Did you know that there is not a single contradiction in the Bible? Years ago this claim was never really challenged among believers. Most people respected the Bible as God’s authoritative Word. But today, to even make such a suggestion often garners snickers from others, even among Christians. I’ve studied the Bible and been in ministry for years, and one thing I’ve heard over and over again from critics of the Bible (and unfortunately a growing number of Christians) is that it is full of contradictions.
The number of Christians who agree with this claim is really what unsettles me most. They say they believe in God, but many don’t see the Bible as authoritative, because of it’s so-called errors. Unbelievers often make the claim that the Bible was simply a book written by man, and specifically by the church as a means to “control” others under a religious code, for the purpose of solidifying power and control for money.
Here’s the thing. When I ask them to give me an example of a contradiction, every single time without exception, I’ve discovered that the problem was not the Bible itself, but rather their understanding of the Bible. 100% of the time, the issue is a lack of understanding of either the context, history, language, customs, or simply an antipathy against the text or Christianity itself.
Here’s the thing: If you believe in God, and if He created all that you see, the vastness of the universe all the way down to the things you cannot see, the atomic and subatomic world of particles, then don’t you think a God this powerful has the ability and means to not only speak His will to mankind, but to also preserve it, and ensure that it is passed down to successive generations for them to get the benefit of it? Do we really believe that God is too impotent to give us the Bible and not be able to establish and maintain the integrity of it? Questioning the existence of God is one thing, but questioning the validity of the Bible is another issue altogether.
My challenge to critics of the Bible is to realize that God’s Word has long outlasted millennia of detractors, and that it will outlast them as well. The tired and well-worn arguments that often come my way (which are usually copied and pasted from websites that specialize in trying to list all the “contradictions” of the Bible, have been answered time and time again. My recommendation is, if a person wants to criticize the Bible, they need to at least first take the time to truly understand it and read it, in context, and not read it just to look for “contradictions.” If you want to try to oppose the God of the universe and make the claim that He has no claim over your life, then spend a week or two and truly read the Bible, from cover to cover.
What I’ve learned over the years is that any honest heart that comes to the Bible, even ones that initially don’t believe, never leave the Bible the same person that came to it–and often the encounter with God in the Bible births faith in them, a faith they never knew was even possible for them to have.
“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” – Hebrews 4:12
The greatest proof we have for the validity of the Bible is prophecy. Never in all the years I have studied with non believers have they been able to explain away the hundreds of prophesies that you can verify as historical truth and that have been fulfilled exactly as they were written. Take for example the life of Christ. When you read the Old Testament there are over 300 prophesies that predict everything from the birth of Christ, to his ministry and life, what he looked like and what his ministry would be about, where he would be born and where he would die, how he would die, and how he would be raised from the dead. The statistical probability of even just one of these prophesies (written hundreds, sometimes thousands of years before the birth of Christ) is incomprehensible. And then to have Jesus fulfill hundreds of them? The statistics become insane at that point. And yet, Jesus fulfilled them all. And there’s more prophesies that have yet to be fulfilled, about his second coming, many of which are already now starting to be fulfilled.
Unbelievers don’t typically deal with the issue of prophecy. They would rather accuse God of wrongdoing for the ills of the world, or blame Him for being a bigot because scripture does not line up with modern-day mores and values. Again, my challenge to any intellectually honest skeptic is deal with the issue of prophecy. How can you say the Bible is full of errors when you have over 300 fulfilled prophesies, statistically saying otherwise? It’s something to think about.
I found a neat little resource lately online that was free. It is a booklet that deals with the question of contradictions in the Bible and even addresses some of the most common criticisms from atheists and non-believers. It is published through Lifeway and it called Are There Contradictions in the Bible? If you would like to read this resource you can download it by clicking here: http://bit.ly/1Kx0TIA
What are some “contradictions” you’ve heard about the Bible? How did you answer their question? Type your responses below.