Contradictions in the Bible

FAQ: Fine. But aren't there over 100 contradictions in the Bible that have been shown to discredit the Bible's divine inerrancy?

There are numerous lists of alleged Bible contradictions. It's remarkable how many skeptics refer to these lists when they reject the Bible, but they've never truly read the underlying scripture in the Bible itself. Of course, if the Bible does contain inaccuracies, it would show that those parts of scripture could not have come from a divine source. However, it's very convenient to accuse the Bible of errors and contradictions, but it's a different matter to prove it.

At first glance, certain scripture can appear contradictory with other scripture. However, further investigation under standard rules of logic and textual interpretation (hermeneutics) reveals something different. First, reasonable skeptics should agree on the definition of a contradiction. "The Law of Non-contradiction," which is the basis of all logical reasoning, maintains that something cannot be "a" and "non-a" at the same time. For instance, it can't be day and night at the same time and at the same place. Therefore, if a biblical scripture violates this Law, it has been established as a contradiction. However, based on the same Law, two statements can differ without being in contradiction.

For example, one witness in a court case might testify that he saw two people at a crime scene, Jake and Sam, while another witness may only testify to seeing Sam. These statements are not contradictory. In fact, in a court of law, these statements could be considered complementary. This is the nature of many of the alleged contradictions in the Bible. For instance, in Matthew, we read that Jesus met two blind men. In Mark and Luke, we only read about one blind man meeting Jesus. In Matthew and Mark, we read that Jesus went to pray alone three times in the Garden of Gethsemane, whereas, in Luke, we read that Jesus went alone to pray on one occasion. Under legal rules of evidence and the Law of Non-contraction, these aren't contradictory scriptures, and yet they make all of the infamous lists.

Some Bible contradictions appear contradictory solely because of the intricacies of Bible translation. Analysis of the original languages of the Bible, Hebrew and Greek, can solve many apparent issues. It's no different than any other textual review of translated material. For instance, the Book of Acts has two accounts of Paul's conversion on the Road to Damascus. In Acts 9:7 (KJV): "…the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man." In Acts 22:9 (KJV): "…they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they heard not the voice of him that spake to me." At first glance, these accounts seem contradictory -- one says that Paul's companions heard a voice, while the other says that no voice was heard. However, the Greek text solves the matter, in that the verb 'to hear' (akouo) is genitive in Acts 9:7 and accusative in Acts 22:9. The genitive merely expresses that something is reaching the ear; whereas, the accusative describes hearing with mental understanding. The two passages are not contradictory, since Acts 22:9 doesn't deny that Paul's companions heard certain sounds; it simply says that they didn't understand the sounds that they heard.

It's utterly fascinating how many people reject God's Word by focusing on a little list of alleged Bible contradictions. Yet, when presented with the miracle of the Bible's structure, survival, integration, historical veracity, archaeological evidence, scientific insights, outside corroborating records, and hundreds of fulfilled prophecies (each of which far surpass any other "holy book"), people look the other way. When analyzed alongside other ancient historical writings, the critical double standard is obvious.

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