For most Christians, Easter is the most important time of the year as it is the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus – the basis of their religion. What I didn’t realise is that the story of the resurrection is told over five times in the different gospels and all of the stories are completely incompatible. The person who opened my eyes to this is Dan Barker the author of ‘Godless – How an Evangelical Preacher Became One of America’s Leadi...’ – I can’t praise this book enough. Pages 281-290 discuss the biblical contradictions and fortunately Dan has put this chapter on the FFRF website.
So, if you are confronted by a Christian this weekend why not set them this challenge:
The conditions of the challenge are simple and reasonable. In each of the four Gospels, begin at Easter morning and read to the end of the book: Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24, and John 20-21. Also read Acts 1:3-12 and Paul’s tiny version of the story in I Corinthians 15:3-8. These 165 verses can be read in a few moments. Then, without omitting a single detail from these separate accounts, write a simple, chronological narrative of the events between the resurrection and the ascension: what happened first, second, and so on; who said what, when; and where these things happened.
The discrepancies are set in the chapter linked to above - it will be an impossible task to complete the challenge. It is important to also remember that this doesn't even take into account the arguments over the time periods when the gospels were written or any of the bias each of the authors had.