THE KEY TO THEIR UNDERSTANDING
Have you ever considered the fact that there are numerous contradictions in the Bible? And with all those contradictions, how does that affect your trust in the Bible, or even in the author of the Bible - the Holy Spirit? For many, these contradictions are empirical evidence that the Bible is in fact a false book and could not have been authored by a perfect God. Following is an example of this conclusion.
If there is any area in which the Bible's imperfections and errancy is most apparent, it is that of inconsistencies and contradictions. The book is a veritable miasma of contradictory assertions and obvious disagreements, which is to be expected in any writing formulated over approximately 1,500 years by 40 or 50 different writers, few of whom seemed to be precisely concerned with what the others had penned. Moreover, the highly repetitive nature of the Bible accounts for many of the conflicts. It would have been far better for those attempting to defend the Book if, for example Deuteronomy had not repeated so much of Exodus, Chronicles had not repeated so much of Samuel and Kings, and the gospels had not been so repetitious. But they do repeat and, thus, problems exist. Yet, despite all historical, mathematical, ethical, philosophical, geographical, and chronological difficulties contained therein, some die-hard fundamentalists carry their hopelessly doomed resistance to the bitter end. As incredible as it may seem, there are some individuals who still say, "The Bible is perfect and inerrant. There are no inaccuracies." So, for the benefit of these holdouts, I am going to provide a list of some simple, straight-forward problems that even some well-known spokesmen for the fundamentalist position grudgingly concede:(a) David took seven hundred (2 Sam. 8:4), seven thousand (1 Chron. 18:4) horsemen from Hadadezer;
(b) Ahaziah was 22 (2 Kings 8:26), 42 (2 Chron. 22:2) years old when he began to reign;
(c) Jehoiachin was 18 (2 Kings 24:8), 8 (2 Chron. 36:9) years old when he began to reign and he reigned 3 months (2 Kings 24:8), 3 months and10 days (2 Chron. 36:9);
(d) There were in Israel 800,000 (2 Sam. 24:9); 1,100,000 (1 Chron. 21:5) men that drew the sword and there were 500,000 (2 Sam. 24:9), 470,000 (1 Chron. 21:5) men that drew the sword in Judah;
(e) There were 550 (1 Kings 9:23), 250 (2 Chron. 8:10) chiefs of the officers that bare the rule over the people;
(f) Saul's daughter, Michal, had no sons (2 Sam. 6:23), had 5 sons (2 Sam. 21:6) during her lifetime;
(g) Lot was Abraham's nephew (Gen. 14:12), brother (Gen. 14:14);
(h) Joseph was sold into Egypt by Midianites (Gen. 37:36), by Ishmaelites (Gen. 39:1);
(i) Saul was killed by his own hands (1 Sam. 31:4), by a young Amalekite (2 Sam. 1:10), by the Philistines (2 Sam. 21:12);
(j) Solomon made of a molten sea which contained 2,000 (1 Kings 7:26), 3,000 (2 Chron. 4:5) baths;
(k) The workers on the Temple had 3,300 (1 Kings 5:16), 3,600 (2 Chron. 2:18) overseers;
(l) The earth does (Eccle. 1:4), does not (2 Peter 3:10) abideth forever;
(m) If Jesus bears witness of himself his witness is true (John 8:14), is not true (John 5:31);
(n) Josiah died at Megiddo (2 Kings 23:29-30), at Jerusalem (2 Chron. 35:24);
(o) Jesus led Peter, James, and John up a high mountain after six (Matt. 17:1, Mark 9:2), eight (Luke 9:28) days;
(p) Nebuzaradan came unto Jerusalem on the seventh (2 Kings 25:8), tenth (Jer. 52:12) day of the fifth month.
This is a quote from the writings of Dennis McKinsey at Biblical Errancy. Mr. McKinsey is a profuse writer and avid Bible researcher, and has composed a list of contradictions which is quite remarkable, some which are very valid and some which are strongly biased and narrow unfounded criticisms. And Mr. McKinsey's criticisms are not isolated. A Muslim writer, Shabbir Ally, published a book entitled "101 Clear Contradictions in the Bible," while another Muslim writer claimed to find 109 contradictions. Each of these men's positions on these contradictions is that any book for which the claim is made that it is a perfect and infallible writing given to us by God, cannot have these disparaging contradictions.
Let us look at one other example of the attitude fostered by these Bible contradictions. This is added to help you understand the reasonable justification of other's objections to the Bible's seeming errancy, and their perception of Christian's assumed blindness to this "fault." If one spent much time in Christian news groups on the web, they would discover that the conversation is filled with criticisms of Christianity and the Bible. One of the chief and frequently arising objections is this matter of Bible contradictions. Following is just one such example:
Why do you xians continue to insist God is very clear, when not one of you has a clue what is meant after reading what is written on the pages of the bible?
It is amazing how these christians delude themselves with 'doublethink', they FORCE themselves to believe in their false religion and their false god as if they were true. Anyone reading the Torah and the Tanakh realizes that Jesus is not the Messiah or the Son of YHWH.
To further the complications, look at how the the synoptic gospels are merely alterations of the gospel of Mark; for example, the three gospels agree only so far as Mark goes, but once they step outside of Mark they utterly fail to agree -- proof that the authors of Matt. and Luke did not share information. So in reality, there is only Mark and John which can be considered primary sources, Matt. and Luke are secondary sources. For example:
1) Where was Jesus on the 8th and 30 days after his birth?
*Mark and John say nothing.
*Luke claims that Jesus remained in Beth., was circumcised on the 8th day, and on the 30th, went up to Jerusalem. No Herod hunting him.
*Matthew claims that Jesus could not remain in Beth., and his family fled to Egypt until Herod died [BC 04]. So there is no Jerusalam visit until AFTER Herod's death.
**NOTE: Both these stories cannot be true, one at least must be false.
In Matthew, Mark, and Luke; Jesus immediately goes into the wilderness following his baptism by John. BUT, AND A BIG BUT, in John, Jesus is baptized, hangs around on the second day, and attends a marriage on the third! Obviously, the author of John disagrees with the others. Jesus cannot be in the wilderness for 40 days, and at the same time roaming around the Jordan in sight of John the Baptist, collecting his apostles, and attending marriages drinking wine. SOME FASTING!!!!
Dear Reverend, are christians self deluded with their false book or what?
I guarantee you, Mr. McKinsey and other critics have thoroughly read their Bibles. They do know what they are talking about when they point out the Bible's numerous contradictions. And, from their perspective, they are entirely justified in their objection to the Bible's seeming errancy, as well as Christian's blindness to these contradictions.
Most Christians are not even aware of these contradictions in the Bible, and unfortunately their response when questioned about them is generally, as Mr. McKinsey relates - "There are no inaccuracies." This is a very blind and, quite frankly, ignorant statement to make when in fact there are numerous contradictions in the Bible, which the Bible's critics have aptly but sometime excessively pointed out.
So what is the response of Christians who are aware of these contradictions? Mr. McKinsey affords the rebuttals to some of his findings, along with his response to the them, at his web site. To Mr. Ally's book, some Bible teachers composed their own web site to dispel his findings. Their response can be found at http://www.debate.org.uk/debate-topics/apologetic/contrads/. Frankly, when reading their defenses, I think they do God and the Bible a very great injustice by giving cause to the errors as being translation problems or mere account recollection discrepancies. If the Holy Spirit authored the Bible, can He not keep His word as well? In all candor, their defense is milk toast. I find that I would often have to agree with the critic Mr. McKinsey in his responses to many Christian's blind and often shallow responses. Not that I agree with Mr. McKinsey's conclusions concerning the Bible; but truth is truth, no matter who says it or what their motive is in saying it. And Mr. McKinsey is often true in his findings. It is his conclusions that I must disagree with.
Frankly, I don't know if you realize how significant these differences are. They cannot be brushed off so easily as being mere discrepancies in the writer's recollections or as copying errors. If these differences are attributed to either of these frail causes, then is it not evident that these differences tell us that one of the accounts cannot be trusted, that it is in error? And, if in fact one of these accounts cannot be trusted because it is a flaw/an error, then this calls the whole Bible into doubt and demands the question - Can any of the accounts in the Bible be trusted? Do you not see the weakness of saying that any one of the accounts cannot be trusted as Divinely intentional?
So, the question is - What is your response going to be to the Bible's clear contradictions? Will it be to join Mr. McKinsey and conclude that the Bible cannot be the writings of a perfect God? Or will it be the milk toast response of denying the obvious, which only weakens one's validity, highly justifies the opponent, and even results in bringing the entire Bible into suspect? Or, let me offer a third option which up to now nobody has ever considered.
I suggest to you, to Mr. McKinsey, to Mr. Ally, and to everyone, that these obvious contradictions in the Bible are entirely divinely intentional. And as such, they offer very unique riddles, hidden riddles, that reveal God's divine works and plans for mankind. These contradictions are Yahweh's intended riddles that speak as much truth as does the written text itself, but only in hidden form. And it is these riddles that these writings seek to open up to the reader - Yahweh's hidden riddle meanings.
In 1 Corinthians 1:27 through 29 we read:
but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised, God has chosen, the things that are not, that He might nullify the things that are, that no man should boast before God.
These clear contradictions, which the Bible's critics often accurately attack and Christians palely respond to, are Yahweh's foolish, weak, and base things which He has chosen to use to the shame of not only the Bible's critics, but equally to the shame of erroneous Christians.
From my studies, which I will only begin to address in this writing, I find that these contradictions which Bible critics aptly point out are Yahweh's riddle messages to us, containing immense and vital truth. Concerning these corrections, I find and hold that if it is to be maintained that the Scriptures are under the authorship of the Holy Spirit, it must be maintained that the contradictions within the Scriptures are equally His authorship, are intentional, and contain hidden riddle meanings.
If you were asked if the Bible is the written word of God, more than likely you would respond with an emphatic "yes." Most Christians believe that the Scriptures were written by men under the anointing and unction of the Holy Spirit, thus providing to man God's written and infallible word. But, when contradictions in His word are presented, most Christians weakly respond with the pale compromise that these contradictions are simply errors from copying text or that the differences were created from the different recollections of men. For example, a common response is that if there was an automobile accident, then different observers would contribute slightly differing accounts on the one and same event. Quite so, but there is one important distinction here - we are not here talking about the mere words or accountings of men! The Bible is the acclaimed word of God, and any differing accounts either demise the authenticity of the words as God's, as understandably concluded by Bible critics, or, as will be presented in this writing, one must conclude that the differences are intentional and bear a uniquely hidden and remarkably revealing meaning. Holding to the two divergent opinions that the Bible is both God's written word, as well as the unplanned fallacies of the accounts of men, is to espouse two ideas that are in clear and highly vulnerable conflict, which the critics justifiably relish. Either the Bible is entirely intentional as God's infallible written word, or it is not.
For one to truly hold to the trust and belief that the Bible is God's word, then one must conclude that the contradictions hold very special meaning. If the Holy Spirit wrote the Bible, then the contradictions within the Bible are His plan as well, and are thus intentional and meaningful - a meaning that (1) must include repeatable consistency in its representation and interpretation, and (2) must be of tremendously great significance since Yahweh, once again, has hidden His truth from the multitudes, and by its unique construction shames the wise.
This latter position is precisely what this writer has found to be true. Yahweh's word is entirely perfect in content, entirely perfect in construction, and the contradictions are intentional riddles that confound and shame the wise by their appearance as meaningless errors.
So why have men not seen this before in 2,000 years of church history? For two reasons. First, the Holy Spirit has not chosen to reveal it to us. Frankly, all men, including Christians, are very blind. For the one who is a Christian and is offended by this statement, I simply offer - If Christianity is not blind, why are there 22,000 different sects and denominations of Christianity that differ, often dramatically, in what they believe and proclaim is true? If Christianity saw all things with clarity, then it would agree in what is truth. But no, the truth is elusive and muddled for the Christian as well. And truth concerning the riddles of contradictions is one simple case in which Christianity has not seen either the evidences or the conclusions of these riddle messages.
This leads us to the second reason. (Not that there are only two.) Not only do men not recognize these riddles, but if they did question their meaning, their beliefs would not allow them to discern the answers. If the answers were different from the beliefs which one holds, then efforts to discern the contradiction riddles, based on one's erroneous understanding, would either cause one to fall short of the true answer, or to attempt to manipulate facts to conform to one's already established erroneous belief structure. This was in effect what happened when Yahshua told Nicodemus that he must be "born from above." Nicodemus responded to this riddle out of his established belief structure - "How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born, can he?" Under his limited beliefs and understanding, Nicodemus had no idea what Yahshua was even talking about. (And frankly, concerning this passage, neither do most Christians.) Yahshua eventually answered Nicodemus, "Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not understand these things?" Equally true, Christianity is the teacher of the church, and it fails to understand many of the things of Yahweh, including His contradiction riddles.
The purpose of this writing is to introduce this third response to the Bible's contradictions - they are hidden riddles with profound and important truth. We will here examine not only some of these Bible riddles, but most importantly, we will seek to discern what it is Yahweh is telling us in them. This requires that we have the key to understanding them, which we will lay out in this writing. But first, let us consider only a few of these contradiction riddles.
Continue to page 2 of Key To... for SOME BIBLE CONTRADICTIONS
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