First I would like to thank you for doing this incredible
work on the internet. I have been a (serious) Christian for
most of my life but am now, for the first time, facing the
questions in my head instead of ignoring them. Your web
site has been a great help and I pray that you will be able
to continue this wonderful work.
My question is about the two demon possessed men in the book
of Matthew 8:28-34. The story is so amazingly similar to
Mark 5:1-20. Mark's story goes into more detail about the
verbal interaction between Jesus and the demon possessed man,
but both stories tell of (1) Jesus crossing the water in a
boat, (2) Jesus meeting the demons in a grave yard, (3)
Jesus casting the demons into the pigs, (4) the pigs running
off the cliff, and (5) Jesus being asked to leave. It seems
that both must be an account of the same occurrence. The
problem I run into is that if they are two accounts of the
same thing and since the scriptures are inerrant, then why
in Matthew are there two men and in Mark there is one man.
I may be getting to picky but this question is bothering
me. Thanks for your time and God Bless.
.................................................................................... Dear JJJ
Thanks for visiting the Tank, for your questions, for your kind words,
and for your willingness to face your questions for Him!!!
Your question came in during Oct--I am obviously 3-4 months behind in
emails--did you already get an answer on this? I have not looked at it,
and would have to put it on the "list", but let me point out that the
gospel writers OFTEN will single out ONE actor (among multiple ones) for
their story...there would have been two (or even more) demoniacs there,
but Luke and Mark only tell about one--they don't say "ONLY ONE"--this
occurs often, and really doesn't mean much...its simply a matter of how
much detail the writer wants to put in the story (or even
'likes')...Matthew was a VERY detailed tax-collector, and so his stories
tend to have more detail...Mark is very 'blunt' and forceful, following
Peter's summary stories, and collapses narratives into smaller
'overviews'...its largely a literary style issue...
[I finally answered this in 2011: Did Matthew inflate his numbers?]
hope this helps,