Contradictions: What Do They Mean?

The bible is full of contradictions.  For the most part, Christians are not even aware of that simple fact.  I grew up hearing the declaration that the bible cannot contradict itself.  If even one contradiction or false piece of information was found in the bible, it would prove that the bible was the work of man rather than the infallible word of god.  As it happens, I still agree with this sentiment.  If the bible comes from god, it must be perfect in all aspects.  If it has human influence, then it is no longer the perfect word of god.  Once you find one error in the bible, if you are going to continue using it as a guide, you must pick and choose which parts you will deem worth believing.

For me, it is an all or nothing proposition.  That might just be a product of how I grew up.  For others, they can live with the contradictions and errors they know to be there, and still find a way to believe its more outrageous claims.  If the bible is not the perfect word of god, it’s just literature.  Important literature, but literature nonetheless.  I do not based how I live my life on literature.

Rather than provide a bunch of biblical contradictions, I will let someone else do it.  At the end of this post will be a link to a page that I strongly encourage you to read.  It is much longer than my average post, so prepare to take a little time with it.  One contradiction can be explained away, or even ignored.  The bible presents us with hundreds.  Often, I will give a few examples of something and end by saying, “I could go on in this manner for some time”.  This page will give you a sense of just how long I could go on with the subject of contradictions.

My point is not just to show that there are contradictions, but to encourage you to consider what that means.  When you see so many all in one place and taken as a whole, it has a powerful impact.  From time to time, I will point out some of my favorite contradictions and errors from the bible.  When I was a kid, I knew they were there, but I used to play the game of figuring out how to explain them away.  Now, I don’t.  How do you deal with biblical contradictions and errors?

David Johnson


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