Does the Bible Contradict Itself?

Does the Bible Contradict Itself?
August 2, 2020
Passage: 2 Timothy 3:16-17
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The Bible according to Paul, 2 Timothy 3:16-17, is breathed out. It is penned by men but given by the very breathe of God. If the Bible is given by God, it will not have any mistakes. God is perfect. Thus, His Word, cannot have mistakes.

There are those, atheists, and others, who try to claim that the Bbile is filled with mistakes and contradiction. When pressed, they can't really give an answer.

They may give a verse or two, but in realtiy those are not contradictions.

The principal in municipal law is, that a person is innocent until proven guilty. Thus, the Bbile should also be found true until proven otherwise.

"Every document, aparently ancient, coming from the proper repository or custody, and bearing on it's face no evident marks of forgery, the law presumes to be genuine, and devolves on the opposing party the burden of proving it to be otherwise." - Simon Greenleaf, Havard Law School, 1846-1848

If I write my will, put it in a drawer, then died 50 years later. That will, being pulled from the drawer is considered valid, unless proved otherwise by a newer document.

On it's face it appears to be accurate, unless proven otherwise.

What is a Contradiction?

Many people don't have an accurate view of what contradiciton is. A mere difference does not a contradiction make.

"The Law of Contradiction: That the same thing should at the same time both be and not be for the same person and in the same respect is impossible."

A door cannot be open and closed at the same time. That would be a contradiction if it were.

When confronted with an alleged contradiction within the Bible, we must ask:

  • Is the same person or thing under consideration?
  • Is the same time peiod in view?
  • Is the seemingly conflicting language employed in the same sense?

John is rich. John is poor. Do these two statements contradict? Perhaps, not. Two people named John can be in two different circumstances. Two time frames could be in view. John could have been poor and became rich, or vice versa. It could be that rich and poor are different in sense. Rich in money, but rich in spirit.

  • James 2:5

It is never legitimate to assume a contradiction until every possible means of harmonization has been fully exhausted.

Let's take this principal and apply it to the Bible.

Is the Supposed Bible Contradiction the Same Person, Place or Thing?

There is a story of one who states that the Priests carried Noah's Ark.

  • 300 cu x 50 cu. (450,000 cubits 3)
  • 2.5 cu x 1.5 cu (5.63 cubits 3)
  • Noah's ark was 79,929 times bigger.

Of course the Bible is referring to two different things. Thus, it is not a contradiction at all.

The Bibles says that a sinner is saved by works but it also states a man can be saved by faith?

But, the New Testament uses the term works, in 3 different senses. There is works of good works of doing good to others, and others which are works of faith.

  • Philippians 2:12
  • James 2:24
  • Romans 3:27-28
  • Ephesians 2:8-9

We cannot boast when we have done what God has commanded us to do. The act of doing it, is an act of obedience.

The unprofitable servant simply does the thing which he is expected to do.

Is it the Same Time Reference?

Good or Not Good?

Genesis 1:31, in six days everything created was good. Yet, in Genesis 6:6, all things were wicked.

  • Genesis 6:5-6

How much time passed between Genesis 1 and Genesis 6? At least hundreds or perhaps a thousand years had passed. Thus, there is no Biblical contradiction.

At What Hour was Jesus Crucified?

Does scripture contradict the time that Jesus was crucified?

  • Mark 15:25, says it was the third hour.
  • John 19:14, mentions the sixth hour.

John's record is related based upon the Roman system of marking time, while Mark is recording the way that the Hebrews marked time.

Thus, these two accounts give the same time reference from two different systems of marking time.

Is it the Same Sense?

Terms can be used either literal or figurative. So, we must be sure we are using the correct sense when we are reading scripture.

John: Elias, or Not Elias?

Was Jesus calling John the Baptist Elias?

  • Matthew 11:14
  • John 1:21
  • Luke 1:17

Was John, literally Elias? Or was he Elias in the figurative sense? John was not literally Elijah physically incarnate. But, he was the figurative Elijah who was a prophet to make ready the people, like Elijah, sent to turn the people back to God.

Contradictory Qualities

Nothing can happen in the same time, and same place in contradiction qualities. A door cannot be open and shut at the same time.

Opposites are not Necessarily Contradictory

Can God be both loving and hating?

  • John 3:16
  • Psalms 119:104
  • Psalms 45:7
  • Romans 11:22

There is no contradiction. These are simply two attributes of God. Both are opposite, but they are still both related to one God.

Supplementation is Not Equal to Contradiction

When one writer adds something another writer omitted it does not mean that they are in contradiction.

Bible discrepancies can often be explained in this manner.

Blind Man or Men, in Jericho?

  • Matthew 20:29-30
  • Mark 10:46
  • Luke 18:35

It would seem that there were 2 men, or a single man, outside of Jericho. Also, it seems that Matthew and Mark suggest that Christ was leaving Jericho and Luke suggests it was as Christ was drawing night to Jericho.

Given that there was mention of two blind men, and the others only mention one it may simply be that one is only made mentioned of the one by name.

Given that there were two locations known as Jericho it likely they were referring to the area between the two, the old Jericho and the new Jericho.

Does the Bible Contradict Itself?

In dealing with these so-called contradictions we must carefully consider that no contradiction exists between passages referring to two different persons or things.

Opposites are not necessarily contradictions.

We often have to look at who is talking. If the Devil is speaking, he is lying. The three friends of Job, were recorded, yet they were wrong.

Different accounts of the same event by two different authors give more validation of the accuracy. That's because this is evidence that there was not collusion. God is ultimately the author of the Bible. Thus, there is no confusion in the text.

  • 1 Corinthians 14:33
  • Hebrews 6:18
  • 1 Corinthians 15:14-19

You can hear the Word of God and believe it to be true. If you believe that Jesus is the Son of God, and are willing to repent of your sins, confessing Jesus before men, you can be baptized for the remission of your sins, and then live a faithful life, and you can have the promise of eternal salvation with God in Heaven.

If we can assist you in coming to know the Word, please contact us.

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