In my previous post I tackled a few scriptures that are used to argue that the Bible is contradictory. If the enemies of the cross of Christ can find factual errors or contradictions in the infallible word of God, then they can argue that the Bible cannot be trusted to tell us the truth and that it is unreliable. We can rest assured that this is just the age-old tactic inspired by Satan to get those of us in the faith to doubt what God says. Since God’s word is above his name [Psalm 138:2], we can have confidence that there aren’t any mistakes in his word. I will now resolve other issues raised by the doubters at this website brought to my attention by a doubting commenter here at my blog.
Genesis 2:17 “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”
Genesis 5:5 “And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died.”
The argument is that Adam was told he would die physically, not spiritually, as soon as he ate from the tree, but he lived over 900 years. The critics are so foolish that they can’t see that Genesis 5:5 fulfills what God was talking about in Genesis 2. God was talking about both physical and spiritual death. He let Adam know that if he would eat from the tree, he would no longer be immortal and would be susceptible to dying at some point. Not only would his body become corruptible but his spirit man would no longer have spiritual fellowship with God, i.e. spiritual death.
Furthermore, the term “thou shalt surely die” is a term that not only speaks of the moment at which the action is taken, but also speaks continuously of what the future holds. In other words, it was saying he would have death hanging over his head at every moment after eating the fruit. So Genesis 5 is the confirmation, not the contradiction and the whole argument is rather weak.
Matthew 1:16 “And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.”
Luke 3:23 “And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli,”
So who was really Joseph’s father? According to Hebrew traditions, both of them were. When a Hebrew man married, his father in law considered him as his son [see 1 Samuel 24:16; 26:21] and a son in law could be included in the genealogy of his father in law. This is especially true when a man like Heli had only daughters [see Numbers 27:1-11; 36:1-12]. So one of these genealogies would be Joseph’s line while the other is Mary’s. The purpose of the genealogies was to show Jesus was from the line of Judah in fulfillment of Messianic prophecy and they don’t provide the names of every individual in his line.
This proves the accuracy of the writers in that they were familiar with the practices of the times and did their research thoroughly to get their facts straight so the authenticity and reliability of God’s word would be preserved.
Genesis 22:1 “And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham,”
James 1:13 “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:”
So why does the Bible say God tempted Abraham when it also says he doesn’t tempt any man? The explanation for these statements lies in the context of each scripture. The context of Genesis 22 is that God was testing Abraham to see how loyal he would be. It was a test for good to see if Abraham was willing to sacrifice everything for God, for as Jesus said, “He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me. He that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me,” [Matthew 10:37]. God must be number one above everything and everyone. This is ultimately for our own good and for his much-deserved glory.
James 1 is talking about temptation to do evil. God is not in the business of leading man into sinning against him, so man only has himself to blame when he gives into evil temptations.
The critics got it wrong again.
Genesis 6:19-20 “And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female. Of fowls after their kind, and of cattle after their kind, of every creeping thing of the earth after his kind, two of every sort shall come unto thee, to keep them alive.”
Genesis 7:2-3 “Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female. Of fowls also of the air by sevens, the male and the female; to keep seed alive upon the face of all the earth.”
Did Noah take in animals in pairs or in sevens? Again the critics have overlooked the details. Both accounts are accurate. God told Noah to pair off the animals, the male and his female. If he took in seven of one kind of animal, one of the animals doesn’t have a mate. So obviously God wasn’t talking about taking in seven of one kind of animal.
He was telling Noah how to load the paired off animals. The clean animals and birds were to be loaded in pairs in groups of seven pairs. So the clean animals were loaded 14 at a time. The unclean animals were to be loaded two groups of pairs at a time so they were loaded four animals at a time. Duh!
1 Kings 7:23 “And he made a molten sea, ten cubits from the one brim to the other: it was round all about, and his height was five cubits: and a line of thirty cubits did compass it round about.”
Critics point out that the circumference (πd) of the molten sea would have to be greater than 30 cubits to go around it, so they claim a mathematical error is in play here. However, the line would only have to be over 30 cubits if it is around the brim. This scripture never says the line is around the brim, so clearly the line is somewhere below the brim where the circumference would be smaller since the molten sea gradually increased in circumference from the bottom to the top like a bowl. So the math in the Bible is accurate.
Leviticus 11:20-21 “All fowls that creep, going upon all four, shall be an abomination unto you. Yet these may ye eat of every flying creeping thing that goeth upon all four, which have legs above their feet, to leap withal upon the earth;”
The contention here is that fowls don’t creep on all four because they only have two feet. However, the critics in a rush to tear down God’s word failed to do their etymology. The word fowls was originally used for all winged non-insect creatures and the definition for this word used in this context is provided in v. 21 when it says “every flying creeping thing.” So fowls included bats and they go on all fours. Sorry Bible-haters, there’s no error here.
Leviticus 11:6 “And the hare, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you.”
Critics argue that the hare doesn’t chew the cud and it divides the hoof. They assume chewing the cud means an animal must have several stomachs and regurgitates its food. But chewing the cud actually means an animal has to send partially digested food more than once through its digestive system. Hares do exactly this with a process called refection, or coprophagia. When it consumes food, it can only partially digest it so the hare excretes it out its back end and eats the partially digested food in its feces. Sounds gross, but its chewing the cud nonetheless.
Hares don’t actually divide the hoof all the way through to form separated toes. Their hoofs are only partially divided, so partially divided wasn’t good enough to make God’s cut and the Bible remains accurate.
Matthew 13:31-32 “Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.”
Didn’t Jesus know there are several seeds smaller than mustard seed and the mustard plant stays small? But context determines what he meant. Jesus is talking about mustard seed being the smallest crop seed that a farmer in his region planted at that time, not the smallest seed ever on Earth. Additionally, mustard plants have been known to grow up to 12 feet tall. That would definitely make it the greatest of herbs where Jesus lived and birds could nest in them.
Jonah 1:17 “Now the LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.”
Matthew 12:40 “For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.”
Why would Jonah call a whale a fish when a whale isn’t a fish? This has to do with the word usage at the time Jonah was written. Just like fowls were any creature that flew, a fish was considered anything that lived in water. So Jonah used the general term while Jesus used the more specific term. They were both correct.
Matthew 4:8 “Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them”
The criticism for this one is that it is impossible to see all the kingdoms on Earth even if you go to the highest mountain. But Luke’s account of this incident gives us more details. He said Satan showed Jesus the kingdoms “in a moment of time.” So the devil used his supernatural power to show all of the kingdoms of the world in a format similar to our movie screens or holographs to give Jesus a quick glimpse of them, as if Jesus didn’t already know what they looked like. If one understands that even fallen angels have supernatural abilities, then it isn’t farfetched to realize that Satan used them in this instance and the account of what happened is accurate.
(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; [2 Corinthians 10:4-5]
–posted by Harry A. Gaylord–