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Gerard de VosCreated by Gerard de Vos
on 12-03-2009
Category: Faith related
Contradictions in the Bible

We live in an age where doubt about the truth of the Bible is actively fostered. It is the goal of many skeptics, atheists, evolutionists, and other religions like Islam, to teach people that there are so many contradictions in the Bible, it is clearly a product of man.
We know that if the Bible were the work of men, we would have no reason to take it to heart. We accept it as the Word of God (among other reasons) for the remarkable influence and spread of the Gospel over the last 2000 years.

Why then is it possible that it could contain information that looks like contradictions? We quote: ‘No Christian doctrine is free from problems: and that for a very good reason. God has put forward His truth as an object for faith, and the proper ground of faith is God’s own authoritative testimony.... Man’s original sin was a lust after self-sufficient knowledge, a craving to shake off all external authority and work things out for himself (see in Genesis 3 - the rejection of God’s word, and the acceptance of the devil’s that they will have more knowledge). God deliberately presents saving truth to sinners in such a way that their acceptance of it involves an act of intellectual repentance, whereby they humble themselves and submit once more to be taught by Him. Thus they renounce their calamitous search after a self-made wisdom (1 Corinthians 1:19-25) in order to regain the kind of knowledge for which they were made, that which comes from taking their Creator’s word. So as to make this renunciation clear-cut, God has ensured that no single article of faith should be demonstrable as, say, a geometrical theorem is, nor free from unsolved mystery. Man must be content to know by faith, and to know, in this world at any rate, in part. We must not, therefore, expect to find the doctrine of biblical inspiration free from difficulties, any more than are the doctrines of the Trinity, incarnation or atonement. Nor must we expect to be able to solve all its problems in this world. Nor must we wonder that Christians easily fall into heresy over this doctrine, as over others (Edited by D Guthrie, Motyer, Stibbs and Wiseman, The New Bible Commentary, revised, InterVarsity Press, 1970, p 17).

To summarize this excellent comment:

  • Adam and Eve rejected God’s word.
  • They ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, which was forbidden.
  • The knowledge they got estranged them from God.
  • Adam did not believe God’s word.
  • As a result God designed His Word in such a way that it would be an article of faith: do we believe it, even if some parts seem strange or illogical to us (nothing in God’s kingdom is illogical, but we are often hindered by our lack of understanding).
  • God asks the same question to all people through the ages: do you trust Me enough to accept My Word (words) as truth?

The Bible has been written for a certain goal: to either build faith, or give a person reason to reject it. It is admirably described: ‘God reveals Himself in His Word, as He does in His works. In both we see a self-revealing, self-concealing God, who makes Himself known only to those who earnestly seek Him. In both we find stimulants to faith and occasions for unbelief. In both we find contradictions, whose higher harmony is hidden, except from him who gives up his whole mind in reference (Neanser, quoted in J Haley, Apparent Discrepancies of the Bible, Whitaker House, 1992, p 15).

"But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.” 1 Corinth 1:27