Critics of the Scriptures want to have it both ways.
If they find an inconsistency in Scriptures–the numbers seem not to agree, or a story is told in two different ways, that sort of thing–to them it proves the Bible is man-made, filled with errors, and not to be trusted. However, when they find no inconsistencies, this proves the church removed all the troublesome aspects of the Bible in order to claim it to be inspired of God.
Either it is or it is not.
When one is determined not to believe a thing, nothing gets in his way. He can always find a reason not to believe.
Take the matter of Bartimaeus, the blind beggar of Jericho. His account is told in three of the gospels, but he is named in only one (Mark 10:46). My favorite account is the one in Luke 18.
I call this my favorite story in the Bible.
I like to think of Bartimaeus as “the smartest man in town,” even though he is a blind beggar wearing rags, a fellow who needed a bath badly and a haircut seriously.
What makes him so smart, in my thinking, is that while sitting on the roadside outside the city gates of Jericho, he did the wisest thing any of us can do: he kept his mouth shut, kept his ears open, listened to what was going on around him, thought about what he heard, and reasoned it out. He kept hearing stories about Jesus of Nazareth. For three years now, the news of Jesus had flowed in from every direction. You and I might say that “Jesus had gone viral.” Over and over, people arriving from various communities reported what they had heard Jesus teach, what they saw Him do–healing the sick and raising the dead!–and what they heard others saying about Him. No one had not heard of Jesus of Nazareth. Even the blind beggars.
The most disturbing thing Bartimaeus had heard about Jesus was that He had been through Jericho several times before, on His travels to and from Jerusalem. And each time for some reason, Bart had missed seeing Him.
And that is how the blind beggar of Jericho came to three critical decisions about Jesus: 1) He is the Son of David, the Messiah, the Christ, the Son of God sent by the Father to save the world from sin; 2) The next time Jesus comes to Jericho, I’m going to meet Him and give Him the opportunity to change my life; and 3) Whatever I have to do to get to Him, I’m willing to do it; nothing is more important than this.
That’s why, when the beggar heard all those trampling feet going by him heading into Jericho, he spoke up. “Who is this? Who’s coming this way?”
Something big was afoot.