Was Jesus Wrong on Purpose?

Was Jesus Wrong on Purpose? December 29, 2014

Mike Skinner shared some interesting thoughts on Mark 2:25-26 from the late Bill Placher:

“Is this all a joke? A mistake? By Jesus? By Mark? Mark so rarely misremembers texts that I doubt he is doing so here. I infer, then, that the point of his reply is to show that these Pharisees, eager to burden the common people with the details of the Law, are actually so ignorant of Scripture that they do not notice one misquotation after another. Such matters have not altogether changed, and those who quote a particular biblical passage as a means of condemnation often turn out not to know its context or relation to other biblical texts.” (William Placher, Mark (Belief: A Theological Commentary on the Bible)

Readers of this blog will know both that I am open to not only the Biblical authors but Jesus himself having been genuinely mistaken. Human beings inevitably are. And Skinner misses the fact that Matthew does drop the reference to the incorrect high priest. Nevertheless, sometimes people are intentionally wrong, for a variety of reasons, including to show up lack of knowledge on the part of one’s interlocutors.

What do readers of this blog think? Which of the following seems to best fit the evidence?

  1. The story is historically authentic, and Jesus was simply wrong.
  2. The story is historically authentic, and Jesus was intentionally misrepresenting the story in 1 Samuel 21.
  3. The story is historically inauthentic, and Mark was simply wrong.
  4. The story is historically inauthentic, and Mark was intentionally misrepresenting the story in 1 Samuel 21.

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