JehovahsWitness wrote: * with the exception of some identifiable copyiest errors
Since all sources of the Bible that we have are copies, then nothing would be exempt from this. Humans can be fallible in copying texts of the Bible, whether intentionally or unintentionally changing the text. Likewise, I believe it is possible for the original Biblical authors to be fallible in recalling events in their lives. The gospel authors are not elevated to infallibility status. It’s entirely possible things they recounted could be factually incorrect. However, unlike the skeptics, I do not then say we should discount the entire Bible. The Bible is still authoritative. We still have to put together the testimony of the gospel writers and judge for ourselves what actually happened. We are already doing this with all the copies of the Bible and trying to determine what would be the original text of the Bible.
And its John, more than any other gospel that kindly “fills in the gaps” for us.
Yes, the fourth gospel mentions things not found in the synoptic gospels. However, it also mentions things that are found in the synoptic gospels. Curiously the fourth gospel does mention Peter denying Jesus, but never mentions the Eucharist.
Jhn 13:38 KJV – Jesus answered him, Wilt thou lay down thy life for my sake? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, The cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied me thrice.
Since two of the four gospel writers specifically tell us that there were 12 (not 13) at the table with Jesus on that final night and none make mention of a thirteenth, the reading that suggests a major oversight in the narrative is not the one Jehovah’s Witnesses take.
I also believe there were only 12 at the Passover meal (last supper). Though it’s possible more could have been there during the meal (such as the owner of the home), it’s not relevant to my argument.
Though only 12 were there for supper, more could have arrived after the meal, including Lazarus.
Another point to support this (though I grant it’s very hypothetical) is when Jesus washed the disciples’ feet. He did this after supper.
Jhn 13:2-5 KJV – And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s [son], to betray him; Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God; He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe [them] with the towel wherewith he was girded.
Typically they would wash their feet when entering the home. But, the apostles already had finished the meal when Jesus started washing their feet. So, why would Jesus wash their feet then? More disciples could have arrived after the meal was over and prompted Jesus to wash their feet when they arrived. There was a practical need for it and it was also a teaching moment.