Today we will look at a knotty problem but one that is pregnant with meaning and full of lessons for us. We will spend a few Gems on this passage.
The passage is the cleansing of the temple. One of the most popular alleged Bible discrepancies pertaining to chronology — and one that sceptics are fond of citing in any discussion on the inerrancy of Scripture — is whether or not Jesus cleansed the temple early in His ministry, or near the end. According to Matthew, Mark, and Luke, Jesus cleansed the temple during the final week leading up to His death on the cross (Matthew 21:12-13; Mark 11:15-17; Luke 19:45-46). John, however, places his record of the temple cleansing in chapter 2 of his Gospel account, between Jesus’ first miracle (2:1-12) and His conversation with Nicodemus (3:1-21).
Sceptics question, “Did Jesus enter the temple and drive out the money changers early in His ministry, or near the end?”
Was there one or were there two cleansings?
What do you think?
I will give you time to think about it and maybe do some digging of your own in the text. See what you can make of it.
I will do something else in the next Gem but related, so you will have time to look at it. Then we will work on some other things and the input to John’s temple cleansing will come at the end of our time on this passage. What I do will help you understand how to deal with the Gospels and the seeming discrepancies some allege they contain.
Remember there are two different kinds of gospels: they are divided into the Synoptic Gospels (Matt // Mark // Luke) and John’s Gospel. The synoptic gospels are in parallel and John’s gospel is often very different.
- How do we handle that?
- What do we do with the differences?
- Are the gospels filled with discrepancies as some say or is there another explanation and another way of handling this? Follow and see.
Author’s note: Most often I give you the input and share the Gems with you. But there will be times when I ask you questions and leave you to find the answers. Why? I want to help you understand how to do this for yourself and know how to deal with the differences and the depth of Scripture. Call it training.
If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way; if you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.Ian Vail
Take my advice. I don’t use it anyway.Anon