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Answering The Atheist
September 18, 2005 / Volume 5, Issue 38

How did Jesus respond when questioned by the high priest? Matthew 26:63-64 indicates that He did not answer directly, while Mark 14:62 says He answered directly by saying, "I am". Is there a contradiction?

Whether we are reading Matthew's account, Mark's account, or Luke's account (the questioner left this one out), Jesus affirms to the high priest that He is the Christ. Note:

  • Jesus said to him, 'It is as you said...' (Matthew 26:64)

  • Jesus said, 'I am...' (Mark 14:62)

  • So He said to them, 'You rightly say that I am.' (Luke 22:70)

The wording in each account is different, which can be attributed to the fact that 3 different writers were responsible for the accounts. Which did Jesus specifically say? We do not know, nor does it matter. Are the accounts contradictory? No. In all three gospels, Jesus, in response to the high priest's question affirms that He is the Christ. The meaning of His response, though conveyed through different words by each writer, is the same.

There is no contradiction.

This article is a response to Skeptic's Annotated Bible