Question of the Week: Are there contradictions in the Bible?
Verses: 2 Timothy 3:16-17
The definition of a contradiction is when two different statements cancel each other out. Making this kind of mistake is certainly one we see humans do, but not something we’d expect from God. Therefore, is God’s word free from contradictions or based on them do we conclude it is man’s word and not God’s? The answer is that there are no contradictions in scripture. The Bible is remarkably unique as the only collection of books in history that carry the same consistent message without contradiction despite having been written over several centuries by 40 different authors all giving the same revelation of the character of God. Why then do skeptics and pagans claim they exist? The reason is because they aren’t reading the scripture objectively. Their goal in reading the scripture is to discredit it, rather than hear what it has to say. As the saying goes, if your only tool is hammer, everything will look like a nail. Examples of these kinds of false claims to contradiction would be found throughout the Old and New Testament. One chapter in Genesis claims man was created on the sixth day of creation, yet the chapter that follows it describes man’s creation after the seventh day had already passed. This would be the conclusion unless you read it like you’d expect a 14th Century historical document to be read. History as they recorded it overviewed events as a whole, then focused on specific details within those events that would be relevant to know later. Another example is the account of Noah’s flood. One chapter claims it rained for 40 days and nights after Noah and his family entered the ark. Later in the chapter it said the flood lasted 150 days. This seems like an error until you actually read what it said. The rain lasted 40 days and nights. The flood as a whole didn’t start to recede until 150 days had passed after they first entered the Ark. And finally, the claim the gospels can’t be trusted since Matthew records two demon possessed men were healed and their tormentors were sent into a herd of swine, while Luke only mentions one. This seems like a discrepancy until you give it enough credit to just be focusing on the one who did all the talking for the sake of retelling the story as a whole. The story didn’t change. Only certain details were focused on over others. There are no contradictions in scripture, only biased readers that want them to be there.
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