The Bible IS the Word of God, Pt. 2

Posted on May 14, 2011


In the previous post I showed that that we have an accurate record of the original manuscripts, but what about the authors, were they honest? can we trust what they say? Are there errors or conradictions on the Bible? Well. . . the Bible itself says it can be trusted.

Proverbs 30:5 (NKJV)

5 Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him.

Even so, we’ll take a look at the afformentioned issues in this post. We’ll start with contradictions. Surley you’ve heard people say that the Bible is full of contradictions, and you’ve probably seen them cite examples. Often times these examples catch Christians off guard, and they don’t know how to handle them. In fact, they may seem valid at first, and if they are true, then obviously parts of the Bible are in error. However, I adamnatly maintain that the Bible is without error or contradiction. There is no way that I can deal with every allegation in this post, but I will deal with a couple of the more common ones, and will give you some very simple and practical pointers for dealing with any alleged contradictions.

First, lets look at the “Law of non-contradiction”

If one statement absolutely cantradicts another statement, without qualification, at least one of those statements cannot be true. But in order for one statement to absolutely contradict another, there must be no sense in which the statements can both be true. If there is a possible [logical] explanation, it is not a real contradiction.

So you see, if there is even a possible logical explanation, one cannot claim a contradiction. Now that we know what a contradiction is. . . and is not, lets look at the most common tactics that the skeptics use. The most common tactic of the skeptic is to take single pieces of seemingly related Scripture, and play them against each other. One or more of the pieces of scripture will almost always have been taken out of context and misused. The first step in dealing with an alleged contradiction, is to prayerfully and carefully read the entire passage where the scripture is contained. By doing this, you will put the scripture into its proper context. Also be sure to look for any gramatical nuances which may alter the meaning of the text, and be sure to consult as many different Bible translations as you can. Sometimes the slightly different wording of a different translation will clear things up. At that point the problem usually solves itself. If that doesn’t work, pray some more use a good commentary and study the historical and cultural background of the scripture. By doing this, you will get a greater insight into what the author was trying to convey in each passage, not to mention, the commentary may even answer the question for you. Now, having said that, I would encourage you to first try to find the answer on your own. To do so will cause you to carefully study the text, and you’ll develop better study and reading skills. These are skills which will be beneficial throughout your life. These simple tips will get you through almost all allegations. Remember, if there is an alleged contradiction that you just can’t find an answer to, don’t worry. Rest assured that there is no problem with the Bible. Occasionaly you have to refer to the original languages in order to find otherwise “hidden” details of the text, things that may not be clearly portrayed in any English translation. I fully understand that not everyone will have the means or ability to do this, but that’s ok. Those instances are few, and usually one or more of the english translations will give you what you need. Now lets look at two common allegations.

  1. How many horses did Solomon have?

1 Kings 4:26 (NKJV)

26 Solomon had forty thousand stalls of horses for his chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen.

2 Chronicles 9:25 (NKJV)

25 Solomon had four thousand stalls for horses and chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen whom he stationed in the chariot cities and with the king at Jerusalem.

The allegation is that these are two conflicting pieces of Scripture. 1 Kings 4:26 says that Solomon has 40,000 horses, while 2 chronicles 9:25 says that he only has 4,000 horses. Read the passages carefully and you will see that 1 Kings 4:26 says that he “had forty thousand stalls of horses for his chariots,” while 2 chronicles 9:25 says that he “had four thousand stalls for horses and chariots.” Did you catch that? Solomon had 4000 stalls and 40,000 horses. Apparently he had 10 horses per stall. The difference in each passage is “stalls of horses,” as oppossed to “stalls for horses.” A slight change of wording changes the meaning of each verse and eliminates any contradiction.

2. I’ll point you to a previous post, in which I tackle an alleged mathematical error. Is there a Mathematical Error in the Bible?

Now that I’ve given an overview of the issue of contradictions, onto the issue of of the New Testament authors. Can they be trusted? Well. . . the Bible says that they were eyewitnesses.
2 Peter 1:16 (NKJV)

16 For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty.

1 John 1:1 (NKJV)

1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life

Luke 1:1–4 (NKJV)

1 Inasmuch as many have taken in hand to set in order a narrative of those things which have been fulfilled among us,

2 just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word delivered them to us,

3 it seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write to you an orderly account, most excellent Theophilus,

4 that you may know the certainty of those things in which you were instructed.

These people were eyewitnesses of the life and works of Jesus Christ, and we can’t discount the work of the Holy Spirit in preserving their memories.

John 14:25–26 (NKJV)

25 “These things I have spoken to you while being present with you.

26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.

Also consider their contemporary audience, they were there and saw many of the same things. They would have called to attention and criticized any errors that the writers might have made. But, probably the most convincing argument for their honesty is that they died for their faith. People will sometimes die for what they believe, but they will never die for what they know is a lie. These people knew the dangers that they faced, but they willingly proclaimed Jesus anyway. They must have truly believed it. This alone, certainly proves their honesty.

To add to this, there are a number of external sources that confirm the accounts of the New Testament. The works of Josephus, Tacitus, Lucian, Suetonius, Thallus, and the Talmud are all New Testament era, non-Christian sources that confirm many Biblical events. Couple that with a wealth of archaeological discoveries that confirm Biblical events, and you have a trustworthy record indeed!

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