ARE THERE CONTRADICTIONS IN THE BIBLE? Jun 07, 2021



Yes, although most of the Bible's content is harmonious, plenty of passages show the Book contradicting itself. Nevertheless, it is essential to note that many of the contradictions are apparent and can be understood correctly if the reader applies proper principles. Christians of most denominations defend the position that the Bible is without error. They reason that God is the author of the Book and cannot contradict Himself. They affirm the Scriptures foretold the birth and death of great empires and kingdoms and offer irrefutable answers to life's most important questions.


Furthermore, it described nature's elements long before scientists even know they existed. Contrarily, I see the Bible as a collection of books written by different authors over many centuries. We expect them to naturally contradict each other when describing events they may or may not have witnessed. This is why the first thing to consider when reading a contradictory statement or verse is the writer's point of view. To read them properly, the reader must place the verses beside each other. The authors' creativity or even improvisation might describe the same event using different wording, including details the others did not witness.


Let’s review, as an example, the story about the recruiting of the first disciples, which the four gospel writers tell: Mark tells the story as follows: “As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” At once they left their nets and followed him.” (Mark 1:16-18).


Matthew’s story is almost identical: “As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon, called Peter, and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” At once they left their nets and followed him.” (Matthew 4:18-20).


Luke told a longer and much more detailed story: “One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret (Sea of Galilee), the people were crowding around him and listening to the word of God. He saw two boats at the water’s edge, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. Jesus got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat. When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” When they had done so, they caught so many fish that their nets began to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink. When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” For him and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners. Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on, you will fish for people.” So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything, and followed him.” (Luke 5:1-11).


John’s rendition of the story is quite different; he embellishes it in a dynamic and colorful dimension: “The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!” When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus. Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, “What do you want?” They said, “Rabbi” (which means “Teacher”), “where are you staying?” “Come,” he replied, “and you will see.” So they went and saw where he was staying, and they spent that day with him. It was about four in the afternoon. Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and followed Jesus. The first thing Andrew did was find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (Christ). And he brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon, son of John. You will be called Cephas” (which, when translated, is Peter). The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. Finding Philip, he said to him, “Follow me.” Philip, like Andrew and Peter, was from the town of Bethsaida. Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked. “Come and see,” said Philip. When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, “Here truly is an Israelite in whom there is no deceit.” “How do you know me?” Nathanael asked. Jesus answered, “I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you.” Then Nathanael declared, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the king of Israel.” Jesus said, “You believe because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You will see greater things than that.” He then added, “Very truly I tell you, you will see ‘heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.” (John 1:35-51).


The many contradictions in the biblical text are significant evidence to prove that God did not write the Bible. To confirm this assertion, I will write down some of the verses that I believe contradict others. Test every one of those passages using an accurate Bible translation and judge them for yourself: The first book of the Bible tells us that God built everything in six days and rested on the seventh (Genesis 2:2), but Jesus, however, said that God has kept working until now (John 5:17). Jesus returned vision to a blind man or two. Where? Luke said it happened to one man when Jesus was coming to Jericho (Luke 18:35-43); Matthew, however, tells us that he cured two men when he was going out of Jericho (Matthew 20:29-34).


Matthew reports that the centurion – a Roman army officer – came to Jesus with a request (Matthew 8:5); Luke, on the other hand, says that a group of old men came to Jesus to make the request (Luke 7:3). The Bible teaches that we inherited sin from Adam, so we all die because we all sinned (Romans 5:12); John tells it differently, stating that a good person doesn’t sin (1 John 3:6). The Bible teaches that the earth will last forever (Ecclesiastes 1:4); the same Book tells us that the world and its elements will burn up (2 Peter 3:10). “No one has ever seen God.” (John 1:18). Jacob affirms the contrary, saying, “I have seen God face to face.” (Genesis 32:30). John says that all those in the graves will be resurrected (John 5:28-29), while the Book states that those who died will remain dead (Job 7:9). One of the most relevant contradictions is about the second coming of Jesus and the end of the world. The Lord, addressing his disciples, said that some would be alive when he returned (Matthew 16:28). Without question in my mind, he was warning and preparing his disciples for the end of the world. All that generation passed away, the world did not end, and is still going on. Just by surviving, the earth makes Jesus’ statement a contradiction.


I am not discrediting the Bible. However, we should recognize that many writers contributed to its making, and those writers were imperfect humans who wrote their messages from their different points of view.

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