Does the Bible contain contradictions?

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It has been said that the Bible has been corrupted over time. Through the help of the Dead Sea Scrolls, we can see that the Bible has been accurately translated over the centuries.

Many claim the Bible is full of errors and contradictions.  There are some websites that list hundreds of alleged discrepancies.   In review of these lists, it’s been discovered that the answers to those problems are often very easily answered while others may require a more detailed explanation.   Oftentimes the text is taken grossly out of context.

Before we discuss these supposed errors, we need to define our terms.  A contradiction in the logical sense is “A equals A; A does not equal Non-A”. Or, “it is what it is, and it’s not what it’s not.”  To put it in practical terms, imagine a car in a parking lot.  You can say, “The car is in the parking lot.”  But you cannot say, “The car is in the parking lot but not in the parking lot.”  That would be an impossibility.  Likewise, you cannot say, “The rain is wet, but the rain isn’t wet.”  Jesus cannot say he is the Son of God and also say he is not the Son of God. 

When we say the Bible is inspired and inerrant, we are referring to the original writings also known as the autographs. These were the writings penned by the authors (Paul, John, Peter, etc.) or their scribes. It is believed that none of these original writings are in existence today, but we do have many reliable copies of the texts. We believe the scribes painstakingly copied the texts with diligence.  The field of Textual Criticism validates this.   However, paper is still paper, and it does wear out. One part of a letter could flake off of a document thus rendering a word to be misspelled, or, in the case of numbers, it could change the value of the number. Some may ask how many stalls of horses Solomon had: 4,000 or 40,000 (see 1 Kings 4:26 and 2 Chronicles 9:25 for the alleged contradiction)? This could be an instance where the number flaked off. There are various places in the Bible where numerical inconsistencies occur, but it is important to know that these do not affect doctrine or essentials of the faith. They are just minor nuances that the skeptics love to harp on.

There are two websites I’d like to reference so you may look up the many “alleged” contradictions for yourself:

Bible Difficulties

Scripture Contradiction Index

I also recommend the following books to help clarify these alleged contradictions: