Posts Tagged ‘contradiction’
Today we continue our special daily series based on the article Questions Sceptics Ask by Rusty Wright.
In this post, Rusty shows how we might respond to the question:
What about all the contradictions in the Bible?
Ask your questioner for specific examples. Often people have none, but rely on hearsay.
If there is a specific example, consider these guidelines as you respond.
Omission does not necessarily create contradiction. Luke, for example, writes of two angels at Jesus’ tomb after the Resurrection (24:1-9). Matthew mentions “an angel” (28:1-8). Is this a contradiction? If Matthew stated that only one angel was present, the accounts would be dissonant. As it stands, they can be harmonized.
Differing accounts aren’t necessarily contradictory. Matthew and Luke, for example, differ in their accounts of Jesus’ birth. Luke records Joseph and Mary starting in Nazareth, travelling to Bethlehem (Jesus’ birthplace), and returning to Nazareth (Luke 1:26-2:40). Matthew starts with Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem, relates the family’s journey to Egypt to escape King Herod’s rage, and recounts their travel to Nazareth after Herod’s death (Matt. 1:18-2:23). The Gospels never claim to be exhaustive records. Biographers must be selective. The accounts seem complementary, not contradictory.
Space precludes more complex examples here. But time and again, supposed biblical problems fade in light of logic, history, and archaeology. The Bible’s track record under scrutiny argues for its trustworthiness.
Tomorrow Rusty will give suggestions on how to answer another question that sceptics ask.
Rusty Wright is an author and lecturer who has spoken on six continents. He holds Bachelor of Science (psychology) and Master of Theology degrees from Duke and Oxford universities, respectively. www.RustyWright.com
OTHER POSTS IN THIS SERIES
Sceptics or Skeptics?– How do you deal with questions and objections to faith that your friends may pose?