ABC:Acts 1

From BibleStrength

Verse 12 claims the Bible is wrong about the following passage in their section "Where Did Jesus' Ascension Take Place?", and makes the following comments:[1]

First of all, the 'ThinkingAtheist' commits a typo in the verse reference, it is Mark 16:19-20, not Mark 19:20 as they erroneously list. And with their first comment, the key word is "presumably" because it does not say what they presume. Mark 16:19-20 does not say the ascension occurred while the disciples were eating in a room, indeed this is rather illogical since ascending up to Heaven would be rather odd if having to go through a ceiling first. All the verse says is that Jesus ascended after the event in question, not that it was immediately after, or where it occurred. The ThinkingAtheist makes that presumption because they want to see a contradiction in the Bible, not because there is one.

Secondly, as most could probably guess, the Mount of Olives is located at Bethany and near Jerusalem, so the 2nd and 3rd passages likewise do not contradict. As observed by Bible History Online, "Bethany 'house, place of unripe figs' is a village located on the E slope of Mt. Olivet, about one and one-half miles from Jerusalem."[2]

This leaves the 'ThinkingAtheist' with only one complaint, that Matthew does not mention the ascension, as though ever single Gospel should mention every single major event, rather than complementing one another with different levels of detail. Ultimately there is clearly no contradiction here, just an ignorance of cartography and dearth of critical thinking on the part of the critic.

Verse 18's Meritt claims a contradiction exists here.[4] also claims a contradiction while making the following comments:[1]

There is no reason the verses need to contradict. Judas could have hanged himself from a high area in the field. Hanging literally involves "falling down" after all. The rope could have broken from the stress or been cut after the hanging, so that his body fell onto some rocks and burst open. It could have been hanging there for weeks as it rotted until a buzzard perched on it and it fell apart onto the ground for all we know. Whatever the scenario was, the verses appear complementary in relating it with no clear reason for assuming contradiction.

Verse 19's Meritt claims a contradiction exists here in the section "Who bought potter's field." (sic)[4]

In essence Judas did purchase the field with the cost of his betrayal, he attempted to return the silver for Jesus' freedom, was refused, killed himself, and the Pharisees bought for his burial ground the place where he hanged himself. The Pharisees essentially bought the field on Judas' behalf, since they had refused his return of the silver. Ultimately speaking, Judas' reward for Jesus' betrayal ended up being a land where he killed himself and was buried, so in that sense he did purchase a field in exchange for betraying Jesus.

Verse 24

The EvilBible claims a contradiction exists here, and makes the following comments.[5]

Why the critic thinks there is a contradiction here I'm not sure. Yes, God knows the hearts of men, but this is because God tests them to find out what's in their hearts. They are compatible, not contradictory concepts. In fact, the quoted Psalms 139:2-3 even specifically indicates this by explaining that God knows our thoughts because He examines our paths while acquainting Himself with our ways.

Verse 26

Jim Meritt of states a contradiction exists here and queries "How many apostles were in office between the resurrection and ascension?"[4]

Meritt is trying to say Paul should have said there were eleven instead of twelve at the time. However, Paul was writing after the fact when there were once again twelve apostles (now including Mathias, who had replaced Judas). Therefore Paul was justified in using the phrase "the twelve" after the fact, since Mathias doubtless saw the risen Lord as well, even if Mathias was not considered one of the twelve yet.

The term "the twelve" was likely a common way of referring to the twelve apostles at the time Paul wrote that, just as the Beatles frequently were referred to as the "Fab Four" when they were alive. Yes, Paul was referring to a time Mathias wasn't yet considered one of "the twelve" but at the time Paul was writing Mathias had become one of "the twelve."

Even if one really wanted to nitpick like this, Judas didn't technically stop getting considered one of "the twelve" until Acts 1:26, so even if he died a few days before Peter saw Jesus (compare Matthew 27:3-5 and 28:7) he was still considered one of "the twelve." Meritt assumes Judas just stopped being considered one of "the twelve" upon dying which the Bible never states.


  1. 1.0 1.1 TheThinkingAtheist. Bible Contradictions. Retrieved from
  2. Cities of Ancient Israel: Bethany. Bible History Online.
  3. Masterson, E.W.G. Mount of Olives.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Meritt, Jim (1992). A list of Biblical contradictions. Retrieved from
  5. Thiefe, Chris. Biblical Contradictions.