Hover over Romans 1:20-22 for proof of God's existence, and over Matthew 5:27-28 for Judgment Day’s perfect standard. Then hover over John 3:16-18 for what God did, and over Acts 17:30-31 for what to do.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

What about Bible contradictions?

The Bible has many seeming contradictions within its pages. For example, the four Gospels give four differing accounts as to what was written on the sign that hung on the cross. Matthew said, “This is Jesus the King of the Jews” (27:37). However, Mark contradicts that with “The King of the Jews” (15:26). Luke says something different: “This is the King of the Jews” (23:38), and John maintains that the sign said “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews” (19:19).

Those who are looking for contradictions may therefore say, “See—the Bible is full of mistakes!” and choose to reject it entirely as being untrustworthy. However, those who trust God have no problem harmonizing the Gospels. There is no contradiction if the sign simply said, “This is Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.”

The godly base their confidence on two truths: 1) “all Scripture is given by inspiration of God” (2 Timothy 3:16); and 2) an elementary rule of Scripture is that God has deliberately included seeming contradictions in His Word to “snare” the proud. He has “hidden” things from the “wise and prudent” and “revealed them to babes” (Luke 10:21), purposely choosing foolish things to confound those who are wise in their own eyes (see 1 Corinthians 1:27).

If an ungodly man refuses to humble himself and obey the gospel, and instead desires to build a case against the Bible, God gives him enough material to build his own gallows.

This incredible principle is clearly illustrated in the account of the capture of Zedekiah, king of Judah. The prophet Jeremiah told Zedekiah that God would judge him. He was informed that he would be “delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon” and “behold his eyes” (Jeremiah 32:4). This is confirmed in Jeremiah 39:5–7 where we are told that he was captured and brought to King Nebuchadnezzar, then they “bound him with bronze fetters to carry him off to Babylon.” However, in Ezekiel 12:13, God Himself warned, “I will bring him to Babylon . . . yet he shall not see it, though he shall die there” (emphasis added).

Here is material to build a case against the Bible! It is an obvious mistake. Three Bible verses say that the king would go to Babylon, and yet the Bible in another place says that he would not see Babylon. How can someone be taken somewhere and not see it? It makes no sense at all—unless Zedekiah was blinded.

And that is precisely what happened. Zedekiah saw Nebuchadnezzar face to face, saw his sons killed before his eyes, then “the king of Babylon . . . put out Zedekiah’s eyes” before taking him to Babylon (see Jeremiah 39:6,7).

This is the underlying principle behind the many “contradictions” of Holy Scripture (such as the hour at which Jesus was crucified, who was the first to arrive at the tomb after the resurrection of Jesus, etc.). God has turned the tables on proud, arrogant, self-righteous man. When he smugly stands outside of the kingdom of God, and seeks to justify his sinfulness through evidence that he thinks discredits the Bible, he doesn’t realize that God has simply lowered the door of life, so that only those who are prepared to exercise childlike faith, and bow in humility, may enter.
Adapted from The Evidence Bible (Bridge-Logos).