Bible Contradictions And Difficulties

In the past 42 years of examining all of the purported contradictions of the Bible, I have never seen one that is valid. The source of these supposed contradictions is always from someone who is antagonistic to the Christian God or His Bible. A hostile witness is never a valid witness, for their particular view is always slanted in the direction of their bias against God before they begin their investigation. Many great men and woman over the course of the past 2,000 years have carefully scrutinized every word of the Christian Bible and found that none of the claimed inconstancies or contradictions are valid.

The Big Picture

One of the problems in claiming a contradiction in the Bible is that those who claim to see these contradictions, do not understand the total picture of the Bible.

If we take one or two pieces of a puzzle and try to understand what they mean and how they relate to each other, we will not be able to comprehend the total puzzle. If however, we take all the pieces of the puzzle and put them together and then stand back and look at the total picture—then all the individual parts begin to make sense to us.

The scriptures were never intended to be read or understood in fragments. There is good reason why we have 66 books of the Bible. In order to understand any particular part of the Bible we must have a good working knowledge of the entire Bible. It is impossible to fully grasp the narrative of the New Testament, and particularly the Gospel of Jesus Christ—apart from a knowledge of the Old Testament. Jesus came in fulfillment of the Old Testament scriptures. In order to understand this we must know what the Old Testament says.

When we have read the entire Bible and have a relative understanding of what the basic themes are—then we can understand what the illustrations found in the Bible, mean. It is after a person has a good working knowledge of the entire Bible that they are qualified to make a correct judgement—regarding the text of the Bible. A student who picks up a college textbook on astronomy and pulls a few texts from the pages of this book—cannot possibly comment with accuracy—whether the entire book is credible. It takes years of study before any person is qualified to understand any subject of complexity. The Bible is not simply a book of stories, it contains detailed examples of the principles of God and how He operates the universe and governs in the affairs of human life.

How the Bible Came To Us

The Old Testament was copied by hand for more than 3,000 years. The New Testament, hand copied for an additional 1,400 years. All of the basic fundamentals of the original writings have remained intact. No fundamental doctrine of the Christian faith is in doubt today. Every basic requirement of salvation—which the Bible teaches, has remained the same throughout the 4,500 year history of the Bible. However, due to copyist mistakes and scribal errors—due to decay by the Papyrus, in which these ancient documents were first written upon, human errors have accumulated. Although the words of the Bible are those of the Living God, the people who duplicated the original documents and subsequent copies are human beings, prone to error. It is only the original autographs of the word of God that are guaranteed to be free of error. All subsequent copies that have been made are certain to contain human errors when copying the text from one document to another. Because the original Papyrus has long since deteriorated, they no longer exists. What remains today are many thousands of copies of the original autographs of God’s word. Taking into account—human error in the copying of the text, over the past 3,000 years, most of the inaccuracies are in spelling and grammatical conflicts. The remaining contradictions that are claimed are simply due to a misunderstanding of the text or inappropriate interpretation. Again, every basic tenet of salvation, as well as the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, have remained unchanged in all the copies of the original documents—since their original writing.

In examining over 100 of the most commonly objected verses of the Bible, we find the following:[1]

  • 25 of the supposed contradictions are simply due to a misunderstanding of the historical text of the Bible.
  • 15 of the claimed contradictions are due to the text being misread.
  • 13 occasions in which a contradiction is imagined, there was a misuse of the original Hebrew language.
  • 13 of the contradictions claimed by the adversary are not contradictions at all.
  • 12 of the claimed contradictions are due to the reader not understanding the intent of the verse to which they were reading.
  • 9 of the imagined contradictions were due to an error in the copying of the text.
  • 6 of the contradictions that are claimed are because the reader did not have a complete awareness of the ancient history of Israel and the nations mentioned by the Bible.
  • 4 occasions of claimed contradictions were due to a misuse of the Greek language.
  • 4 times where a contradiction was imagined, the entire context of the verse was not read and taken into consideration.
  • 3 of the supposed contradictions are due to a literalist interpretation rather than the contextual interpretation that the verse demands.
  • 3 of the misunderstandings were by the false conclusions of the hostile evaluation and bias of the commentator.
  • 1 of the claimed contradictions was due to confusion between one event and another.
  • 1 of the contradictions that was claimed was due to the usage of an unreliable translation of the Bible.

From this short analysis of just 100 of the supposed contradictions of the Bible, it is clear that because those who make these claims of contradiction have a pre-bias to make the scriptures appear to be contradictory, it is easily accomplished when incorrect methods of interpretation are used. Those who often make these claims of contradictions or inconsistencies in the Biblical narrative are untrained themselves as well as unqualified to make these judgements. Many of those hostile to the English translation of the Bible have very little or no training in the original Hebrew and Greek scriptures and make their observations by opinion rather than scholarly diligence.

The Bible is absolutely reliable, and there are no contradictions or inconsistencies. The only certifiable problems that are known to exist are in spelling, punctuation, and grammar. All those who make claims of contradictions and inconsistencies do so for the apparent intent of discrediting the Christian gospel in order to impugn the claim that Jesus is the Messiah. The facts are: Jesus has proven His identity by His fulfillment of all the Old Testament prophecies of the Messiah—from the Hebrew Scriptures.

The Following Is A List Of The Difficulties And Contradictions Of The Bible:

Old Testament Difficulties
New Testament Difficulties


NOTES:
[1] 101 Clear Contradictions in the Bible , Shabbir Ally
101 Cleared-up Contradictions in the Bible By: Jay Smith, Alex Chowdhry, Toby Jepson, James Schaeffer