Does the Bible contradict itself?

Hot dogs circling around on a rotisserie style spinner . . . giant foam hands . . . people packed neatly together like eggs in a carton . . . the hungry shuffling out to buy snacks . . . the now-poor weaving their ways back through the aisles with arm fulls of peanuts, popcorn, and pop[1], happy kids dancing behind them.

And then, in comes the home team, running through the stadium proud and ready to fight.  The crowd cheers and everybody gets ready for the knock-down, drag-out fight between teams.

Between teams.

The home team wins the coin toss, gets the football first.  The quarterback rares[2] his arm back for the throw, and the running backs sprint for prime real estate.  The fullback finds a dream spot–there’s no opposition around him for yards and yards.  He raises his arms, wide open, and the quarterback lets go of the ball in a trophy-style throw . . . .

When, suddenly, the halfback, waiting nearby for a throw to come to him, lunges at the fullback.  Now the two teammates are down on the ground, tussling to be the one to catch the ball.  The ball sails through empty air and lands with a thud on the field, bouncing its way out of bounds.

All around the arena, people lower their foam hands, and the crowd boos.

A football team that attacks itself won’t make it to the NFL, but will do a good job of clearing out the stadium.  Like a bunch of fighting hens, they’ll do nothing by the time the day is over besides drawing each other’s blood.

Football isn’t the only team that won’t survive internal attacks.  Any group in which the teammates fight against each other is doomed for failure.

If God’s Word is truly filled with contradictions as some claim, Christianity is meaningless.  There would be no way to sort out what was true and what was false, or any reason to believe that God inspired a book plagued by internal attacks.  Atheists know this very well: if they can find genuine contradictions within God’s Word, they can ruin not only Christianity but God’s reputation, too.

If God’s Word has even one true contradiction, it would be

  • unholy (contradictions are wrong)
  • useless (untrustworthy)

The Word of God claims not only to be perfect but also to be a manifestation of the very nature of Christ.  If the Bible is fallible, then Christianity is meaningless.

Looking at it this way, there are only two worldviews of the Bible that follow logic:

1.      The Word of God is perfect in every way.  (Christianity)

2.      The Word of God is not perfect, and the God of the Bible doesn’t exist or He doesn’t exist the way He portrays Himself.  (Atheism, agnosticism or any other religion)

The views that don’t make sense with philosophy are those that would try to mix Christianity and other worldviews, like:

1.      The Word of God isn’t perfect, but the God of the Bible is.

2.      The Word of God was good at its time, but isn’t good now (in part or whole).

Since I believe the Word of God is perfect in every way, I know there are explanations for every apparent “contradiction” critics (or even sincere readers) have found.  Some people would call it ignorant for us to trust the Author more than our own understanding at times, but the Bible calls it wisdom.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart

And do not lean on your own understanding.

(Proverbs 3:5, NASB)

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More resources to answer Biblical “contradiction” questions . . .

Answers in Genesis on contradictions

Lenny Esposito’s 4-part audio series on contradictions: Part 1, 2, 3, and 4

Is the Bible reliable as a historical document? (free video), Lee Strobel

Is the Bible bogus? (free video), Lee Strobel (there are links to other videos from here as well)

Are the New Testaments reliable? (free online articles) by Rev. Mark D. Roberts, Part 1, 2, 3, and 4.

Does the Bible contradict scientific principles? by Rich Deem

Demolishing Supposed Bible Contradictions: Volume 1 by Ken Ham

[1] Pop = soda.  I think this is midwestern dialect.  I did find soda a valid definition for “pop” under definition 18 on dictionary.com.

[2] Rares = energetically raising your arm backwards for the throw.  I was stunned to find this midwestern word on dictionary.com.  I had no idea how cultured we were here.  🙂

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