Some argue that the Bible is contradictory concerning whether Jesus met the demon-possessed men in Gadarene or Gerasene. The argument is that Matthew 8:28 says that Jesus met the demon-possessed men in Gadarene, But Mark 5:1-2 and Luke 8:26-27 say that Jesus met the demon-possessed men in Gerasene. However, there is a reasonable explanation that solves this alleged contradiction in the Bible.
Scriptures – Did Jesus Meet the Demon-Possessed Men in Gadarene or Gerasene?
Jesus Met the Demon-Possessed Men in Gadarene
And when he came to the other side, to the country of the Gadarenes, two demon-possessed men met him, coming out of the tombs, so fierce that no one could pass that way.Matthew 8:28
Jesus Met the Demon-Possessed Men in Gerasene
1 They came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Gerasenes. 2 And when Jesus had stepped out of the boat, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit.Mark 5:1-2
26 Then they sailed to the country of the Gerasenes, which is opposite Galilee. 27 When Jesus had stepped out on land, there met him a man from the city who had demons. For a long time he had worn no clothes, and he had not lived in a house but among the tombs.Luke 8:26-27
The Answer – Did Jesus Meet the Demon-Possessed Men in Gadarene or Gerasene?
Gadarene and Garasene Refer to the Same General Region
Albert Barnes says this concerning Gadarene, Gerasene, and the passages in Matthew, Mark, and Luke:
Gadara was a city not far from the Lake Gennesareth, one of the ten cities that were called Decapolis. Gergesa [probably a variation of “Gerasa”—CC] was a city about 12 miles to the south-east of Gadara, and about 20 miles to the east of the Jordan. There is no contradiction, therefore, in the evangelists. He came into the region in which the two cities were situated, and one evangelist mentioned one, and the other another. It shows that the writers had not agreed to impose on the world; for if they had, they would have mentioned the same city; and it shows, also, they were familiar with the country. No men would have written in this manner but those who were acquainted with the facts.Barnes, Albert (1949), ”Notes on the New Testament: Matthew and Mark” (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker), 91.
Foundational Principles Regarding Bible Difficulties
There are some foundational principles that apply to all alleged and apparent contradictions in the Bible. To read more, see Bible Difficulties: Foundational Principles.
Related to “Did Jesus Meet the Demon-Possessed Men in Gadarene or Gerasene?”
To read more answers to alleged and apparent contradictions in the Bible, see “Contradictions” in the Bible Answered.
These books are also excellent resources: