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Answering The Atheist
March 11, 2007 / Volume 7, Issue 10

THE ATHEIST'S COMPLAINT:
Were the disciples frightened (Luke 24:37) or gladdened (John 20:20) when they saw Jesus? Is there a contradiction?

RESPONSE:
Rather than setting one verse from Luke's account against one verse from John's account, the questioner would demonstrate more honesty by looking at the two contexts together to get the whole picture.

Notice, the two texts together reveal a time frame that includes both the disciples fear and their joy:

  • Jesus came in the midst of the disciples and said, "Peace to you." (Luke 24:36; John 20:19
  • At first, they were frightened, believing that they had seen a ghost (Luke 24:37)
  • Jesus asked why they doubted, and showed His wounds to them (Luke 24:38-40; John 20:20)
  • Jesus' disciples were glad (Luke 24:41; John 20:20)

    There is no contradiction.

    This article is a response to Skeptic's Annotated Bible