Contradictions in the gospels

It is actually true that the advanced theology of the nineteenth century, because it desired to be scientific in the modern sense, lost the Christ; that theology was happy to have at last instead “the simple man of Nazareth”. Christ was now “the loftiest human being on earth.” Of the Christ indwelling within Jesus no conception could any longer be formed.

Thus the evolution since the fourth Post-Christian century has consisted of a gradual loss of the connection of man with the Christ in that living form as it was conceived by many persons during the first centuries of Christianity. Thus it came about, moreover, that the content of the gospels was less and less understood. You see, the human beings who lived during the first centuries of Christianity would have considered it utterly astonishing to speak of contradictions in the gospels. It is as if someone was familiar with the picture of a human being taken from the front and that a photograph was brought to him taken in profile, and if he should say: “This cannot be a picture of the same person” — thus would it have appeared to persons of the first Christian centuries if one had spoken to them of contradictions in the Gospels. They knew very well that the four Gospels simply present a picture taken from four different points of view. The human being of the present time would say that these are exceptional presentations, that they are from all different sides. In the spiritual world everything is far richer; in the spiritual world photographs would have to be taken from various sides as one has four Gospels.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 224 – The Waking of the Human Soul and the Forming of Destiny/The Need for Understanding The Christ – II – Prague, 29th April 1923

Translated by Olin D. Wannamaker