ARE THERE CONTRADICTIONS IN THE BIBLE?
(Titus 1:9) . . . exhort and convict those who contradict.
It seems like forever there have been those who have said there are contradictions in the Bible. And the best way to handle people like this is to ask them to show you one. They usually stutter and stammer and say that’s what they have heard and then they usually change the subject. But every now and then you get a hard-boiled egg of a person that insists there are incongruities in the Bible and they might even rattle one off. For this reason, and also to demonstrate that the Bible is fully inspired and without error, let’s take a look at a few apparent contradictions.
- GOD IS SATISFIED WITH HIS CREATION. (Gen 1:31) Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good . . . Apparent contradiction: God is dissatisfied with his creation. (Gen 6:6) And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. Answer: Both statements are true. The first was stated before the fall in the garden. The second is true after man had rebelled and turned against God.
- GOD IS EVERYWHERE PRESENT, SEES AND KNOWS ALL THINGS. (Pro 15:3) The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good. Apparent contradiction: God is not everywhere present, neither sees nor knows all things. (Gen 11:5) But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built. Answer: This does not mean that God was ignorant about what was going on in city of Babel, but that He was now turning his attention to it because He had a purpose in mind.
- WE ARE NOT SAVED BY GOOD DEEDS. (Eph 2:8-9) For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. Apparent contradiction: We are saved by good deeds. (James 2:24) You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only. Answer: We are saved by faith, but a person of faith does good things. Goods deeds can never obtain salvation for anyone. But every Christian has the opportunity to influence his world for Christ. “We don’t work to be saved. We work because we are saved.”
The skeptic approaches the Bible with an attitude of guilty until proven innocent. That’s too bad. I think it’s all a smoke screen for not wanting to repent and turn to the Lord. I approach the Bible with an attitude of innocent until proven guilty. And you know what? I have never discovered any real contradictions in the Bible. There are apparent contradictions for sure, but we find that they are cleared up rationally and intelligently upon an honest and dignified examination. (Rom 3:4) . . . Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar. As it is written: “That You may be justified in Your words, and may overcome when You are judged.”