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Biblical contradictions

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For it is so written in

The Bible


Biblical contradictions are accounts in the Bible that implicitly or explicitly contradict one another. The first example of this occurring in Scripture is Genesis 1 vs. Genesis 2. Any account of these contradictions to a neo-Christian whackjob is dutifully met with denial, slippery slope allegations and/or ignorance of the topic. When asked to provide a step-by-step "scientific" account of creationism the fundamentalist generally launches into the account in Genesis 1 — but when asked about why Genesis 2 has the order of creation completely and irreconcilably different, they appear to suddenly have an epiphany that the minor details they argue matter so much in discrediting science don't matter in cases where their factually accurate God that happens to get drunk from time to time and write down two very different accounts of the same story is questioned.


[edit] Other examples

Peacefulness of God (Or War Is Peace):

  • Exodus 15: God is a God of war.
  • Romans 15: God is a God of peace.

Jesus vs God:

  • John 10: My Father and I [Jesus] are one.
  • John 14: My Father is greater than I [Jesus].

Animals on the ark:

  • Genesis 7: 7 of each clean animal into the ark.
  • Genesis 7: 2 of each animal [clean or unclean] into the ark.

Personality of Moses:

  • Numbers 12: Moses was a meek man.
  • Numbers 31: Moses had all the men killed so he could keep the women and children for himself.

Fate of the righteous:

  • Psalm 92: The righteous shall flourish.
  • Isaiah 57: The righteous shall perish from the earth.

Last words of Jesus:

  • Matthew 27: The last words of Christ: "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?".
  • Luke 23: The last words of Christ: "Father, unto thy hands I commend my spirit".
  • John 19: The last words of Christ: "It is finished".

Two deaths of Judas:

  • Matthew 27: Judas returns the money to the priests, hangs himself out of shame, and the money is used to buy a field. The field is named for Jesus' blood.
  • Acts 1: Judas buys a field with the money, but manages to fall over in such a way that he disembowels himself. The field is named for his blood.

[edit] Who is Jesus' Paternal Grandfather

Who is the father of Jesus' father? It turns out that even though this could only be one person, the Bible provides two answers: Jacob (Matthew 1:15-16) or Heli (Luke 3:23-24). Not to mention, of course, the contradiction with his supposedly being born of a virgin-in that case, surely he would not have a biological father, and listing a genealogy is pointless.

[edit] Numeric contradictions

It's easy to find long lists of biblical contradictions,[1][2] and just as easy for believers to completely dismiss them,[3] since most are subjective or due to an intentionally ignorant reading of the Bible ("God was nice sometimes and mean other times! A contradiction!").

However, numbers are hard to argue with.[4] Inerrancy apologists still jump through hoops trying to explain these away,[5][6] but at some point you have to give up and admit that the most reasonable explanation is that they are simply errors; that the Bible was written and copied by humans who weren't guided by an invisible hand that prevented them from making mistakes. But then doubt sets in: If God allowed these numerical errors to creep in, what other errors might also be there? How would you even know they're there if the passages aren't duplicated in different places?

[edit] Jehoiachin's Age at Royal Ascension

In the books II Kings and II Chronicles we get two different ages for Jehoiachin when he ascended the throne of Jerusalem.

Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he began to reign, and he reigned in Jerusalem three months. And his mother's name was Nehushta, the daughter of Elnathan of Jerusalem. [7]
Jehoiachin was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned three months and ten days in Jerusalem: and he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD.[8]

[edit] Ahaziah's Age at Royal Ascension

In the books II Kings and II Chronicles we get two different ages for Ahaziah when he began to reign in Jerusalem.

Two and twenty years old was Ahaziah when he began to reign; and he reigned one year in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Athaliah the daughter of Omri king of Israel.[9]
Forty and two years old was Ahaziah when he began to reign, and he reigned one year in Jerusalem. His mother's name also was Athaliah the daughter of Omri.[10]

[edit] How many horsemen did David capture?

Between II Samuel and I Chronicles, the number of horsemen David takes changes tenfold.

And David took from him a thousand chariots, and seven hundred horsemen, and twenty thousand footmen: and David houghed all the chariot horses, but reserved of them for an hundred chariots.[11]
And David took from him a thousand chariots, and seven thousand horsemen, and twenty thousand footmen: David also houghed all the chariot horses, but reserved of them an hundred chariots.[12]

[edit] How many stalls did Solomon have for his horses?

From II Chronicles to I Kings, Solomon experiences a tenfold increase in stalls.

And Solomon had four thousand stalls for horses and chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen; whom he bestowed in the chariot cities, and with the king at Jerusalem.[13]
And Solomon had forty thousand stalls of horses for his chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen.[14]

[edit] etc.

See Fatal Numerical Discrepancies in the Bible

[edit] See also

[edit] Footnotes

  1. Skeptic's Annotated Bible: 473 Contradictions in the Bible
  2. Evil Bible: 143 Biblical Contradictions
  3. Countering (143) Bible Contradictions "My first impression is to scan such lists, noticing claims which are obviously bogus, and others which are quite challenging. Because the lists are so long I tend to rationalize that any list which would include obviously bogus "contradictions" is suspect and that the more challenging ones could probably be resolved with some effort."
  4. Fatal Numerical Discrepancies in the Bible
  5. 2 Samuel 8:4 -- 700 horsemen Or, 1 Chronicles 18:4 -- 7000 horsemen? Maybe there were 10 horsemen in a company and one book reported horsemen while the other reported companies of horsemen! Or maybe there were 10 horsemen per chariot! Or maybe there were 700 horsemen captured at one time, and then 6,300 at another time! Or maybe 6,300 men were trained as both horsemen and footsoldiers! We don't know, but it's definitely not an error it can't be an error damn it!
  6. 700, 7000 or 1700 horsemen in 2 Samuel 8:4? "The designation, “horsemen” is a floating label because it attaches when a man is on a horse, and could detach when a man is no longer on a horse."
  7. II Kings 24:8 (KJV)
  8. II Chronicles 36:9 (KJV)
  9. II Kings 8:26 (KJV)
  10. II Chronicles 22:2 (KJV)
  11. 2 Samuel 8:4
  12. 1 Chronicles 18:4
  13. 2 Chronicles 9:25
  14. 1 Kings 4:26
Guide to the Jewish and Christian Scriptures
Torah: Genesis - Exodus - Leviticus - Numbers - Deuteronomy Old Testament History: Book of Joshua - Book of Judges - Ruth - Samuel (1 & 2) - Kings (1 and 2 Kings) - Chronicles - Ezra and Nehemiah - Book of Esther Old Testament Wisdom: Book of Job - Psalms - Book of Proverbs - Ecclesiastes - Song of Solomon Major Prophets: Isaiah - Book of Jeremiah - Lamentations - Book of Ezekiel - Book of Daniel Minor Prophets: Minor Prophets

Deuterocanon (Catholic and Orthodox): - Tobit - Judith - 1 Maccabees - 2 Maccabees - Book of Wisdom - Sirach - Baruch - Letter of Jeremiah Deuterocanon (Orthodox): 1 Esdras - 3 Maccabees - Prayer of Manasseh - Psalm 151 Deuterocanon (Georgian Orthodox): 4 Maccabees - 2 Esdras Ethiopian Orthodox ("narrow" canon): Jubilees - Enoch - Rest of the Words of Baruch - 1-3 Meqabyan Syriac Peshitta: 2 Baruch Psalms 152-155

The Gospels: Gospel of Matthew - Gospel of Mark - Gospel of Luke - Gospel of John Acts: Acts of the Apostles Pauline Epistles: Romans - 1 & 2 Corinthians - Galatians - Ephesians - Philippians - Colossians - First Thessalonians - Second Thessalonians - First Timothy - Second Timothy - Titus - Epistle to Philemon General Epistles: Epistle to the Hebrews - Epistle of James - First Peter - Second Peter - 1 John - 2 John - 3 John - Epistle of Jude Revelation: Book of Revelation

Selected pseudepigrapha: Gospel of Judas - Infancy Gospel of James - Gospel of Mary - Gospel of Philip - Gospel of Thomas - Nag Hammadi texts

Rational Wiki's Guide to the Protestant Bible

Guide to Bible translations

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