) in Mark 5:23 as some would
have us to think. According to Craig Blomberg, arti (“even now” or
“just”) has some connotations that suggest not always a
present reality, but an inevitable reality (cf. Matthew 3:15; 23:39; 1 Corinthians
4:13). Therefore, Blomberg concluded that it is possible
Matthew was relating the inevitability and certainty of Jairus’ daughter dying, rather than
making a statement about her current condition (1992, p.
160). Adam Clarke mentioned in his commentary on Matthew that 9:18 could be translated, “my
daughter was just now dying” (1996). Albert Barnes
The Greek word, rendered “is even now dead,” does not of necessity mean,
as our translation would express, that she had actually
expired, but only that she was “dying” or about to die…. The passage [Matthew 9:18—EL] may be
expressed thus: “My daughter was so sick that she must be dead by this time” (1997).
Therefore, the alleged contradiction may be a simple misunderstanding of what Matthew actually
wrote about the dying child.
A better explanation to this alleged discrepancy is that Jairus uttered both statements: Mark
and Luke mention her severe sickness, while Matthew speaks
of her death. As in so many other places, each writer reported only a part of what occurred and
what was said. Does Matthew’s omission of the coming
of the messengers who tell Jairus that his daughter has just died mean that his account
contradicts the others (Mark 5:35; Luke 8:49)? Certainly not! Nor
do his additional details. R.C. Trench, in his classic work on the miracles of Jesus, made the
following observation concerning the differences in the
gospel writers’ accounts of what was said when Jairus approached Jesus:
When the father left the child, she was at her last gasp; and he knew not whether
to regard her now as dead or alive; and, yet having not
received certain knowledge of her death, he was perplexed whether to speak of her as departed or
not, expressing himself one moment in one language, and
at the next in another. Strange that a circumstance like this, so drawn from life, so
testifying of the things recorded, should be urged by some as a
contradiction (1949, pp. 107-108, emp. added).
Skeptics who attack God’s Word with unsupported allegations will continue to fail. The
Bible is and always has been the inerrant Word of God (2
Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21). And based upon the evidence we have, it is reasonable to
believe that Bible is inspired by God. There is no other
book like it on the planet. Evidence to substantiate the Bible’s claims of its own
inspiration can be drawn from such external evidence as the
historical documentation of biblical people, places, and events, or archaeological artifacts that
corroborate biblical statements or circumstances. The
internal evidence includes the Bible’s unity, predictive prophecy, and scientific
foreknowledge (to list just three examples). The Bible is
unparalleled in human history and bears testimony to the fact that the very existence of it cannot
be explained in any other way except to acknowledge that
it is the result of an overriding, superintending, guiding Mind.
Barnes, Albert (1997), Barnes’ Notes (Electronic Database: Biblesoft).
Blomberg, Craig L. (1992), Matthew (Nashville, TN: Broadman).
Clarke, Adam (1996), Adam Clarke’s Commentary (Electronic Database: Biblesoft).
Trench, Richard C. (1949), Notes on the Miracles of Our Lord (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker).
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