When Gospels Collide
Robert M. Price
RELIGION / Biblical Studies / Exegesis & Hermeneutics
RELIGION / Biblical Criticism & Interpretation / New Testament
RELIGION / Biblical Studies / New Testament / Jesus, the Gospels & Acts
The purpose of this book is to show how fundamentalist attempts to harmonize and suppress contradictions between the four Gospels are misguided because they fail to see that most “contradictions” actually represent purposeful editorial changes of one Gospel by the writer of another. The successive evangelists were trying to make new and different points. There is nothing more pious than understanding the text.
Harmonization cheats readers of the Bible by preventing them from discerning the richness and variety of Gospel teachings. Harmonizers see themselves as champions of Scripture, but they are, ironically, suppressing a proper understanding of the very texts that they profess to honor and adore. To recognize the plurality of Gospel teachings allows readers to strip off the threadbare straitjacket that has long been imposed on the text by theologians, which then allows people to read the Gospels each on their own terms.
This book forces readers to ask: Do you love the Bible or your theology of the Bible?
Robert M. Price (1954‒), born in Jackson, Mississippi, lived for many years in New Jersey and now resides in North Carolina. He holds two PhD degrees from Drew University: one in Systematic Theology (1981) and the other in New Testament (1993). He has taught at Mount Olive College, Drew University, Montclair State College, and the Unification Theological Seminary. Price is the author of many books including Beyond Born Again, The Widow Traditions in Luke-Acts, Inerrant the Wind, and Deconstructing Jesus. He is the founder and editor of the Journal of Higher Criticism and the host of The Bible Geek podcast.
"Dr. Robert Price is one of the most creative scholars in the field of Biblical Scholarship, and one of the most snubbed and misunderstood. One does not need to agree with his interpretations of ancient texts to appreciate the range of his interests and his imaginative evaluation of them and their relevance to the modern world. His should be a welcome alternative voice to the stodginess of contemporary biblical scholarship. I often have been amazed at the breadth of his reading in ancient literature and modern scholarship, his grasp of ancient mythology, and his courage to challenge the ignorant shiboleths of so many publications about the Bible. Dr. Price knows that we often disagree, but my engagement with his informed and thoughtful interpretations has enriched my scholarship. That no doubt will be the experience of many readers of this publication."
‒Dennis R. MacDonald,
Emeritus Professor, Claremont School of Theology
"With profound honesty and scholarly rigor, Price reveals how the contradiction and incoherence that suffuse the Christian Gospels conceal a treasury of insight for the mature reader. A powerful look at the creative diversity of earliest Christian traditions."
‒Dr. Richard C. Miller,
Author of Resurrection and Reception in Early Christianity
"The erudite and always entertaining Robert Price has produced another lively, informative book with a premise many may find challenging: that the contradictions between the gospels provide a veritable gold mine of valuable information about the uneven early evolution of early Christianity. A great read!"
Author of Berossus and Genesis, Manetho and Exodus