume 2, Issue 34
THE ATHEIST'S COMPLAINT:
Did Jesus baptize people (John 3:22) or not (John 4:2)? Is there a contradiction?
Let us look at the passages in question:
After these things Jesus and His disciples came into the land of Judea, and there He remained with them and baptized.
Therefore, when the Lord knew that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John (though Jesus Himself did not baptize, but His disciples), He left Judea and departed again to Galilee.
John 4:1-2 is an explanation of John 3:22. In 3:22, John reveals that Jesus and his disciples were in the land of Judea, and that they were baptizing. In 4:2, the apostle fills us in on the details; telling us that "...Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John (though Jesus Himself did not baptize, but His disciples)..." If 3:22 contradicts 4:2, then 4:1 also contradicts 4:2! However, 4:2 is an explanation of the previous statements.
There is no contradiction.
This article is a response to Skeptic's Annotated Bible