Peter’s Denials: Part II: An Examination Of The Narratives -- By: Max G. Mills

Journal: Journal of Dispensational Theology
Volume: JODT 17:52 (Winter 2013)
Article: Peter’s Denials: Part II: An Examination Of The Narratives
Author: Max G. Mills


Peter’s Denials:
Part II: An Examination Of The Narratives

Max G. Mills

* Max G. Mills, M.Div., Ph.D., assistant professor online (counseling and family studies), Liberty University, Lynchburg, Virginia

The Gospel accounts of Peter’s denials contain many difficulties, which have been frequently cited as contradictions. Harmonization of these narratives has been a matter of debate for many years. In denying the historical accuracy of the Gospels, James Barr said, “Harmonization through the production of multiple events is the most thoroughly laughable of all devices of interpretation.”1 The belief of this writer is that the inerrancy of the Bible must be based upon the statements of the Scriptures themselves. Inerrancy is not dependent upon any commentator’s ability to reconcile precisely every event that is recorded. Human knowledge is finite and fallible;2it is only the Bible itself that is inerrant. Inerrancy means that when all the facts are known, then the Scriptures in their autographs and properly interpreted will be shown to be wholly true in everything that they teach.3 Moreover, it is also true that it must be known what the text means in order to determine if what it says is true.4 For this reason, important background considerations were provided in part one of this series to explain the meaning of several difficult statements within the narratives of Peter’s denials. Such matters were taken into account in order to provide a better understanding of the text. The previous article was important since an understanding of the considerations therein will enable the reader to determine whether, or not, what the narratives say is true.

Difficulties Within The First Denial Narrative

The Location And Circumstances

The first difficulty is that, according to Luke and the other synoptic accounts, the three denials of Peter occurred in the court of Caiaphas, while in the opinion of some commentators, John made all this (Peter’s denials) occur in the house of Annas. Luke 22:54 records, “And they led Jesus away to the high priest.” Matthew 26:57 identifies Caiaphas as the high priest. The problem becomes more difficult when compared to John’s account: “the officers of the Jews, arrested Jesus and bound him, and led him to Annas first” (John 18:12b-13a). There is no do...

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