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Scriptural Contradictions 1

Note: There are reportedly thousands of contradictions and discrepenices in scripture.  Listed below are only a few examples.  Biblicists have had over 2,000 years to formulate explanations and try to harmonize the writings of apparant scriptural discrepencies; entire courses are taught in apologetics.   So, it's not that there is an abscense of proposed solutions.  Rather, check out these verses for yourself.  Do the proposed solutions, harmonizations, or reconcilliations make sense? Is just coming up with any possibility really an adequate explanation - vs. a believable one or one with high probability and plausibility?  And if the scriptures are inspired, why all these problems?  Could not God have given his Word so there would be no gray areas, let alone some very difficult discrepencies to try and explain? Isn't a better explanation that they were written over thousands of years by different authors in different cultures and represent human authorship without any divine input?


1. 1 Kings 4:26 vs. 2 Chronicles 9:25.


     Did Solomon have 40,000 stalls or 4,000 stalls?


2. 2 Kings 24:8 vs. 2 Chronicles 36:9.


     Was Jehoiachin 8 years old when he became King or 18 years old?


3. 2 Kings 8:26 vs. 2 Chronicles 22:2.


     Was Ahaziah 22 years old when he began his reign or 42 years old?


4. 2 Kings 25:8 vs. Jerimiah 52:12


     Did Nebuzaradan come to Jerusalem in the 5th month, 7th day or the 5th month, 10th day?


5. 2 Samuel 8:3 - 4 vs 1 Chronicles 18: 3 - 4


     Did David take 700 horseman from Hadadezer or 7,000?


6. 2 Samuel 6:23 vs. 2 Samuel 21:8


     Did Saul's daughter have no children or 5 children?


7. Genesis 32:30 vs. John 1:18


     Do you die or not if you see God?


"For example, Gen 32:30 states, "...for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved."  However, John 1:18 states, "No man hath seen God at any time..."  Both statements cannot be true.  Either there is an error of fact, or an error of translation.  In either case, there is an error. And if there is an error, then infallibility of the Bible (in this case the King James Version) is falsified.  A typical defense used here is to look up the meaning of the original Hebrew / Greek, read that one of the words can have multiple meanings, and then pick the meaning that seems to break the contradiction.  For example, the Christian might argue that "seen" or "face" means one thing in the first scripture, and something completely different in the second.  The logical flaw in this approach is that it amounts to saying that the translator should have chosen to use a different word in one of the two scriptures in order to avoid the resulting logical contradiction that now appears in English—that is, the translator made an error. If no translation error occurred, then an error of fact exists in at least one of the two scriptures.  Appeals to "context" are irrelevant in cases like this where simple declarative statements are involved such as "no one has seen God" and "I have seen God." Simply put, no "context" makes a contradiction or a false statement, like 2 = 3, true."   [Source:  Edwards, Wesly P.  Biblical Errors and Contradictions. Link.]


8. Genesis 1: 1 - 23  vs.  Genesis 2: 4 - 25


     Were humans created after the other animals or before the other animals?


9.  There are many doublets and a few triplets in the Bible and they have discrepencies in them. These are pairs of stories found in separate locations.


"Theologians were prompted to develop the Documentary Hypothesis as a result of observing the presence of doublets in the Pentateuch. These are pairs of stories which occur in two separate locations in the text. The doublets generally do not agree fully; there are usually minor differences between the stories. R.E.  Friedman, in his 1997 book "Who Wrote the Bible?" lists a number of them:


Two creation stories in Genesis.

Two descriptions of the Abrahamic covenant.

Two stories of the naming of Isaac.

Two instances where Abraham deceived a king by introducing his wife Sarah as his sister.

Two stories of Jacob traveling to Mesopotamia

Two stories of a revelation at Beth-el to Jacob.

Two accounts of God changing Jacob's name to Israel

Two instances where Moses extracted water from two different rocks at two different locations called Meribah.


It is difficult to account for so many doublets -- most containing slight discrepancies -- if all five books were written over a short interval of time by Moses or by any other single individual. Liberal theologians reasoned that a much more logical explanation is that the books were written by multiple authors who lived long after the events described. That would have allowed the oral tradition to be passed from generation to generation in different areas of the land so that they had a chance to deviate from each other before being written down. In a few cases, triplets have been found in the Pentateuch where the same accounts appears three times. 10 [numbers are from the article's citations]


Genesis 7:15: In the story of the Flood, these verses have Noah collecting two of each species of animals -- one male and one female . Genesis 7:2-3 specifies 7 pairs of clean animals and birds and 1 pair of unclean animals.

Genesis 7:11 describes water coming from the heavens and from below the ground to generate the worldwide flood. However, Genesis 7:4 describes all of the water falling as rain.

Genesis 7:11, 7:17, 7:24 and 8:3 specify different intervals for the flood duration which have no apparent resolution. 11

Genesis 11:31 This describes Abraham as living in the city Ur, and associates that location with the Chaldeans. Archaeological evidence indicates that the Chaldeans did not exist as a tribe at the time of Abraham; they rose to power much later, during the 1st millennium BCE.

Genesis 14:14: This verse refers to Abram pursuing some surviving kings of Sodom and Gomorrah to the city of Dan. However, that place name did not exist until a long time after Moses' death. Other locations are also identified in the Pentateuch by names that were invented long after the death of Moses.

Genesis 22:14: The verse states: "And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day..." There are many verses in the Torah that state that something has lasted "to this day". That appears to have been written by a writer who composed the passages long after the events described, and long after Moses' death.

Genesis 36 contained a list of Edomite kings which included some monarchs who were in power after Moses' death. R.E. Friedman wrote: "In the eleventh century, Isaac ibn Yashush, a Jewish court physician of a ruler in Muslim Spain, pointed out that a list of Edomite kings that appears in Genesis 36 named kings who lived long after Moses was dead. Ibn Yashush suggested that the list was written by someone who lived after Moses. The response to his conclusion was that he was called "Isaac the blunderer." History has proven him to be correct, at least as viewed by most mainline and liberal theologians. 9

Exodus 33:7 describes Moses entering the Tabernacle. Yet, the Tabernacle had not yet been built; its subsequent construction is described in Exodus 35.

Numbers 12:3: This verse states "Now the man Moses was very humble, more than all men who were on the face of the earth." (NKJ) If Moses were that humble, it is unlikely that he would have described himself in these glowing terms.

Numbers 25:1 which describes the rebellion at Peor referred to Moabite women; Numbers 25:6 14 refers to Midianites.

Deuteronomy 34:5-9: These verses describe the death, burial, age at death, physical condition at death, and mourning period for Moses. It is difficult for an individual to describe events at and after his or her death. Some have suggested that this portion of the Pentateuch (and only this portion) was written later by Joshua. However, R.E. Friedman wrote:

" the sixteenth century, Carlstadt, a contemporary of Luther, commented that the account of Moses' death is written in the same style as texts that precede it. This makes it difficult to claim that Joshua or anyone else merely added a few lines to an otherwise Mosaic manuscript." 9

Deuteronomy 34:10 This states "There has never been another prophet like Moses..." (NLT) This sounds like a passage written long after Moses' death. Enough time would have had to pass for many other prophets to have arisen, to passed from the scene, and to have been evaluated."  [Source: Religious Link]


10. Mark 14:12, 15:25  vs. John 19:14


     Was Jesus crucified after the Passover meal or the day before the meal?


11. Gal. 1: 16 - 17 vs. Acts 9:26


     Did Paul not go to Jerusalem to see apostles after his conversion or did he go first thing to see them after leaving Damasus?


12. Luke 2:39  vs. Matt. 2:19 - 22


     Did Joseph and Mary return to Nazareth after they had come to Bethlehem or did they instead flee to Egypt?


13. Mark 2: 25 - 26 vs. 1 Samuel 21: 1 - 6


     Jesus cites this OT verse as he scolds the Pharisees for criticising his disciples who were plucking and eating grain on the Sabbath.  But David went into the temple to eat not when Abiathar was the high priest, but when Abiathar's father Ahimelech was.