What about mathematical errors in Bible?

It is mentioned in Book of Ezra Ch.2: V.1 and Book of Nehemiah Ch.7:V.6, the context being that when the people returned from exile (from Babylon after released from the captivity), a list of the people is given in Ezra Ch.2:V.2-63 and in Nehemiah Ch.7:V7-65, the list of names and the number of people released is given. In these 60 verses, there are no less than eighteen times the numbers given different. The names are the same but the number of the people released is different. No less than 18 Contradictions in 60 verses of these two chapters. Further it is mentioned in Book of Ezra, Ch.2:V.64, that the total congregation (if we add up) it comes to 42’360. In Nehemiah Ch.7:V.66, it adds up to the same, 42’360. BUT, if you add up all these verses, in Ezra, it does not come to 42’360, but it comes to 29’818. And if you add up Nehemiah, it does not come to 42’360, it comes up to 31’089. So does that mean that the author of the Bible, presumably the God does not know simple addition.

32 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    It is full of all kinds of errors, not just mathimatical.

  • MikeM
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    Number "contradictions" usually fall into one of these categories.

    1. There was a copy error. An error in the copy does not mean that the original was incorrect though. An example I've seen of this is the age of some of the kings. Newer translations use the surrounding text to figure out which one was copied wrong and correct it.

    2. One place includes more people groups than others. For example, one count would include only men and another all people. Another example, One place highlights the main people of the story and another includes all. Another example - one includes parents and the other doesn't. Omission does not mean a contradiction.

    3. One place rounds the number. Another gives an exact number. Rounding is not a contradiction.

    1 Kings 7:23: 3 is the value of pi with 1 significant digit. When measuring with cubits, that is close enough. 3.14 is not the exact value of pi either. Again, rounding is not an error.

    Md I. -

    Do you realize that Leviticus 10:21 is talking about when the wife is still alive, but Deuteronomy 25:5 is talking about when the wife has died?

    Do you realize that originally, creation was "good". After sin entered the world, paradise was lost and it was not good?

    Just wanted to clarify for you.

    Have a good day,


  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    These are clearly *not* mathematical errors, and the reasonable answer is obvious.

    Let me put it simply: if you have 4 apples, do you have 3 apples? Do you have 2? Do you have 1? The answer to all 3 questions is unambiguously "yes".

    So, the fact that one person did not count some people (children? women? servants?) that others did does not suggest that any of the numbers are wrong - only that different criteria was used to decide who should, and who should not, be counted.

    This should come as no surprise, as some places in the bible only adult men are counted, while in others adult men other than the Levites are counted, and in others adult men and servant men are counted but not women or children, while finally some actually count women and children as well. There is no contradiction, only a well-established biblical inconsistency in the way that a census is taken.

    Jim, http://www.jimpettis.com/bibles/

  • Tina
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Many of the answers above are belittling you, Shahid. Forget them. You have a valid point. If the Bible is the Word of God, it must be accurate in all these small details, and no one has come up with an explanation. I would like an explanation, too. I am not looking to debunk any religion; I just want to know the truth. Not 'truth' by assertion. ('God said it, I believe it and that settles it.') or 'truth' by dodging ('It's a mystery; you have to accept it on faith'), but something that a reasonable, intelligent person can grasp onto. I have found only one religion that comes close to this, but it also has loose ends. So I keep searching and questioning and being told I'm going to hell. Calling someone spiritually inept is more like an act of desperation than like an explanation. BTW, how did you get your name? I thought you had to be dead to be Shahid? That is a real question. I am not being frivolous or nasty.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    That may be from the error of Humans. I already don't trust The king James version of the Bible and I am looking for an older copy or a newly translated copy. The translators of the Bible were not religious men so they tampered with it, to disprove it. Its people like you that lets us know we need a new translation done by true seekers of truth.

  • 1 decade ago

    If there are errors in the Bible, it is because humanity has tampered with it too many times. Also, God is not the author of confusion, everything he does is perfect in every way. I also came to realize that when reading the Bible, some words mean different than what we may think and sometimes just translating a verse in the Bible and changing one word can alter what the scripture means. You should try looking for rare books. I have been compiling my own reference books to use with the Bible because in order for me to understand it, I have to get background information on different times in history.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Book of Ezra Ch.2: V.1 in da ceiling cats bible sais:

    Now the kittehs of the place that Nebuchandnezzars stolened off to Babylon, and comes back to Jerusalem and Judah;2 Dat comez with Zerubbabel: Jeshua, Nehemiah, Seraiah, Reelaiiah, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mizpar, Bigvai, Rehum, Baanah. The numberz of catz of Israel:

  • 1 decade ago

    Well, you seem to be forgetting that the Bible was inspired by God, but men literally put it to pen. Manuscripts have been transcribed incorrectly, lost, etc.

    I would like to point out that Psalm 118:8 is the very center of the Bible. Look it up.

  • Jay Z
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    Numerals are considered symbolic. The scribes that recorded data were influenced by rabbicinic teachings that prevented them from accurate counts. There was also a tendency to round off which compounded the problem.

    In the instance which you enumerate (pun?), there may be other explanations of which I am unaware. Is this a major stumbling block to your faith? I would say you are much too fragile, if that is the case.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    A lot of the numbers in the Bible deal exclusively with time and astrology. There's a tonne of books on this subject. Aside from many mistranslations, many of these measurements of time just don't exist anymore. They reference and entire system that has since been lost. Unfortunately many of the translations are really mundane, they overlook these numbers and take them back into the physical. When many times they related to astrological movements and even constellations used to navigate the land at the time.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    There are currently so many versions of the Bible, that it is possible for corruptions.

    Take the verses below that contradicts itself,

    Leviticus 20:21

    If a man marries his brother's wife, it is an act of impurity; he has dishonored his brother. They will be childless.

    Deuteronomy 25:5

    If brothers are living together and one of them dies without a son, his widow must not marry outside the family. Her husband's brother shall take her and marry her and fulfill the duty of a brother-in-law to her.

    or the fact that this verse states God as being independent and not a human,

    Numbers 23:19

    God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?

    Genesis 1:31

    God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.

    Genesis 6:6

    The LORD was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain.

    So GOD Almighty was first satisfied with creating man, and called His work "very good," and then He regretted creating man and was grieved.

    Against eating pork,

    "And the pig, though it has a split hoof completely divided, does not chew the cud; it is unclean for you. You must not eat their meat or touch their carcasses; they are unclean for you. (Leviticus 11:7-8)"

    Miracles of the Quran,



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