In his opinion, before the Bible was written it was transmitted orally for generations. As anyone knows, the most reliable testimony in court is eyewitness testimony. Eyewitnesses see from their perspective. If you have played the game “Telegraph,” you know how jumbled messages become the more they are repeated. There are flaws with this person’s logic.
To shore up his opinion, this man gives two examples of contradictions in the Bible: 1) the creation accounts found in Genesis and 2) the giving of the Ten Commandments. The creation account is given twice and the information about the giving of the Ten Commandments is given twice. There are different details in each account. On the service, this seems to be a valid objection. However, if one takes the time to study the literature of the Bible and studies the meaning of each account, they will quickly see there are not contradictions.
Both of these arguments confirm the fact that those without Christ cannot rightly understand the words of Christ. The Bible is written to God’s children and those who do not belong to God will be confused when they try to read the Love Letter to God’s children. Now, just because one is confused, does not mean they are not God’s child. Most of us (ok, in reality, all of us) have been confused on one point or another during our life. However, if one truly believes that the Word of God is unreliable, then chances are they are not a truly born again believer in the Lord Jesus Christ.
I Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
If a person wants to understand the Bible, they must depend on the illumination of the Holy Spirit dwelling in them.
Job 32:8 But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding.
Let’s look more closely at these two arguments. Is the Bible based on oral tradition that is subject to human error? Does God entrust the telling of His story to man in a haphazard manner? Is the Bible open to error?
II Peter 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
The first error this person made was to believe the Bible was just human tradition passed from generation to generation. The Bible is God’s Word and He supervised the men who wrote the Bible making sure they recorded His story correctly.
II Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
This verse says the all of the Bible is God-breathed. God spoke the words for the writers to put on parchment (paper, papyrus, sheep skin, etc). God allowed the men’s personalities to be seen, but He oversaw the writing to be sure it was accurate. The number of Scriptures that remind us “Thus saith the Lord,” or “The word of the Lord,” or such is astounding (Exodus 4:22, 8:1, 11:4; Joshua 24:2; I Samuel 2:27; Isaiah 66:1; Genesis 15:1; Exodus 9:20—there are 16 pages of references with these two phrases at www.blueletterbible.org). The Bible is not full of oral history that man finally decided to put in writing for future generations. The Bible is God’s words written to His children.
The first error the writer of the opinion piece made concerned the transmission of the Bible. He obviously left out the idea that God does exist and He does speak to His children. The first requirement for understanding the Word of God is that one must believe that God does exist. This one fact overrules all objections.
The second part of his argument deals with contradictions. Rest assured, the Living God makes no contradictions. Pagan gods often change their mind. The Living God does not.
James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
No “variableness” means God does not change. He is always the same.
Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
Since God never changes, His Word must be consistent. If the Bible had contradictions, then how would we know what part to believe and which part to junk? How would we know we could trust God is He could not even keep His facts straight?
The Bible may appear to have contradictions; but when one takes the time to study, they find out the beauty of the unity of the Word. Yes, there are two accounts of the creation. This repeating of stories is common among Hebrew writing and actually is common in today’s society. How often have you told a story to a friend and they ask for more detail? That is exactly the type writing you find in the two accounts of the creation. The first one is a general overview. The second one comes back and gives more detail. If one takes the time to read both accounts, they will see there are no contradictions just amplifications.
The second is similar. Different details are given but there are no contradictions. We must also remember that Scripture is written with a purpose in mind. The four gospels give different details of the life of Christ because they were written to different audiences. God sees His children as individuals and as such He gives His story in such a way that everyone can be touched. Different details will reach different people.
There are apparent contradictions but there are not real contradictions. When one takes the time to study, they will be able to clear up apparent contradictions. We must also remember literary style and figures of speech. If a mother says, “I told you a million times…” is she lying? No, she is using hyperbole. God uses figures of speech too. The Bible is literally true when read as it was written.
If you should have any questions about the Word of God that you need some explanation to, please feel free to email me at email@example.com