1 Samuel 15:35
1 Kings 15:14
2 Kings 18:5
2 Kings 24:6
- Many of the alleged contradictions in the Bible do not qualify as such since a contradiction requires an affirmation and denial of the same proposition. The inscriptions on the "cross" are often cited as contradictory. Upon an examination of the accounts in the Gospels, it will be seen that none of the writers denies, what one of the other Gospel writers affirms. The claim that the accounts are contradictory is a spurious one, since the evidence does not satisfy the definition of a contradiction.1 If, however, one talks about a sun that is always light, yet dark, contradictory statements are made. By definition that which is always light cannot be dark. Nor can one talk about a square circle, since by definition a circle is round and not square. The property of squareness precludes the possibility of a square being a circle.
- Many of the alleged inaccuracies (between parallel narratives in the Gospels, for example) which are argued against belief in the verbal and infallible inspiration of Scripture, indicate a misunderstanding of the nature of verbal inspiration. Divine penmen were not obliged to record all details of event. For the purposes of his Gospel, Mark only refers to the healing of one blind man as Jesus left Jericho (Mark 10:46-52), whereas Matthew includes the healing of two blind men. (Matt. 20:29-34). All writers are selective in the information they record. John commented: "And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written." (John 21:25). Similarly, a contemporary "uninspired" historian may choose to ignore certain data and include others which are relevant to his purpose and classification.
- Most apparent contradictions are easily resolved by a careful reading of the passages in question in their contexts, and by clearly defining what is, and what is not, said. For example, it is written of both Hezekiah and Josiah that "after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor any that were before him:" (2 Kings 18:5; 23:25). As these statements read, they appear contradictory until it is noted in what respect "after him was none like him . . . nor any that were before him." It will be seen that Hezekiah is commended because he trusted, and Josiah because he turned to the LORD. Since mutually exclusive statements are not made, the two statements are not contradictory. The problem is resolved by merely noting precisely what the records do say.
- In certain instances not all problems may be resolved by a careful reading of the contexts and a clarification of what is, and what is not, claimed by the narratives. Such ought not to be the source of undue embarrassment. The fact that no resolution of a problem is immediately possible is not proof that the right solution is not available. Humility is required that one does not confine the divine inspiration of Scripture to the level of one's intellectual attainments.
- Contradiction: "The act of denying the truth of something, or stating the opposite of something . . . " Webster's Illustrated Dictionary, (New York: Books, Inc., 1955). Return