Contradictions in the Bible’s accounts of Easter

By Matt Barsotti

It is that time of year again, and so I am reposting the popular “Taking Easter Seriously” infographic. This 2015 version includes slight enhancements and corrections to the prior version.

Many Christians read the Easter stories year upon year, as I did for several decades, yet we never compare them in detail. As a consequence, we often do not realize that they are not telling the same story. There are indeed contradictions in the texts, but it is very important to move beyond “mere contradiction” — the issues with our gospels are far more extensive than that. Comparison against the historical record and assessing the gospels for trends of legend development are probably far more crucial. As with many non-believers, I left Christianity specifically because of the Bible, and because I considered and examined its content very seriously indeed.

Perhaps it is time for more Christians to take the Bible and our Easter stories seriously.

I am indebted to scholars like Bart Ehrman, Marcus Borg, & Richard Carrier, without whom I would no doubt continue in my own past failures to take Easter seriously. And as always, I look to improve the accuracy of my work wherever possible. Please reply with any factual errors found, and I will correct appropriately. Thanks.

Also See: Infographic for New Testament Timeline

(C) Copyright 2015,

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

[In other words, feel free to pass along, distribute, etc., just don’t repackage it and sell it. Thanks!]


  • Dennis, Lane T., ed. ESV Study Bible. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2008.
  • Thomas, Robert L, and Stanley N. Gundry. A Harmony of the Gospels, NASB. Harper Collins, 1978.
  • Ehrman, Bart D. Jesus, Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible (And Why We Don’t Know About Them). HarperOne, 2010.
  • Borg, Marcus J. Evolution of the Word: The New Testament in the Order the Books Were Written.HarperOne , 2012
  • Price, Robert M. (2012-02-07). The Christ-Myth Theory And Its Problems. American Atheist Press.
  • Carrier, Richard. On the Historicity of Jesus: Why We Might Have Reason for Doubt. Sheffield Phoenix Press Ltd. 2014.
  • Brown, Raymond E. An Introduction to the New Testament. Yale University Press; 1 edition (October 13, 1997)
  • Selected lectures by Richard Carrier, YouTube.

Additional Information:

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3 Responses to Contradictions in the Bible’s accounts of Easter

  1. Francis Philip says:

    If you were competent in the Gospels and Scripture in general, you would understand why they have differences. For starters do you understand why each Gospel edition was written, by whom and why?

  2. The atheist should be more concerned with the inconsistencies (lies) told to them by the like of President Obama and the Clintons.

  3. Whenever you have several people telling about something that happened, of course there are going to be discrepancies. Really? You left Christianity because of the Bible and now you spend your time and energy trying to discredit your past faith?

    God still speaks today. When you get to know Him personally, through Jesus Christ, you can ask Him anything and if its not a stupid question, or if He doesn’t have a reason to withhold the answer, He will clear any confusion up. But you won’t have much luck getting your doubts addressed with your mind already closed to truth because even if He did explain, you wouldn’t listen.

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