What About All Those Mistakes In The Bible?
It is quite amazing to me that a common complaint made about the Bible is that it has so many contradictions and mistakes. It is not surprising that such a charge would be made by some unbelieving scholar who will investigate the Bible's pages and turn logic on its ear in order to force a mistake into it here and there. The surprising part is that so many will use such alleged mistakes as an excuse not to obey its teachings, but when asked for an example simply do not have a single one.
Most want you to think that they have made a careful examination, and only after months of painstaking search have reluctantly come to the conclusion that the Bible is not reliable because of all the mistakes they have found. But when asked to show one, it is quickly apparent that no such examination has taken place, no specific error is in mind, and it is all an excuse. "Oh, I just heard that mistakes are in there..."
But what of the "scholar" who has investigated and does have a list of contradictions? Well, each alleged mistake has to be treated individually. We have to consider whether it has merit, or is just an unfair attack on the Bible by an unbeliever who is either ignorant or malicious.
I have several books in my library that deal with such matters. If it were not so serious a matter, some of these "mistakes" would be funny. For example, a passage which says God dwells in heaven (Psalm 123:1) and another which says He dwells in Zion (the mount upon which the temple was built in Jerusalem) (Psalm 9:11). He can't dwell at both places, can He? Contradiction! But only if one ignores the omnipresence of God, a characteristic that is taught throughout the Bible. "'Do I not fill the heaven and earth?' Saith the Lord." (Jeremiah 23:24). Yes, God can dwell in both places, and many more.
Concerning the execution of Christ, John records the words of Jesus' enemies. In one passage, they say, "We have a law, and by our law he ought to die." (John 19:7). But just a bit earlier, they are recorded as saying, "It is not lawful for us to put any man to death." (John 18:31). Another contradiction! How could the same people say both things? They could easily do so if they were talking about two different laws, which they were. The first law they are referring to is the law of Moses. They considered Jesus a blasphemer which was a sin for which the Law of Moses proscribed death. However, Judah was not an independent nation at the time Jesus was crucified. By Roman law, the Chief Priests did not have the authority to execute those they deemed as criminals. For this reason, they had to secure the Roman governor's permission, which they did. Once Pilate granted the permission, the roadblock of civil law was overcome and Jesus was crucified.
There are others, but you get the picture. Rather flimsy, weren't they? How sad that so many have heard that there are some "discrepancies" in the Bible, and use that as an excuse not to believe, but never take the time to investigate the charge. One must not let Satan win the victory so easily. Examine the Scriptures daily ! (Acts 17:11)
By Jon W. Quinn
The Final Page
From Expository Files 5.9; September 1998