Are there Contradictions in Scripture?

Many try to prove the existence of God from Creation, or from scientific or philosophical facts or ideas, but these points are only true if the Bible is true. The ultimate proof of God isn’t science or philosophy. The ultimate proof of God is the Bible. The Bible is the perfect Word of God. In order to be the Word of God it has to be accurate.

The Bible contains everything God wants us to know about Him and salvation. It is correct:

  • Historically
  • Archaeologically
  • Scientifically
  • Morally
  • Prophetically

In spite of being accurate we are bombarded everyday with skeptics that claim the Bible is factually wrong and contradicts itself. These claims come from:

–       The History Channel

–       News Channels

–       National Geographic

–       The Science Channel

–       Discover Channel

–       Schools

–       Homes

–       Churches

There are many books on Amazon written by preachers that proclaim the Bible has errors and contradicts itself. They stand next to the atheists and take their side.

In order to prove the Bible is the Word of God we have to deal with the skeptics. They say the Bible has errors and is not perfect. They say it’s not accurate historically. They say it is man’s writings and has contradictions. We have to deal with what they claim as contradictions.

68% of young adults that left the Church believe the Bible has contradictions. The #1 argument isn’t Creation vs. Evolution – it’s that the Bible is the Word of God and that it’s accurate. If the Bible is true, then Creation is true.

The Bible is the perfect Word of God. This refers to the original manuscripts and not translations that are man-made and not infallible. Translations can be biased. Words change meaning over time.

Contradictions come from bad interpretations and misunderstandings. The Bible contains teachings by people that are teaching wrong (Job’s friends in the book of Job, the blind man in John 9:31 – God heareth not sinners), but the Bible never contradicts its own teachings. The wrong teachings are pointed out as wrong.

Principles for interpretation

First set down some principles for proper interpretation:

  • Start with prayer. Ask God to lead and guide you through your Bible study and to open your understanding.
  • Keep everything in its proper context. I’ve been to seminars where the preacher used a piece of one verse and added it to a piece of another in order to build his doctrine. Both verses were taken out of context. All interpretations must be built on scripture in its proper context. Look for multiple passages that clearly state what the other passages are saying. Do not build a doctrine on one verse or passage.
  • No one scripture is of its own private interpretation (2 Peter 1:20). Our interpretation of a verse or passage should not contradict another verse or passage. The Scriptures do not have contradictions. If there is a seeming contradiction, the problem is with our understanding not the Scriptures. Allow scripture to interpret scripture.
  • Don’t look for hidden meanings. Many times we try to make a verse say something it doesn’t really say just because we think there’s a hidden meaning within the passage. Use the obvious and clear reading of a text. Don’t read between the lines, and don’t read something into it that’s not there. A verse can have many applications, but it usually has just one meaning. There are a few cases where Paul will use a verse from the Old Testament in a different way than it was intended in order to teach a point. This shows that the original passage could have more than one application, but its original meaning still stands. Looking for something hidden can be more of a distraction than a help, and it does not build strong doctrine.
  • Words can have a range of meanings. Interpret words as the author intended. This requires us to ask who the text was written to, why, and how did they interpret and act upon it.
  • Truth is revealed from the Old Testament to the New Testament. We can’t build a doctrine from our understanding of a New Testament passage and then impose that understanding into the Old Testament. The Old Testament is the foundation that the New Testament was built upon.
  • Just because someone in Scripture says something doesn’t mean it’s true. The Bible can tell us that someone said something without claiming that what they said was a Biblical teaching. One example is the book of Job. Job’s friends gave their opinions for many chapters, and then God spoke to Job and said they were wrong. This is not the Bible contradicting its own teachings. This is the Bible contradicting man’s teachings.
  • There may be some differences between translations. Use more than one translation if needed. Sometimes another translation can make a passage become clearer. If needed, go to the original languages and do word studies – following proper interpretation principles.

There are many proofs that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God. Points that support the Bible is the Word of God:

  • Internal – the fact the Bible claims to be the Word of God doesn’t alone prove that it’s true, but we would expect it to make this claim and it does (2 Tim 3:16)
  • Consistency – being internally consistent alone doesn’t prove the Bible is true, but we would expect it to be internally consistent even with 40 writers and almost 2000 years and it is
  • It changes lives – this alone doesn’t prove it’s true, but we expect it to change lives in order to be true and it does
  • Faith – having faith in the Bible alone doesn’t prove it’s true, but we would expect the Bible to build our faith and it does
  • Morally pure – being morally pure alone doesn’t prove the Bible is the Word of God, but we would expect it to be and it is
  • External – archaeology alone doesn’t prove the Bible is true, but we expect the Bible to be archaeologically accurate and it is (ex, excavation of Jericho has walls that are fallen, the five cities in Gen 14:2 were found)
  • Scientifically accurate – being scientifically accurate alone doesn’t prove the Bible is true, but we would expect it to be and it is – even to the point of telling things that were beyond ancient understanding and could not have been known any other way (Is 40:22 – the heavens spread out – discovered in the 1920’s, Job 26:10 – Earth is a sphere, Job 26:7 – Earth hangs in space)
  • Predicted prophecy – we expect the Word of God to reveal future events. The Bible is the only book that correctly predicts future events. This proves the predictions are from God
  • All these points combined prove the Bible is the Word of God

Arguments used against the Bible

  • Man wrote the Bible
  • The Bible contains contradictions
  • The Bible is not accurate (Red Sea should be Reed Sea)

Arguments come from

  • Misunderstanding what is being said
  • Taking something literally when the Bible teaches it as figurative (pluck out your eye)

Does the Bible have contradictions?

What is a contradiction? Something that is true and not true at the same time. You can’t have A and not A at the same time. You can’t have an apple and not have an apple at the same time. You can have an apple at one point in time and not have an apple at another point in time.

Sometimes two different statements can be true at the same time.

Jesus can be descended from Adam and descended from Noah at the same time.

One statement doesn’t contradict the other.

Types of supposed contradictions

Relationships

Most supposed contradictions are a matter of relationships. Example, Abraham.

Romans teaches that Abraham was justified by faith alone, not by works.

2 For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.

3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.”

(Rom 4:2-3 KJV)

James teaches that Abraham was justified by works and not by faith alone.

20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?”

(Jam 2:20-21 KJV)

“Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.” (Jam 2:24 KJV)

This is not a contradiction. It’s a difference in relationship. Romans is talking about justification before God and that our works don’t save us. James is showing that true faith includes obedience and works will follow. Two different things. Two different relationships, and two different meanings of the word.

False Dilemma

Some contradictions are presented as a dilemma.

Was the Bible written by God or men?

2 Timothy says it was written by God.

16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”

(2Ti 3:16-17 KJV)

Luke and John say it was written by man.

“It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus,” (Luk 1:3 KJV)

“This is the disciple which testifieth of these things, and wrote these things: and we know that his testimony is true.” (Joh 21:24 KJV)

This is the fallacy of False Dilemma. It’s an either/or. This is not a dilemma. Both can be true. God used man to write His Word.

“For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” (2Pe 1:21 KJV)

Other examples

Is Rueben the son of Jacob

22 And it came to pass, when Israel dwelt in that land, that Reuben went and lay with Bilhah his father’s concubine: and Israel heard it. Now the sons of Jacob were twelve:

23 The sons of Leah; Reuben, Jacob’s firstborn, and Simeon, and Levi, and Judah, and Issachar, and Zebulun:”

(Gen 35:22-23 KJV)

or Israel?

“And these are the names of the children of Israel, which came into Egypt, Jacob and his sons: Reuben, Jacob’s firstborn.” (Gen 46:8 KJV)

Both. Jacob is Israel.

Fallacy of taking the text out of context.

Genesis says that God exists.

“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” (Gen 1:1 KJV)

Psalms says there is no God.

“The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.” (Psa 14:1 KJV)

David is not saying there is no God. He is saying that a fool says there is no God. If there is no God, the Bible can’t exist.

Figures of speech

The Bible uses figures of speech as imagery.

Four corners of the earth.

“And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.” (Isa 11:12 KJV)

“And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree.” (Rev 7:1 KJV)

The Bible is not claiming the earth has corners. It’s figurative of the compass, showing the four directions.

It is not teaching the earth is flat. This is taking the Scripture out of context.

Other examples

“And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.” (Gal 2:9 KJV)

This is not literal. They are pillars in the sense that they are holding up a strong foundation.

The sun and moon standing still.

12 Then spake Joshua to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon.

13 And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day.”

(Jos 10:12-13 KJV)

This is not teaching the sun goes around the earth. This is from our perspective.

Fallacy of sweeping generalization

Things that are generally true – not universally true and not guaranteed to be true.

Proverbs are principles – the right direction to go. To get this effect, do this…

“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” (Pro 22:6 KJV)

Not a contradiction if someone departs from truth. To say it is a contradiction is committing the fallacy of sweeping generalization. To say this is always true is taking the Scripture out of context.

Contradiction of inference

These are inferred – not stated in Scripture.

Matthew says they took Jesus to Egypt when they left Bethlehem.

13 And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.

14 When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt:

15 And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.”

(Mat 2:13-15 KJV)

Luke says they took him to Jerusalem.

“And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord;” (Luk 2:22 KJV)

And then to Nazareth.

“And when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city Nazareth.” (Luk 2:39 KJV)

They infer a contradiction. The Bible doesn’t say this is the same time period. Neither of the accounts are telling every detail. They could have gone back to Bethlehem – it doesn’t say one way or the other.

X and only X fallacy

A number is only the number stated.

Matthew says two demon possessed men.

28 And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way.

29 And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time?

30 And there was a good way off from them an herd of many swine feeding.

31 So the devils besought him, saying, If thou cast us out, suffer us to go away into the herd of swine.

32 And he said unto them, Go. And when they were come out, they went into the herd of swine: and, behold, the whole herd of swine ran violently down a steep place into the sea, and perished in the waters.

33 And they that kept them fled, and went their ways into the city, and told every thing, and what was befallen to the possessed of the devils.

34 And, behold, the whole city came out to meet Jesus: and when they saw him, they besought him that he would depart out of their coasts.”

(Mat 8:28-34 KJV)

Mark and Luke only mention one.

2 And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit,

3 Who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains:

4 Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any man tame him.

5 And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones.

6 But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him,

7 And cried with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not.

8 For he said unto him, Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit.

9 And he asked him, What is thy name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion: for we are many.

10 And he besought him much that he would not send them away out of the country.

11 Now there was there nigh unto the mountains a great herd of swine feeding.

12 And all the devils besought him, saying, Send us into the swine, that we may enter into them.

13 And forthwith Jesus gave them leave. And the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea, (they were about two thousand;) and were choked in the sea.

14 And they that fed the swine fled, and told it in the city, and in the country. And they went out to see what it was that was done.

15 And they come to Jesus, and see him that was possessed with the devil, and had the legion, sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid.

16 And they that saw it told them how it befell to him that was possessed with the devil, and also concerning the swine.”

(Mar 5:2-16 KJV)

26 And they arrived at the country of the Gadarenes, which is over against Galilee.

27 And when he went forth to land, there met him out of the city a certain man, which had devils long time, and ware no clothes, neither abode in any house, but in the tombs.

28 When he saw Jesus, he cried out, and fell down before him, and with a loud voice said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God most high? I beseech thee, torment me not.

29 (For he had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For oftentimes it had caught him: and he was kept bound with chains and in fetters; and he brake the bands, and was driven of the devil into the wilderness.)

30 And Jesus asked him, saying, What is thy name? And he said, Legion: because many devils were entered into him.

31 And they besought him that he would not command them to go out into the deep.

32 And there was there an herd of many swine feeding on the mountain: and they besought him that he would suffer them to enter into them. And he suffered them.

33 Then went the devils out of the man, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the lake, and were choked.

34 When they that fed them saw what was done, they fled, and went and told it in the city and in the country.

35 Then they went out to see what was done; and came to Jesus, and found the man, out of whom the devils were departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid.

36 They also which saw it told them by what means he that was possessed of the devils was healed.

37 Then the whole multitude of the country of the Gadarenes round about besought him to depart from them; for they were taken with great fear: and he went up into the ship, and returned back again.”

(Luk 8:26-37 KJV)

Mark and Luke do not say only one – that’s a fallacy of inference and X and only X. They’re only talking about one of the two. It is common to speak only of the more prominent person even though there were more.

Factual contradictions

This is when the Bible contradicts a known established fact.

They come from

  • Misreading the text
  • Using the wrong sense of a word
  • Taking out of context
  • Translation issues
  • Inference

For example – teaching the earth is stationary.

“The LORD reigneth, he is clothed with majesty; the LORD is clothed with strength, wherewith he hath girded himself: the world also is stablished, that it cannot be moved.” (Psa 93:1 KJV)

“Say among the heathen that the LORD reigneth: the world also shall be established that it shall not be moved: he shall judge the people righteously.” (Psa 96:10 KJV)

These are taken out of context. This is symbolic, not literal. The earth will not deviate from God’s plan.

“I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.” (Psa 16:8 KJV)

David is not stationary. He will not deviate from the plan.

Another factual contradiction fallacy is – confusing external facts. Secular beliefs are believed to be true: the big bang, evolution, billions of years, naturalism, and secular order of events.

–       The Bible contradicts these because they are wrong

This is the fallacy of begging the question.  They assume the Bible is wrong and then use that to argue the Bible is wrong. This is a circular argument.

 

Questions and points

  1. Is Genesis allegorical? No. Jesus taught Genesis was literal (Mark 10:6, 13:19, Luke 11:50-51, John 5:45-47)
  2. Did man write the Bible? God used man to write the Bible. God told man what to write. He let each writer use his own writing style. (2Pe 1:21)
  3. Why are there different spellings from one Bible to another? This is a matter of revision (as language changes). Older translations didn’t have standard spellings. For example, Tyndale spelled the same word three different ways in the same verse. As translations were revised many of the spellings changed. This happens with all translations. The KJV is only one example. The KJV was revised in 1761 by Cambridge, again in 1769 (the most popular edition) and again in America in 1873 (commonised spellings of proper names between both OT and NT).
  4. Some passages give credit to one prophet when it should have been another. The old Hebrew style was to combine two points and give credit the most popular prophet between the two.
  5. Which creation account do you believe chapter 1 or chapter 2? Both. Chapter 1 is the original creation. Chapter 2 is where God creates one of everything in front of Adam so he could be a witness to creation and so he could name them. They are two different things.
  6. The Bible is false because it contains miracles. This is a philosophical argument based of the skeptic’s worldview is that miracles are not possible, but they haven’t proved that miracles are not possible – they’ve only claimed it. They have the burden of proof. They have circular reasoning – miracles are not true because they don’t believe miracles are true. Their idea of evolution is a miracle, so they contradict their own beliefs.

Supposed Contradictions

NT

Quoting prophets

Jesus gave reference to Jeremiah.

9 Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him that was valued, whom they of the children of Israel did value;

10 And gave them for the potter’s field, as the Lord appointed me.”

(Mat 27:9-10 KJV)

Matthew 27:9 was spoken by Zechariah, not Jeremiah.

“And I said unto them, If ye think good, give me my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver.” (Zec 11:12 KJV)

Jeremiah spoke in verse 10.

6 And Jeremiah said, The word of the LORD came unto me, saying,

7 Behold, Hanameel the son of Shallum thine uncle shall come unto thee, saying, Buy thee my field that is in Anathoth: for the right of redemption is thine to buy it.

8 So Hanameel mine uncle’s son came to me in the court of the prison according to the word of the LORD, and said unto me, Buy my field, I pray thee, that is in Anathoth, which is in the country of Benjamin: for the right of inheritance is thine, and the redemption is thine; buy it for thyself. Then I knew that this was the word of the LORD.

9 And I bought the field of Hanameel my uncle’s son, that was in Anathoth, and weighed him the money, even seventeen shekels of silver.”

(Jer 32:6-9 KJV)

It was common to reference more than one writer and only name the most prominent of the group. Another example is 1 and 2 Samuel. Samuel dies in book 1. They’re named after Samuel because he’s the prominent prophet.

Here’s another example from Mark.

2 As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.

3 The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.”

(Mar 1:2-3 KJV)

Many manuscripts say Isaiah instead of ‘the prophets’.

“as it is written in Isaiah the prophet:” (Mar 1:2 NIV)

This is a combined quote from Isaiah and Malachi

“Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.” (Mal 3:1 KJV)

“The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.” (Isa 40:3 KJV).

Isaiah was the more prominent prophet.

Do all have Faith?

Romans says that all have faith.

“For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.” (Rom 12:3 KJV)

Thessalonians says not all have faith.

“And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith.” (2Th 3:2 KJV)

Romans is talking about faith for salvation when God calls you. Thessalonians is talking about men that are sinners and not practicing faith. This is two different types of faith.

The woman that sought Jesus

Matthew says she was Canaan.

“And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil.” (Mat 15:22 KJV)

Mark says she was Greek.

“The woman was a Greek, a Syrophenician by nation; and she besought him that he would cast forth the devil out of her daughter.” (Mar 7:26 KJV)

This is a false dilemma. Both are true. The Syrophenicians are descendants of the Canaanites. She could have been Syrophenician (of Canaan) by race and Greek by marriage, religion, etc.

Blind men sought Jesus

Matthew says two blind men sought Jesus.

“And, behold, two blind men sitting by the way side, when they heard that Jesus passed by, cried out, saying, Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou Son of David.” (Mat 20:30 KJV)

Luke says one blind man sought Jesus.

“And it came to pass, that as he was come nigh unto Jericho, a certain blind man sat by the way side begging:” (Luk 18:35 KJV)

This is another X and only X. Just because Luke only talks about a certain man doesn’t mean he was alone. Luke us just referring to a specific one of the two.

When was Jesus crucified?

Mark says the third hour.

“And it was the third hour, and they crucified him.” (Mar 15:25 KJV)

John says the sixth hour.

14 And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King!

15 But they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar.”

(Joh 19:14-15 KJV)

Mark is using Hebrew time – 9:00 am. John is using Roman time (the 4th Roman watch) – 6:00 am.

“Then led they Jesus from Caiaphas unto the hall of judgment: and it was early; and they themselves went not into the judgment hall, lest they should be defiled; but that they might eat the passover.” (Joh 18:28 KJV)

Early refers to the 4th watch in the morning (3-6am).

John is giving the time he was judged by Pilate – 6am.

How many thieves reviled Jesus?

Matthew and Mark say both did.

“The thieves also, which were crucified with him, cast the same in his teeth.” (Mat 27:44 KJV)

“Let Christ the King of Israel descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe. And they that were crucified with him reviled him.” (Mar 15:32 KJV)

Luke says one did.

39 And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us.

40 But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation?”

(Luk 23:39-40 KJV)

Luke never says the one that rebuked the other did not revile Jesus. This is not either/or. They both reviled Jesus and then one rebuked the other.

Where did Jesus ascend?

Luke says Bethany.

50 And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them.

51 And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven.”

(Luk 24:50-51 KJV)

Acts says Mount Olive.

“And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.” (Act 1:9 KJV)

“Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a sabbath day’s journey.” (Act 1:12 KJV)

Bethany is on the eastern slope of Mt Olivet. It’s the same place.

OT

Did Michal have children?

2 Samuel 6:23 says none.

“Therefore Michal the daughter of Saul had no child unto the day of her death.” (2Sa 6:23 KJV)

2 Samuel 21:8 says 5.

“But the king took the two sons of Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, whom she bare unto Saul, Armoni and Mephibosheth; and the five sons of Michal the daughter of Saul, whom she brought up for Adriel the son of Barzillai the Meholathite:” (2Sa 21:8 KJV)

“Whom she brought up” shows she was their step-mother, not natural mother.

Fighting men of Israel

Was it Israel 800,000 and Judah 500,000?

“And Joab gave up the sum of the number of the people unto the king: and there were in Israel eight hundred thousand valiant men that drew the sword; and the men of Judah were five hundred thousand men.” (2Sa 24:9 KJV)

Or was it Israel 1,100,000 and Judah 470,000?

“And Joab gave the sum of the number of the people unto David. And all they of Israel were a thousand thousand and an hundred thousand men that drew sword: and Judah was four hundred threescore and ten thousand men that drew sword.” (1Ch 21:5 KJV)

1 Chronicles is ‘all the people, all Israel’. 1 Chronicles counts all of the army and 2 Samuel only counts the army at that location.

How much was the threshing floor?

Was it 50 sheckels of silver?

“And the king said unto Araunah, Nay; but I will surely buy it of thee at a price: neither will I offer burnt offerings unto the LORD my God of that which doth cost me nothing. So David bought the threshingfloor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver.” (2Sa 24:24 KJV)

Or 600 sheckels of gold?

24 And king David said to Ornan, Nay; but I will verily buy it for the full price: for I will not take that which is thine for the LORD, nor offer burnt offerings without cost.

25 So David gave to Ornan for the place six hundred shekels of gold by weight.”

(1Ch 21:24-25 KJV)

1 Chronicles talks about the price for the site. 2 Samuel gives the price for just the oxen.

How to handle the skeptics.

Be familiar with the interpretation principles and types of fallacies. Point them out when they are committed.

Go on the offensive

If we let the skeptic ask a question and we answer, this will happen over and over. We will always be defending and never attacking. Attack their worldview.

Instead of

  • Skeptic: attack
  • Christian: answer
  • Skeptic: attack
  • Christian: answer
  • etc

Do this

  • Skeptic: attack
  • Christian: answer, attack skeptic’s philosophy, showing errors and weaknesses
  • Skeptic: defends, answering Christian’s attack
  • Christian: attack
  • etc

Every time the skeptic attacks, turn it around on them. Show them the fallacies of their argument and beliefs.

Points to make

They argue from the law of non-contradiction (“There cannot be contradictions if it’s true”), but God is the only truth.

” In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” (Col 2:3 KJV)

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” (Pro 1:7 KJV)

God upholds the universe by His power.

“Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;” (Heb 1:3 KJV)

The law of non-contradiction only works if God is true and the Bible is true. It is a Biblical principle. If God is not true and the Bible is not true, laws are not true and contradictions can exist. Their argument proves the Bible is true because only God and the Bible are truth.

Conclusion

There are no contradictions in Scripture. There are:

–       misunderstandings of the text

–       different relationships

–       taken out of context

–       sometimes more than one option

–       there is always an explanation even if we don’t understand it

The Bible has withstood the test of time and has proven to be accurate:

  • Historically
  • Archaeologically
  • Scientifically
  • Morally
  • Prophetically

The Bible is the ultimate proof of God.

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*