Reposting from a FaceBook post in 2016
I was forwarded a document containing 101 contradictions in the bible. Having scrutinized half of these, these claims form the following groups:
• Details contradict in older translations only
• Differing witness accounts
• Differing details from one author
• Rounding differences but similar ballpark figure
• Clerical error
• No contradiction – overzealous to discredit the bible
While the Bible has a few immaterial contradictions, these imply it is not a collaborated fiction. The Bible is the most well preserved historical record, which withstands all contradictory claims from historians, scientists
I had previously claimed that the Bible is the only 100% accurate historical account. As even modern translations include some valid contradictions, I can no longer make this assertion. Generously allowing for 101 contradictory verses, of the 31,102 verses, 202/31,102 = 0.65% are inconsistent, so the Bible is only 99.35% accurate. This in itself is a problem, because if the Bible is not 100% accurate, it casts doubt on its accuracy. I can only conclude that this too is consistent with God’s nature – just as he created the forbidden tree in Eden and Jesus refused to perform a miracle show, God seems to provide opportunities to test our faith. He wants us to work through and mature our faith, and not remain with an infantile understanding.
I was most disturbed by John’s placing Jesus before Pilate around noon when the other gospels place him on the cross at that time and Mark specifying his crucifixion at
Reflecting on this, it’s really not of theological importance. It proves a lack of collaboration from John to reinforce the lie established with the earlier gospels, which would have been available to him. I’m sure that the early church fathers would have been aware of this when assembling the
We are taught when reading the Bible to only establish doctrine upon the consistency of multiple biblical sources that stand without contradiction. This is extrapolated from Deuteronomy 19:15 “One witness is not enough to convict anyone accused of any crime or offense they may have committed. A matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.” When the Bible was assembled from thousands of popular and God-inspired writings, this consistency was a primary
Details contradict in older translations only
The beloved King James Bible was written between 1604 and 1611. It was compiled from Latin and Greek translations, for which there were a limited number of hand-written copies in circulation.
Modern Bibles collaborate these sources with many other manuscripts, dozens of which date back to the first centuries. They also use the Dead Sea scrolls, which date back to centuries before Christ.
Due to the limited number of sources available to renaissance translators, they suffer more from translational and clerical error.
I had previously advised against using the King James Translation because the English language has changed so significantly that some expressions are misunderstood e.g. Genesis 2:28’s “replenish” later developed the meaning to re-stock. Its KJV meaning is reflected in modern translations as “fill”. This list of contradictions provides a further reason to prefer a modern translation.
Among my associations, the New International Version is preferred. I have
Differing witness accounts
Witnesses to an event will produce different accounts. When a story is collaborated, witnesses will use the same wording and agree on some specific minuscule details. In a legal setting, the truth is established by combining the accounts, corresponding common details and refuting erroneous details can by forensics or well established contradictory facts.
Differing details from one author
I can only say you should compare my dad’s stories today with my childhood version. People remember things differently over time. However, the important points remain intact.
Rounding differences but similar ballpark figure
Above I said the Dead Sea scrolls date back to centuries before Christ. I summarized this from “The Scrolls date from around 250 B.C. to 68 A.D”. I was simply being less precise because I felt greater precision would be a distraction from what I was trying to say.
Ezra 2 and Nehemiah 7 provide independent accounts of the number of people returning from exile. Some family subtotals do not match and some are not specified to add up to the agreed 42,360 in total.
I can speculate that perhaps the original handwriting was poor, but I have no problem with these guys simply getting some numbers wrong. More palatably the definition of belonging to a family may have differed or people may have come to a better understanding of their ancestry between the two accounts.
It seems the author of this list has been overzealous in discrediting the Bible – making some claims that are simply not contradictory.
Joshua defeated the King of Jerusalem, but not Jerusalem itself – because he wasn’t in the city at the time.
Details can be found in http://Bretanark.com/Downloads/101-Bible-Contradictions.docx