Your Easter infographic

April 5, 2015 • 8:30 am

Reader David sent me this informative infographic (pdf at link) showing all of the many contradictions about the Easter story among the four canonical Gospels. You can click twice (not at once, but waiting after the first click), to enlarge it enough to read, or go to the pdf).  I’m not sure how literalists reconcile these disparate accounts, but I’m sure some reader will know.


36 thoughts on “Your Easter infographic

  1. The standard justification of the faithful is “but the tomb was empty”. Of course one can come up with testable hypotheses that explain that without invoking divine intervention, but . . .

  2. And Ceiling Cat spake, saying, “First shalt thou read the post. Then, if thou need to see the infographic/picture larger, shalt thou click two times. No more. No less. Two shalt be the number thou shalt click, and the number of the clicking shall be two. One shalt thou not count, neither count thou three. Four is right out. Once at the number two, being the second number to be reached, then, observist thou thy enlarged inforgraphic/picture and enjoy it.”

    1. 😄…and to think that I acted in the manner prescribed by Ceiling Cat even before reading his words. I am truly filled with the spirit of Ceiling Cat.

      1. Oddly it was the first thing that popped into my head when Jerry explained how to enlarge the infographic – I just had to do a parody.

  3. Yes we should all”enter the mystery” as Pope Francis said in his Easter hominy (sic). I plan to enjoy today eating at a friends “Feaster” event today.

  4. pretty simple really (at least that’s what I’ve been repeatedly told) …

    1) first you truly believe
    2) the holy spirit interprets everything for you
    3) everything magically makes sense

  5. In addition to the apologetic approaches of Blinder, Blender, and Baseline, sometimes believers seem to combine them … or even start riffling through all of them, one by one and back again, with little to no sense of contradiction.

    The most important aspect of being a Christian is that it exercises your capacity to love God by forcing you to have faith. By analogy, believing that the gospel is literally AND metaphorically true is like scaling a mountain or volunteering to help disaster victims. Poor little handicapped hypothesis — you can count on me!

  6. Contradictions don’t matter, since the Gospels are collections of legends and sayings about a man that may or may not have actually existed. As literature and myth, the stories are pretty interesting – but the people who insist they are accurate historical documents are the ones who don’t understand their Bible.

  7. Had these four guys had the internet and the cloud we could have avoided all these lies. I mean lovely and true stories.

  8. Really quite good. One quibble: is the tearing of the temple veil really in the same category as unreported earthquakes? Of course, it is very likely a myth, but not one I’d be surprised to see missing from the historical record.

    1. Yes. The veil was a big deal, and we know exactly when and how it was torn: in 70 CE by Roman troops conquering Judea. The event was symbolically seen as the end of…well, the end of Judea, the end of Judaism, the end of the world, Götterdämmerung — take your pick.


  9. Incidentally…anybody wanting a scholarly-yet-engaging read on why it’s all bullshit, check out Richard Carrier’s On the Historicity of Jesus.


    1. I echo that, though I have only heard RC’s debate with Zeba Cook, discussed with him briefly the next day and read a few smaller pieces. Incidentally, ZC is a professor of New Testament and *he* says the gospels and Acts are largely BS too – without being a mythicist, too. (Oddly – he’s *almost* there.)

  10. It’s no coincidence that the written records were created after the traumatic destruction of the temple in 70. People needed a hero, even if they had to go back two generations to “find” one.

  11. Some Christians do acknowledge that there are contradictions, but use that fact to prove that the story is true, even if there are errors in the reporting of it: “See, if the story were a hoax cooked up by the evangelists, then the authors would have been careful to make sure that their stories jibed. They were writing down what they remembered, and lawyers know that eyewitness accounts are never 100% accurate. If they got together and made up this story, there would be no reason for contradictions. Heads we win, tails you lose.”

    Of course, lawyers also know that people sometimes lie, and the fact that two witnesses’ testimony conflicts hardly proves that they are both honest.

    1. There’s a simple question that settles those claims in short order.

      Has Jesus read the King James Bible?

      Not, of course, did he read it during his stay in Judea a couple millennia ago.

      But rather, has the Jesus who is right now sitting in Heaven at the right hand of God — has that Jesus read the King James Bible?

      If he has, either he’s happy with it or he’s powerless to set the record straight — can’t even manage a simple press conference.

      And if he hasn’t, why should anybody else?

      So, if you’re going to buy into the bullshit, you have to assume that Jesus is perfectly happy with every last jot and tittle of the King James Bible. “Good luck with that,” as they say.


    2. Doug that is exactly what the priest said at mass yesterday.

      Um…my wife and I go on big days for the music. We love choirs. Yeah that’s it choirs.

  12. Thank you for sharing this wonderful infographic. It needs a worldwide ‘press release’.

    Christianity has pulled a gianormous fraud on gullible humanity – as have all religions.

    It wouldn’t occur to most Christians to question the historicity of Jesus or of the bible. Furthermore, why would any right-thinking woman be part of such a misogynistic system?

    It’s all completely daft and utterly incomprehensible!

  13. So well presented that even a child could understand the inanity of Easter. Lucky for them, they can distract themselves searching for colored eggs and eating chocolate bunnies- leave the self-deception to the adults.

    I used to hate Easter Sunday (even when I was a religious dummy) as it was the same boring sermon every year. Why even bother going to church on Easter? Nothing new here…move along.

  14. At a friend’s invitation, I attended Easter service this morning, first time in eons (don’t worry, I’m still godless). Regarding the “why did the women go to the tomb at all” conundrum, it was spun by the pastor that when they set out, they believed that someone would move the stone for them (so they could anoint the body with spices), and then as they drew closer, they “became cynical” that no one would move the stone. Of course each of the gospels has a different version of what happens next. Definitely not an evidence-based practice.

    Music was a big part of the service at this particular church, and I remembered an interview (one of those “I believe” types) with Brian Eno in which he encouraged people to sing together, not necessarily in a religious context. I like singing, and don’t particularly care whether it’s religious music or not. In addition to the delicious noms, the best thing about attending a Seder is singing the Dayenu song. Much better to sing it with other people … it’s not nearly as fun making up d*g verses for the Dayenu song and singing it to my d*gs.

  15. Clicked on one of those religious shows today.All celebrating Easter way to many happy,peppy,people their minds will never be changed,no matter what.

  16. One error on it, though: Mark (16) mentions the ascension of Jesus, not Luke. “Luke” is assumed to have written Acts, though and Acts mentions Jesus’s ascension — 40 days after resurrection, not the same day. Another contradiction.

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