Principles of Harmonizing Bible Difficulties We have not treated every problem passage in the gospels, but this article offers basic principles for solving most difficulties in the gospels.

Introduction to John

(Jn. 1:1) Was Jesus God or simply a god?

(Jn. 1:13) Does this passage support Calvinism?

(Jn. 1:18) Was Jesus “begotten” in the sense of being created?

(Jn. 1:18) Can we see God or not?

(Jn. 2:4) Was Jesus being disrespectful by calling Mary “woman”?

(Jn. 2:8-10) Did Jesus turn the water into wine or into grape juice?

(Jn. 2:14-15) When did Jesus cleanse the Temple? (c.f. Mt. 21:12; Mk. 11:15; Lk. 19:45)

(Jn. 2:14-15) Why did Jesus get so angry? Was his anger justified? (cf. Lk. 19:45-46, Mt. 21:12-13, and Mk. 11:15-17)

(Jn. 3:5) Does this passage refer to water baptism?

(Jn. 3:14-15) How does the story of the brazen serpent prefigure Jesus?

(Jn. 3:36) Does this passage require obedience in order to have saving faith?

(Jn. 5:31) Is Jesus’ testimony true or not (c.f. 8:14)?

(Jn. 6:44, 65) Does this passage teach that God will only draw some people to Jesus and leave others for judgment?

(Jn. 6:53) Does this passage support transubstantiation?

(Jn. 7:53-8:11) Does this belong in the Bible?

(Jn. 8:5) Why were adulterers stoned to death in the Law of Moses?

(Jn. 10:30) Does this passage invalidate the Trinity?

(Jn. 10:34-36) Did Jesus believe in many “gods”?

(Jn. 13:1) Does John contradict the Synoptics regarding the Passover meal?

(Jn. 13:8) Does the washing of the disciples’ feet refer to justification?

(Jn. 13:18) How did Judas fulfill this passage that was originally about David?

(Jn. 13:18) Doesn’t this passage imply fatalism for Judas?

(Jn. 14:1-3) Does this passage support a pre-tribulational rapture?

(Jn. 14:15; c.f. 15:10) Why does Jesus use the term “commandments” here?

(Jn. 14:16) Does this passage predict the prophet Muhammad as Muslim apologists claim?

(Jn. 14:28) Was Jesus equal with God or not?

(Jn. 15:2, 6) Does this passage teach that believers will be sent to hell for not bearing fruit?

(Jn. 16:5) Did they ask him “Where are you going?” or not?

(Jn. 18:3) Was a Roman cohort really necessary?

(Jn. 19:2) Was Jesus’ robe “scarlet” or was it “purple”? (cf. Mk. 15:17; Mt. 27:28)

(Jn. 19:14) Was Jesus crucified on the third hour or the sixth hour?

(Jn. 19:28-30) Why does John cite Psalm 69:21 as a prediction of Jesus?

(Jn. 20:12) Were there two angels or one?

(Jn. 20:14) Why doesn’t Mary recognize Jesus?

(Jn. 20:17) Was Jesus married to Mary Magdelene?

(Jn. 20:22) Does this support the Pentecostal notion of “Spirit baptism”?

(Jn. 20:23) Does this passage support the forgiveness of sins through a priest?

(Jn. 20:29) Does this passage support blind faith?

(Jn. 21) Is John 21 a later interpolation by the Johannine community?

(Jn. 21:15-17) Does this passage support the primacy of Peter as Roman Catholic theologians argue?

(Jn. 21:18) Does this passage preclude the imminency of the rapture?

(Jn. 21:24) Does this passage imply that the Johannine community wrote this book (or final chapter)?


Introduction to Luke-Acts

(Acts 1:16, 20) Doesn’t this passage imply fatalism?

(Acts 1:18) How did Judas die?

(Acts 1:15-26) Does this passage support papal succession?

(Acts 1:26) Should we cast lots?

(Acts 2:1-4) Does this passage support the Pentecostal doctrine of the second blessing?

(Acts 2:16-21) Does Peter misquote Joel 2:28-32?

(Acts 2:25-28) Why does Peter cite Psalm 16:10 to demonstrate the resurrection of Jesus?

(Acts 2:38) Is baptism necessary for salvation?

(Acts 2:44-45) Were the early Christians the first communists (c.f. 4:32)?

(Acts 3:21) Does this passage imply universalism?

(Acts 3:22-23) Why does Peter apply this passage to Jesus?

(Acts 4:12) Does this verse teach that people need to hear Jesus’ name to be saved?

(Acts 4:19) Submitting to government?

(Acts 4:32) Were the early Christians the first communists?

(Acts 5:15) How could Peter’s shadow heal people?

(Acts 5:31) Is repentance a gift to man?—or is it an act of man?

(Acts 5:36-37) Did Luke make a mistake in citing Theudas and Judas?

(Acts 7:14) Does Stephen misquote the OT text?

(Acts 8:14-15) Why did Peter and John need to come down to preach in Samaria? Also why was there a delay in them getting the Holy Spirit?

(Acts 8:20-24) Did Simon lose his salvation?

(Acts 8:30-31) Does this support the idea that we need an interpretive society to understand the Bible, as the Jehovah’s Witnesses claim?

(Acts 13:41) Why does Paul cite Habakkuk 1:5?

(Acts 13:48) Does this passage teach that only some are appointed for eternal life?

(Acts 14:22) Should believers fast?

(Acts 15:1ff) Is this passage the same as Galatians 2 or is it different?

(Acts 15:16-17) Why does James cite Amos 9?

(Acts 15:28-29) Why does James add these requirements, if they are no longer under law?

(Acts 16:3) Why does Paul circumcise Timothy?

(Acts 18:18; cf. 21:26) Did Paul keep the Nazarite Vow?

(Acts 19:6) Does this support the Pentecostal concept of a “second blessing”?

(Acts 19:11-12) Healing handkerchiefs?

(Acts 20:7) Are Christians obligated to meet on “the first day of the week” for Bible studies?

(Acts 21:4, 11) Was Paul contradicting the Spirit when he went to Jerusalem?

(Acts 21:26; cf. 18:18) Did Paul make a mistake in bringing a sacrifice to the Temple to appease Jewish believers?

(Acts 23:2-5) Was it wrong for Paul to revile the high priest? Also how did he not know who he was?