ABC:Luke 6

From BibleStrength

Verses 3-4

The ReasonProject lists the following as a Bible contradiction with the headline "Was David alone when asking for the holy bread at Nob?"[1] Critic's words are italicized.

Eric Lyons points out the truth of this case in his article for Apologetics Press, "Was Jesus Mistaken?"[2] As seen from the context of 1 Samuel 21 which the critic sneakily omits (considering they quoted multiple verses in the other passages), David was visiting on behalf of his soldiers.

David mentions that his warriors are waiting for him elsewhere (v. 2), and have not been engaging in sexual promiscuity. (vv. 4-5) As pointed out by Lyons, "Consider the situation where a colonel in the army might visit a general’s quarters 'alone' to discuss provisions for his men, while instructing his men to wait for him at a nearby designated location. In one sense, the colonel was alone with the general, yet in another sense, the colonel and his men had traveled to the general’s location in order to request essential provisions that would have been used for both the colonel and those who were with him."[2]

Jesus is correct. There were people with David and David took the shewbread to give to them. The critic wants to incorrectly argue that Jesus was saying David's men were with him when he received the shewbread, but that is not what Jesus said. David was acting in concert with his servants who were waiting elsewhere for him, they were hungry like he was, and the priest recognized the bread was intended for all of them, not just David, which is why he asked if David's men had been sexually promiscuously. David replied that women had been kept from "us." (v. 5)

Verse 17's Meritt claims a contradiction exists here.[3]

Luke 6:17 appears to be separate from 6:20, in other words, Jesus was on a plain healing the sick, the multitude thronged Him, and then He went up into a mountain to teach. This entire sequence is related in order in Mark 3:7-14, including the exact location of Tyre and Sidon's sea coast:

The Sermon on the Mount appears to have occurred here in the Gospel of Mark, which relates the entire story. First Jesus withdrew with His disciples to the sea coast of Tyre and Sidon and was followed by a great multitude from Galilee, Judea, Jerusalem, Idumaea, Jordan, Tyre, and Sidon. (Luke 6:17, Mark 3:7-8) Jesus went into a ship with His disciples so He wouldn't get crowded by the multitude. (Mark 3:9-12) Jesus then went up to a mountain and taught. (Matthew 5:12, Mark 3:13-35) After all of this Jesus "began again to teach by the sea side" and again entered into a ship, teaching the multitude through parables from the ship. (Mark 4:1-34)

At any rate, both are true, Jesus was at a plain near the sea coast and then went up into a mountain. Mark appears to be the most detailed account of what happened with regards to location and detail. Luke 6:20 then skips all of the information about him moving from the plain to the sea to the mountain back to the sea and just starts the new paragraph talking about his famous sermon. Luke then probably focuses on what the writer considers most relevant, the huge multitude, the miracles, and the sermon, largely bypassing the specific details of the location changes that Mark delves into in detail.

Additionally, see John 6:1-3 for more confirmation that this sequence occurred:

Again, same sequence as before. Jesus crosses over the sea. He is followed by a huge multitude because of His miracles. Jesus then goes up into a mountain with His disciples. There is a transition back and forth from the plain to the sea to the mountain and back to the sea again, but without comparing all accounts this isn't as obvious.

Verse 20's Meritt claims a contradiction exists here and asks, "How many beatitudes in the Sermon on the Mount" before providing the following list:[3]

Obviously it's not a 'contradiction' for one account to give more detail than another since neither passage states "there are X amount of beatitudes." The pattern of the Bible is that some accounts give more detail than others, complementing one another to form a cohesive whole and filling in spots left unexplained elsewhere.


  1. Marlow, Andy (2009). Contradictions in the Bible. Project Reason.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Lyons, Eric (2006). Was Jesus Mistaken? Apologetics Press.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Meritt, Jim (1992). A list of Biblical contradictions. Retrieved from