It is written:
“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)
Many in our world teach that there are contradictions in the Bible. This is a common charge I hear from unbelievers regarding the Bible.
How should a Christian deal with alleged Bible contradictions?
First, lets be clear that there is a reason why we are saying ‘alleged’ Bible contradictions. In all the years that the Bible has been around, there has not been a true contradiction found within the pages of Scripture. Considering that the Bible was written by over forty men during a period of over 1600 years, each from varying circumstances and in three different languages, this is a pretty powerful evidence that the Bible is the Word of God!
Second, a contradiction is not the same thing as a difficulty. There are some “hard” things in Scripture which are hard to understand (cf. 2 Peter 3:14-16), but this is not the same thing as a contradiction. A contradiction has reference to two or more statements which are teaching opposite things as truth, and are incapable of being harmonized.
As Wayne Jackson has pointed out:
“Those who allege that the Bible contains contradictions basically fall into two classes. First, there is the person who honestly believes this to be the case because he has heard the hackneyed charge repeated frequently; thus, he sincerely is misinformed about the facts. Second, there is that type of person who, from base motives, hates the Bible and so does not scruple to pervert its testimony in order to discredit the Sacred Volume. In either case, the Word of God is not at fault!…In dealing with so-called contradictions in the Bible, let these principles carefully be remembered: (1) No contradiction exists between verses that refer to different persons or things. (2) No contradiction exists between passages that involve different time elements. (3) No contradiction exists between verses that employ phraseology in different senses. (4) Supplementation is not the same as contradiction. One need show only the possibility of harmonization between two passages that appear to conflict in order to negate the force of an alleged discrepancy. Finally, this point needs to be made: the differences in various Bible accounts of the same events actually demonstrate the independence of the divine writers and prove that they were not in collusion! God, although using human writers in the composition of the Bible, is nevertheless its ultimate Author. And since the perfect God cannot be the source of confusion (I Cor. 14:33) or contradiction (Heb. 6:18), it must be acknowledged that the Bible is perfectly harmonious. This does not mean that men will not struggle with difficult passages. If seeming discrepancies are discovered, let us apply ourselves to a diligent study in an effort to resolve them; but let us never foolishly charge God with allowing his sacred writers to contradict one another.” (Wayne Jackson, The Bible On Trial, 59-60; 66-67; Stockton CA; Christian Courier Publications)
Third, Bible contradictions may be resolved through diligent time and study.
Will you accept the Bible’s teaching and be saved from your sin (1 Corinthians 15:1-8; Acts 8:11-13, 22)?