Luke 24:50–51—Did Jesus ascend from Bethany or from the Mountain of Olives near Jerusalem?

Problem: Luke says Jesus ascended from Bethany (Luke 24:50), but Acts 1:9–11 affirms that He ascended from the Mt. of Olives near Jerusalem.

Solution: Bethany was on the eastern slope of the Mt. of Olives, which is just east of Jerusalem. Luke, who wrote both passages (cf. Acts 1:1), saw no contradiction in referring to both places as the general location of Christ’s ascension. Jesus may have begun His ascension from the mount, passing to the east over Bethany as He disappeared from their sight.

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This excerpt is from When Critics Ask: A Popular Handbook on Bible Difficulties (Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books, 1992). © 2014 Norman Geisler and Thomas Howe. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Click here to purchase this book.