"...but try the spirits whether they are of God..." (1 Jno. 4:1)

Volume One, Number One Winter 1991

Alleged Bible Contradictions Explained (1)

Jerry Moffitt

I deny that the Bible is full of errors. To support the Book of Mormon, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints claims there are many contradictions and errors in in the Bible. They have to try to discredit the Bible for in many places it contradicts the Book of Mormon. Liberals and Modernists say the Bible is errant. If the Bible were without flaw, it would mean it was miraculously inspired. They do not like miracles. The scientific and intellectual community scoffs at such, and if they are to receive praise they must alter their faith.

I deny that there are contradictions in the Bible, but I will admit that there are some pretty good, "seeming," contradictions, many of which deserve a careful answer. Yet, I deny that there are any which cannot be answered, and I would be genuinely surprised to find out that they have not already been answered in various books. I have never, in truth, seen a "contradiction" in the Bible which had no answer, and I am perfectly and completely convinced that I never will. But even if one could be produced, it is possible that it appears a "contradiction" merely because of a lack of information. Let us now view some of the so called contradictions which often come up.

The Blind Man at Jerico

Compare Matthew 20:29-34 with Mark 10:46-52 and Luke 18:35-43. Matthew says the Lord held two blind men as he left Jerico. The other two accounts say one blind man (Bartimaeus) was healed as they entered Jerico. "There," some would say, "is a bare contradiction." But we would reply, "Not at all!" When two people describe the same event, one may include details the other would not. Matthew mentions two, while Mark and Luke only speak of the more prominent one. Mark and Luke go into more detail on the name.

Too, there were two Jericos -- the old city and the new. The healing very well may have taken place after they left the old city, and as they were entering the new. So there is no contradiction there, and those who would attack the Bible cannot possibly remove these simple, plausible explanations.

Paul on the Damascus Road

Compare Acts 9:7 with Acts 22:9. When YOU find these two references you will find Acts 9:7 says the men with Paul heard the voice of Christ. Acts 22:9 says they heard not the voice. So there, some would suppose, is an unanswerable, direct contradiction! "It cannot possibly be answered!" Oh!? It is really simple to answer! Would one think Luke would be so foolish as to contradict himself in such short a space? The word heard is the Greek word akouo. Like most words, it has an area of meaning, not one finite meaning. It can mean hear with the ear, or it can mean "to understand." In the Greek, the verb is used differently in chapter 9 than in chapter 22. The first indicates that they heard the sound, but the way it is used in the second indicates that they did not understand the meaning. (Vine, Vol. IV., p.204) So the Simple English Bible translates Acts 9:7: "The men heard (akouo) the voice. but saw no one." It translates Acts 22:9: "The men who were with me did not understand (akouo) the voice, but they saw the light." Again, there is no contradiction.

How Many Thieves

Compare Matthew 27:44 with Luke :23:39. One says the robbers reviled Jesus, while the other says only one did. I have always thought that both railed on Jesus, hut one had a change of heart and asked Jesus to remember him in his kingdom. However, some would suggest that this is the plural of class both mentioned, but only one mocked. (More to come) (Jerry, Moffitt's address is P.O. Box 1275, Portland Texas 78374 12753

CHALLENGE is published quarterly by Challenge Publications.
Jerry D. McDonald, Editor; Michael P. Hughes, Associate Editor.

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