How to tackle the contradictions in the Bible

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This post has 18 Replies | 4 Followers

Posts 2
Anees Syed | Forum Activity | Posted: Fri, Apr 24 2020 6:36 PM

Hi everyone, I'm a born again Christian, an Ex-Muslim, I found Christ but I'm trying to preach the gospel to my family and friends who're Muslims and I wish to know a lot about Bible so that I'm well equipped to handle any debate from non believers. So, I have come across a few contradictions in the Bible. Please suggest me how to tackle this. Here is the link:. https://answering-christianity.com/101_bible_contradictions.htm?fbclid=IwAR1-CGPkOcjTjOINp_VlYhV4d0rg75DG5XSMiiDUx3s12lMnXD7ZUYzLBNs

Posts 1463
Ben | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Apr 24 2020 7:03 PM

This is a site for learning how to use Logos software, and theological discussion is explicitly forbidden. (It's how we all get along here.) 

So we might be able to point you to Logos resources that deal with your topic, or witnessing to Muslims, but can't discuss beyond that.

"The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of Conservatives is to prevent mistakes from being corrected."- G.K. Chesterton

Posts 2903
Doc B | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Apr 24 2020 7:29 PM

Anees Syed:
I have come across a few contradictions in the Bible

There are no contradictions in the Bible. There are certainly enigmas, but most of them are very old and have been answered generations, if not more than a thousand years, ago. One of the better resources for dealing with them can be found here. This book is a bit of a classic and has been used for quite some time. There are some newer resources but I'm not sure which ones are available in Logos. But the Archer resource will be a good start for you.

A very concise resource can be found here. It is short, but it is entirely free.

My thanks to the various MVPs. Without them Logos would have died early. They were the only real help available.

Faithlife Corp. owes the MVPs free resources for life.

Posts 2648
Beloved Amodeo | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Apr 24 2020 7:43 PM

Anees Syed:

Hi everyone, I'm a born again Christian, an Ex-Muslim, I found Christ but I'm trying to preach the gospel to my family and friends who're Muslims and I wish to know a lot about Bible so that I'm well equipped to handle any debate from non believers. So, I have come across a few contradictions in the Bible. Please suggest me how to tackle this. Here is the link:. https://answering-christianity.com/101_bible_contradictions.htm?fbclid=IwAR1-CGPkOcjTjOINp_VlYhV4d0rg75DG5XSMiiDUx3s12lMnXD7ZUYzLBNs

As has been stated it is inappropriate to enter into debate over belief systems in the forums, but I can offer you my recommendations for some helpful resources that may help you form your approach as you lovingly present Jesus to your unbelieving or seeking loved ones. https://www.logos.com/product/186551/the-quran-with-christian-commentary is a prepub soon to be released. This next book answers a slew of questions in a accessible manner https://www.logos.com/product/6623/got-questions-bible-questions-answered 

Love should always be the motive of your desire to convert. I hope I haven't over stepped here.

Meanwhile, Jesus kept on growing wiser and more mature, and in favor with God and his fellow man.

International Standard Version. (2011). (Lk 2:52). Yorba Linda, CA: ISV Foundation.

Posts 653
Into Grace | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Apr 24 2020 7:53 PM

There are no problem passages in the Bible. There are only problem interpretations.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Apr 24 2020 8:51 PM

Into Grace:

There are no problem passages in the Bible. There are only problem interpretations.

A theological statement that many would disagree with. The Jewish interpretation methods I am familiar with emphasize chewing on the difficulties.

(Note that I am not familiar with all Jewish methods, I've skimmed ones that deny difficulties, etc. etc.  - but my point is that the post I quoted was strictly a theological position. I chose to refer to Jewish methods to make my response historical/comparative and not imply anything about my own theological stance.)

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 2648
Beloved Amodeo | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Apr 24 2020 9:46 PM

Doc B:
There are certainly enigmas, but most of them are very old and have been answered generations, if not more than a thousand years, ago. One of the better resources for dealing with them can be found here.
Doc B,

I must respectfully disagree with your assessment of this resource as compared with Got Questions:Bible Questions Answered which gives more complete answers to difficult questions raised by the biblical text. For example the New International Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties fails to even mention Lot and the existent problems of his behaviors regarding his moral character and the resultant problems he involves himself in. Which Got Questions covers very well. Even Abraham gets sparse coverage and what is included is unsatisfactory in that it fails to give concrete scriptural support for its claims. It spent more space on Melchizedek which is fine but the thin coverage it gives Abraham the father of faith is troubling. I intend to return this resource after reading the TOC and snippets of the topics covered. I am well served by Got Questions and recommend it over New International Encyclopedia.

Meanwhile, Jesus kept on growing wiser and more mature, and in favor with God and his fellow man.

International Standard Version. (2011). (Lk 2:52). Yorba Linda, CA: ISV Foundation.

Posts 2259
GaoLu | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Apr 25 2020 4:02 AM

Anees Syed:

Hi everyone, I'm a born again Christian, an Ex-Muslim, I found Christ but I'm trying to preach the gospel to my family and friends who're Muslims and I wish to know a lot about Bible so that I'm well equipped to handle any debate from non believers. So, I have come across a few contradictions in the Bible. Please suggest me how to tackle this. Here is the link:. https://answering-christianity.com/101_bible_contradictions.htm?fbclid=IwAR1-CGPkOcjTjOINp_VlYhV4d0rg75DG5XSMiiDUx3s12lMnXD7ZUYzLBNs

I am looking forward to more Logos resource contributions to the OP's question. 

Posts 4919
David Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Apr 25 2020 1:39 PM

Doc B:
There are no contradictions in the Bible.

Into Grace:

There are no problem passages in the Bible. There are only problem interpretations.

One of the fundamental characteristics YHWH determines to lay bare in us is our willingness to lie to ourselves. By definition, the Bible is riddled with contradictions. It is a theologically-induced Jedi mind trick that Christians play upon themselves that allows them to believe otherwise. Christians believe they are defending the integrity of YHWH and the Bible when they say things like what is stated above, but they are actually demonstrating a lack of their own. Can some contradictions be resolved? Yes, some can...but they are then only "RESOLVED" CONTRADICTIONS. But the fact remains, YHWH has no problem saying one thing and then saying the exact opposite a breath or two later (Prov. 26: 4, 5). He also has no problem allowing things to be said in the Bible that are impossible by definition...HIS definition. Case in point...Mt. 26:17. This is IMPOSSIBLE because the Bible (specifically Exo. 12 & Lev. 23) CONTRADICTS this statement, and by the definitions laid down in those chapters, what "Matthew" said cannot be true EVER.

The problem is that Passover occurs on the 14th day of the first month (Exo. 12:6; Lev. 23:5), and the first day of Unleavened Bread occurs on the 15th day of the first month (Lev. 23:6). Let's lay aside what the Bible says (yes, shocking) for the sake of argument and accept what the Jews declare to be true, which is that Passover occurs on the 15th (they thus combine Passover and Unleavened Bread into a single event). Even taking this as our point of reference, there is NO POSSIBLE WAY that the day BEFORE Passover (which is obviously when Mt. 26:17 is "spoken") can be the first day of Unleavened Bread. By definition TODAY CANNOT BE TOMORROW. This is all the more troublesome if we choose to cling to the Bible's own declarations as to when Passover and Unleavened Bread occur, because in that case TODAY CANNOT BE THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW, by definition. Those pesky, troublesome definitions.

Now, even though the Jews declare the 15th to be Passover, they do manage to pay some lip service to Exodus and Leviticus and say that "yes, the Bible says the 14th is Passover, but that is simply referring to when the lamb or goat [which they call "the Passover sacrifice"] is killed. The actual MEAL that is called Passover occurred/occurs on the 15th." This, sadly, according to their understanding, means that the Exodus event that gives the day its name (the passing over of the death angel) didn't actually happen on the day called Passover (the 14th), but on the day after (the 15th). Odd, that. Does their acknowledgement of the slaughter occurring on the 14th solve our "Bible difficulty"? No, because Lk. 22: 7 says that the lamb "had to be sacrificed" on the day of Unleavened Bread, which is the 15th. This effectively renders the 14th defunct, without purpose. That may sound pretty bad, but it gets worse. Mk. 14:12 explicitly states that the Passover lamb was being sacrificed on the first day of Unleavened Bread, and this was taking place BEFORE Passover. To seal this point, Mk. 14:16 makes clear that they were "preparing the Passover" (the very same day called the first day of Unleavened Bread on which the sacrifices were killed per Mk. 14:12) until sundown, and then per Mk. 14:17, at dusk, which is the start of a NEW day, they gathered together and per Mk. 14:18 they began to eat the Passover meal. This series of statements COMPLETELY INVERTS THE ORDER GIVEN IN LEV. 23. "Mark" is stating that the sacrifices were killed on the first day of Unleavened Bread, and then shows the Passover meal occurring on the SECOND day of Unleavened Bread. By any previously revealed measure in Scripture, this is utterly impossible. Indeed, it is prophetic nonsense.

Does that bug you? Go ahead, solve it. Resolve it. Write a book about it. You'll be famous. But you won't, because you CAN'T. It CAN'T BE MADE TRUE for the same reason you can't square a circle or have married bachelors. So, it is a CONTRADICTION...and it's in the Bible. Ergo, the Bible contains contradictions. Just accept it. But get this...it's not a problem. It doesn't invalidate anything. I am personally convinced that the contradictions in the Book are there as tests. Can you keep your eyes on the real thematic issues, or are you obsessing over inconsequentials? LOTS of people obsess over inconsequentials. Unfortunately, that's a kind of idolatry. It's giving the constructs in your own mind preference over His dictates. Saying, "If Mt. 26:17, Lk. 22:7, and Mk. 14:12 speak impossible nonsense by definition, then I can't trust or believe the Bible and the whole thing is a lie" is foolish stupidity. It is 100% losing the plot. The Bible isn't true because it is without error. It's true because it is packed to the gills with something else that is IMPOSSIBLE: Prophecy. The prophecies of the Bible are impossible, and yet they both exist and have (in large part) been fulfilled across the span of centuries and millennia. There is only one possible explanation for that phenomenon: ':Elohhiym. It just so happens that the primary and consistent proof that YHWH gives for His existence is the "after the fact" confirmations that His prophecies demonstrate. On the other hand, He nowhere states, "the Bible will be without error of any kind!"

Does that still bug you? Do you think that allowing contradictions is the equivalent of "telling a lie"? Do you think that contradicts Titus 1:2? Well, to be honest, you've got much bigger problems to stress over, like the fact that YHWH can't lie...except for when He does. Ever heard of the "strong delusion" which He says He is sending (2 Thes. 2:11)? If you don't think He can lie, perhaps you are in it's grip right now (?). Even more to the point, if YHWH doesn't lie, it's only because He "contracts out" His lies to others (1 Kgs. 22:23, and the preceding 1 Kgs. 22:19-22). But trying to insist that "contracting out" the lying means the lie isn't really His creates a much bigger problem. You see, the Bible is replete with Him taking credit for all manner of actions that "in fact" only get accomplished through a proxy. He says He will punish His people for disobedience, then here comes some Gentile nation to wreak some havoc. Is the Gentile nation "doing its own thing"? Or executing YHWH's will? If the proxy (as is true of angels, prophets, and all manner of other messenger proxies) is a collapsible "stand in", a functional mediator, who is performing YHWH's will AS ':Elohhiyim (Angel of YHWH, anyone?), then that dynamic is precisely what is in play in 1 Kgs. 22...even if the lying spirit is hassaataan as some believe (erroneously, in my opinion). Saying the proxy isn't performing YHWH's will AS YHWH effectively invalidates the majority of the Tanakh: narratives. Who knows...perhaps Paul was the one telling the lie when he said "God cannot lie". Make no mistake, YHWH can do whatever He wants to do. One of the things He is clearly and obviously comfortable with doing is allowing the Bible to contain contradictions. It is a fact that requires acceptance, and refusing to accept it is to reject His revelation and be counted an unbeliever.

Saying there are "no problem passages" in the Bible IS a "problem interpretation". It entirely violates His will as expressed through 'Iyyohbh. When 'Iyyohbh says (Job 13:7-8) "Will you speak what is unjust for ':Elohhiym? Will you speak what is deceitful for Him? Will you show partiality for Him? Will you contend for ':Elohhiym?", he's expressing the fact that YHWH does not take kindly to those who attempt to vouch for His character, especially by engaging in falsehoods, untruths, and denials of plainly revealed facts. YHWH despises attempts to defend His integrity. He needs no such support. He NEEDS NO DEFENSE. That's is why He says in Job 13:12 that "your defenses are defenses of clay". They are both worthless and the product of worthless (and offensive) thinking. When it comes to YHWH, arguments intended to defend Him offend Him. Apologetics is one of the most suspect of all Christian activities. Attempts to reconcile science with Scripture (given NO such proclamation to do so and the ever-expanding raft of pure assumptions that get vocalized as "certain") are extremely ill-advised. Conclaves and conferences espousing "declarations of inerrancy" are an offensive stench to Him because it is nothing less than institutionalized delusion masquerading as "faithfulness", when it is merely the faith of worthless comforters.

Posts 219
MWW | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Apr 25 2020 3:17 PM

(1 Peter 2:2 NKJV) 2 as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby,

(1 Corinthians 3:2 NKJV) 2 I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able;

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Apr 25 2020 3:31 PM

Just a reminder to several in this thread including myself - if it isn't related to Logos software, tools, or resources don't post it as per the  guidelines                                                          

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 2648
Beloved Amodeo | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Apr 25 2020 9:01 PM

One of the reasons I love the forums is frequently I am moved to reconsider how I view myself as a believer in relation to others and this expands my notion about what it means to be a follower of Jesus. Your desire to witness to your community has challenged me to cast my net to more potential souls outside of my usual comfort zone. So, thank you. Now, the purpose of this preamble is to recommend to you a process or rather an approach to inform your witness. I recommend strongly that you look for resources that will first point out common ground as well as sources of conflict. I think you should familiarize yourself with the art of evangelism by looking for resources that agitate this area. Finally, I recommend that you read the entire bible giving time for reflection and asking in prayer for the Lord to abundantly provide you with insight and wisdom letting the Holy Spirit guide you into all truth. This will take study and work on your part and you may even have to suffer to attain this pearl of great price. But, it will all work together for your good as you grow in Love. I ask that the Lord bless you and keep you and shine his loving grace upon you. I have said all of this to set you up for my latest resource recommendations. I don't own them, but they appear to satisfy the attributes I have outlined in this long winded post.

  1. Find a Bible translation you are comfortable with and read it daily.
  2. Equip yourself as an evangelist

Ray Comfort Evangelism Collection looks good; maybe a fellow forumite can chime in with a review

Evangelism:How to Share the Gospel Faithfully don't own either but I trust MacArthur

Crossing Cultures with Jesus:Sharing Good News with Sensitivity and Grace again don't own but plan to get Monday

   3.  Now the meat. Baker Islam and Christianity Collection

Jesus in Muslim-Christian Conversation you've got me excited about sharing my love for my Savior with my Muslim brothers. Definitely getting this resource.

   

Meanwhile, Jesus kept on growing wiser and more mature, and in favor with God and his fellow man.

International Standard Version. (2011). (Lk 2:52). Yorba Linda, CA: ISV Foundation.

Posts 540
David P. Moore | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Apr 26 2020 7:42 PM

Anees Syed:
Please suggest me how to tackle this.

Anees, first, congratulations on your acceptance of Christ in your life! I applaud you for your courage in taking this step. 

Secondly, and to keep my answer within Forum guidelines, one way I handle Bible difficulties like on that webpage you found is that I created a collection within Logos called Bible Difficulties Collection and added these books from my Logos library:

  1. McDowell, Josh, and Sean McDowell. The Bible Handbook of Difficult Verses: A Complete Guide to Answering the Tough Questions. Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 2013. 
  2. Torrey, R. A. Difficulties in the Bible: Alleged Errors and Contradictions. Willow Grove: Woodlawn Electronic Publishing, 1998.
  3.  Kaiser, Walter C., Jr., Peter H. Davids, F. F. Bruce, and Manfred T. Brauch. Hard Sayings of the Bible. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1996.
  4.  Archer, Gleason L. New International Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties. Zondervan’s Understand the Bible Reference Series. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1982.
  5.  Barry, John D., and Rebecca Van Noord, eds. Study Like a Pro: Explore Difficult Passages from Every Book of the Bible. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2014.
  6.  O’Brien, David E. Today’s Handbook for Solving Bible Difficulties. Minneapolis, MN: David E. O’Brien, 1990.
  7. Geisler, Norman L., and Thomas A. Howe. When Critics Ask : A Popular Handbook on Bible Difficulties. Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books, 1992.
  8. Geisler, Norman L., and Ron Rhodes. When Cultists Ask: A Popular Handbook on Cultic Misinterpretations. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1997.

Six of these books address the first "contradiction" on that webpage. If you don't have these books in your Logos library, I encourage you to get them or at least get some of them in print. Also, "Got Questions?" is also very good, as mentioned earlier. They have a companion website that will be helpful to you: https://www.gotquestions.org/

Hope this helps!

Posts 2648
Beloved Amodeo | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Apr 26 2020 7:44 PM

Anees Syed:
So, I have come across a few contradictions in the Bible. Please suggest me how to tackle this.
Most if not all Christians are hypocrites and Jesus is in our faces trying to agitate us to change our filthy rags for robes of righteousness. Christianity is for the sick sinners. One of my favorite contemporary authors is Rob Bell he's a rebel; his book Jesus Wants to Save Christians pricks the heart. I love his books they challenge you, they make you uncomfortable. As long as we are robed in flesh we are going to have to wrestle with temptation, Rob zeroes in on this dichotomy. When you witness to your loved ones be honest. You don't have all the answers, but you can introduce them to the One True and Living God who does and He will Love them right where they are. That's My Savior! Be Blessed my brother God Loves you the real you, contradictions and all. And most important you don't have to wait until you have it all figured out to share Jesus, you can start right where you are. Believe it!

Meanwhile, Jesus kept on growing wiser and more mature, and in favor with God and his fellow man.

International Standard Version. (2011). (Lk 2:52). Yorba Linda, CA: ISV Foundation.

Posts 2574
David Ames | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Apr 27 2020 5:47 AM

I can solve one of the “Contradictions” 

From the list:

Number 99. Where was Jesus three days after his baptism?

After his baptism, the spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. And he was in the wilderness forty days ... (Mark 1:12-13)

Next day after the baptism, Jesus selected two disciples. Second day: Jesus went to Galilee - two more disciples. Third day: Jesus was at a wedding feast in Cana in Galilee (see John 1:35; 1:43; 2:1-11)

 Now let's use Logos to find the report of the baptism of Jesus

 In Logos search for   Jesus NEAR spirit   Jesus NEAR baptism    Jesus NEAR wilderness   

Then read John. 

Jesus was led into the wilderness as reported in Matthew 4:1, Mark 1:12, and Luke 4:1 immediately after His baptism in the prior verses.    

John does not record the baptism!

Re read it very carefully.  In John is the report of what Jesus did AFTER returning to John AFTER the stay in the wilderness.  Again: John reports on the return of Jesus after the stay in the wilderness.   If we miss read the text we read into the text a “Contradiction”.  If we truly study the text the alleged contradiction evaporates.    [[And I did use Logos - the baptism of Jesus is NOT reported in the book of John]]

 

Posts 2
Anees Syed | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Apr 27 2020 6:55 AM

Very well done brother David, John bore witness about the baptism of Jesus Christ.

(John 1:32:"And John bore witness: “I saw the Spirit descend from heaven like a dove, and it remained on Him". Therefore, John didn't talk about Jesus Christ's baptism or Jesus appearing to him the very next day after His baptism.

I'm sure we can all clear the misunderstandings in the Bible. This is how we can answer the non believers by providing more insight to their claiming to have contradictions in the Bible.

God bless you all ✝❤👍

Posts 1
RACHAEL | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, May 6 2020 8:00 PM

He handle contradictions by eating brown gellies with Moses. He has an awesome lauggter

Posts 2574
Jan Krohn | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, May 7 2020 2:30 AM

Welcome to the family!

Some Logos resources have already been named.

However, my first go-to point to refute the most notorious Muslim claims has been YouTube. It's sometimes difficult to find what you need, but most of the time it's there, and gives you material for further research if needed.

The best one of these YouTube channels is by David Wood (Acts 17 Apologetics). I don't think there's any Muslim claim he hasn't dealt with. There are other channels by Sam Shamoun (Shamounian), Jay Smith (Pfander Films, and The Jay Show), Al Fadi (CIRA), and Hatun Tash (DCCI).

Specifically on supposed Bible contradictions, let me point out some more Logos resources:

* Apologetics Study Bible https://www.logos.com/product/144309/csb-apologetics-study-bible-notes

* Norman Geisler, A Popular Survey on the New Testament https://www.logos.com/product/166501/a-popular-survey-of-the-new-testament

And some more online resources:

https://www.answering-islam.org/

https://defendinginerrancy.com/bible-difficulties/

Edit: on the defendinginerrancy site, there's a list with literature. I've not looked into any of these books personally, but they're hand picked by people like Norman Geisler, Joe Holden and David Farnell, which is reason enough for me to recommend them as well:

Archer, Gleason L. Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties (Zondervan).

Arndt, William, Robert G. Hoerber, and Walther R. Roehrs. Bible Difficulties and Seeming Contradictions (Concordia).

Bing, Charlie. Grace, Salvation, and Discipleship: How to Understand Some Difficult Bible Passages (GraceLife Ministries).

Clark, Gordon. Can I Trust My Bible (Moody).

DeHoff, George. Alleged Bible Contradictions Explained (DeHoff Publications).

Ellis, E. Earle. Paul’s Use of the Old Testament (Eerdmans).

Geisler, Norman L., and Thomas Howe. The Big Book of Bible Difficulties (Baker).

Guillebaud, Harold E. Some Moral Difficulties in the Bible (Inter Varsity).

Past IT Consultant. Past Mission Worker. Entrepreneur. Future Seminary Student.
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