Anonymous asked in Society & CultureReligion & Spirituality · 1 decade ago

Why is the bible full of contradictions?

Why is there all these contradictions in the bible?

"For I am merciful, saith the Lord, and I will not keep anger forever." (Jeremiah 3:12)

"Ye have kindled a fire in mine anger, which shall burn forever." (Jeremiah 17:4)

"If I testify about myself, my testimony is not valid." (John 5:31)

"Jesus answered: Even if I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is valid." (John 8:14)

And Jesus said, "For judgement I am come into this world." (John 9:39)

"I came not to judge the world" (John 12:47)

"Jacob said, 'I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.'" (Genesis 32:30)

"No man hath seen God at any time." (John 1:18)

We should fear God (Matthew 10:28)

We should love God (Matthew 22:37)

There is no fear in love (1 John 4:18)

There are many many more. So why is there contradicting verses if the bible is all 100% true?

40 Answers

  • Favorite Answer

    It's not just verses that are contradictory. There are also stories that are contradictory. And it is not just a matter of context as some answerers claim.

    The birth stories in Matthew and Luke provide a good example.

    According to Matthew the family of Jesus lived in Bethlehem when Jesus was born during the reign of Herod (Herod died in 4 B.C.). Matthew relates of a threat to Jesus and a trip to Egypt and that, when they returned to Palestine after the death of Herod, the family of Jesus bypassed their original home in Bethlehem and settled in Nazareth so that Jesus would fulfill a prophecy (a prophecy that is non-existent in the Old Testament, by the way).

    According to Luke, Joseph and Mary lived in Nazareth before the birth of Jesus and went to Bethlehem during the Syrian governorship of Cyrenus (that's the Greek spelling; Quirinius is the Latin, and he began his governorship in 6 A.D.) because of an enrollment for taxes that required that everyone had to go to the city of their ancestors. Not long after the birth of Jesus the family returned to their home in Nazareth.

    The two stories are completely contradictory and cannot be reconciled.

    In the first place, the Romans taxed only the provinces they had direct control of, such as Egypt. They did not tax the provinces controlled by client rulers such as Herod.

    There is no evidence that there was a Roman census in Judea during Herod's reign, and attempts to prove otherwise are without basis. In addition, Saturninus was Governor of Syria from 9 BC to 6 BC, and Varus from 6 BC until after the death of Herod.

    When Herod died in 4 BC, the Romans gave Judea, Idumea, and Samaria to his son Archelaus to rule, and the other parts of Palestine to his other two sons. Archelaus was brutal as ruler and his subjects appealed to Rome. As a result, Rome deposed Archelaus in 6 AD and took over direct rule of Archelaus's territory. In so doing they instituted taxation of that territory, and Quirinius, as the newly installed governor of Syria, was tasked to oversee the taxation, hence the enrollment. This taxation did not include Galilee, which was ruled by Herod's son Antipas, so Joseph, as a resident of Galilee (according to Luke's story) would not have been required to go to Bethlehem for the enrollment (contrary to Luke's exaggeration, the taxation was not world wide and did not require everyone to return to the city of their ancestors, which the Romans would never have done because of its impracticality and because there would have been absolutely no reason for it; they taxed on the basis of residency, not ancestry).

    In Matthew's story, Joseph originally lived in Bethlehem. Some time after the birth of Jesus and the trip to and return from Egypt (which Matthew made up to appear to fulfill prophecy) Matthew used the brutal reign of Archelaus as an excuse to have Joseph and his family settle in Nazareth instead of returning to Bethlehem. As the KJ Bible says, "And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene." That indicates that Joseph was making a new home for himself and his family there. Again, there was no such prophecy. Matthew just made it up to give a reason for Joseph to settle in Nazareth.

    Luke's story has Joseph and Mary leaving their home in Nazareth and going to Bethlehem where Jesus was born, and returning to Nazareth not long thereafter after performing the ritual requirements according to the law of Moses, which was forty days. There is simply no way the two stories can be reconciled. Among the other things noted above, the time frame provided by Luke leaves no room for the events described by Matthew.

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    A claim of technical contradictions only stands if there is no reasonable way to demonstrate how the statements can be interpreted to be logically consistent. I have yet to see an accusation of Biblical contradictions that qualifies as a technical contradiction. The fact that the accuser does not accept an explanation does not change the fact that an explanation exists - and thereby nullifies the accusation. "I will not sit here,and list them" Without even a single example, it becomes an unjustified accusation. It is not fair to expect an answer to a question based on an unjustified premise. "things you do not agree with" This happens allot when you are a younger Christian. As you mature a bit in the faith, you realize that these are the results of things you don't yet understand. There are two major conditions for this; 1 I was wrong. There was some path of reasoning that I had previously failed to consider which caused me to come to a wrong conclusion. 2 I was right. However I had misinterpreted and misunderstood what the scripture was actually saying. Upon further study, I realized that the passage didn't actually disagree with what I believed. [So in a sense, I was wrong here as well] "do you think your God approves of picking and choosing what you believe to be true from the Bible?" No. This would place the authority of scripture in errant, imperfect humans hands. Why should my choice of scriptures be any more valid than my neighbors choice? Furthermore, if any part of scripture is untrustworthy, then it is all untrustworthy. You can't have it both ways without undermining the reliability of the entire Bible. "do you accept EVERYTHING to be true?" When considered in context, I am convinced that the Bible is reliable - based on two decades of study and experience. "what makes your belief on how to take the Bible right or wrong" I apply a logical common-sense interpretation methodology. The same kind of methodology I would use to interpret any other text. The goal of any interpretation should be to sincerely search for the original intent of the author - most commonly, taking into consideration the context (grammatical, historical etc.). Certain axioms are certainly present in my reasoning, however I am aware of these and I have rational justifications for each. "murder" God does not condone murder - The Bible makes a moral distinction between murder, and killings as the result of war or judicial punishment. "rape" God never condones rape. "incest" Biblical Laws governing incest did not exist until 1600 years after creation (Lev 18:6). From current knowledge we can presume that God decided that the human genome had become so corrupt that it warranted a law. Remembering that (from a Biblical standpoint) the human genome started off without any corruption. "innocent killings" Innocence is a highly subjective concept. Psalm 106:34-39 describes the practices of these peoples and why God was justified in trying to keep His people separated.

  • 1 decade ago

    Okay so I know you have gotten like hundreds of answers already, but have to give mine. This is what I know is true in my heart. The Bible is NOT full of contradictions what so ever. God is perfect, he is pure. Nothing he says would be a lie. He would NEVER contradict anything that he has already said. What has happened is people decide to take verses. Chapters. Books. and make a WHOLE doctrine on one little thing. They DONT see the bible as one big picture. One book. that you HAVE to read from beginning to end in order to understand the whole concept. In order to see God's word clearly. Instead Church has taught us that some books are not for us and therefor it's just one big ole mess. Everything will contradict each other because we have decided to take lit bits and pieces and not read the bible straight forward in it's context.

    Source(s): Messianic Jew
  • 1 decade ago

    Bible also called as "Injeel" in Islam was truly a book sent from so was Quran. But with the passage of time the Bible was corrupted and many people added their own notes and thoughts in it. "Trinity" which is the backbone of Christianity and every sect of Christians believe in it like catholics, protestants, or evangelist is the weakest point possible since not once is there a mention of it in the Bible, but in Quran it is mentioned once or twice saying that god forbidding us to follow the Trinity. I as a Muslim do agree that Bible is not the same book anymore which was sent down by god. Thereupon, Islam is the true religion, i hope these links and websites might clear your further doubts and clarification. Having any kind of doubt, argument or counter-proof in your belief i will be happy to reply them my id is

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Here is some more contradictions from the bible - its always easier to blame someone else and find the greater truth.

    GE 1:3-5 On the first day, God created light, then separated light and darkness.

    GE 1:14-19 The sun (which separates night and day) wasn't created until the fourth day.

    GE 1:11-12, 26-27 Trees were created before man was created.

    GE 2:4-9 Man was created before trees were created.

    GE 1:20-21, 26-27 Birds were created before man was created.

    GE 2:7, 19 Man was created before birds were created.

    GE 1:24-27 Animals were created before man was created.

    GE 2:7, 19 Man was created before animals were created.

    GE 1:26-27 Man and woman were created at the same time.

    GE 2:7, 21-22 Man was created first, woman sometime later.

    GE 1:28 God encourages reproduction.

    LE 12:1-8 God requires purification rites following childbirth which, in effect, makes childbirth a sin. (Note: The period for purification following the birth of a daughter is twice that for a son.)

    GE 1:31 God was pleased with his creation.

    GE 6:5-6 God was not pleased with his creation.

    (Note: That God should be displeased is inconsistent with the concept of omniscience.)

    GE 2:4, 4:26, 12:8, 22:14-16, 26:25 God was already known as "the Lord" (Jahveh or Jehovah) much earlier than the time of Moses.

    EX 6:2-3 God was first known as "the Lord" (Jahveh or Jehovah) at the time of the Egyptian Bondage, during the life of Moses.

    GE 2:17 Adam was to die the very day that he ate the forbidden fruit.

    GE 5:5 Adam lived 930 years.

    GE 2:15-17, 3:4-6 It is wrong to want to be able to tell good from evil.

    HE 5:13-14 It is immature to be unable to tell good from evil.

    GE 4:4-5 God prefers Abel's offering and has no regard for Cain's.

    2CH 19:7, AC 10:34, RO 2:11 God shows no partiality. He treats all alike.

    GE 4:9 God asks Cain where his brother Able is.

    PR 15:3, JE 16:17, 23:24-25, HE 4:13 God is everywhere. He sees everything. Nothing is hidden from his view.

    GE 4:15, DT 32:19-27, IS 34:8 God is a vengeful god.

    EX 15:3, IS 42:13, HE 12:29 God is a warrior. God is a consuming fire.

    EX 20:5, 34:14, DT 4:24, 5:9, 6:15, 29:20, 32:21 God is a jealous god.

    LE 26:7-8, NU 31:17-18, DT 20:16-17, JS 10:40, JG 14:19, EZ 9:5-7 The Spirit of God is (sometimes) murder and killing.

    NU 25:3-4, DT 6:15, 9:7-8, 29:20, 32:21, PS 7:11, 78:49, JE 4:8, 17:4, 32:30-31, ZP 2:2 God is angry. His anger is sometimes fierce.

    2SA 22:7-8 (KJV) "I called to the Lord; ... he heard my voice; ... The earth trembled and quaked, ... because he was angry. Smoke came from his nostrils. Consuming fire came from his mouth, burning coals blazed out of it."

    EZ 6:12, NA 1:2, 6 God is jealous and furious. He reserves wrath for, and takes revenge on, his enemies. "... who can abide in the fierceness of his anger? His fury is poured out like fire, and rocks are thrown down by him."

    2CO 13:11, 14, 1JN 4:8, 16 God is love.

    GA 5:22-23 The fruit of the Spirit of God is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

  • 1 decade ago

    They are all 100% true.

    Jeremiah 3:12 Is aimed at Israel

    Jeremiah 17:4 Is aimed at Juda

    John 5:31-32 does not contradict John 8:14-16 in any way. You cannot only take one verse, or part of a verse to prove something.

    John 9:39 Jesus came to be judged for our sins.

    John 12:47 Jesus did not come to judge us.

    John 12:47 You only quoute half a verse to make it look like a contradiction while it clearly is not.

    The fear of God is a translation issue, better words would be referential awe, but there is no word in english that fully explains the original.

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    7 years ago

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  • 1 decade ago

    The Bible is not contradicting. It is in the way that it is read. For instance most teach that Gods Kingdom will be in Heaven but that is not what is said. Rev. 20 states that the Kingdom of God will be here on this Earth for 1000 years, yet they teach diffrent. The Bible is true but it is like a Jig Saw puzzle. You have to go to verious places and put it togeather and it begins to fit and come clear.

    Source(s): Propheticnewsfortheendtimes Forum
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    The old testament was written over hundreds of years describing many prophets, everything said at any particular time by any prophet was true and relevant at that time.

    Prophets told people what they needed to know when they needed to know it.

    None of the new testament was written at the time of Jesus and is a collection of books and letters that was compiled in various Codex by Rome when the Roman Empire under Constantine accepted Christianity.

    In the 4th Century the Council Of Nicene was created to standardise the Codex and theology,there was disagreement about the trinity so the whole issue was decided by a vote.

    Jesus actually never said he is God.

    The new Testament was heavily corrupted initially and mainly the Gospel of John but over 200 years certain books/letters were added and removed such as Andrew which was not considered relevant at one time.

    The oldest known bible is the Codex Siniaticus which is very different to what is in circulation today.

  • 1 decade ago

    It may seem as there are contradictions in the bible. There were many different writers of the scripture over a long period of time. Jewish writers, Hebrew writers ect many writers saw things from a different prospective because of culture or inspiration this doesn’t change what God has said. GOD has said one thing to a person our group and something different to another, this may be because of different circumstances evolved, God remains the same yesterday today and always man interrupts his word differently because we do not have his mind (thoughts) if you look at the prophecies of the bible you will see that the bible is living over hundreds, thousands of years these things cannot be explained but that does not make them false. God has given us his word not to scrutinize it but to study and seek him. there will always be those that will Not believe but that doesn’t mean Gods word is imperfect.

  • 1 decade ago

    In my opinion, the bible wasn't made to be literally taken as 75% of people take it.

    In fact, I think it's fake! I am a christian though.

    The truth is, God spoke in massive symbolism. The point of anything he says it to be looked at with a much wider scope. However, I cannot answer your question.

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