Though the main purpose of the Bible is to reveal the plan of
salvation to mankind, under closer scrutiny there certainly appears
to be some problems within the text. In this section we will
examine these alleged Bible contradictions and difficulties.
The outline we will be following for this discussion is as follows:
2) Translation Errors
3) Scribal Errors
4) Theological Conflicts
5) Literary Techniques
6) Contradictions Regarding Jesus
7) Messianic Genealogy Conflicts
As we have seen throughout this discussion, most contradictions are resolved upon examination of the original Hebrew and Greek texts.
Others need only to be read within their context. Scribal errors can be compared against earlier texts to reveal the contradiction is indeed just
that- a scribal error. So the next time you are faced with verses that seemingly contradict each other, do some research and you will see that
the majority of conflicts can be resolved by simple and obvious methods.
Most Bible contradictions may be dismissed as translation errors as we will prove throughout this article with the assistance of lexicons. Other
difficulties are resolved once we explore the context of the conflicting passages, examine older manuscripts which verify some contradictions
as simple scribal errors, and apply logic to solve philosophical dilemmas.
One thing I find in common with those who distribute Bible contradictions is their use of the 1611 King James Bible. However, this is a 400
year old English translation- not an original Biblical language. Linguistic scholars have learned a lot in regards to how the Bible should more
accurately translate into English. Although the KJV sufficiently gets the point of salvation across to the reader (the fundamental purpose of th
Bible), I strongly suggest using a more modern and accurate translation and the use of lexicons when examining the Bible in depth. We will
now answer some common criticisms of those who have answered Bible contradictions in the past.
TRANSLATION ERRORS Many Biblical critics do not reference the original Hebrew and Greek texts when searching for errors. In my opinion,
this is poor, irresponsible scholarship. Such critics fail to realize translation difficulties are not exclusive to the Bible. Any text translated into
another language will contain errors due to the use idioms, archaic terminology, and puns that do not translate properly into other languages.
In order to finally resolve such errors, links will be provided to the original Hebrew/Greek throughout this article. Using this method, we will
find most alleged contradictions do not even exist.
SCRIBAL ERRORS Few critics are satisfied when a contradiction is explained as being a scribal error. However, the Bible was obviously written
long before electronic methods of reproduction. Scribes had no choice but to hand write new copies, thus allowing room for human error.
Furthermore, though a newer manuscript may reveal conflicts, older manuscripts reveal the original correct text and answer the apparent
Skeptic Interjection: If the Bible truly is the Word of God, why doesn't He protect it from human error?
Answer: As with any gift God has given to humans, we have found a way to misuse it. But this does not mean God will stop giving to His
children! God created this earth but we waste its natural resources and pollute its atmosphere. God sent prophets to the people and many
were stoned. God sent His Son to earth and we crucified Him! Likewise, God gave us His Scriptures knowing we would distort them from their
original integrity (either accidentally through scribal errors or intentionally by those who use His Word to further their own agendas). Consider
this analogy: I am the mother of a two-year old. When I buy my child a new toy, I know eventually it will be covered in crayon or broken- yet
I still give my child gifts knowing they will not remain in pristine condition for long! Likewise, God gives us His message knowing our own
fallibility will somehow distort it.
CONTEXT Many contradictions are explained once we examine the context of the conflicting passages. This is another explanation I have seen
skeptics criticize. But context is extremely important when dealing with any text. When one passage is isolated it becomes vulnerable to
manipulation. Isolated verses may seem contradictory but become clear once the context is taken into consideration. Years ago I remember
watching a television special where a comedian was poking fun at awful movies that receive raving reviews. To emphasize the importance of
context, his routine went something like this (this quote might offend some readers but it is simply that- a quote from his act):
"Have you ever seen an awful movie that received a great review like, '...the best movie ever!' It makes me wonder what the rest of the
comment was but I have a good idea: 'I thought this movie downright sucked but my blind, deaf, and retarded neighbor thought it was the
best movie ever!'"
LITERALISM VS. METAPHORIC Some contradictions we will examine have erroneously been assigned literal interpretations. When apologists
explain such verses are actually poetic in context, their answer is not generally accepted. However, critics fail to realize the Hebrew Tanakh
(roughly the Christian Old Testament) is organized into three divisions: The Law, The Prophets, and The Writings. Books such as Job, Psalms,
Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes are composed using poetic styles. Even Biblical books not classified as The Writings may still contain literary styles
just like The Writings may also contain prophecies. Don't automatically assume a literal interpretation by default but instead use common
sense and spiritual discernment.
DUALISM In some instances, two seemingly conflicting passages may both be correct. For instance, God is a God of mercy but He is also a
God of judgment. In a later section, we will explain how such terms are not mutually exclusive.
HYPOCRITICAL BIAS I've heard it said Christians would dismiss any other text for containing the same errors found within the Bible. Though
this may be true to a point, (hopefully) they would take a less superficial approach. One needs to take an impartial view when examining the
facts. Many times a skeptic will point out a verse to me as the ultimate proof that the Bible is a fraud. Unfortunately, they don't read the next
two verses that clearly explain their problem.
DEFENSIVENESS Some apologists have been accused of answering Bible contradictions because they feel threatened. Though this is not true
for everyone, I will expose my own humanity and admit that when I was a "baby" Christian I was rather nervous when confronted with
difficulties such as Bible contradictions and pagan copy-cat allegations. I had to seriously consider the possibility my own beliefs were in error!
I certainly didn't want to be deceived so I did what any responsible investigator would do- I researched the claims for myself. Hopefully the
following information in this article will answer some nagging doubts for other believers.
DOES GOD TEMPT MAN?
(KJV) Contradiction 1: And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham... Genesis 22:1
(KJV) Contradiction 2: Let no man say when he is tempted, "I am tempted of God" for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth
he any man. James 1:13
(NIV) Accurate: Some time later God tested Abraham... Genesis 22:1
The Hebrew lexicon primarily defines the word nacah used in Genesis as to test, try, or prove in the sense of putting someone to the test- not
in the sense of tempting to do evil. On the other hand, the Greek lexicon specifically states the definition of the word in Galatians (apeirastos)
as cannot be tempted by evil or not liable to the temptation of sin. The Hebrew word implies to test while the Greek implies what we
understand to literally mean tempt. The KJV uses the antiquated translation as tempt though this is not technically correct. This issue has been
debated to death so in order for our point to really hit home, let's use a few examples from the Old Testament which use the term nacah as a
reference to test/try:
- Daniel 1:12,14 Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables and water...
- Ecclesiastes 7:23 All this I tested by wisdom and I said...
- I Kings 10:1 When the queen of Sheba heard about the fame of Solomon and his relation to the name of the Lord, she came to test him
with hard questions.
- Judges 6:39 Then Gideon said to God... "Allow me one more test with the fleece."
If we replace the word test with the word tempt in the above passages, the verses would make no sense whatsoever. Did the Queen of Sheba
tempt Solomon's wisdom with difficult questions? Did Daniel ask the chief official to tempt the effects of his requested diet on his body? Was
Gideon wanting to make a tempt with the fleece? When we examine other verses which use the word nacah, we can reach a logical conclusion
regarding the correct definition in Genesis.
WAS JESUS' FIRST SERMON ON A PLAIN OR ON A MOUNT?
(KJV) Contradiction 1: And seeing the multitudes, He went up into a mountain... Matthew 5:1
(KJV) Contradiction 2: And He came down with them, and stood in the plain... Luke 6:17
(NIV) He went down with them and stood on a level place... Luke 6:17
As the NIV more accurately explains, the Greek word used in Luke is pedinos which simply refers to a level or flat place. All this fuss basically
comes down to Jesus finding a flat surface on which to gain His footing! Skeptics are assuming inclined areas contain no level places but this
obviously is not so. A plateau, for instance, is a flat area that may be found on higher ground.
DID THOSE AT SAUL'S/PAUL'S CONVERSION HEAR A VOICE?
(NIV) Contradiction 1: The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless. They heard the sound but did not see anyone. Acts 9:7
(NIV) Contradiction 2: My companions saw the light, but they did not understand the voice of him who was speaking to me. Acts 22:9
I must be missing something because I personally see no contradiction in the above verses. Both verses state the men heard a voice but
verse 22 expands on the incident by explaining the men did not understand what was said. I'm assuming the problem comes from those
referencing the KJV which states "they did not hear the voice." But once we examine the original Greek, we see Luke uses the word akouo
which can also mean to understand, comprehend, or perceive (as the NIV explains).
CAN HUMANS ASCEND TO HEAVEN?
(NIV) Contradiction 1: As they were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and
separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind. II Kings 2:11
(NIV) Contradiction 2: No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man. John 3:13
The Hebrew word used in Kings is shamayim which can either refer to the skies (primary) or the actual abode of God (secondary). In Hebrew
tradition, the meaning in this case is the skies. On the other hand, John uses the Greek word ouranos which can also refer to either the skies
or the actual abode of God. In this sense, tradition states no man can physically ascend into Heaven. The dualism of the definitions offers us a
reasonable answer free of any contradiction.
CAN GOD BE SEEN?
(NIV) Contradiction 1: The Lord spake to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend. Exodus 33:11
(NIV) Contradiction 2: No one has ever seen God... John 1:18
In the first verse, the Hebrew idiom for face to face translates into English as without a mediator. This verse does not imply Moses physically
seeing the face of God but that he was able to communicate with God as a man speaks to his friend (as a true friend would not require a go-
between for communication). This explanation is given once we read the context:
Then Moses said, "Now show me your glory." And the Lord said, "I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you... "But," he said, "you
cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live." Then the Lord said, "There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock. When
my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. Then I will remove my hand and
you will see my back. But my face must not be seen." Exodus 33:18-23
God can appear to us as a physical manifestation but He does not appear to us in full glory. The original Hebrew texts mostly differentiate
between the type of presence God takes with either the use of the word Elohim (God's glory) or Jehovah (God's literal name). Elohim is usually
used in spiritual encounters while Jehovah is usually used in physical encounters, thus eliminating any contradiction.
However, we seem to find ourselves in a bit of a predicament with the verse in Genesis 32:30: So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, 'It is
because I saw God [Elohim] face to face, and yet my life was spared.' Again we see the Hebrew idiom face to face referring to without a
mediator. I also see the words "yet my life was spared" as a possible reference to his struggle with God in Genesis 32:22-30 (and not
necessarily a reference to him seeing "God's glory"). Lastly, the context shows Jacob struggling with a manifestation of God and not God's
glory (Then Jacob was left alone, and a man (iysh) wrestled with him until daybreak).
WHO BOUGHT THE POTTER'S FIELD?
(NIV) Contradiction 1: With the reward he got for his wickedness, Judas bought a field... Acts 1:18
(NIV) Contradiction 2: The chief priests picked up the coins and said, "It is against the law to put this into the treasury, since it is blood
money." So they decided to use the money to buy the potter's field as a burial place for foreigners. Matthew 27:6-7
Once we examine the original Greek, we see Matthew and Luke differentiate between terms of ownership. Matthew uses the word ajgoravzw
(legal ownership) while Luke uses ktaomai (physical possession). In other words, Judas purchased the field in his name and was therefore the
legal owner, but after his death, the priests obtained the field for communal use yet did not possess the legal rights to it. In layman's terms,
The original Greek states Judas purchased the field but the priest acquired the field after his death.
WHO WAS THE MOTHER OF ABIJAH?
(KJV) Contradiction 1: [Abijah's] mother's name also was Michaia... II Chronicles 13:1-2
(KJV) Contradiction 2: ...Maachah the daughter of Absalom; which bare him Abijah... II Chronicles 11:20
(NIV) Accurate: [Abijah's] mother's name was Maacah, a daughter of Uriel of Gibeah. II Chronicles 13:1-2
(NIV) Accurate: Then he married Maacah daughter of Absalom, who bore him Abijah. II Chronicles 11:20
Though the spelling differs in some versions, the KJV lexicon states both names refer to the same woman (See here [note 6] and here [note
2]) Both are described as the wife of King Rehoboam and the mother of Abijah. Though Maacah is her literal name, Michaiah (meaning
depression) was a pun the author of Chronicles uses in chapter 13 (with the humorous twist being lost in translation). On the other hand,
various texts reveal the name as Maacah in both verses.
Skeptic Interjection: How is this the same woman when one verse says she is Uriel's daughter while the other says she is Absalom's?
Answer: This conflict has two possible solutions: Some believe Absalom was Maacah's father while Uriel was her mother. Although Uriel's
gender is not specified, most of my sources reveal Uriel was a man. This leads us to the second and more likely possibility. The Hebrew word
used in both verses is bath which is an ambiguous term meaning daughter, granddaughter, daughter-in-law, etc. Basically, any female
descendant- both immediate and long term. If Uriel was indeed a man, he was most likely her immediate father while Absalom was one of her
ancestors, with his name being mentioned to reference her royal heritage. This explanation is reinforced by the fact Maacah's name is not
found in the list of Absalom's children mentioned in II Samuel 14:27 where we are told his daughter was Tamar (not Maacah).
HOW MANY CHILDREN DID MICHAL (THE DAUGHTER OF SAUL) HAVE?
(KJV) Contradiction 1: Therefore Michal the daughter of Saul had no children. II Samuel 6:23
(KJV) Contradiction 1: ...And the five sons of Michal the daughter of Saul... II Samuel 21:8
(NIV) Accurate: ...Together with the five sons of Saul's daughter Merab... II Samuel 21:8
I Samuel 14:49 reveals Saul had two daughters (Michal and Merab): The name of his older daughter was Merab, and that of the younger was
Michal. Some pre-Masoretic texts reveal Merab as the possible accurate daughter mentioned in chapter 21.
Skeptic Interjection: But don't most Hebrew texts state the name as Michal?
Answer: Most Hebrew texts as well as some copies of the Septuagint use the name Michal. This causes some skeptics to believe later scribes
purposely changed the name to Merab in order to fix the contradictions. But the name Merab is also used in some older manuscripts including
two Hebrew texts, some copies of the Septuagint, and the Syriac version.
RABBITS DO NOT CHEW CUD
(KJV) Contradiction: And the hare, because he cheweth the cud... Leviticus 11:6
The error in this translation is the use of the word cud from the Hebrew word gerah which basically means partially digested material. Rabbits
do alah (move) their gerah (undigested food) with the fact they eat their own feces in order to reabsorb the nutrients of the undigested
material. This process, known as refection (See: note 2a), differs from our modern definition of the process of rumination (See: note 2). In
this case, the translators of the KJV used the word they felt best suited this process although it technically is not what we know today as
Skeptic Interjection: Rabbits do not chew their pellets- they swallow them whole.
Answer: The actual infinitive literally meaning to chew the cud is gerar (See: note 2) and is only used in Leviticus 11:7 as a reference to cud
chewing. Gerar is not the term used when referring to the refection process of rabbits/hares in Leviticus 11:6. The word used in this case is
alah which does not remotely mean chew (though the translators of the KJV thought it did!). Alah encompasses many definitions referring to
movement of some sort (to ascend, to depart, to withdraw, etc.) but never as a reference to chewing. Critics view the English translations
which state chew the cud in both verses and think Ah ha! But they ignore the original Hebrew which differentiates between the two
processes. I cannot be anymore clear than this. Skeptics are trying to correctly merge 17th century A.D. English definitions with 15th century
B.C. Hebrew terminology but common sense tells us there are many errors in this line of thinking.
BATS ARE NOT BIRDS
(KJV) Contradiction: And these are they which ye shall have in abomination among the fowls...and the stork, the heron after her kind, and
the lapwing, and the bat. Leviticus 11:13,19
The error in this translation is the use of the word fowls from the Hebrew word owph which literally refers to any flying creature. The original
Hebrew text is explaining what flying creatures were acceptable for consumption and which ones were not. Because the bat is technically a
flying creature, it was accurately included in this list.
Skeptic Interjection: Why didn't the Bible just classify the bat with other mammals?
Answer: At the time, the bat fit best under the classification of winged creatures. The extensive scientific classifications we have today did not
exist 3500 years ago. The Bible listing the bat with other winged creatures was literally and technically correct. Just because modern definitions
have changed does not make the 3500 year old classification of winged creatures incorrect.
WHO SHOULD BEAR A MAN'S BURDEN?
(NIV) Contradiction 1: Carry each other's burdens... Galatians 6:2
(NIV) Contradiction 2: For each one should carry his own load. Galatians 6:5
These two verses are basically telling us to lend each other a helping hand but not to take advantage of those who are willing to help. Upon
examination of the original Greek, we can see two different words are used. Galatians 6:2 uses baros which implies troubles/burdens we are to
share with one another while Galatians 6:5 uses phortion which literally translates as the burdens of the conscience for which we are
Though the Hebrew scribes took tremendous care when copying the Scriptures, some mistakes should be expected due to human error. Many
languages of antiquity did not contain vowels, spacing, paragraphs, or even punctuation. Whereas today we would write I love you very much
this would be written in antiquity as LVYVRYMCH. Naturally this became the cause of much confusion once vowels and punctuation were later
added into the texts as the written language progressed. It was at the scribe's discretion to best determine each word and number. If a word
was spelled BN, the scribes had to determine if this word was bone, ban, bane, etc. Though the scribes could usually find their answer using
tradition or context, this still left room for occasional human error. If we pretend for a moment that 4 is a consonant and 0 is a vowel, should a
certain number be considered 4 thousand, 40 thousand, or 400 thousand? This was one of the difficulties scribes had to consider.
Throughout this section we will see that many of the older manuscripts do not even contain the errors of newer texts (this gives us reason to
believe some contradictions may logically be explained as transcription errors). Other discrepancies are shown as they appear in the Masoretic
text to demonstrate just how easy it was to commit a scribal error.
YEARS OF FAMINE
(KJV) Contradiction 1: Choose thee either three years' famine... I Chronicles 21:11
(KJV) Contradiction 2: Shall seven years of famine come unto thee... II Samuel 24:13
(NIV) Accurate: Take your choice: three years of famine... I Chronicles 21:11
(NIV) Accurate: Shall there come upon you three years of famine... II Samuel 24:13
Though the Masoretic text shows conflicting amounts between three and seven years, the Greek Septuagint reveals the possible accurate
length of three years in both verses.
HOW OLD WAS JEHOIACHIN WHEN HE BEGAN TO REIGN?
(KJV) Contradiction 1: Jehoiachin was eight years old when he began to reign... II Chronicles 36:9
(KJV) Contradiction 2: Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he began to reign... II Kings 24:8
(NIV) Accurate: Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he became king... II Chronicles 36:9
Pre-Masoretic manuscripts record the presumably correct age as being 18 in both verses.
THE AMOUNT OF KING SOLOMON'S HORSES & STALLS
(KJV) Contradiction 1: Solomon had forty thousand stalls of horses for his chariots... I Kings 4:26
(KJV) Contradiction 2: Solomon had four thousand stalls for horses and chariots... II Chronicles 9:25
(NIV) Correct: Solomon had four thousand stalls for chariot horses... I Kings 4:26
(NIV) Correct: Solomon had four thousand stalls for horses and chariots... II Chronicles 9:25
The Septuagint states the possible correct amount as being 4,000 in both verses.
To demonstrate how easily a scribal error could be committed, I listed the text below as it appears in the Masoretic Text and highlighted the
discrepancies in red font. If anyone notices any errors in my Hebrew, please let me know! :-)
KING BAASHA BATTLED ASA IN THE 36TH YEAR OF HIS REIGN BUT DIED DURING THE 26TH YEAR
(KJV) Contradiction 1: So Baasha slept with his fathers...in the twenty sixth year of Asa... I Kings 16:6,8
(KJV) Contradiction 2: In the six and thirtieth year of the reign of Asa... II Chronicles 16:1
Now that we understand the basic principles behind scribal errors, here are a few other contradictions that may be resolved through the same
THE AMOUNT OF GOLD TALENTS SOLOMON RECEIVED
(KJV) Contradiction 1: [They] fetched from thence gold, four hundred and twenty talents, and brought it to king Solomon... I Kings 9:28
(KJV) Contradiction 2: [They] took thence four hundred and fifty talents of gold, and brought them to king Solomon... II Chronicles 8:18
THE AGE OF KING AHAZI'AH WHEN HE BEGAN HIS REIGN
(KJV) Contradiction 1: Two and twenty years old was Ahazi'ah when he began to reign... II Kings 8:26
(KJV) Contradiction 2: Forty and two years old was Ahazi'ah when he began to reign... II Chronicles 22:2
THE AMOUNT OF SUPERVISORS FOR SOLOMON'S TEMPLE PROJECT
(KJV) Contradiction 1: Solomon's officers were... three thousand and three hundred... I Kings 5:16
(KJV) Contradiction 2: Solomon told...three thousand and six hundred to oversee them... II Chronicles 2:2
THE AMOUNT OF ARAMEAN CHARIOTEERS KILLED BY DAVID
(KJV) Contradiction 1: David slew the men of seven hundred chariots... II Samuel 10:18
(KJV) Contradiction 2: David slew of the Syrians seven thousand men in chariots. I Chronicles 19:18
IS GOD MERCIFUL?
(NIV) Contradiction 1: The Lord is good to all. He has compassion on all he has made. Psalms 145:9
(NIV) Contradiction 2: I will not pity, nor spare, nor have mercy, but destroy them. Jeremiah 13:14
Critics often ask how God can be both a God of mercy and judgment. Though God is absolutely merciful when we are willing to accept His
mercy, He is also a just God who promises consequences for sin. Throughout the Bible we see the wicked being warned before judgment
occurs. Only after they refused to come to repentance did God send judgment.
Modern Analogy: Imagine one of your loved ones being brutally murdered. The perpetrator is arrested and found guilty by a jury. Now
imagine the criminal in a hands of a judge who releases him without issuing any sentence. Would this be considered just? Would this even be
considered mercy? Not in the opinion of the victim's family or anyone with half a brain! In short, mercy and judgment are not necessarily
IS GOD A GOD OF WAR OR PEACE?
(NIV) Contradiction 1: The Lord is a warrior. The Lord is his name. Exodus 15:3
(NIV) Contradiction 2: The God of peace be with you all. Amen. Romans 15:33
Again, God is both. God can be moved to righteous anger just like we as people can be moved to righteous anger. God desires peace but if
He is truly a just and holy God, He would not tolerate wickedness.
Modern Analogy: Imagine a peaceful Utopian society being invaded by a hostile enemy. Should this society sit back while its people are
mercilessly slaughtered or should they stand up and confront the threat? Would they be considered warmongers for defending themselves and
not tolerating evil?
DOES GOD CHANGE HIS MIND?
(NIV) Contradiction 1: He who is the Glory of Israel does not lie or change his mind. I Samuel 15:29
(NIV) Contradiction 2: When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he had compassion and did not bring upon
them the destruction he had threatened. Jonah 3:10
Throughout the Bible we can see God threatening judgment until the people repented. In other words, the people were given an "either/or"
option: Either they continue in their sin and come under judgment, or they come to repentance and are spared.
Modern Analogy: A parent who is concerned with their child's poor grades at school warns the child they will be punished if they bring home
another failing report card. The child studies every night and eventually brings home a report card showing all A's. The parent is so proud that
they go out for pizza. Does this mean the parent lied or changed their mind? Not at all- the child was given a warning which would be followed
by consequences. If anything, such passages reveal God's mercy.
SHOULD WE JUDGE OTHERS?
(NIV) Contradiction 1: The spiritual man makes judgments about all things... I Corinthians 2:15
(NIV) Contradiction 2: Do not judge, or you too will be judged. Matthew 7:1
I'm not exactly sure why these two verses are presented as contradictions. It is not a matter of one verse telling us to judge while another
verse is telling us not to. When we read the context of Corinthians, we see the concept of "judging others" isn't even the focus of discussion-
the chapter is referring to wisdom (good "judgment")! It would be like a parent telling their child, "Use good judgment today!" On the other
hand, the verse in Matthew is telling us to check our motives when we correct others and to work out our own faults before we judge others.
SHOULD WE PERFORM GOOD WORKS IN FRONT OF OTHERS?
(NIV) Contradiction 1: But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving
may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. Matthew 6:3-4
(NIV) Contradiction 2: In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in
heaven. Matthew 5:16
The focus of these two verses is not the performance of good works but the intent behind our actions. Matthew 6 tells us when you give to the
needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do... to be honored by men. Jesus is pointing out the hypocrisy of those who
do good deeds solely for the purpose of being esteemed in the eyes of the public. On the other hand, Matthew 5 has Jesus comparing
Christians to city lights used for illumination. He is telling us not to hide our Christian convictions from others. The comparison to lights is
symbolic once we realize their function and purpose: A light meekly shines and performs its function regardless of whether or not others
notice. Likewise, Jesus is telling Christians to set a example and not to seek praise.
Modern Analogy: A person is riding in a car with friends when they see a beggar on the street corner. Should the Christian decide not to help
the man because others are around or could they hand the man a few dollars and explain (humbly) to their friends (if asked) that they did this
because the Bible tells them to assist the poor? The moral of the story is God doesn't only consider our actions but our intent.
IS IT GOOD TO BE WISE?
(NIV) Contradiction 1: Wisdom is supreme therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding. Proverbs 4:7
(NIV) Contradiction 2: For with much wisdom comes much sorrow. The more knowledge, the more grief. Ecclesiastes 1:18
These verses don't necessarily contradict each other inasmuch as they capture a predicament. Just as we have sayings along the lines of
Ignorance is bliss and The truth hurts, the Bible also relays the dilemma between the truth's ability to both enlighten and distress. We also see
an allusion to the negative side-effects of knowledge in the verse that is apparently endorsing wisdom (...though it cost all you have). In
summary, no contradiction really even exists between these two verses.
Modern Analogy: A loved one is missing and a concerned relative begins a search to uncover the truth. At the moment, this person can
accept the possibility that their beloved is alive and starting a new life somewhere. But one day the police inform them their loved one's body
was discovered and that the suspect is in custody. On one hand, this person has received closure and can now work on finding justice for their
loved one. On the other hand, they are in agony when thinking of what their loved one had to endure in their last moments.
WHO IS ON GOD'S SIDE?
(NIV) Contradiction 1: He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters. Matthew 12:30
(NIV) Contradiction 2: For whoever is not against us is for us. Mark 9:40
(NIV) Contradiction 3: Do not stop him, Jesus said, for whoever is not against you is for you. Luke 9:50
Are those who are considered on God's side those who are actually for Him or those who are simply not against Him? The first verse in
Matthew clearly states whoever does accept God is not of Him whereas the passages in Mark and Luke state whoever is not against the
Christians is for them. The passages of Mark and Luke contain completely different circumstances leading up to Jesus' statement as
compared to the circumstances in Matthew. In Matthew, Jesus is commenting on the hypocrisy of the pharisees and states "He who is not with
Me (God) is against Me (God)." In Mark and Luke, the circumstances consist of the apostles alerting Jesus to a man who was casting out
demons in His name. The apostles took offense as the man was not a part of their "inner circle." Jesus explains to the apostles that they were
all working together in essence and that "He who is not against us/you (The Christian mission) is for us/you."
Modern Analogy: A Chinese communist and an American capitalist are at complete odds in regards to their opinions of government and
social order. On the other hand, an American Republican and an American Democrat generally hold the same views regarding democracy,
capitalism, and nationalism though their opinions may differ in issues such as taxation and social issues. They are still "on the same team" in
essence. Catholicism and Protestantism may teach differing doctrinal issues but they both hold the same core beliefs, accept Jesus Christ as
the Son of God, and believe in the of immorality of the soul. On the other hand, religion and atheism are completely opposed to each other.
IS IT GOOD TO MARRY?
(NIV) Contradiction 1: He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the Lord.
(NIV) Contradiction 2: Now for the matters you wrote about: It is good for a man not to marry.
I Corinthians 7:1
The above verse in Corinthians is not telling us to abstain from marriage. Paul is responding to the Corinthian's inquiry concerning marriage
as we can conclude from the words Now for the matters you wrote about. In Corinthians 7 Paul endorses the union of marriage for those
who are not able to commit to abstinence. Paul states that every person has their own calling and he understands celibacy is not suitable for
everyone. He tells those who can commit to celibacy should do so in order to focus on eternal things but that this was not a requirement.
Furthermore, Paul emphasises this is his person opinion.
SHOULD CHILDREN SUFFER FOR THE SINS OF THE FATHER?
(NIV) Contradiction 1: Fathers shall not be put to death for their children, nor children put to death for their fathers. Each is to die for his
own sin. Deuteronomy 24:16
(NIV) Contradiction 2: "You shall not bow down to them or worship them for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children
for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me." Exodus 20:5
To understand the above verses, we need to distinguish between mankind's sinful nature as compared to a specific act of sin committed by
an individual. If you have ever heard a friend say Alcoholism runs in my family, this is an example of inherited iniquity whereas something like
robbing a store would be an act of sin. The meaning behind the first passage is a direct order not to punish an individual for someone else's
crime whereas the second verse is stating a spiritual principle which exists where sin begets sin, iniquity begets iniquity (one bad apple
spoils the bunch) from one generation to the next.
DO THE RIGHTEOUS LIVE OR DIE?
(NIV) Contradiction 1: The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar... Psalms 92:12
(NIV) Contradiction 2: The righteous perish, and no one ponders it in his heart... Isaiah 57:1
This is a contradiction which I feel is given more attention than needed. Obviously we all die- the wicked and the righteous. Psalms is praising
the abundance of God's people in the future whereas Isaiah (composed in a completely different century and under totally different political
circumstances) is lamenting the death of the righteous which results in the decay of society.
DO YOU ANSWER A FOOL?
(NIV) Contradiction 1: Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you will be like him. Proverbs 26:4
(NIV) Contradiction 2: Answer a fool according to his folly, or he will be wise in his own eyes. Proverbs 26:5
Similar to the dilemma we discussed with wisdom, these two verses don't reveal a contradiction but a predicament (especially when we see
one proverb is written immediately after the other!). The proverbs warn us not to engage in heated circular debates with those who are blind
to reason but to offer a brief response so the fool will not be encouraged by our silence.
DOES MAN SIN?
(KJV) Contradiction 1: For there is not a just man upon earth, that...sinneth not. Ecclesiastes 7:20
(KJV) Contradiction 2: Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin... I John 3:9
Lets put emphasis on the words whoever is born of God- this means a Christian believer. None of us are born sinless- it is only after our
acceptance of Jesus, who carried the punishment for our sins, that we are considered sinless. Though this does not technically mean we will
never sin again, it is telling us that once we accept Jesus, God considers us blameless in His eyes.
WHO PROPHESIED THE POTTER'S FIELD?
(NIV) Contradiction: Then what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled: They took the thirty silver coins, the price set on him by
the people of Israel, and they used them to buy the potter's field, as the Lord commanded me. Matthew 27:9-10
The problem with the above verse in Matthew is that no passage in Jeremiah appears to speak of such an event (the actual prophecy is found
in Zechariah 11:12-13)! Matthew is simply employing a common exegetic technique used in antiquity when referring to the prophets. Though
the scattered verses in Jeremiah refer to a potter, a field, and seventeen (not 30!) shekels, Matthew summarizes and combines the prophetic
symbolism of both prophets, giving credit to the greater of the two which was often done during his time.
SNAKES DO NOT EAT DIRT
(NIV) Contradiction: [The Serpent] will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life. Genesis 3:14
Surely we have all heard the expression Eat my dust and we understand it to not be a literal statement. Throughout the Bible we see the act of
eating/licking dust as a parallel to a demeaning lowly state (examples: Psalms 72:9 and Isaiah 49:23). This verse is not literally cursing
serpents to eat dust/dirt/soil.
CHRISTIANS ARE NOT IMMORTAL
(NIV) Contradiction: I tell you the truth, if anyone keeps My word, he will never see death. John 8:51
This verse is not promising physical immortality to Jesus' followers but eternal spiritual life and salvation from judgment. The original Greek
uses the word thanatos which can refer to both a physical and spiritual death. Jesus even warns believers that many will be persecuted and
even die for their faith so anyone can see that He is promising an escape from spiritual death and damnation- not physical death.
SNAILS DO NOT MELT
(KJV) Contradiction: As a snail which melteth, let every one of them pass away: like the untimely birth of a woman, that they may not see
the sun. Psalms 58:8
(NIV) Accurate: Like a slug melting away as it moves along, like a stillborn child, may they not see the sun. Psalms 58:8
This poetic verse in Psalms refers to the liquid trail snails leave behind as they move along- not a literal reference to the creatures dissolving.
INSECTS DO NOT HAVE FOUR FEET
(NIV) Contradiction: There are, however, some winged creatures that walk on all fours that you may eat: those that have jointed legs for
hopping on the ground. Of these you may eat any kind of locust, katydid, cricket or grasshopper. But all other winged creatures that have four
legs you are to detest. Leviticus 11:21-23
The discerning reader can see the above verse differentiates between legs and feet used for transportation versus limbs used for
manipulation. It is not specifically stating insects have four feet.
IS THE EARTH ROUND OR FLAT?
(NIV) Contradiction 1: He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth... Isaiah 40:22
(NIV) Contradiction 2: He will assemble the scattered people of Judah from the four quarters of the earth. Isaiah 11:12
An incorrect translation of Isaiah 40:22 is sometimes rendered sphere. A few apologists, apparently not aware of the original Hebrew, believe
this reveals the Bible's foreknowledge of a spherical earth (though it is fair to point out the original Hebrew does not distinguish between a one-
dimensional circle and a three-dimensional sphere- their word chuwg could refer to both).
Regardless, neither of the above verses in Isaiah refer to a literal description of the earth. The context of Isaiah 40 is obviously poetic as it
refers to people as grasshoppers! The second verse (sometimes translated as corners instead of quarters) is also not a literal reference to the
shape of the earth. Even today we sometimes use the expression the four corners of the earth (and we obviously know better!).
ARE HEAVENS AND THE EARTH SUPPORTED/IMMOBLE?
(NIV) Contradiction 1: He suspends the earth over nothing. Job 26:7
(NIV) Contradiction 2: He set the earth on its foundations. It can never be moved. Psalms 104:5
(NIV) Contradiction 4: He shakes the earth from its place and makes its pillars tremble Job 9:6
- Job 26:7 According to modern scientific knowledge, this verse is correct as we know the earth is suspended in space.
- Psalms 104:5 The Hebrew word for foundation in this passage is yacad which literally refers to an establishment or founding- not
necessarily a physical base.
- Job 26:11 The Hebrew word for pillars in this passage is ammuwd. Job 26 is in poetic format as the context proves.
THE SUN DOES NOT STAND STILL
(KJV) Contradiction: ...So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day. Joshua 10:13
The Hebrew word used in Joshua for still is amad which represents many definitions. Regardless, even today we say the sun rises in the east
and sets in the west to describe dawn and dusk. Other modern terminology includes high-noon, sunrise, and sunset. These are obviously not
literal statements as we know better than to believe in a stationary earth and a revolving sun. Likewise, the verse in Joshua is not necessarily
referring to a geocentric earth but to the apparent position of the sun.
THE EARTH IS NOT STATIONARY
(NIV) Contradiction: He set the earth on its foundations. It can never be moved. Psalms 104:5
The Hebrew word for moved in the above passage is mowt (totter, shake, slip, or to be dislodged) while the word for foundation is yacad
(establishment). As far as I can see, the above verse is not referring to the concept of a geocentric earth (as critics suggest), but the
establishment of the earth as created by God.
STOREHOUSES ARE NOT A PART OF THE HYDROLOGICAL CYCLE
(NIV) Contradiction: Have you entered the storehouses of the snow or seen the storehouses of the hail? Job 38:22
Though Job uses metaphoric language to describe natural phenomena, if my memory serves me correctly, I learned in 4th grade geology that
storehouses are a part of the hydrological cycle. Of course, we use the term clouds. :-)
WHAT COLOR WAS THE ROBE PLACED ON JESUS?
(NIV) Contradiction 1: They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him. Matthew 27:28
(NIV) Contradiction 2: They clothed him in a purple robe. John 19:2
One possible solution to this conflict lies in the similarity of the two colors, with purple being a derivative of the primary color red. In antiquity,
the same dye was used to create both red and purple cloths, depending on the amount of dye used. Even though the two colors seem distinctly
different to us, scarlet and purple were very similar in ancient Roman clothing (See: here). I feel another possible answer may lie in the
symbolism of the two colors- they both represented royalty and power. Because of this, it is quite possible the robe was red and purple.
WHAT WERE JESUS' LAST WORDS?
(NIV) Contradiction 1: About the ninth hour Jesus cried out... My God, My God, why have you forsaken me? Matthew 27:46
(NIV) Contradiction 2: Jesus called out with a loud voice, Father, into your hands I commit my spirit. When he had said this, he
breathed his last. Luke 23:46
(NIV) Contradiction 3: Jesus said, It is finished. With that, he...gave up his spirit. John 19:30
The passage in Matthew doesn't present a problem for us as it states these were not Jesus' last words. Matthew also partially solves our
problem when he states in verse 50 that Jesus cried out again before finally expiring. The real "problem" comes from Luke and John who both
claim to quote Jesus' actual last words. One possible solution is the men's position in relation to the cross. The above verses differentiate
between Jesus' spoken and shouted statements. Because John was said to have been at the foot of the cross, it is possible he heard Jesus'
spoken words while the others only heard the statements Jesus shouted. Because Matthew mentions Jesus shouting another statement, this
scenario is possible.
However, I understand some skeptics may feel I am streeeetching this one so I'll offer a further explanation for those who may not be
satisfied. The four Gospels were written by four different authors, each of them recording their version of events. Once we harmonize the
Gospel accounts, our explanation doesn't seem to be so difficult:
It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour. About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud
voice, "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?"—which means, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" When some of those standing there
heard this, they said, "He's calling Elijah." Later... Jesus said, "I am thirsty." A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put
the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus' lips and offered it to Jesus to drink. When he had received the drink, Jesus
said, "It is finished." [referring to the fulfillment of prophecy] The rest said [implying Jesus was not yet dead], "Now leave him alone. Let's see
if Elijah comes to save him. And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit" he breathed his
last and He gave up his spirit.
WHAT WAS JESUS GIVEN TO DRINK?
(NIV) Contradiction 1: There they offered Jesus wine to drink, mixed with gall... Matthew 27:34
(NIV) Contradiction 2: Then they offered him wine mixed with myrrh... Mark 15:23
Mark and Matthew both agree Jesus was given wine mixed with something. But this something seems to differ in each account. However,
Matthew uses the word chole which represents a number of bitter substances including myrrh (which is famous for its bitterness), thus
eliminating any contradiction.
HOW LONG WAS JESUS IN THE TOMB?
(NIV) Contradiction 1: The Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the earth. Matthew 12:40
(NIV) Contradiction 2: The Son of Man [would] on the third day be raised again. Luke 24:7
Semantics, semantics. Critics point out the "inconsistency" between after three days and on the third day as if an apostle is standing outside
the tomb with a stopwatch and counting out three 24-hour periods. Jesus was crucified on Friday and subsequently placed in the tomb where
He would remain until Sunday. The Greek work literally meaning all night dianuktereuo is not used in Matthew so there is no reference to literal
24 hour periods. Instead, he uses the word nux which can refer to a literal or metaphorical night.
HOW MANY TIMES WOULD/DID THE COCK CROW?
(NIV) Contradiction 1: Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times. Matthew 26:34
(NIV) Contradiction 2: Before the rooster crows twice you yourself will disown me three times. Mark 14:30
(NIV) Contradiction 3: Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times! John 13:38
(NIV) Contradiction 1: Immediately the rooster crowed the second time. Mark 14:72
(NIV) Contradiction 2: I don't know the man! Immediately a rooster crowed. Matthew 26:74-75
(NIV) Contradiction 3: Again Peter denied it, and at that moment a rooster began to crow. John 18:27
(NIV) Contradiction 4: Just as he was speaking, the rooster crowed. Luke 22:60-60
Matthew, Luke, and John are in agreement that the rooster would/did crow once (but not necessarily only once!) whereas Mark mentions the
rooster crowing twice. Regardless of who did or did not use the word twice the fact of the matter is that if Peter denied Jesus before the cock
crowed once, then he also denied Him before the cock crowed twice. If I say I am grocery shopping before Saturday, it wouldn't matter if I
went to the store on Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday- I still went before Saturday.
WHERE DID JESUS GO AFTER HIS BAPTISM?
(NIV) Contradiction 1: At once the Spirit sent him out into the desert. Mark 1:12
(NIV) Contradiction 2: The next day John was there again with two of his disciples... John 1:35-36
Skeptics ask, "So did Jesus go into the desert after His baptism or did He stick around?" Apparently our friends weren't paying attention to the
texts! Mark is documenting the events of Jesus' baptism in the present tense and states Jesus went into the desert immediately after His
baptism. But John (the apostle) is not presenting the actual baptism account but is documenting John the Baptist's testimony to his disciples!
John 1:32 states "Then John gave this testimony..." This shows John rehashing the events in the past tense. His statement the next day was
referring to the day after John had given his testimony to his disciples- not the day after Jesus baptism.
IS JESUS EQUAL TO OR LESSER THAN GOD THE FATHER?
(NIV) Contradiction 1: I and my Father are one. John 10:30
(NIV) Contradiction 2: If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. John 14:28
This question really requires a thorough explanation but I will give a brief answer as to how I personally understand the Trinity. We'll use the
analogy of a marriage though I'll admit it's not a perfect analogy. When a man and a women are married, they are said to become one flesh.
Of course, they are still two separate physical entities but they become united in spirit. God appoints the husband to be "the head" of the
union, though neither gender is considered more or less precious than the other. Likewise, though God and Jesus are spiritually equal, Jesus
makes it clear that He submits to the Father. Just because they are united does not necessarily mean one cannot be subordinate to the other.
Though the husband has been placed into the role of leadership, the wife is not less important. They simply have different roles.
HOW MANY APOSTLES DID JESUS APPEAR TO AFTER HIS RESURRECTION?
(NIV) Contradiction 1: And that He appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. I Corinthians 15:5
(NIV) Contradiction 2: Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. Matthew 28:16
Because Judas had committed suicide and because Matthias had not yet been appointed to replace him, Paul seems to be wrong when he
mentions the twelve in his letter to the Corinthians. But we can see the twelve refers to the apostles as a group and not necessarily to the
specific number of apostles. We don't need a long-winded explanation because our answer is found within the verse itself: Paul states Jesus
appeared to Peter and then to the twelve- but we know Peter was one of the original apostles. If Judas was dead and Jesus already appeared
to Peter, then (if we want to get technical) it should say to the ten in the above verse! The twelve was simply a reference to the apostles-
before Judas, after Judas, before Matthias, and after Matthias. Another possible solution is that Paul is referring to Jesus' appearance to the
remaining eleven apostles at a time when Matthias, the soon-to-be twelfth, was present. In other words, Paul could have been using an
The following contradictions are taken from the genealogies of Jesus as told in Matthew 1:1-17 and Luke 3:23-38.
WHO IS THE FATHER OF JOSEPH
(NIV) Contradiction 1: And Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus... Matthew 1:16
(NIV) Contradiction 2: Jesus...was the son, so it was thought, of Joseph, the son of Heli. Luke 3:23
Though this belief is not unanimous, it is generally accepted among scholars that Matthew records the genealogy of Joseph while Luke records
the genealogy of Mary. Jacob is believed to be the biological father of Joseph while Heli is believed to be the father of Mary and the
father-in-law of Joseph. If Heli only fathered the two daughters mentioned in the New Testament it is possible Joseph, the son-in-law, would be
mentioned as his son in order to preserve the family name and inheritance.
THE NUMBER OF ANCESTORS BETWEEN ABRAHAM AND JESUS
Matthew directs his Gospel to a Jewish audience and records the genealogies from Abraham to demonstrate Jesus' Jewish heritage. Luke
addresses his Gospel to a Gentile audience and records the genealogies to Adam to allow all of humanity to identify with their Savior. But why
does Luke record more generations from Abraham to Jesus than Matthew? One possible solution, referred to as an open genealogy, is that
Matthew paraphrased Jesus' ancestors in order to make the Gospel easily remembered for oral evangelism. This is evident when he organizes
his genealogy into three sets of fourteen: 14 generations from Abraham, 14 generations from David, and 14 generations from the exile.
Matthew also uses the word gennao which can refer to either an immediate or long-term descendant (as in a patriarch begetting his
descendants, although not directly). On the other hand, Luke uses the word ho which represents the son of (definite article). Luke also
recorded his Gospel using a more historical approach as compared to Matthew, Mark, and John (which explains his more thorough
THE CURSE OF JECONIAH
(NIV) Contradiction 1: This is what the Lord says, "Record this man [Jeconiah] as if childless, a man who will not prosper in his lifetime, for
none of his offspring will prosper, none will sit on the throne of David or rule anymore in Judah." Jeremiah 22:30
(NIV) Contradiction 2: Jeconiah was the father of Shealtiel... Matthew 1:12
Because Jeconiah is cursed to be childless and his descendants cannot inherit David's throne, why is he listed as Jesus' ancestor? First of all,
Jeremiah does not state Jeconiah is childless but he will be recorded as if childless (a great insult in antiquity). Also, the curse does not
appear to be permanent (will not prosper in his lifetime) as we can see God promises to raise up a righteous branch from David (but this
would be impossible if David's line was just wiped out). Another theory is that this is not even the same Jeconiah, for the only thing the two
seem to have in common is their name: both have different parents, different children, and are from different sons of David. One last possible
explanation is if we assume the curse was eternal, technically Jesus was not even a blood descendant of Jeconiah. Jeconiah is mentioned in
Joseph's genealogy but not Mary's. Because Matthew's genealogy is a lineage-via-adoption, we can assume Jesus is not even a blood relative
HUMAN OR SUPERNATURAL CONCEPTION
(NIV) Contradiction 1: The patriarch David died and was buried... but he was a prophet and knew that God had promised him on oath that
he would place one of his descendants on his throne. Acts:2:29-30
(NIV) Contradiction 2: [Jesus'] mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with
child through the Holy Spirit. Matthew 1:18
Both Luke and Matthew acknowledge the virgin birth in their genealogies: Matthew interjects Mary's name into Joseph's genealogy before
mentioning Jesus' birth: Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom [feminine] was born Jesus. Luke uses the wording He was the son of Joseph, or
so it was thought as his disclaimer. When the Messiah was promised to be born from David's line, this was indeed fulfilled. Mary was the
biological parent of Jesus and descendant of King David (which fulfills the promise to David literally) while Joseph was the adoptive father of
Jesus and biological descendant of King David.
HOW DID JUDAS DIE?
(NIV) Contradiction 1: Judas bought a field; there he fell headlong, his body burst open and all his intestines spilled out. Acts 1:18
(NIV) Contradiction 2: So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself. Matthew 27:5
Under Jewish law, the handling of a dead body would make one temporarily unclean. Because Judas was said to have hung himself during the
Passover before the Sabbath, it is very likely no one wanted to handle his corpse. Scientifically, we know if a body is not embalmed soon after
death, the decomposition process will cause the corpse to accumulate gas. If Judas was left hanging, it is likely he remained in such a state
until his body eventually bloated, causing the rope to snap and his corpse to fall and burst (notice the verse in Acts does not say this is how
Judas died but only what happened to his body).
Others speculate Matthew is using a literary technique and is not referring to a literal hanging but associating Judas with the traitor, Ahithophel,
of the Old Testament.
WHO WAS SEEN AT THE TOMB?
(NIV) Contradiction 1: An angel of the Lord came down from heaven to the tomb... Matthew 28:2
(NIV) Contradiction 2: As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe... Mark 16:5
(NIV) Contradiction 3: Suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. Luke 24:4
(NIV) Contradiction 4: Two angels in white, seated where Jesus' body had been... John 20:12
Several conflicts arise in the above passages: How many angels were seen at the tomb- one or two? Were the angels seen inside or outside
the tomb? Were the angels standing or sitting? In Matthew, one angel appears to the women outside the tomb while Mark states the women
were then greeted by a second angel upon entering the tomb. We see one angel outside and one angel inside, giving us a total of two
angels (with Mark and Matthew focusing on one encounter each). Luke and John combine the two encounters by mentioning two angels
without offering the specifics given by Matthew and Mark.
WHO WAS JOSIAH'S SUCCESSOR?
(NIV) Contradiction 1: Shallum son of Josiah, who succeeded his father as king of Judah... Jeremiah 22:11
(NIV) Contradiction 2: The people took Jehoahaz son of Josiah and made him king... II Chronicles 36:1
Our lexicon states this is a reference to the same person (See: note 2a). This should come as no surprise as several individuals (particularly
males) throughout the Bible are referred to by more than one name.
CONFLICTING CREATION ACCOUNTS
As told in Genesis 1 verses Genesis 2
Many Biblical critics believe there are inconsistencies between the two creation accounts mentioned in the first two chapters of Genesis. Call
me dense but I just don't see it! The first chapter in Genesis relays the actual events of the traditional six day creation in the true
chronological order. The second chapter of Genesis expands the creation of man and woman and their relationship to the environment in
greater detail using a topical order. Upon closer examination of Genesis 2 as compared to Genesis 1, we see different verbs being used in the
original Hebrew. To see what I am referring to, I suggest reading this article and this article by two authors who examine the original Hebrew
WHO WAS CAIN BEING PROTECTED FROM?
(NIV) But the Lord said to him, Not so if anyone kills Cain, he will suffer vengeance seven times over. Then the LORD put a mark on Cain so
that no one who found him would kill him. Genesis 4:15
In my opinion, this is somewhat of a pointless objection. Due to the longer lifespans recorded in the Bible, Cain would have been around much
longer to have come in contact with many future generations.
HOW CAN CAIN POPULATE AN ENTIRE CITY?
(NIV) Cain was then building a city, and he named it after his son Enoch. Genesis 4:17
This goes along with the same concept mentioned above. Furthermore, this city was not necessarily a raging metropolis like our modern day
New York City.
WHO KILLED KING SAUL?
(NIV) Contradiction 1: Saul said to his armor-bearer, Draw your sword and run me through, or these uncircumcised fellows will come and
run me through and abuse me. But his armor-bearer was terrified and would not do it. So Saul took his own sword and fell on it... I Samuel
(NIV) Contradiction 2: [Saul] then said to me, "Stand over me and kill me! I am in the throes of death but still alive.' So I stood over him
and killed him... II Samuel 1:9-10
Let's look at the context of both passages (I Samuel 31 and II Samuel 1). I Samuel is the actual recorded account of the events that took
place. II Samuel is the dialogue between David and an Amalekite witness who is relating his own version of events. We can clearly see the
account given by the Amalekite was his personal testimony and that he was also lying to David! The Amalekite went before David with his
false testimony of killing Saul in the hope of seeking a reward but instead David ordered his death.
Skeptic Interjection: What about the passage in II Samuel 21:12 which mentions Paul being slain/struck down by the Philistines?
Answer: The Hebrew word meaning slay (as in the literal sense of killing) is harag (v) and chalal (n). However, neither of these words are
used in reference to Saul's fate at the hands of the Philistines. Instead, the word used in this passage is nakah which is an ambiguous term
meaning to conquer, destroy, defeat etc. This verse does not imply Saul was killed by the Philistines but that he was defeated by them in battle
which corresponds with the other accounts mentioned throughout the Old Testament.