Undesigned Coincidences and New Testament Reliability

One fascinating line of evidence for the reliability of the Gospels is undesigned coincidences. An undesigned coincidence is a notable connection between two or more accounts or texts that does not seem to have been planned by the individuals giving the account – it is when two or more accounts or texts interlock at a point, fitting together like pieces of a puzzle, so that one account or text clarifies or explains a detail in another.[1]

Undesigned coincidences are what one expects from eyewitness testimonies. In fact, undesigned coincidences between different eyewitness accounts aid investigators in arriving at a more complete picture of how an event transpired, and in some cases, can even lead to the resolution of a case. James Warner Wallace, a Los Angeles homicide detective, comments: 

Often, questions an eyewitness raises at the time of the crime are left unanswered until we locate an additional witness years later. This is a common characteristic of true, reliable eyewitness accounts.[2]

It’s my job to assemble the complete picture of what happened at the scene. No single witness is likely to have seen every detail, so I must piece together the accounts, allowing the observations of one eyewitness to fill in the gaps that may exist in the observations of another eyewitness. … True, reliable eyewitness accounts are never completely parallel and identical. Instead, they are different pieces of the same puzzle, unintentionally supporting and complementing each other to provide all the details related to what really happened.[3]

1. Undesigned coincidences in the Gospels

Undesigned coincidences are found between Gospels (as well as between Paul’s letters and Acts as we shall see in a later section). In this section, I will provide a number of examples of undesigned coincidences in the Gospel accounts. For our first example, let us look at Matthew’s account of Herod’s thoughts about Jesus.

1.1. Herod on Jesus

In Matt 14:1-2, Herod hears of Jesus and his miracles and is disconcerted by  the thought that Jesus may have been John the Baptist (whom Herod had executed) raised from the dead:

At that time Herod the tetrarch heard about the fame of Jesus, and he said to his servants, “This is John the Baptist. He had been raised from the dead; that is why these miraculous powers are at work in him”.

Matthew mentions that Herod said this to servants but how did the early Church know what Herod said to members of his household? The answer is found in an unrelated passage in Luke 8:1-3:

Soon afterward he went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with him, and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod’s household manager, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them out of their means.

This passage is not about Herod in any way. Luke is merely listing those who accompanied Jesus at a point in his ministry. Among these he mentions Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod’s household manager.

1.2. The feeding of the five thousand

Undesigned coincidences cluster in Jesus’ feeding of the five thousand, which is the only miracle in the Gospels, other than resurrection, to be recorded in all four Gospels. 

Mark introduces the feeding of the five thousand by mentioning Jesus’ attempt to get away from the crowds with his disciples after the Twelve returned from a preaching mission (Mk 6:30-31): 

The apostles returned to Jesus and told him all that they had done and taught. And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat.

Reading the verses initially, one might assume that the reference to “many coming and going” is an allusion to the fact that Jesus was often followed by crowds, and as the passage continues, Mark does say that the crowds found a way to follow Jesus (Mk 6:33-35). The phrase “many coming and going”, however, is slightly odd as a description of Jesus’ popularity alone and suggests that there was another reason for the bustle of people in the vicinity. We find this other reason in John’s introduction of the feeding of the five thousand (Jn 6:1-4):

After this Jesus went away to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, which is the Sea of Tiberias. And a large crowd was following him, because they saw the signs that he was doing on the sick. Jesus went up on the mountain, and there he sat down with his disciples. Now the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was at hand.

In passing, John mentions that this occurred just before Passover. As Passover was approaching, Jews would have been on the roads traveling to Jerusalem in large numbers. In fact, the Jewish historian Josephus estimates that there were almost three million Jews in Jerusalem for Passover during the reign of Nero. The event taking place just before Passover, as John notes, explains the bustling of people in Mark.  

For the second undesigned coincidence, three Gospels mention that there was grass in the place where the feeding of the five thousand took place (Mk 6:39; Matt 14:19; Jn 6:10) but only Mark mentions the grass’ green color. The grass is not generally green in the region but it is green in the spring, which encompasses the time of Passover. 

Moving on to the third undesigned coincidence, prior to the miracle, John notes that Jesus asked Philip where they could buy bread for the people. Reading the account, one could ask “why Philip?”. Philip was not one of the more prominent disciples (Peter, James, and John) nor was he the treasurer of the group (Judas). Was it just by chance that Philip was chosen? Possibly, but a much better answer is found when one looks at Luke’s account of the miracle, as well as a passage in John. Luke mentions that the miracle took place near the town of Bethsaida (Lk 9:10) while John, in a passage unrelated to the feeding of the five thousand, mentions that Philip was from Bethsaida (Jn 1:43-44).

For the fourth undesigned coincidence, all four Gospels note that roughly five thousand men were fed after the miracle. Matthew says “about five thousand men, besides women and children” (Matt 14:21), while Mark, Matthew, and John say about five thousand men, but do not add “besides women and children”. Two of the Gospels, Mark and Luke, give some idea of how the estimate of five thousand was calculated. Mark and Luke mention that Jesus ordered “them all” (Mk 6:39)/”them” (Lk 9:14) to sit down in groups by hundreds and by fifties. Having the crowd sorted into groups made it easier to distribute food to them. It also made it possible to get some idea of how many people there were. However, one still wonders why the Gospels give their count exclusively in terms of the number of males fed. As McGrew observes:

Notice that Mark and Luke could be taken to mean that Jesus had all the people sit down. Yet one would have thought that if all the people — men, women, and children — sat down in groups of approximately fifty to a hundred, the Gospels would not give their count exclusively in terms of number of males fed, especially not as emphatically as Matthew does.[4]

 John does not mention the groupings by hundreds and fifties, as Mark and Luke do, but his account adds the crucial piece to the puzzle – attesting that Jesus called to “Have the people sit down”, and that “the men sat down, about five thousand in number” (Jn 6:10-11). Then the food was distributed to the men and from them, to the women and children. This explains how the men could be approximately counted, leaving the number of women and children undetermined. As McGrew notes:

This is an intricate coincidence and a mentally satisfying one, depending as it does on subtle indications in various texts. Beyond this, it is true to human nature. It is extremely difficult to imagine getting a milling crowd of such a size, including children, who were no doubt running about and playing, all to sit down on the grass at the same time …  It is impressive enough that, in a world without sound systems or megaphones, the disciples were able to get even the men seated in groups of about fifty to a hundred. Not attempting to seat the children, and leaving the women free to look after them would be only common sense in the culture and context.[5]

1.3. Why the foot washing?

According to John, during the Last Supper, Jesus did something unusual: he washed his disciple’s feet in a very deliberate and even formal manner (Jn 13:1-15), “taking upon himself a servant’s garb and role”[6]:

Now before the Feast of the Passover … [Jesus] rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. … When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you … If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.

Reading John’s account, Jesus washing the feet of his disciples is done out of the blue. Of course, Jesus may have decided to teach this lesson about humility and servant leadership on that night for no special reason but we find information in another gospel that explains why Jesus chose to teach that lesson on that night in particular. During the Last Supper, Luke notes that a dispute arose among the disciples about which of them was the greatest (Lk 22:24-27), presumably, about who was to hold the highest stature when Jesus established His kingdom (see Mk 9:33-37; Matt 18:1-14; Matt 20:20-21):

A dispute also arose among them, as to which of them was to be regarded as the greatest. And he said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those in authority over them are called benefactors. But not so with you. Rather, let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves. For who is the greater, one who reclines at table or one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at the table? But I am among you as the one who serves.

The foot-washing in John is explained – in response to the subject of the dispute among the disciples that evening, Jesus gave a lesson on humility and servant leadership. John never mentions the dispute among the disciples and Luke does not mention the foot-washing but together, the full picture emerges. In this undesigned coincidence, Luke explains the foot-washing in John. Within the same passage, however, there is another undesigned coincidence – this time, in the other direction – wherein John explains information in Luke. 

In Lk 22:27, Jesus says to his disciples: “But I am among you as the one who serves”. To what, however, does this statement refer? Jesus does not do anything servant-like in Luke. John’s account of the foot-washing fills in this gap, explaining Luke. The two passages fit together “extremely tightly” – Luke explains John, and John explains Luke.[7]

1.4. Prophesy, who hit you?

In Matt 26:67-68, at the conclusion of Jesus’ trial before the Sanhedrin, people were said to have hit Jesus and asked Jesus to prophesy “who” hit him (Matt 26:67-68):

Then they spit in his face and struck him with their fists. Others slapped him and said, “Prophesy to us, Messiah. Who hit you?.

The mocking challenge is quite odd if Jesus could see who hit him but Luke’s account notes that Jesus was blindfolded (Lk 22:64):

They blindfolded him and demanded, “Prophesy Who hit you?.

This detail in Luke sheds light on the mockery in Matthew’s account.

1.5. The Jewish leaders, Jesus, and Pilate

There are three undesigned coincidences in the discussion between the Jewish leaders, Jesus, and Pilate. 

Mark, Matthew, and John note that the Jewish leadership brought Jesus to Pilate, and that Pilate proceeded to question Jesus, asking Jesus if he was “the king of the Jews”. Reading Mark, Matthew, and John’s accounts, one wonders what made Pilate think that Jesus claimed to be king of the Jews? Not a word is said in these Gospels about sedition or any other political accusation being leveled against Jesus. Luke’s account sheds light on this matter (Lk 23:1-4):

Then the whole company of them arose and brought him before Pilate. And they began to accuse him, saying, “We found this man misleading our nation and forbidding us to give tribute to Caesar, and saying that he himself is Christ, a king.” And Pilate asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?”. And he answered him, “You have said so”.

Luke attests that the Jewish leaders brought Jesus before Pilate and accused Jesus of sedition against Rome – that Jesus claimed to be Christ (i.e. the Messiah), a king. This explains why Pilate had to get involved and ask Jesus if he was the king of the Jews.  

For the second undesigned coincidence, we turn our focus to Jesus’ response to Pilate’s inquiry, as well as Pilate’s initial verdict of Jesus as not guilty, using Luke’s account (Lk 23:3-4): 

And Pilate asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?”. And he answered him, “You have said so.” Then Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowds, “I find no guilt in this man.

Given the accounts in the Synoptic Gospels, Pilate’s initial verdict of not guilty is odd, since based on the accounts, Jesus did not reject the charge, saying “You have said so” (Mk 15:2; Matt 27:11; Lk 23:3). As McGrew notes:

[Jesus’] answer is variously translated. The New American Standard Bible (NASB) translates his answer, “It is as you say,” treating it as an idiom rather like our American expression, “You said it.” The English Standard Version (ESV), quoted above [(“You have said so”)], translates his words strictly literally, allowing the expression to be taken as an ambiguous refusal to reply to the charge. Such ambiguity by itself was cheeky, at a minimum, in response to an accusation of a kind that Pilate, as the Roman governor, was bound to treat seriously. In neither case is there any explanation for Pilate’s going back to the crowds and stating that he finds Jesus innocent. Why does Pilate not even question Jesus further? Why does he seem so unfazed by Jesus’ reply? Why does he go so far as to declare Jesus free of all guilt concerning the charge?[8]

The answers to the questions McGrew raises are found in John’s account which reads (Jn 18:33-38): 

So Pilate entered his headquarters again and called Jesus and said to him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus answered, “Do you say this of your own accord, or did others say it to you about me?” Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered you over to me. What have you done?”. Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.” … [Pilate] went back outside to the Jews and told them, “I find no guilt in him…”

Jesus notes that his kingdom is not of this world and that he is not encouraging the use of physical force to achieve his aims – explaining Pilate’s conclusion that Jesus is not guilty in the eyes of Roman law. 

The third undesigned coincidence pertains once more to Jesus’ answer to Pilate, as well as the maiming of a servant of the high priest at Jesus’ arrest at Gethsemane. As just discussed, when Pilate asks Jesus if he was the king of the Jews, Jesus notes that his kingdom is not of this world, and to support his statement, Jesus refers to the fact that his disciples were not fighting during his arrest (Jn 18:36):

Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.”

Reading John, one wonders why Jesus would make this argument, given that John recounts Peter as having cut off the ear of a servant of the high priest, named Malchus (Jn 18:10), at the time of Jesus’ arrest. Based on John, why would Jesus make this argument knowing that evidence of violence (i.e. Malchus’ injury) could be produced against him? Like John, Mark and Matthew both attest that a servant of the high priest was maimed (Mk 14:47; Matt 26:51). An answer as to why Jesus makes this argument is provided in Luke, who attests that a servant of the high priest’s ear was cut off but also that this servant’s ear was healed by Jesus (Lk 22:50-51):

And one of them struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his right ear. But Jesus answered, “No more of this!” And he touched the man’s ear and healed him.

Jesus’ healing in Luke provides explanatory power to, and coheres with, Jesus’ response to Pilate in John. This undesigned coincidence, which cuts across different periscopes, also provides positive evidence for Jesus’ healing of Malchus.

1.6. Conclusion: undesigned coincidences in the Gospels

Undesigned coincidences provide another stream of evidence for the historical reliability of the Gospels – pointing to the Gospel accounts being based on eyewitness testimony or tradition based on eyewitness testimony. The casual, subtle, interlocking of details in the Gospels are not what one typically finds in ancient fiction. They are, however, a feature of historical reportage. 

A notable point is that a good number of undesigned coincidences cut across two or more periscopes (e.g. Herod on Jesus, Jesus asking Philip prior to the feeding of the five thousand, Jesus’ response to Pilate in light of Malchus being healed, etc.). These especially argue against the accounts being invented.[9] Another notable point is that the gospel of John has the largest number of undesigned coincidences – with the Synoptics explaining John, John explaining the Synoptics, or an account in John being clarified or explained by another account in his gospel.[10]  

Other than the undesigned coincidences discussed here, philosopher Lydia McGrew has documented seventeen more undesigned coincidences in the Gospels in her book Hidden in Plain View (2018). Undesigned coincidences, taken all together, form a compelling cumulative case for the reliability of the Gospels.

2. Undesigned coincidences between Acts and Paul’s letters

There are also undesigned coincidences between Acts and Paul’s letters. In this section, I will provide a number of examples of undesigned coincidences between both of these texts.

2.1. Paul’s funding in Corinth

In Acts 18:3-5, Luke notes that Paul made tents during the working week to support himself in Corinth while preaching on the Sabbath, but when Silas and Timothy came down to Corinth from Macedonia, Paul began to devote himself completely to the word:

… Paul went to see them, and because he was a tentmaker as they were, he stayed and worked with them. Every Sabbath he reasoned in the synagogue, trying to persuade Jews and Greeks.” When Silas and Timothy came from Macedonia, Paul devoted himself exclusively to preaching, testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Messiah.

This makes one wonder – why the sudden change? What was it about Silas and Timothy coming to Corinth that made Paul devote himself exclusively to preaching? The answer is found in Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians (2 Cor 11:7-9):

Was it a sin for me to lower myself in order to elevate you by preaching the gospel of God to you free of charge? And when I was with you and needed something, I was not a burden to anyone, for the brothers who came from Macedonia supplied what I needed.

When Silas and Timothy came down to Corinth from Macedonia, they brought with them a gift of money, which allowed Paul to devote himself completely to preaching the good news. 

2.2. Timothy’s religious upbringing

In second Timothy, Paul praises Timothy’s religious upbringing (II Tim 1:5; 3:14-15):

I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well … But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.

Based on these verses, one infers that Timothy grew up with a knowledge of the Jewish scriptures as a result of his family. Timothy’s grandmother and mother are noted as significant religious influences within Timothy’s family but Timothy’s father is not mentioned, leading to the inference that perhaps Timothy’s father died when Timothy was young or that he was a Gentile. The reason for the exclusion of Timothy’s father in Paul’s named list of those whose faith has been a model to Timothy is found in Acts. As Luke notes in his second volume (Acts 16:1-3)

Paul came also to Derbe and to Lystra. A disciple was there, named TImothy, the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer, but his father was a Greek. He was well spoken of by the brothers at Lystra and Iconium. Paul wanted Timothy to accompany him, and he took him and circumcised him because of the Jews who were in those places, for they all knew that his father was a Greek.

Acts attests that Timothy’s mom was a Jew who believed that Jesus was the Messiah and that Timothy’s father was a Gentile of Greek ethnicity, resulting in Timothy’s not having been circumcised in infancy.

2.3. “When Timothy comes…”

In Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, he informs the church that he had already sent Timothy to them. However, later in the same letter, Paul indicates that he expects the letter he is currently writing to reach the Corinthian church first prior to Timothy’s arrival  (1 Cor 4:17; 16:10):

That is why I sent you Timothy, my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, to remind you of my ways in Christ, as I teach them everywhere in every church … When Timothy comes, see that you put him at ease among you, for he is doing the work of the Lord, as I am.

From these verses, one infers that Timothy is taking some indirect route to Corinth. 

In the same letter, one learns that Paul wrote first Corinthians in Ephesus in Asia minor, that Paul was planning to stay in Ephesus until Pentecost, and that Paul planned a future trip to Corinth passing through Macedonia (1 Cor 16:5-9):

I will visit you after passing through Macedonia, for I intend to pass through Macedonia, and perhaps I will stay with you or even spend the winter … But I will stay in Ephesus until Pentecost, for a wide door for effective work has opened to me… 

In a wonderful connection with Paul’s letters, Acts attests that Paul was in Ephesus, that he stayed in Ephesus for some time, that he planned to pass through Macedonia on a future trip, and relevant to this undesigned coincidence, that he sent Timothy and Erastus ahead on a missionary journey, with a stop of theirs being Macedonia (Acts 19:1; 19:21-22):

… Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus … Now after these events Paul, resolved in the Spirit to pass through Macedonia and Achaia and go to Jerusalem, saying, “After I have been there, I must also see Rome”. And having sent into Macedonia two of his helpers, Timothy and Erastus, he himself stayed in Asia for a while.

Putting together the information from Paul’s letter and Acts, Timothy was headed to the Corinth through Macedonia (and Paul planned a future trip to Corinth passing through Macedonia as well). Ultimately, Acts confirms that Timothy did take an indirect route to Corinth, traveling in an “arc-shaped route” along the coast of the Aegean Sea, going from Ephesus to Macedonia, and to Corinth. Presumably, Paul expected his letter to reach the Corinthian church before Timothy, who was already traveling, because Paul’s letter would be sent to Corinth via sea. There was a direct sea route between Ephesus and Corinth.[11] Both cities, in fact, were major centers of trade. With a good wind, a letter could reach Corinth from Ephesus fairly quickly. 

2.4. The activities of Apollos

In Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, he repeatedly mentions a person named Apollos, stressing his and Apollos’ unity as followers of Jesus, and insisting that Christians should not break up into factions centered on, among others, himself and Apollos (1 Cor 1:11-13; 3:4-7):

For it has been reported to me by Chloe’s people that there is quarreling among you, my brothers. What I mean is that each one of you says, “I follow Paul,” or “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Cephas,” or “I follow Christ.” Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? … For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not being merely human? What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, and the Lord assigned to each. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.

The sentence “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth” implies that Paul worked in Corinth first then Apollos came later and worked as well. This is corroborated by Acts 18:18-19:1:

Paul stayed on in Corinth for some time. Then he left the brothers and sisters and sailed for Syria, accompanied by Priscilla and Aquila. Before he sailed, he had his hair cut off at Cenchreae because of a vow he had taken. They arrived at Ephesus, where Paul left Priscilla and Aquila …  Now a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was an eloquent man, competent in the Scriptures … And when he wished to cross to Achaia, the brothers encouraged him and wrote to the disciples to welcome him. When he arrived, he greatly helped those who through grace had believed … And it happened that while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul passed through the inland country and came to Ephesus.  

Acts states that Apollos came to Ephesus, crossed over to Greece at Achaia, and at one point, worked at Corinth, and that Apollos’ work at Corinth came after Paul’s work in the city.

2.5. What is with Barnabas and Mark?

Acts attests to Paul and Barnabas having a strong disagreement, which resulted in their group splitting up (Acts 15:36-40):

And after some days Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us return and visit the brothers in every city where we proclaimed the word of the Lord, and see how they are”. Now Barnabas wanted to take with them John called Mark. But Paul thought best not to take with them one who had withdrawn from them in Pamphylia and had not gone with them to the work. And there arose a sharp disagreement, so that they separated from each other. Barnabas took Mark with him and sailed away to Cyprus, but Paul chose Silas and departed, having been commended by the brothers to the grace of the Lord.

Before anything else, it must be noted that the account of the disagreement in Acts fits Paul’s character very well  as it emerges in his letters – a zealous and exacting person. As McGrew notes, the Paul “would be unwilling to have John Mark on another journey after he turned back from a previous one is only too plausible”.[12]

With that said, reading these verses, a possible reason for Barnabas’ advocacy of Mark as a travel companion is that Barnabas may have thought that Paul was being too harsh, and that Mark would be helpful in the upcoming journey. In fact, in Paul’s second letter to Timothy, which is dated after this period in Acts, Paul asks Timothy to bring Mark due to his usefulness in ministry (2 Tim 4:11). Although Mark’s usefulness may have been one of the reasons for Barnabas’ advocacy of Mark, it is only a part of the explanation. Another reason for Barnabas’ advocacy of Mark emerges when we turn to Paul’s letter to the Colossians:

Aristarchus my fellow prisoner greets you, and Mark the cousin of Barnabas (concerning whom you have received instructions – if he comes to you, welcome him), and Jesus who is also called Justus.

Mark is Barnabas’ cousin – explaining why Barnabas was firm in insisting that Mark join the group in the trip they were planning.

2.6. Conclusion: undesigned coincidences between Acts and Paul’s letters

Undesigned coincidences between Acts and Paul’s letters provide further evidence of Acts’ historical reliability as well as the position that Acts was authored by Luke, a traveling companion of Paul. Other than the undesigned coincidences presented in this section, Lydia McGrew documents fifteen more undesigned coincidences between Acts and Paul’s letters in her work. These undesigned coincidences, taken all together, form a potent cumulative case for the reliability of Acts.

References:

  1. Lydia McGrew. (2020, August 3). “Timothy McGrew: Undesigned Coincidences in Scripture”. [Video]. YouTube. Retrieved from:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-MHzNkQxKvU&list=PLe1tMOs8ARn08J6XcziBKENY6GDdIP7LI&index=1
  2. Wallace, Cold Case Christianity, pg. 187 
  3. Ibid, pg. 183
  4. McGrew, Hidden in Plain View, pg. 98
  5. Ibid.
  6. Ibid, pg. 45
  7. McDowell, S. (2017). UNIQUE EVIDENCE FOR THE NEW TESTAMENT: INTERVIEW WITH LYDIA MCGREW ABOUT “UNINTENDED COINCIDENCES. Retrieved from: https://seanmcdowell.org/blog/unique-evidence-for-the-new-testament-interview-with-lydia-mcgrew-about-unintended-coincidences-1
  8. McGrew, Hidden in Plain View, pg. 68
  9. McGrew, L. (2020). More on ur-source theories vs. undesigned coincidences. Retrieved from: https://lydiaswebpage.blogspot.com/2020/08/more-on-ur-source-theories-vs.html
  10. McGrew, Hidden in Plain View, pg. 30
  11. Paley, Horae Paulinae, pgs. 71-73
  12. McGrew, Hidden in Plain View, pg. 168

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