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Article 06 - Alleged Contradictions

Alleged Contradictions of the Bible

The following material is from the work of John W. Haley and is reproduced
here in a condensed format.  Jon Gary Williams

For years those who have opposed the Bible have sought to find discrepancies within its pages. Many charges have been brought against the scriptures by those who are bent on rejecting it. People challenging the Bible allege that it contains numerous contradictions, which, presumably, show it to be uninspired.

In the following pages examples of such contradictions are given. It will be shown that these supposed contradictions are only the imagination of the critics and have no basis in fact.

When analyzing any alleged contradiction it is essential to ask these important questions:
1) Is the same thing or person under consideration?
2) Is the same time in view?
3) Is the language employed in the same sense?
4) Do differing attributes assigned to a person or thing constitute contradictory qualities?
5) Can the stated proposition be expressed in different ways?
These so-called discrepancies are broken down into three categories: Doctrinal, ethical and historical.

I. Doctrinal Contradictions

A. God

1. God can do all things ~ God cannot do all things
a. Matt. 19:26 ~ Heb. 6:18
b. There is no contradiction here. While nothing is beyond the power of God to perform, yet his moral nature will not allow him to lie.

2. God rested ~ God needs no rest
a. Gen. 2:2,3 ~ Is. 40:28
b. The word "rested" simply means God ceased his work of creation and has no bearing on his omnipotence.

3. God knows all things ~ God does not know all things

a. Heb. 4:13 ~ Gen. 22:12
b. Indeed, God is omniscient. The expression "now I know" refers to the end result of God's testing (proving) of Abraham and not to God's overall knowledge.

4. God does not sleep ~ God sometimes sleeps
a. Ps. 121:4 ~ Ps. 44:23
b. Obviously God needs no sleep. In the latter reference the psalmist is speaking from man's perspective. God's postponement of help seemed as though he was delaying ("sleeping").

5. God is everywhere ~ God is not in some places

a. Ps. 139:7-10 ~ Gen. 3:8; 4:16; Jonah 1:3
b. The statement "from presence of the Lord" does not reflect on God's omnipresence. This simply refers to man's feeble effort at fleeing God's presence.

6. God is eternal ~ God has an origin

a. Ps. 90:2 ~ Hab. 3:3
b. The latter reference is not speaking of God having an origin in time, but of manifesting himself in location for a specific purpose. (cf. "The Lord came from Sinai" - Deut. 33:2)

7. God is a spirit ~ God has physical features
a. Jn. 4:24 ~ Ex. 31:18
b. At times human characteristics are attributed to God, such as hands and eyes. These are not intended to be understood literally, but are figures of speech called anthropomorphism.

8. God is unchanging ~ God changes
a. Mal. 3:6 ~ I Sam. 15:10,11; Jonah 3:10
b. God in his overall purpose does not change. However, at times he is grieved or pleased at man's actions. Such was the case with both Saul and Nineveh.

10. God accepts all who seek ~ God will not accept some
a. Matt. 7:8 - Lk. 13:24
b. Matthew's account refers to sincere seekers, while Luke's account refers to those who are workers of iniquity (cf. v.27).

11. God's attributes are revealed ~ God's attributes are unsearchable

a. Ps. 19:1; Rom. 1:20 ~ Job 11:7; Rom. 11:33
b. Though the fact of God's existence and his glory are made known through his creation, yet there are many things about his wisdom and power that lie beyond man's comprehension.

12. God is seen by man ~ God cannot be seen by man

a. Gen. 32:30; Judg. 13:22 ~ Ex. 33:20; Jn. 1:18; I Tim. 6:16
b. Jacob did not see God, but a man (an angel, v.24, cf. Hos. 12:4). Manoah, likewise, saw an angel, v.20. The presence of angels made men feel they were in the presence of God.

13. God tempts men ~ God does not tempt men
a. Gen. 22:1 ~ Jam. 1:13
b. In the first reference "tempt" (KJV) does not mean temptation to sin. It is from "nissah" which means to "prove or test" and is so translated in the ASV and others.

14. God can be tempted ~ God cannot be tempted

a. Deut. 6:16; Matt. 4:7 ~ Jam. 1:13
b. Men are said to "tempt" God when they are unfaithful and distrusting. Yet, God cannot be tempted to do evil.

15. God is a respecter of persons ~ God is not a respecter of persons

a. Gen. 4:4,5 ~ Deut. 10:17; Acts 10:34; Rom. 2:11; Eph. 6:9
b. The first verse refers to a righteous, benevolent respect based on man's character, while the others refer to a respect that is partial, stemming from selfish motives.

16. God is just ~ God is not just
a. Deut. 32:4 ~ Matt. 13:12
b. In the second text Jesus was not addressing justice. Rather, in telling why he used parables, he pointed out that some would not hear, and, hence, were not deserving. (see vv.13-16)

17. God punishes children for the sins of their fathers ~ God does not do this
a. Ex. 20:5 ~ Rom. 2:6
b. The first reference does not relate to the guilt of sin. Rather, the expression "visiting the iniquity of the fathers" refers to the result of their sins passed on to others. (see Ezek. 18:20)

18. God destroys the righteous with the wicked ~ God spares the righteous
a. Job 9:22 ~ Ezek. 33:19
b. While the first text refers to physical life the second refers to spiritual life. Additionally, the Job text is simply emphasizing that sooner or later all men die. (see vv.25,26)

19. God withholds his blessings ~ God gives blessing freely
a. Jam. 4:3 ~ Jam. 1:5
b. The first reference has to do with those who disobey God, who obviously will not receive God's blessings. However, those who trust him will be blessed. (cf. Lk. 11:10)

20. God hardens man's heart ~ Man harden's his own heart
a. Ex. 9:12; 10:1 ~ Ex. 8:15
b. God hardened Pharaoh's heart, but not directly. Rather, as God removed the plagues, Pharaoh would have a hard heart (or change his mind) regarding releasing the Hebrews.

21. God is a God of war ~ God is a God of peace
a. Ex. 15:3; Is.51:15 ~ Rom. 15:33; I Cor. 14:33
b. These two sets of texts allude to different qualities of God's nature. Though he is God of peace, for his divine purposes in response to evil he is sometimes hostile. (cf. Rom. 13:3,4)

22. God is unmerciful ~ God is merciful
a. Deut. 7:16 ~ Jam. 5:11
b. Again, these are two differing attributes of God. Overall, God is merciful. (cf. II Pet. 3:9) However, for his holy objectives at times he demonstrates his wrath. (cf. Heb. 12:29)

23. God hates ~ God is love
a. Rom. 9:13 ~ I Jn. 4:16
b. In the first text "hate" means to "love less." A "less degree of love and regard...less favor." [Wilson, O. T. Word Studies, p.209] (cf. Gen. 29:30,31; Deut. 21:15,16; Lk. 14:26; Jn. 12:25)

24. God laughs at sinful man ~ God loves sinful man
a. Prov. 1:26 ~ Jn. 3:16
b. The Proverbs text shows God's displeasure with some who had "refused" him (vv.24,25). However, the latter text speaks with regard to God's overall love for lost humanity.

25. God condemns deception ~ God deceives
a. Mal. 1:14 ~ Jer. 20:7; Ezek. 14:9
b. In the Jeremiah text "deceived" means "persuaded" (cf. ASV), and refers to Jeremiah's reluctance to be a prophet. The last text speaks of God's deception of false prophets.

26. God dwells in light ~ God dwells in darkness
a. I Tim. 6:16 ~ I Kings 8:12
b. Truly, God dwells in spiritual light. This so-called contradiction is clarified when it is realized that I Kings 8:12 refers to the darkness of the physical temple. (see vv.10,11)

27. God dwells in a temple ~ God does not dwell in a temple
a. II Chron. 7:12,16 ~ Acts 7:48; 17:24
b. No passage states that God dwelled in the Jewish temple. Rather, since this was the place where sacrifices where offered, he was said to dwell their representatively.

28. God dwells in heaven ~ God dwells in Zion
a. Ps. 123:1 ~ Ps. 9:11
b. Since God is omnipresent obviously he can be anywhere. However, since Jerusalem was the center of Judaism and the temple, he is said to dwell there symbolically.

29. God sits ~ God stands
a. Joel 3:12 ~ Is. 3:13
b. There is no contradiction here - man also sits and stands. However, these positions are employed to describe one who is pleading and judging.

30. God's law is a law of liberty ~ God's law is a law of bondage
a. Jam. 2:12 ~ Gal. 4:24
b. This supposed discrepancy is cleared up when one realizes that two different laws are being discussed - the law of Moses and the law of Christ.

31. God's law is perfect ~ God's law is not perfect
a. Jam. 1:25 ~ Heb. 7:19
b. This presumed discrepancy is, likewise, explained when it is seen that the same two laws are under consideration. One (N.T. law) was perfect, the other (O.T. law) was imperfect.

32. God is pleased with sacrifices ~ God is not pleased with sacrifices
a. Ex. 29:18,25 ~ Is. 1:11
b. While proper offerings pleased God, sacrifices that came from wicked hearts were a displeasure to him. Those of whom Isaiah speaks were called a "sinful nation" (see v.4).

B. Christ

1. Christ is God ~ Christ is man
a. Jn. 1:1 ~ Jn. 8:40; I Tim. 2:5
b. There is no contradiction here, for this is the nature of Christ. Indeed, he is Deity. But, to save man from sin, he took the fleshly form. He is God incarnate. (see Jn. 1:14)

2. Christ is equal with the Father ~ Christ is inferior to the Father
a. Phil. 2:5,6 ~ Jn. 14:28
b. Christ and the Father are equal in essence and substance. However, in another sense (that of position) the Father is greater. This is parallel to a husband and wife who are obviously equal in substance, yet, the husband in the "head." Eph. 5:23 (cf. I Cor. 11:3)

3. Christ is the Son of God ~ Christ is the son of man
a. Jn. 10:36 ~ Matt. 16:13; Lk. 19:10
b. These are simply two titles of Christ. The phrase "son of man" is a Jewish idiom and does not suggest that Jesus is less than Deity. To the contrary God-like significance is given to the one who bore this title. (see Mk. 2:10,28; 13:26)

4. Christ is the only Son of God ~ Men are also sons of God
a. Jn. 1:18; 3:16 ~ Rom. 8:14; I Jn. 3:2
b. The term "only begotten" means "one of a kind." While Christians are, indeed, "sons of God," Christ holds a special relation with the Father as the Son of God. (cf. Heb. 11:17 Abraham's only son is called his "only begotten." He was truly one of a kind.

5. Christ has all power ~ Christ is limited in power
a. Matt. 28:18 ~ Mk. 6:5
b. Christ is truly all powerful. The Mark text is not referring to Christ's lack of ability to perform miracles, but to his unwillingness to do so, due to their unbelief. (see v.6)

6. Christ is all-knowing ~ Christ does not know all things
a. Jn. 16:30; 21:17 ~ Mk. 13:32
b. The first statements were made when Christ was in the flesh and subject to some limitation. (cf. Lk. 2:52) (Note: They were made by uninspired men and, hence, do not reflect inspired truth. However, the last statement was made by Christ himself after his resurrection and reflects his true omniscience. (cf. Col. 2:3)

7. Christ is everywhere ~ Christ is not everywhere
a. Matt. 18:20; Matt. 28:20 ~ Jn. 11:15
b. In the last verse Jesus was in the flesh, meaning his omnipresence was limited. The first verses, however, speak in regard to his omnipresence after his resurrection when he was free of any human limitation.

8. Christ is a blessing ~ Christ is a curse
a. Ps. 72:17 ~ Gal. 3:13
b. As shown in the first text, Christ is a blessing to man. However, the last text is speaking of Christ himself being a curse. By bearing the curse of sin he can save man from sin.

9. Christ is merciful ~ Christ is unmerciful
a. Lk. 19:10 ~ Rev. 6:16
b. Again, we see different attributes of Christ. Though he is extremely merciful to man, the last verse shows his mercy will one day be removed and many will stand before him in fear.

10. Christ's witness is true ~ Christ's witness is not true
a. Jn. 8:14 ~ Jn. 5:31
b. In the first verse Jesus is showing that his witness is true because it is confirmed by another witness, the Father. (see vv.17,18) In the second verse he is saying his witness is not true (that is, it is not sufficient proof) without the added testimony of his Father. (see v.32) Both these verses are saying the same thing, but in different ways.

11. Christ is holy ~ Christ is sin
a. Heb. 4:15 ~ II Cor. 5:21
b. Christ was, indeed, sinless. (cf. I Pet. 2:22) In the second text the word "sin" means "sin- offering" (adapted from Jewish usage, see ASV footnote, Ex.29:14). Christ was made an offering for sin on behalf of man. (cf. Rom. 8:3)

12. Christ is peaceable ~ Christ is conflict and strife
a. Jn. 14:27 ~ Matt. 10:34-36
b. Christ's overall mission was to bring peace (salvation) to man. Yet, he knew his teachings would sometimes cause division. Though a surgeon's purpose is to bring healing, yet, in the process of his work his scalpel will bring some pain.

13. Christ's mission was to all men ~ Christ's mission was to the Jews only
a. Matt. 28:19 ~ Matt. 15:24
b. While Christ's personal ministry was limited to the heartland of Judaism, yet, his overall mission was for all mankind. He suffered for all. (cf. Heb. 2:9)

14. Christ did away with the law of Moses ~ Christ told men to keep the law of Moses
a. Heb. 10:9 ~ Matt. 19:17
b. Christ did, indeed, come to remove the Old Testament law. (cf. Col. 2:14) But, before he died it was still in force and the Jews were still obligated to keep it.

15. Christ is judge ~ Christ is not judge
a. Jn. 5:22,27 ~ Jn. 12:47
b. Christ's initial purpose in coming was not to judge people, but to save people. There is no conflict between this and the fact that someday he will be judge of all. (cf. Acts 17:31)

16. Christ feared death ~ Christ thought it was a joy to die
a. Heb. 5:7 ~ Heb. 12:2
b. In a body of flesh and from a human standpoint, Jesus was in fear of death. (cf. Matt. 26:39, 42) Yet, what he was able to accomplish for lost man made his death a "joy."

17. Christ came not to destroy the law of Moses ~ Christ destroyed the law of Moses
a. Matt. 5:17 ~ Eph. 2:15
b. No verse states that Christ destroyed the law. Jesus plainly stated that he came to "fulfill" the law. In the second text the word "abolish" means "to made inactive." In his death Jesus removed the force of the Old Testament law.

C. The Holy Spirit

1. The Spirit is a person ~ The Spirit is an influence or gift
a. Jn. 14:26; 16:13 ~ Gen. 1:2; Lk. 24:49
b. There is no contradiction here, for the Holy Spirit is both a person and an influence. His personality is clearly attested to in the scriptures. However, there are also times when he is spoken of as an instrument of God. In this sense he is seen as an influence.

2. The Spirit is God ~ the Spirit is inferior
a. Acts 5:3,4 ~ Jn. 14:16; 14:26
b. The Holy Spirit is, indeed, Deity, being one in substance with the Father and Son. It is assumed that the latter verses show the Spirit to be inferior. To the contrary, they merely reveal his subordinate role. (cf. I Cor. 11:3)

3. The Spirit is love and gentleness ~ the Spirit is vengeance
a. Gal. 5:22,23 ~ Judg. 15:14,15
b. As with the Father and Son, the Spirit also has varying attributes. These verses are not inconsistent, rather, they describe two different qualities of the Holy Spirit.

4. The Spirit is omnipresent ~ the Spirit lives in human bodies
a. Ps. 139:7-10 ~ I Cor. 6:19
b. That the Holy Spirit is omnipresent is evident. However, no passage teaches that he literally lives in human bodies. Rather, his dwelling takes place in the Christian's heart by means of his word, which is received by the hearing of faith. (Gal. 4:6; 3:2)

D. God's word

1. All scripture is inspired ~ some scripture is not inspired
a. II Tim. 3:16 ~ I Cor. 7:12
b. Some claim the latter text shows Paul was not writing by inspiration. However, this is not true. The statement, "to the rest speak I, not the Lord," simply means that though Jesus himself did not address this particular matter, Paul did. He meant for his admonition to be taken as inspired. (Note: Sometimes the apostles gave their own judgment on certain matters, however, what they said was still inspired. cf. I Cor. 7:25)

2. The Bible is to be studied [interpreting implied] ~ the Bible is not to be interpreted
a. II Tim. 2:15 ~ II Pet. 1:20
b. Interpretation is essential in studying the Bible, for this how its message is derived. In the latter passage the expression "private interpretation" is not referring to obtaining the meaning of the scriptures, but to their origin (derivation). Peter is saying that the scriptures do not come by man's own doing (will). (see v.21)

3. God's promise (word) is absolute ~ God's promise (word) is not absolute
a. Gen. 15:18 ~ Josh. 23:16
b. It is false to assume promises made by God cannot be altered. God's promises are some- times conditional. In the case of Israel, their continued possession of the land of Canaan was conditioned on their faithfulness to God. (cf. Deut. 31:16,17)

4. Passages on the same topic are stated differently
a. Is. 40:3 ~ Mk. 1:3
b. In many instances New Testament citations of Old Testament passages give the sense (or substance) of a text and not the exact words. Seldom are there verbatim quotes. (It should also be remembered that this involved transition from the Hebrew to the Greek, which would almost certainly eliminate verbatim quotes.)

5. The gospels give different versions of the same account
a. Matt. 26:18 ~ Mk. 14:13-15
b. There is no discrepancy here. It was not uncommon for the gospel writers to express things in different ways. It would be unusual (and suspicious) if they all gave precisely the same wording. In the gospels the writers often condensed or expanded their accounts. Though the men who penned the scriptures were inspired (II Tim. 3:16), yet they were not robots. God allowed them to express things in their own ways. (cf. Matt. 3:7 & Mk. 1:11; Matt. 8:26 & Lk. 8:25; Matt. 9:2 & Mk. 2:5)

6. An Old Testament reference is attributed to the wrong writer in the New Testament
a. Zech. 11:12,13 ~ Matt. 27:9,10
b. Some have suggested that this is a copyist error; that is, a copyist inadvertently used the wrong initial letter - Iriou (Jeremiah) for Zriou (Zechariah). Others have noted that though this was recorded by Zechariah, it was first "spoken" by Jeremiah and, thus, was attributed to him. A more probable solution is that since the Jews looked on Jeremiah as head of the prophets, Matthew used him as representative of the prophets as a whole. (Compare Mark attributing the words of Malachi to the "prophets" in general. Mk. 1:2)

7. Different words are said to have been written on the cross
a. Matt. 27:37 ~ Mk. 15:26 ~ Lk. 23:38 ~ Jn. 19:19
b. These texts do not contradict, rather, they compliment each other. Though different in wording all four accounts convey the same thought. Remember, this inscription was written in three languages - Hebrew, Latin and Greek. Hence, it is to be expected that there would be at least some variation in the gospel accounts.

8. Christ is said to be crucified at two different locations
a. Matt. 27:33 ~ Lk. 23:33
b. There is no contradiction between Matthew and Luke. The Matthew account (see also Mk. 15:22 & Jn. 19:17) contains the Hebrew word "Golgotha" meaning "place of a skull." In Luke's account, however, the King James translators inserted the Latin term "Calvary" which has the same meaning. Both words refer to the same place.

9. A true prophet's words come to pass ~ Jonah's prophecy did not come to pass
a. Deut. 18:22 ~ Jonah 3:4, 10
b. The Deuteronomy text refers to prophecies that are absolute and are not alterable by human conduct. However, Jonah's prophecy against Nineveh was not absolute. God's purpose in this was to cause the people to repent, which they did, hence, abrogating his prophecy against them.

E. Man - in relation to the present

1. Man was like God at creation ~ This likeness was acquired

a. Gen. 1:27 ~ Gen. 3:22
b. These passages are speaking of two different things. The first refers to man's actual creation, while the second speaks with regard to man's acquired knowledge.

2. Man is made like God ~ There is no one like God
a. Gen. 1:26 ~ Is. 40:25
b. The Genesis reference is addressing man's immaterial nature, being made in God's spiritual likeness. The Isaiah passage deals with the matter of equality, emphasizing that man is inferior to his Creator.

3. No man is without sin ~ Man can be sinless
a. Rom. 3:23 ~ I Jn. 3:9
b. The first text states what is clearly taught throughout the scriptures. The second text does not contradict this. Rather it is speaking of the Christian's desire to resist sin. The phrase "doth not commit sin" means he does not have the desire to commit sin. The statement "he cannot sin" does not mean he is incapable of sinning, but that he does not want to sin. (cf. the conditional use of the word "cannot" in Acts 4:16) If the "seed" (the influence of God's word) "remains" in the Christian he will not want to sin. (See also I Jn. 2:1)

4. Man is born sinless ~ Man is born sinful
a. Matt. 18:3; Lk. 18:16 ~ Ps. 51:5
b. Is this a contradiction? No. The Psalms reference is a figure of speech called hyperbole - an intended exaggeration used to emphasize a thought. David was lamenting and stressing his own sinfulness, that he felt himself to be exceedingly sinful. (cf. Ps. 58:3; Heb. 8:21)

5. Man does not inherit sin ~ Man inherits sin from Adam
a. Ezek. 18:20 ~ Rom. 5:19
b. The latter verse does not teach inherited sin. (This would mean that infants are born guilty of sin, which is obviously false.) The phrase "were made sinners" does not mean Adam's offspring shares in his sin (or the guilt of his sin). Rather, this refers to man being inclined to commit sin himself. Man is guilty of actual sin (his own sin), not of inherited sin. Paul had just explained that it is death that was passed on to all men, not sin. Rom. 5:12

6. Man repents of his sins ~ Repentance is given to man by God
a. Acts 17:30 ~ Acts 5:31
b. Both of these statements are true. The first verse refers to the act of repenting, while the second refers to the opportunity to repent granted by God. (cf. Acts 11:18)

7. Man is active in his salvation ~ Man is passive in his salvation
a. Phil. 2:12 ~ Eph. 2:10
b. This is to be looked at in much the same way as number 6 above. God provides the opportunity for salvation by supplying the means. However, man also has a role to play, by responding in obedience to God's will. (see Heb. 5:9; Acts 22:16)

8. Man is saved by faith alone ~ Man is saved by faith and works
a. Acts 16:31 ~ Jam. 2:24
b. Faith is only a part of God's plan of salvation. In the first verse the heathen jailer, who did not know of Christ, was told that he needed to "believe" in him; but the context shows that he was also "baptized." The second verse shows the futility of thinking that faith by itself is sufficient. To be effective faith must be active. (see also vv.17,26)

9. Christians are perfect ~ Paul was not perfect
a. Matt. 5:48 ~ Phil. 3:12
b. In the sermon on the mount Jesus presented God as man's standard. Anything less would be inadequate. Though man can never completely attain to this perfection, yet, God is still the standard by which he measures himself. When Paul used this word he was referring to his incompleteness in attaining the goal set before him. (see v.13,14)

10. Christians can fall away ~ Christians cannot fall away
a. Heb. 3:12,13 ~ Jn. 6:37
b. The Bible explicitly teaches a Christian can fall from grace. The reference from John does not contradict this fact. Jesus' statement that he would not "cast out" any is conditional, that is, those who "come" to him must remain faithful. This is made clear by such passages as Acts 5:1-11.

11. Christians can perish ~ Christians cannot perish
a. I Cor. 8:11 ~ Jn. 10:28
b. This is virtually the same as number 10. The first text plainly states that a Christian can "perish." The second passage is, again, conditional, a fact shown to be true because of the many warnings given to Christians. (cf. Gal. 5:4; I Tim. 5:8; II Pet. 3:17)

12. Wisdom is a blessing ~ Wisdom is a source of grief and sorrow
a. Prov. 3:13 ~ Eccl. 1:18
b. This alleged discrepancy is explained by the fact that while the first reference is speaking of spiritual wisdom, the second is speaking of worldly wisdom. (cf. I Cor. 1:20)

13. A good reputation is a blessing ~ A good reputation is a curse
a. Prov. 22:1 ~ Lk. 6:26
b. There is no contradiction here. The first text simply points out the personal satisfaction of possessing a good reputation. The second is a denunciation of insincere flattery.

14. Christians do not consider the earth their home ~ Christians are to possess the earth
a. I Jn. 2:15 ~ Matt. 5:5
b. The first verse refers to rejecting the wicked things of the earth. The latter verse is speak- ing of those who truly receive the benefits of the earth because of possessing a "meek" (i.e gentile, kind) spirit. The word "inheritance" does not mean a literal inheritance, for the Christian does not anticipate this world as his final home. (cf. Heb. 13:14)

15. The Christian's burden is light ~ The Christian has tribulation
a. Matt. 11:29,30 ~ Jn. 16:33
b. On the one hand Jesus is saying that in contrast to the burden of the world, the burden the Christian shares with him is light. On the other hand he points out that those who follow him will share in his tribulation. (cf. Jn. 15:19)

F. Man - in relation to the future

1. Man must die ~ Some will not die

a. Heb. 9:27; Rom. 5:12 ~ Jn. 8:51; 11:26
b. This alleged discrepancy is easily explained. The first two verses are speaking of physical death. However the last two verses are speaking of spiritual death.

2. Lazarus sickness was not unto death ~ Lazarus died
a. Jn. 11:4 ~ Jn. 11:14
b. When Jesus said the sickness was "not unto death" he was pointing out that Lazarus' death had an ultimate purpose - that of allowing him to show his power by raising Lazarus and, thereby, to be glorified.

3. Man dies like a beast ~ Man's death is different than that of a beast
a. Eccl. 3:19 ~ Eccl. 12:7
b. While the first text shows that from a physical standpoint man is no different than lower animals (both breathe the same air and die the same), the second text shows that in addition to the physical, man also has a spiritual side that will return to God.

4. For man death exists ~ For man death is abolished
a. Heb. 9:27 ~ II Tim. 1:10
b. The statement that Jesus "hath abolished death" does not mean that man will not die. Rather, this is speaking of Christ's own victory over death. However, it is because of his victory that someday, in the general resurrection, death will be abolished for all mankind.

5. Man is immortal ~ Only God is immortal
a. Matt. 10:28 ~ I Tim. 6:15,16
b. Since the soul will never die, man is immortal. However, since God is self-existent and never had a beginning, his immortality is greater. Similarly, the Bible says, "To God only wise." (Rom. 16:27) This does not mean that only God has wisdom, but that his wisdom is greater than that of man.

6. Man's soul cannot be killed ~ Man's soul can be killed
a. Matt. 10:28 ~ Josh. 11:11
b. The word "soul" has different usages. Sometimes it refers to the immortal side of man. However, sometimes it refers to man as a being or person. This is the way it is used in Joshua 11:11. This usage is also found in I Peter 3:20, "eight souls were saved by water," referring to the eight people saved in the ark. (cf. Gen. 2:7)

7. Man is conscious after death ~ Man is unconscious after death
a. Lk. 16:23 ~ Eccl. 9:5
b. This is based on a misuse of the second reference. The statement, "the dead know not anything" is not speaking of an unconscious state of the dead. Rather, the context shows this refers to the dead no longer having any relation to this world. Note verse 6, things "under the sun."

8. Man can be with Christ ~ Man cannot be with Christ
a. Jn. 14:3 ~ Jn. 13:33
b. While the first text is speaking of the second coming of Christ when he will claim his own, in the last text Jesus is referring to the period between his death and resurrection.

9. Mankind goes to one place ~ Mankind goes to different places
a. Eccl. 3:20 ~ Lk. 16:23,26
b. In the first verse reference is made to the common physical destiny of all men - "the dust." The last verse, however, has to do with the different places reserved for the souls of men.

10. The dead are raised ~ The dead are not raised
a. I Cor. 15:52 ~ Job 7:9
b. The Job reference does not mean there will never be a resurrection of the dead. Rather, it is simply pointing out that man will not be raised to take his place again in this present world. Note verse 10 - "he shall return no more to his house."

11. Jesus was first to be raised ~ Others were raised before Christ
a. Acts 26:23; I Cor. 15:20 ~ Lk. 7:14,15; Acts 9:40
b. Those who were raised from the dead before Christ were restored to their physical bodies and would someday die again. However, Jesus was the first to be raised in a spiritual body, never again to see death. (see Rom. 6:9)

12. Man will be judged by God ~ Man will be judged by Christ
a. Ps. 50:6; Heb. 12:23 ~ Rom. 14:10; II Cor. 5:10
b. Both these statements are true. The Father is the judge of all, but it is through Christ that the judgment will take place. (See Jn. 5:22 & Acts 17:30)

13. Man's punishment will be darkness ~ Man's punishment will be fire
a. Matt. 25:30 ~ Matt. 25:41
b. The supposed contradiction between "darkness" and "fire" is easily explained. These are figurative descriptions of punishment. To create a contradiction based on the physical difference between "darkness" and "fire" shows a lack of understanding of languages.

14. Wicked people will not enter the kingdom ~ Wicked people will enter the kingdom
a. I Cor. 6:9,10 ~ Matt. 21:31
b. In the second text Jesus is not saying that wicked people will enter the kingdom. Rather, this was his way of telling the corrupt Jewish leaders they were lost. By way of comparison he is saying that the "publicans and harlots" had a better chance than did they.

15. Man's punishment is eternal ~ Man's punishment will terminate
a. Matt. 25:46 ~ Matt. 10:28
b. The scriptures plainly teach that punishment is eternal. In the second verse the word "destroy" does not, as some suggest, mean annihilation. The word here is apollumi and is sometimes translated "perish." (cf. Lk. 5:37 where wine skins are said to "perish" but are obviously not annihilated.) Note that in II Thessalonians 1:9 "destruction" is combined with "everlasting."

II. Ethical (conscientious, moral, religious) Contradictions

A. In regard to God

1. By law the Jews could not kill Jesus ~ By law the Jews could kill Jesus

a. Jn. 18:31 ~ Jn. 19:7
b. This supposed contradiction is resolved by understanding that while the first text refers to the law imposed by the Roman government, the second is speaking of Jewish law. The Jews lived under the prevailing Roman government which reserved the right to execution.

2. Man is blessed by covering sin ~ Man is not blessed by covering sin
a. Ps. 32:1 ~ Prov. 28:13
b. The verse from Psalms refers to sins that are covered by God's atonement. However, the verse from Proverbs refers to man seeking to cover his sins by hiding them from God.

3. David was pleasing to God ~ David sinned against God
a. Acts 13:22 ~ II Sam. 24:10
b. In the quotation from Acts Paul refers to David early in life before being chosen king of Israel. The text from II Samuel is speaking of a specific sin of David committed later in life. Like all men, David was not immune to sin. (see Rom. 3:23)

4. Man is to worship only God ~ Joshua worshipped an angel
a. Ex. 20:3,5 ~ Josh. 5:14
b. It is falsely assumed that in the second text the being worshipped was an ordinary angel. Since the worship of angels is forbidden (Rev. 22:8,9), and since Joshua was not rebuked, it can only be concluded that this was not an ordinary angel. No doubt this was Christ, the second person of the Godhead, who sometimes appeared to men as an angel.

5. Man was not to create images ~ Man was to create images
a. Ex. 20:4 ~ Ex. 25:18
b. The images of the first verse refer to pagan images made to worship. (Hence, verse 5, "thou shalt not bow down thyself to them.") However, the "cherubim" mentioned in the first verse were ordained by God and were not intended to be objects of worship.

6. Paul said Christ dwelt in him ~ Paul said nothing good dwelt in him
a. Gal. 2:20 ~ Rom. 7:18
b. In these verses Paul is speaking of two distinct relations. One has to do with his higher, spiritual side and the other with his lower, carnal side. Though Christ dwelt in him in a spiritual sense, yet, because of his carnal nature, he was subject to sin. (see vv. 19-25)

7. Men should pray openly ~ Men should pray privately
a. I Tim. 2:8 ~ Matt. 6:6
b. The Bible gives examples of both public and private prayer, hence, there is no exclusive way of praying. In the second verse Jesus was not prohibiting public prayer, rather he was showing the error of making a show of prayer with insincere, pretentious motives.

8. Men were to keep the sabbath ~ Men were not to keep the sabbath
a. Ex. 20:8 ~ Is. 1:13
b. There is no contradiction here. In the second text the point is, because of their sins, God did not regard their observance of the sabbath. Their hands were "full of blood." (v.15)

9. Animal offerings could not remove man's sins ~ Animal offerings could remove man's sins
a. Heb. 10:4 ~ Lev. 4:26
b. That animal offerings could not take away sin is clear. The forgiveness mentioned in the Old Testament is forgiveness on a promissory basis. That is, the guilt of these sins could not be removed (atoned for) until the ultimate sacrifice, Christ, was offered.

10. Man is to serve God with gladness ~ Man is to serve God with fear
a. Ps. 2:11 ~ Ps. 100:2
b. Both of these thoughts are true. Man should serve God with gladness, yet, he also looks to his Creator with awe and respect. Reverential fear and gladness are quite compatible.

11. All of man's sins can be forgiven ~ Some of man's sins cannot be forgiven
a. Acts 13:39 ~ I Jn. 5:16
b. Christ's blood can remove all sins. The text of I John refers to unrepented of sins - sins that are said to be "unto death." God cannot forgive unrepented of sins. Note: Some sins were "not unto death," that is, they were sins people had repented of.

12. Man is to swear ~ Man is not to swear
a. Deut. 6:13 ~ Matt. 5:34
b. There is no disagreement here. The "swearing" mentioned by Moses refers to the taking of oaths in which the Jews used God as the highest of standards. On the other hand, Jesus speaks of careless, impulsive swearing of common conversation. (cf. Jam. 5:12)

13. Men who followed false gods feared God ~ But these men did not fear God
a. II Kings 17:33 ~ II Kings 17:34
b. This supposed discrepancy is easily resolved. The word "fear" if used in two senses. First, these people are said to have feared God because they accepted him as one of their gods. However, since they did not follow God's commandments, they did not truly fear him.

14. Men were not to do any work on the sabbath ~ Men worked on the sabbath
a. Ex. 31:15 ~ Matt. 12:1,2
b. The prohibition against working on the sabbath day did not include acts of necessity, as shown by verses 3 through 5. In addition, as Jesus pointed out, since he was "Lord of the sabbath" (v. 8) he could do as he wished. Note: Likewise, this prohibition did not include acts of mercy. (see vv.11,12)

15. Man's death is precious in God's sight ~ Man's death is no pleasure to God
a. Ps. 116:15 ~ Ezek. 18:32
b. The death of those who are servants of God is precious, for he knows they will be with him for ever. However, the death of the unrighteous is not a pleasure to God, for they will be separated from him for ever. Note that the Ezekiel text is qualified with the statement, "wherefore turn yourselves."

B. In regard to man's responsibility to self

1. Anger in man is approved ~ Anger in man is condemned

a. Eph. 4:31 ~ Eph. 4:26
b. The first text refers to anger that leads to uncontrolled rage. Such is expressly condemned. However, the second text refers to anger that is controlled. This is shown by Paul's citing the Greek axiom, "let not the sun go down upon your wrath." That controlled anger is not sinful is shown by the fact that Jesus himself is said to have become angry. (see Mk. 3:5)

2. It is right for men to eat all animals ~ It is wrong to for men to eat some animals
a. Gen. 9:3 ~ Deut. 14:7
b. This supposed discrepancy is easily explained. The verse from Deuteronomy tells of the restriction placed on the Jews under the law of Moses. The verse from Genesis refers to conditions before the law of Moses was given during which time God allowed the eating of all animals.

3. Christians can eat meat offered to idols ~ Christians cannot eat meats offered to idols
a. I Cor. 10:27,28 ~ Acts 15:29
b. The first text explains that there was nothing wrong with mature Christians eating meats that had been offered to idols. However, in the second text new Gentile Christians were being addressed who were still being influenced by pagan practices. It was necessary for them to cease anything that would keep them under this influence, including even the eating of meats offered to idols. The same thought is found in verse 20, "abstain from pollutions of idols."

4. Boasting is condemned ~ Boasting is approved
a. Prov. 27:2 ~ Ex. 11:3
b. As shown in the first verse, boasting is reproved by God. In the second verse the statement recorded by Moses was not an attempt to boast. Rather, this is a statement of fact that Moses was inspired to write. Verse two states, "Speak now in the ears of the people..."

5. Paul said he was equal to the other apostles ~ Paul said he was the least of the apostles
a. II Cor. 11:5 ~ I Cor. 15:9
b. Here are two distinct aspects of Paul's life. In his second letter to Corinth he points out that in regard to such things as his talents, education and ministry he was "behind" no one. However, in his first letter he felt himself to be "least" because of his past life of persecuting the church. Paul even felt he was "less than the least" of all saints. Eph. 3:8

6. Coveting is forbidden ~ Coveting is approved
a. Ex. 20:17 ~ I Cor. 12:31; 14:39
b. "Covet" in the first verse refers to unlawful craving for that which is another's. In the last two verses the word "covet" refers the legitimate desire for miraculous gifts which were of value in service to Christ.

7. Running is beneficial ~ Running is not beneficial
a. I Cor. 9:24 ~ Rom. 9:16
b. Here the word "run" is used in two different senses. The Corinthians were being told to persist in the Christian race in order to obtain. (cf. Heb.12:1) But, to the Romans Paul explained that it was not their running, but God who provided mercy for their salvation.

8. Laughter is condemned ~ Laughter is commended
a. Eccl. 2:2 ~ Eccl. 3:4
b. While chapter two addresses laughter associated with senseless, riotous behavior, chapter three points out that there is a time for laughter, just as there is a time for other emotions.

9. Man should not follow his own way ~ Man should follow his own way
a. Prov. 14:12 ~ Eccl. 11:9
b. In the first text Solomon shows the futility of man's inferior ways compared to God's. In the second text he urges young men to enjoy the time of their youth, which is a normal thing. However, he cautions them to use good judgment in enjoying life.

10. Christian's are to rejoice ~ Christian's are to mourn
a. Phil. 4:4 ~ Matt. 5:4
b. As stated by Paul, rejoicing should be a part of every Christian's life. However, to mourn is also a part of the Christian's life. In speaking of those who "mourn" Jesus was referring to those who demonstrate penitence in "mourning" over their sins. These are the ones whom Jesus says will be blessed.

11. Temptation is undesirable ~ Temptation is desirable
a. Matt. 6:13 ~ Jam. 1:2
b. Again, two different thoughts are being discussed. While in the first verse Jesus mentions the obvious truth that temptations are not to be desired, in the context of the second verse James shows that should temptations arise, the Christian should rejoice and use them as a means of strengthening himself by resisting them.

12. Wealth is to be given away ~ Wealth is to be retained
a. Matt. 19:21 ~ I Tim. 6:17,18
b. In the the first text Jesus was not giving a general pattern of conduct in regard to finances. Rather, he was testing the sincerity of a rich ruler. Paul's remarks do not contradict this. His statement infers that Christians are not required to give up their wealth. Yet he explains that they are to use it wisely for the Lord's work.

13. The use of wine is reproved ~ The use of wine is recommended
a. Prov. 20:1 ~ I Tim. 5:23
b. The reference from Proverbs is a truth found in many passages. Why then did Paul write what he did? His remark to Timothy about wine relates to its use for medicinal purposes - "for thy stomach's sake and thine often infirmities." Paul was not condoning its use otherwise.

C. In regard to man's responsibility to others

1. Adultery is prohibited ~ Adultery is tolerated

a. Ex. 20:14 ~ Hos. 1:2
b. Does the Hosea reference condone adultery? No. Though Hosea married a woman of "whoredom" does not mean he committed adultery. Hosea's action is one example of many where a prophet is commanded to act out in his life something that is associated with the message he is giving. Israel was committing spiritual adultery and this was God's way of dramatizing it. (cf. I Kings 11:29-31; Isa. 8:3; Jer. 13:1-7; Ezek. 5:1-4; Rev. 10:8-11)

2. Assassination forbidden ~ Assassination sanctioned
a. Ex. 21:14 ~ Judg. 3:20,21
b. The first text is God's command against man taking life of his own accord. However, this did not preclude God from taking vengeance. Judge Ehud, in delivering Israel from the oppression king Eglon, was acting by the authority of God.

3. Killing is forbidden ~ Killing is allowed
a. Ex. 20:13 ~ Num. 35:19,27
b. Though God prohibited the crime of murder (cf. Deut. 5:17), yet, in cases where life had been unlawfully taken, he recognized blood revenge by a relative as proper punishment.

4. Baptism is essential ~ Baptism is not essential
a. Mk. 16:16 ~ I Cor. 1:14,17
b. Is there a contradiction here? No. In the I Corinthians text Paul did not say baptism is not essential. Rather, he points out that in view of the divisiveness created by who baptized them (see vv.12,13), he is sad he had a part in their conversion. By saying he was sent "not to baptize," he was emphasizing that preaching was his primary function, not baptism.

5. Christians are not to regard men as "father" ~ Christians are to regard men as "father"
a. Matt. 23:9 ~ I Tim. 5:1
b. In Matthew's account Jesus was forbidding his disciples from using religious titles such as "rabbi" and "father." However, to Timothy Paul was explaining that elderly men should be looked up to and treated with respect as men do their fathers in the flesh.

6. Murderers are to be executed ~ God spared a murderer
a. Gen. 9:6 ~ Gen. 4:8-13
b. This supposed discrepancy is easily solved. The statement to Noah in Genesis nine was made 1500 years after Cain's punishment recorded in Genesis four. Furthermore, it must be remembered that God is not limited by the restrictions he places on man.

7. Captives are to be spared ~ Captives are to be destroyed
a. Deut. 20:10,11 ~ Deut. 20:16
b. The cites of the first text were those cites the Jews would encounter on their way to Canaan. However, the cities referred to in the second text were cities in the land of Canaan itself, which the Jews were to possess. (They are listed in the context. see v.17)

8. Weapons are permitted ~ Weapons are not permitted
a. Lk. 22:36 ~ Matt. 26:52
b. There is no contradiction here. Having a sword (from the Greek machaira, a dagger) as protection was advisable. However, in the Matthew passage Jesus was reprimanding Peter for seeking to harm another out of hatred, which is clearly wrong.

9. Striving is encouraged ~ Striving is condemned
a. Rom. 15:20,30 ~ II Tim. 2:24
b. Here are instances where the same word is given two different meanings. The striving of the first texts refers to doing that which is right in serving God, whereas the striving of the last text refers to things that are not pleasing to God.

10. Children are to be loved ~ Children were cursed
a. Mk. 10:13-16 ~ II Kings 2:23,24
b. The statement in Mark 10 reflects the attitude people should have toward children. How- ever, in the case of Elisha these were not children, but teenagers ("lads" ASV), who were shamefully taunting the great prophet, who was the representative of God.

11. Enemies are to be treated kindly ~ Enemies should be made to feel pain
a. Rom. 12:20 ~ Rom. 12:20
b. The first part of this passage is what Jesus desires for all his followers. (see Matt. 5:44) The last part does not contradict this. The statement "coals of fire" does not refer to retribution, but to the fact that treating people with kindness may touch their consciences, causing them to feel badly about how they have acted.

12. Addressing someone as "fool" is forbidden ~ Addressing someone as "fool" is approved
a. Matt. 5:22 ~ Matt. 23:17,19
b. The word translated "fool" (Greek, moros) is a degrading term, meaning that one is morally worthless and corrupt. This term used in a personal way shows complete contempt and scorn. However, this term was entirely fitting to describe the moral condition of the scribes and Pharisees.

13. Death should not be feared ~ Jesus feared death
a. Matt. 10:28 ~ Heb. 5:7
b. In the first account Jesus said nothing about not fearing death. Rather, he was speaking of who not to fear - "...fear not them...but rather fear him..." The Hebrews text clearly states Jesus feared death - not death in itself, but what his death would involve - bearing the sins of the world.

14. Fools are not to be answered ~ Fools are to be answered
a. Prov. 26:4 ~ Prov. 26:5
b. These verses are self-explanatory. On the one hand, fools should not to be answered if answering them makes one a fool also; on the other hand, fools should be answered if answering them will expose their foolishness.

15. Fruit trees not to be disposed of ~ Fruit trees to be disposed of
a. Deut. 20:19 ~ II Kings 3:18,19
b. The Deuteronomy reference is speaking of cities within the land of Canaan which the Israelites were to possess. However, the reference from II Kings is speaking of the cities of the Moabites outside the land of Canaan.

16. Man's works to be seen of men ~ Man's works not to be seen of men
a. Matt. 5:16 ~ Matt. 6:1
b. The difference in these two passages is motive. In the first passage the motive is to let one's "light shine" so God will be glorified. In the second passage the motive is selfishness and pride, simply for the sake of being seen by others.

17. Storing up material assets is condemned ~ Storing up material assets is approved
a. Matt. 6:19,25 ~ I Tim. 5:8
b. In the sermon on the mount Jesus was condemning making earthly treasures one's chief objective. The expression "take no thought" means "be not anxious" (cf. ASV) and refers to being overly concerned about material possessions. The last text is admonition not to disregard the obligation of providing for one's family.

18. Respecting another's possessions is required ~ Seizing another's possession is approved
a. Ex. 20:17 ~ Ex. 23:31
b. The first passage refers to the Israelites dealing with each other within their own nation. However, the second passage is speaking of God's requirement for them to drive the pagan people from the land they were to possess.

19. Judging others is forbidden ~ Judging others is sanctioned
a. Matt. 7:1 ~ Jn. 7:24
b. These are two different "judgments." In the first verse Jesus is reproving harsh, spiteful judgment. However, in the second verse he is encouraging the proper kind of judgment ("righteous judgment") which he contrasts with judging others by appearance only.

20. Bearing false witness is condemned ~ Bearing false witness is approved
a. Ex. 20:16 ~ Josh. 2:4-6
b. False witness (lying) is condemned by God. However, keeping the truth from those who would abuse it is not bearing false witness. In Rahab's case she prevented the Israelite spies from being captured and murdered. She was justified in her actions. (see Jam. 2:25)

21. The poor are to be favored ~ The poor are not to be favored
a. Ps. 41:1; Prov. 14:21 ~ Ex. 23:3
b. The Psalms and Proverbs verses encourage the exercise of benevolence toward those who are less fortunate. On the other hand, the Exodus text deals with suits between men and the need for justice in all instances, regardless if a person was poor.

22. Retaliation is allowed ~ Retaliation is forbidden
a. Ex. 21:23-25 ~ Rom. 12:19
b. To understand the difference in these passages it is necessary to understand the difference between the two covenants. The inferior old covenant allowed for retaliation. However, the perfect new covenant governs a spiritual kingdom in which there is to be no retaliation.

23. Stealing is forbidden ~ Stealing is allowed
a. Ex. 20:15 ~ Ex. 12:35,36
b. Stealing is forbidden. However, what happened in Egypt was not stealing, but rather God's actions against the Egyptians. With God's approval the Israelites demanded the wealth of Egypt. To rid themselves of the Israelites, the Egyptians were glad to accommodate them.

24. Slavery is approved ~ Slavery is condemned
a. Lev. 25:44 ~ Ex. 21:16
b. The first text refers to owning slaves of heathen people which was allowed under the law of Moses. However, the second text prohibits, under penalty of death, stealing and selling one who was a free person.

25. Witchcraft is to be punished ~ Witchcraft is just to be avoided
a. Ex. 22:18 ~ I Tim. 4:7
b. The Exodus text explains that under the law of Moses those who practiced witchcraft were to be put to death. However, no such thing is allowed under the Christian system. Note: To interpret "old wives fables" as witchcraft is incorrect.

26. Women are to be in subjection ~ Women were allowed authority
a. Gen. 3:16; Eph. 5:22,24 ~ Jud. 4:4,5
b. That God placed woman in subjection is evident. The case of Deborah as judge over Israel is an exception. However, there is no contradiction here. This account simply illustrates the fact that at that time there was no man in Israel capable of being judge.

27. Women are prohibited from preaching ~ Women are allowed to preach
a. I Cor. 14:34, I Tim. 2:11,12 ~ Acts 2:18; Acts 21:9
b. As the first texts show, the role of women is restricted. The latter texts do not contradict this principle. Though the word "prophesy" is sometimes used of women, it should be noted that it does not necessarily refer to public preaching. The scriptures which prohibit women usurping authority clearly limit the role of women in this regard.

28. Resisting evil is essential ~ Resisting evil is not essential
a. Jam. 4:7 ~ Matt. 5:39
b. As the first verse points out, Satan is to be resisted. However, the second verse is speaking of something altogether different. The "evil" that is not to be resisted is not the temptation to do evil, but rather the actions of those who would do harm. The verse itself explains this to be the case.

III. Historical Contradictions

A. Concerning People

1. Nahash is the father of Abigail and Zeruiah ~ Jesse is their father

a. II Sam. 17:25 ~ I Chron. 2:13,16
b. Jewish historians say that Nahash was another name for Jesse. It is also possible that Nahash was a former husband of the mother of Abigail and Zeruiah.

2. Abraham was given a land inheritance ~ Abraham did not inherit any land
a. Gen. 13:15 ~ Acts 7:5
b. The land inheritance was not intended for Abraham personally. Rather, through him God promised the land which was intended for his offspring. "Unto thy seed have I given this land." Gen.15:18 The latter reference correctly states that Abraham did not enter the land.

3. King Ahaz was faithful in worship to God ~ King Ahaz closed the temple
a. II Kings 16:15,16 ~ II Chron. 28:24
b. The first text refers to the early days of king Ahaz when he was faithful to God. The latter text refers to the last days of his reign when the had begun to rebel against God.

4. Anak's sons were slain ~ Anak's sons were expelled
a. Judg. 1:10 ~ Judg. 1:20
b. The solution to this is found in the fact that the context of Judges one is not altogether in chronological order. The second text corresponds to the expelling of Anak's sons recorded earlier in Joshua 15:14. They were first expelled, then later they were slain.

5. The lists of the apostles are different
a. Matt. 10:2-4 ~ Mk. 3:16-19 ~ Lk. 6:13-16 ~ Acts 1:13
b. The four lists of the apostles are almost identical, the only difference being that in two instances different names are given to the same people. Namely, Simon the Canaanite is the same as Simon Zelotes and Judas the brother of James is the same as Thaddaeus.

6. Bedan is listed as a judge of Israel ~ Bedan is not found in the book of Judges
a. I Sam. 12:11 ~ Judges
b. Critics assume that the names of the first text were all judges. Ancient versions such as the Septuagint, Syriac and Arabic, no doubt, contain the correct word "Barak." "Bedan" was incorrectly inserted by a later copyist. By comparing the two Hebrew names it is easy to see how a copyist might confuse the two. (Barak - ך׀׀; Bedan - ק׀׀.)

7. Jesus carried his own cross ~ Simon carried Jesus' cross
a. Jn. 19:17 ~ Lk. 23:26
b. The solution to this alleged discrepancy is simple. Jesus began to carry his cross, but because of his weakened condition someone else had to be secured for this task. The first text states that Jesus "went forth" bearing the cross but does not indicate how far.

8. Jesus was given vinegar and gall ~ Jesus was given wine and myrrh
a. Matt. 27:34 ~ Mk. 15:23
b. There is no contradiction here. The word "vinegar" refers wine, but wine that was cheap and used by the lower classes. The words "gall" and "myrrh" both refer to bitterness, "gall" being a more general term. (cf. Acts 8:23 "gall of bitterness")

9. Joseph was the son of Jacob ~ Joseph was the son of Heli
a. Matt. 1:16 ~ Lk. 3:23
b. Sometimes in-law relations were expressed as actual relations. Though Joseph was the son-in-law of Heli, by marrying into the family he was considered his son. While Luke traces Jesus' genealogy through Mary, yet he shows Joseph to be the legal father of Jesus.

10. Christ's revelation is complete ~ Christ's revelation is not complete
a. Jn. 15:15 ~ Jn. 16:12
b. The first text does not state that everything God intended for the apostles to know was revealed. Jesus simply says that all things intended for them to that time had been revealed. As the second text points out there were yet other things for them to know. (cf. Acts 1:3)

11. Christ always used parables ~ Christ did not always use parables
a. Matt. 13:34 ~ Matt. 5 - 7
b. Obviously, many times Jesus spoke without using parables. However, the first passage has to do with a specific occasion. The text states that "these things" were spoken in parables; that is, the things he spoke on that occasion were so addressed.

12. David became Saul's armor bearer ~ David continued to feed his father's sheep
a. I Sam. 16:21 ~ I Sam. 17:15
b. Though David was made Saul's armorbearer, this did not mean he was not allowed to continue helping his father. Since he was a youth this position was probably only an honorary one. (Note: Joab had ten armorbearers, II Sam. 18:15) Later, David was perma- nently retained in the service of Saul. I Sam. 18:2

13. A reason for David not building a temple ~ A different reason for David not building a temple
a. I Chron. 17:4-6 ~ I Chron. 28:3
b. There is no contradiction here. Rather, these are two concurrent reasons for David not being allowed to build the temple. The first text points out that it was not the right time. The second text points out that David was not the right person. (See I Chron. 17:11,12)

14. One list for David's officers ~ Another list for David's officers
a. II Sam. 8:16-18 ~ II Sam. 20:23-26
b. There is a very logical explanation for this. It should be pointed out that there is probably a period of more than twenty years between these two lists. No doubt, as time elapsed changes were required.

15. David was provoked by God ~ David was provoked by Satan
a. II Sam. 24:1 ~ I Chron. 21:1
b. This is yet another false claim of a contradiction. The first text does not state that God "provoked" David; rather, it was Satan who did the provoking. Since David was deter- mined to sin, God allowed him to do it. In this sense God "moved number Israel."

16. The Edomites obstructed Israel's passage ~ The Edomites permitted Israel's passage
a. Num. 20:18-21 ~ Deut. 2:4,8
b. The first text refers to Israel's first approach to Edom on their way to Canaan from the southwest. The second text deals with Israel's later approach on the eastern, unprotected boarder of Edom, at which time the Edomites were less hostile toward Israel.

17. Elizabeth descended from Aaron (Levi) ~ Elizabeth descended from David (Judah)
a. Lk. 1:5 ~ Lk. 1:27, 36
b. The first passage clearly shows Elizabeth to be of the tribe of Levi. However, the critic claims that since the second text makes Elizabeth a "cousin" to Mary, this means she was of the tribe of Judah. But, this is a false assumption. Because of tribal intermarriage many people of different tribes would be related as cousins. Note: It could just as easily be argued that Mary was of the tribe of Levi?

18. David slew Goliath ~ Elhanan slew Goliath
a. I Sam. 17:50 ~ II Sam. 21:19
b. That David killed the great Goliath is well established. The second text is an instance where an ancient Hebrew scribe unintentionally left out the words "brother of." This is confirmed by the parallel text of I Chronicles 20:5. Note: The KJV supplied "brother of."

19. Elkanah is a Levite ~ Elkanah is called an Ephrathite
a. I Chron. 6:16, 27 ~ I Sam. 1:1
b. Though Elkanah was a Levite, since he lived within the borders of the tribe of Ephraim, he is called a Ephrathite. From a civil standpoint he was of Ephraim. (cf. Judg. 17:9)

20. Eutychus was dead ~ Eutychus was alive
a. Acts 20:9 ~ Acts 20:10
b. It is thought that the statement "his life is in him" means the young man was not actually dead. However, if that be true, reference to the incident would have been insignificant. The fact is, the statement of the second text was made after his life was restored.

21. Joseph sold to Ishmaelites ~ Joseph sold to Midianites
a. Gen. 37:25-27 ~ Gen. 37:28
b. The Ishmaelites and Midianites were the same people - Ishmaelites by race (offspring of Hagar) but Midianites by location. Moses is said to have fled to the "land of Midian." Ex. 2:15 The two names are used interchangeably in Judges 8:24,26.

22. This woman is of Canaan (Canaanite) ~ She is called a Syrophenecian
a. Matt. 15:22 ~ Mk. 7:26
b. Since "Canaan" applies to all the land west of the Jordan, in this text it cannot be referring to location. Rather, it refers to race, the inhabitants being largely Canaanites. The second text specifies the area of Canaan she was from. She was Syrophenecian "by nation."

23. The Israelites dwelt in tents ~ The Israelites dwelt in booths
a. Ex. 16:16 ~ Lev. 23:42,43
b. The word "tent" is a broad term with several meanings, all referring to dwelling structures of various kinds. Hebrew lexicographers say this word includes the word "booth," hence, these terms are actually synonymous.

24. The Israelites were vast in number ~ The Israelites were weak in number
a. Num. 1:45,46 ~ Deut. 7:7
b. This supposed contradiction is easily explained. The first text has to do with Israel when they came out of Egypt in large numbers. The latter reference, however, speaks of the time when Jacob (Israel's beginning) and his family went into Egypt hundreds of years earlier.

25. Jacob would leave Egypt ~ Jacob died in Egypt
a. Gen. 46:4 ~ Gen. 49:33
b. That Jacob died in the land of Egypt is fact. The question is, did he leave Egypt? The assumption made by the critic is that he left Egypt alive. When God said he would bring Jacob out of Egypt he was referring to his body be removed and buried in the promise land.

26. Jacob purchased the birthright ~ Jacob obtained it another way
a. Gen. 25:31-33 ~ Gen. 27:1-29
b. In explaining this assumed contradiction, some have claimed that the "birthright" and "blessing" were two different things. However, the "blessing" was simply the formal confirmation of the "birthright" - the major share of inheritance. (Esau had agreed to give up his birthright by selling it to Jacob. This, of course, was in God's providential plan. When Esau tried to get back what he had rashly sold, Rebekah intervened and had Jacob, now the rightful heir to the birthright, blessed.)

27. The priests bought the potter's field ~ Judas bought the field
a. Matt. 27:6,7 ~ Acts 1:18
b. Here is an instance of action by proxy. While the priests actually bought the field, it was Judas who provided the occasion for its purchase by leaving them the money. Note: Since Judas had disposed of the money he could not have bought the field. Matt. 27:5

28. Judas died one way ~ Judas died another way
a. Matt. 27:5 ~ Acts 1:18
b. These verses do not differ. While the first verse explains the means of Judas' death, the second tells what happened after he died. Note: the second text says nothing of his death.

29. John was not Elias (Elijah) ~ John was the same as Elias
a. Jn. 1:21 ~ Matt. 17:11-13
b. Here the critic fails to understand the nature of figurative language. While in the first text John literally states he is not Elias, in the second text Jesus is using figurative language. The second text clearly states the disciples understood the Lord's words were figurative.

30. Joseph was bound ~ Joseph was not bound
a. Gen. 39:20; 40:3 ~ Gen. 39:21,22
b. There is no contradiction here. Though at first treated as any other prisoner, in the providence of God Joseph was given a degree of authority within the prison. However, though given such freedom, this does not mean he did not remain in some kind of bonds. Note: The second text does not say that Joseph not in some way bound.

31. Moses was weak physically ~ Moses was strong physically
a. Deut. 31:2 ~ Deut. 34:7
b. As stated in the last verse, though an aged man Moses was still in remarkable health. The statement of the first verse, "I can no more go out and come in," does not imply Moses was physically weak, but rather that he was not as effective a leader as in days past. (cf. this phrase in Num. 27:17; I Kings 3:7) This is supported by the added statement, "the Lord hath said unto me, Thou shalt not go over this Jordan."

32. Reuel the father-in-law of Moses ~ Jethro the father-in-law of Moses
a. Ex. 2:18 ~ Ex. 3:1
b. There are two possible explanations. 1) The word "Jethro" (or "Jether") can be considered a title for Reuel meaning "excellence." 2) The Hebrew word translated "father-in-law" in the second text is sometimes translated "brother-in-law." (cf. Gen. 19:12,14) Jethro may have been another name for Reuel or Jethro may have been Moses' brother-in-law.

33. Priests were the descendants of Aaron ~ Priests were classified as Levites
a. Lev. 1:5 ~ Deut. 18:1
b. Ignorance of the Bible is the only thing that would lead to such an argument. The fact is, since Aaron was a Levite (Ex. 4:14) his descendants were also Levites.

34. Land purchased by Jacob ~ Land purchased by Abraham

a. Josh. 24:32 ~ Acts 7:16
b. In his rapid review of Hebrew history, Stephen combines two separate events. Though Jacob bought this parcel of land for burial purposes, Stephen attributes it to Abraham; the reason being that since Abraham once used this land for erecting an altar (Gen. 12:6,7), no doubt, he had purchased it. During the intervening 185 years the land was apparently reoccupied by the local people and later repurchased by Jacob.

35. The Hebrews were to die in the wilderness ~ The Hebrews did not die
a. Num. 26:65 ~ Deut. 1:5,6
b. A careful study of the scriptures shows that not all the Hebrews were to die. This applied only to those who were above 20 years of age. (see Num. 14:26-30)

36. The rulers knew Jesus ~ The rulers did not know Jesus
a. Matt. 21:38 ~ Jn. 16:3
b. While the first verse implies that Jesus would be physically known by those who seized him, the second verse speaks of people not truly appreciating him because of a lack of spiritual insight. (cf. I Cor. 2:8)

37. The Samaritans did not accept Jesus ~ The Samaritans accepted Jesus
a. Lk. 9:52,53 ~ Jn. 4:39,40
b. Obviously, Jesus was accepted by some while being rejected by others, which is not to be unexpected . These were different places (one a "village" the other the city of Sychar) at different times. Even those of his own home town were divided over him. (see Jn. 1:11,12)

38. Samuel was to see Saul no more ~ Saul prophesied before Samuel
a. I Sam. 15:35 ~ I Sam. 19:24
b. There is no contradiction here. The first reference clearly states that Samuel came no more to see Saul. However, in the second reference it was Saul who came to Samuel.

39. Saul was selected by God ~ Saul was selected by lot
a. I Sam. 9:17 ~ I Sam. 10:19-21
b. No contradiction exists here. It was God who chose Saul to be king, but he let the people use the system of lots to make the determination. That God was directing this is confirmed by the context - after the selection done by lots Samuel said, "see ye him whom the Lord hath chosen." (I Sam. 10:24)

40. Saul died one way ~ Saul died another way
a. I Sam. 31:3-5 ~ II Sam. 1:6-10
b. This so-called discrepancy is resolved by a simple comparison of the accounts. In the second account, in order to suit his purpose, the young Amalekite gave a different version.

41. Those with Saul heard the voice ~ Those with Saul did not hear the voice
a. Acts 9:7 ~ Acts 22:9
b. Here is a case of a word being use in two different senses. "Hearing" in the first passage refers to audibly hearing a sound. However, "heard not" in the second passage refers to understanding what was said. (cf. Matt. 11:15 where this word is used in both senses.)

42. Those with Saul were fallen down ~ Those with Saul were standing
a. Acts 26:14 (cf. Acts 22:7) ~ Acts 9:7
b. The word "stood" (or "stand") is sometimes used of location, that is, to be in a fixed place. The expression "stood speechless" does not mean they were physically standing, but that they were fastened to a spot with fear. (see Acts 22:9) (cf. Mk. 9:1 Matt. 20:6)

43. Satan is under restraint ~ Satan is not under restraint
a. II Pet. 2:4; Jude 6 ~ Gen. 3:1ff; Job 1:6;
b. White the first references mention "angels" who sinned being "reserved" in a place of darkness until judgment, they do not specifically mention Satan. Obviously, as stated in the last references, God allows him a degree of freedom. (cf. I Pet. 5:8)

44. Solomon made slaves of the Hebrews ~ Solomon did not make them slaves
a. I Kings 5:13-15; 12:4 ~ I Kings 9:22
b. The false assumption made here is that the first references include slavery. However, slavery is not mentioned. Though the people were severely taxed and given heavy burdens, they were not slaves, as shown by the latter reference.

45. Moses' wife was Zipporah, a Midianite ~ Moses' wife was an Ethiopian
a. Ex. 2:16,21 ~ Num. 12:1
b. The critic assumes the Bible confuses two origins for the same woman. However, the fact is these were different women. This is shown to be true since Miriam and Aaron never complained about Moses marrying Zipporah but did complain about him marrying the Ethiopian. It is likely that Moses married the Ethiopian after Zipporah's death.

B. Concerning Places

1. Aaron died on Mount Hor ~ Aaron died at Mosera

a. Deut. 32:50 ~ Deut. 10:6
b. Here the critic assumes the second text places Aaron's death at Mosera, when it is only indicating where Israel encamped. The statement "there Aaron died" means "while there Aaron died" - that is, while they were encamped at Mosera near the Mount, Aaron ascended and there died. (cf. Num. 20:27,28)

2. Abraham did not know where he was going ~ Abraham knew where he was going
a. Heb. 11:8 ~ Gen. 12:1
b. The first text is quite clear - Abraham did not know where God was leading him. The last text, however, does not state he knew where he was going. Rather, God said: "I will show thee." In the course of time God did reveal it to him.

3. Ahaz was buried with his fathers ~ Ahaz was not buried with his fathers
a. II Kings 16:20 ~ II Chron. 28:27
b. This supposed discrepancy is resolved when it is pointed out that while Ahaz was buried with his fathers in the city of David, he was not buried in the royal sepulchers. The latter verse simply gives added information.

4. Israel's enemies lived in a valley ~ Israel's enemies lived on a hill
a. Num. 14:25 ~ Num. 14:45
b. Since the Amalekites and Canaanites were spread far and wide, the terms "valley" and "hill" cannot refer to specific dwelling places. The word "valley" probably refers to an elevated valley (mountain plateau) from which they descended to engage in battle. In this sense, in their battle against Israel they were actually positioned at both hill and valley.

5. The ark was in the midst of the camp of Israel ~ The ark was in front of the camp of Israel
a. Num. 2:17 ~ Num. 10:33
b. A careful reading of these texts shows there is no contradiction. The first verse discusses the placement of the tabernacle (containing the ark) in the encampment. The second verse discusses the movement of Israel with the ark carried before in the vanguard.

6. The 5000 fed before going to Bethsaida ~ The 5000 fed after going to Bethsaida
a. Mk. 6:44,45 ~ Lk. 9:10-17
b. These were two different cities not to be confused. The Bethsaida of Luke's account was on the eastern side of Jordan, while the Bethsaida of Mark's account was west of Jordan. No doubt, this was the home of Peter, Andrew and Philip in Canaan. (Jn. 1:44)

7. Benjamin was born in Canaan ~ Benjamin was born in Padam-aram (east of Jordan)
a. Gen. 35:16-19 ~ Gen. 35:23-26
b. In his swift listing of the children of Isaac, in summary Moses abbreviates the location of their birth which included the area where all but one were born. It such a brief account it would have been tedious to mention the exception. (Note: Surely, a fraudulent writer, to avoid any possible discrepancy, would have noted that Benjamin was born in Canaan.)

8. Canaan suffered from famine ~ Canaan did not suffer from famine
a. Gen. 41:56; 42:3 ~ Gen. 43:11
b. The famine which plagued the ancient world affected only the grain products. Fruit trees were not so affected. Jacob's sons were to take the best "fruits" as gifts for the Egyptians from whom they were to buy grain.

9. Christ ascended at Bethany ~ Christ ascended at the mount of Olivet
a. Lk. 24:50,51 ~ Acts 1:9,12
b. These are two terms describing the same location. A simple look at the geography of Judea shows that ancient Bethany lay on the eastern slope of the mount of Olives.

10. Jesus' first re-appearance was at Galilee ~ Jesus' first re-appearance was in Jerusalem
a. Matt. 28:16,17 ~ Lk. 24:33,36
b. No conflict of scriptures exists here. As is often the case in the gospel accounts, some facts included in one are not mentioned in others. Such is the instance here. Matthew passes over the earlier appearance of Jesus in Jerusalem and dwells on the scene at Galilee.

11. Jesus landed at the country of the Gergesenes ~ Jesus landed at the country of the Gadarenes
a. Matt. 8:28 ~ Mk. 5:1
b. This discrepancy is explained by noting that these are two expressions designating the same country. Some historians of ancient Canaan have pointed out that Gadara and Gergesa were cities of this area which would account for the different designations.

12. The disciples went to Galilee ~ The disciples were to stay at Jerusalem
a. Matt. 28:10,16; Lk. 24:49
b. These are not the same incidents. A comparison of the gospels shows that what Matthew recorded happened before the account mentioned by Luke. The disciples first went into Galilee to meet Jesus and later returned to Jerusalem.

13. Guards stationed at temple locations ~ Guards stationed at different temple locations
a. II Kings 11:5,6 ~ II Chron. 23:4,5
b. This is another instance wherein different expressions are employed to describe the same thing. No doubt, the "gate of Sur" (Kings) and the "gate of the fountain" (Chronicles) are the same. Likewise, the "gate behind the guard" (Kings) and the "porters of the doors" (Chronicles) refer to the same thing. This is supported by the fact that one location is the same in both texts - "the king's house."

14. Goliath's armor was put in David's tent ~ Goliath's armor was found in Nob
a. I Sam. 17:54 ~ I Sam. 21:1,9
b. There are two possible explanations to this supposed discrepancy. First, it is assumed by the critic that David kept the armor in his tent. However, this verse does not imply that the armor was not later moved. Second, only Goliath's sword is mentioned being at Nob; hence, his "armor" may have included only his defensive armor.

15. Jerusalem was held by the Israelites ~ Jerusalem was held by the Jebusites
a. I Sam. 17:54 ~ II Sam. 5:6
b. When David killed Goliath the Jebusites controlled Jerusalem. (cf. Judg. 1:21) However, critics assume that David carried Goliath's head to Jerusalem immediately after killing him. Obviously David carried it there after conquering the city. (see II Sam. 5:7)

16. The gospel was to be preached everywhere ~ It was not to be preached in everywhere
a. Mk. 16:15 ~ Acts 16:6
b. Though the gospel was to go into all the world, in the providential working of God there were times when men were directed away from and to certain places. As the context of the last verse shows, the Holy Spirit was leading Paul into Macedonia. (see vv.7-10)

17. The Israelites returned to Gilgal ~ The Israelites returned to Makkedah
a. Josh. 10:15,43 ~ Josh. 10:21
b. There is no discrepancy here. The permanent camp of Israel was Gilgal. However, after Israel had pursued the remnants of their enemies they returned to Joshua at the temporary camp at Makkedah where the "five kings" had been trapped.

18. Jehoiakim was carried to Babylon ~ Jehoiakim died at Jerusalem
a. II Chron. 36:6 ~ II Kings 24:6
b. Note that the first text plainly states, "to carry him to Babylon." However, as the last verse implies, Jehoiakim was not taken away but died at Jerusalem. Jeremiah adds that his body was abused and given a crude burial outside of Jerusalem. (Jer. 22:19; 36:30)

19. Jereboam's residence was at Shechem ~ Jereboam's residence was at Tirzah
a. I Kings 12:25 ~ I Kings 14:12,17
b. The critic overlooks the fact that the kings often had homes in different places. Jereboam's permanent home was at Shechem, the city he built. Tirzah may have been a "summer residence." Some historians believe Tirzah was where Jereboam built a home for his wife.

20. Jerusalem was in Judah ~ Jerusalem was in Benjamin
a. Josh. 15:8,63 ~ Josh. 18:28
b. Since Jerusalem was situated on the boarder of Judah and Benjamin it could be spoken of in relation to either tribe. Matthew Henry states that Judah's boarder "touched closely upon Jerusalem, so closely as to include in the lot of this tribe, Mt. Zion and Mt. Moriah, though the greater part of the city lay in the lot of Benjamin."

21. The phrase "this side" denotes east of Jordan ~ The phrase "this side" denotes west of Jordan
a. Josh. 1:14 ~ Josh. 12:7
b. Solving this supposed contradiction is not difficult. The phrase "this side" in the first text was made before Israel crossed the Jordan. In the second text the phrase was made after Israel entered Canaan. In these passages the term is used from two different perspectives.

22. Joshua conquered all of Canaan ~ Joshua did not conquer all of Canaan.
a. Josh. 11:16,23 ~ Josh. 13:1
b. The first reference deals with Joshua's overall capture of Canaan - he "took all the land." In a broad sense Israel controlled Canaan. However, as the second text clearly shows, there was territory that had not been completely "possessed." (cf. Judg. 2:23)

23. Josiah died at Jerusalem ~ Josiah died at Megiddo
a. II Chron. 35:24 ~ II Kings 23:30
b. That Josiah died at Jerusalem is clear. In the second verse the word "dead" [Heb. "muth"] can mean "dying" - that is, Josiah was carried off the battle field in a dying condition. (cf. Gen.20:3 "thou art a dead ["muth"] man" - that is, "you are sure to die")

24. The law was given at Sinai ~ The law was given at Horeb
a. Ex. 19:11,18 ~ Deut. 4:10
b. "Horeb" is used interchangeably with "Sinai." It is probable that Horeb was a general term used for the range in which Mt. Sinai was located. Some Biblical historians believe "Sinai" was a former name and "Horeb" was a latter name.

25. Nebuchadnezzar encamped at Jerusalem ~ Nebuchadnezzar encamped at Riblah
a. II Kings 25:1 ~ II Kings 25:6
b. The simple explanation to this inferred contradiction is that during the long siege against Jerusalem, the Babylonian king made his headquarters to the north at Riblah. From here he could also oversee his conflict with Tyre. (see Ezek. 26:7)

26. Peter and Andrew lived at Bethsaida ~ Peter and Andrew lived at Capernaum
a. Jn. 1:44 ~ Mk. 1:21,29
b. No contradiction exists here. Bethsaida was the hometown of Peter and Andrew - "the city of Andrew and Peter." However, while in the area of Capernaum they had a temporary dwelling.

27. The tabernacle was within the camp ~ The tabernacle was without the camp
a. Num. 2:3 ~ Num. 11:16,26; 12:4
b. The critic falsely assumes that to "come out" to the tabernacle implies the tabernacle was outside the camp area. Note that the first text plainly states the people were to pitch their dwellings "far off" yet "about" the tabernacle. Being encamped all around the tabernacle, but far removed from it (possibly as much as several thousand feet), it could be said that when approaching the tabernacle they had to "come out" of the camp.

28. Moses was commissioned in Midian ~ Moses was commissioned in Egypt
a. Ex. 4:19 ~ Ex. 6:9-11
b. There is no discrepancy here. The first text discusses the initial commission given to Moses. However, later, in Egypt God strengthened Moses by a renewal of the commission.

C. Concerning Numbers

1. Abraham had only one son ~ Abraham had several sons

a. Gen. 22:2 ~ Gen. 25:6
b. The son called "only son" was Isaac, the son of promise, who was born to Sarah, referred to as "only begotten." (see Heb. 11:17) Abraham, of course, had sons by other women. Note that in the latter text a distinction is made between "sons" and "his son."

2. Absalom had three sons ~ Absalom had no sons
a. II Sam. 14:27 ~ II Sam. 18:18
b. This supposed discrepancy is explained when pointing out that the pillar mentioned in the second text was obviously erected prior to the birth of his sons. Note: the text states "in his lifetime" he built the pillar but does not specify when.

3. Arah had 775 children ~ Arah had 652 children
a. Ezra 2:5 ~ Neh. 7:10
b. A comparison of Ezra and Nehemiah, both dealing with the Jews' return from Babylonian captivity, reveal several numerical differences. No doubt these are due to the difference in the number of Jews while still in Babylon and the count later at Jerusalem.

4. 35,000 men set in ambush ~ 5,000 men set in ambush
a. Josh. 8:3 ~ Josh. 8:12
b. There is no contradiction here. The first passage gives the overall number of soldiers selected by Joshua for the conflict. However, the second passage gives a reduced number of soldiers who were probably set at a forward position for the ambush.

5. Molten sea held 2000 baths ~ Molten sea held 3000 baths
a. II Chron. 4:5 ~ I Kings 7:26
b. According to the first verse this huge basin just outside Solomon's temple "held," or had a capacity for, 3000 baths. However, the second verse states that the basin "contained" only 2000 baths, indicating the amount of water normally used.

6. Jesus rode on one animal ~ Jesus rode on two animals
a. Mk. 11:7; Jn. 12:15 ~ Matt. 21:5
b. This is resolved when noting that in the last text the word "and" is from "kai" which can be translated "even," making the verse read, "sitting upon an ass, even a colt the foal of an ass." The NASV correctly translates it "even" and as well as in Zechariah 9:9.

7. The two thieves reviled Jesus ~ Only one thief reviled Jesus
a. Matt. 27:44; Mk. 15:32 ~ Lk. 23:39-41
b. Here is another instance wherein one of the gospel writers gives added information. As recorded by Matthew and Mark, at the beginning both thieves berated Jesus. However, as stated by Luke, in time one of them had a change of heart, even to the point of turning his criticism toward the other thief.

8. One angel appeared to the women ~ Two angels appeared to the women
a. Matt. 28:2,5 ~ Lk. 24:4
b. This presumed contradiction is resolved when noting that two different instances are under consideration. While Matthew mentions the appearance of one angel outside the tomb, on the other hand Luke mentions the subsequent appearance of two angels inside the tomb.

9. The angels in the tomb are standing ~ The angels in the tomb are seated
a. Lk. 24:4 ~ Jn. 20:12
b. A close look at the harmony of the gospels shows that these are different instances. Luke discusses the initial entrance of the tomb by several women. However, John discusses a later entrance by Mary alone, which occurred after Peter and John had gone into the tomb.

10. There were two blind men ~ There was one blind man
a. Matt. 20:30 ~ Mk. 10:46
b. As is sometimes the case in the gospel accounts, the same story may be approached from different standpoints. Matthew's account relates there were two men healed. However, Mark dwells only on one of the men, even mentioning his name.

11. Two of each animal in the ark ~ Seven of each animal in the ark
a. Gen. 6:19,20 ~ Gen. 7:2,3
b. This is explaind by noting that while the first text deals with unclean animals, the latter text refers to "clean" animals. The latter text clearly shows the difference bewteen the two.

12. Forty-two generations given ~ A different number of generations listed
a. Matt. 1:17 ~ Matt. 1:2-16
b. The number of generations listed in verses 2-16 is forty. However, in reviewing the genealogy of Jesus, Matthew, for the purpose of uniformity, divided the ancestral record into three equal parts of fourteen. He repeated the names of David and Jechonias at the beginning of the second and third divisions, thus bringing the total to forty-two.

13. Jacob's family was composed of seventy ~ Jacob's family was composed of seventy-five
a. Gen. 46:27 ~ Acts 7:14
b. Stephen, like all Jews of the first century, used the Septuagint (Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament). The Septuagint version lists five additional people, namely, two sons of Manasseh, and two sons and one grandson of Ephraim, bringing the total to seventy- five. Sometime after the 1st century these five were deleted from the Hebrew text.

14. Only one item was in the ark of the covenant ~ Three items were in the ark of the covenant
a. Heb. 9:4 ~ I Kings 8:9
b. The first text is speaking of the original tabernacle at which time the ark contained the tables, the pot of manna and Aaron's rod. However, the second text speaks of the temple many years later at which time the manna and rod had been removed from the ark.

15. David paid fifty shekels of silver ~ David paid six hundred shekels of gold
a. II Sam. 24:24 ~ I Chron. 21:25
b. Apparently the amount of the first text was for the threshing floor proper while the larger amount of the second text was for the surrounding land. Note that the second text states the gold was "for the place." Also, verse 22 states "the place of this threshing flood."

D. Concerning Time

1. Abram was 135 years old when Terah died ~ Abram was 75 years old when Terah died

a. Gen. 11:26,32 ~ Gen. 12:4
b. The mistake made by the critics is assuming that Abram was the first son of Terah. How- ever, even though he is listed first does not mean he was oldest. No doubt, since Abram was looked on as the great patriarch of the Jews, he was listed first. Likewise, Moses is usually listed first, even though Aaron was oldest. (Ex.5:20; 40:31; Mic. 6:4)

2. Absalom tarried forty years ~ Could not be that long
a. II Sam. 15:7 ~ I Kings 2:11
b. Absalom's tarry before David could not have been this long, since David's reign itself was only 40 years. The Syric, Arabi and other versions render it "four years." Josephus states, "when four years had passed." No doubt, this is a copyist error. By comparing the Hebrew words arbain (forty) and arba (four) it is easy to see how such an error could be made.

3. Adam died the day of his fall ~ Adam died at age 930
a. Gen. 2:17 ~ Gen. 5:5
b. The answer to this is in the fact that the death mentioned in the first verse is not physical, but spiritual. (cf. Eph. 2:1 - "dead in trespasses and sins") When Adam sinned he died spiritually, being separated from God. Death means separation.

4. Agag lived at a certain time ~ Agag did not live until a later time
a. Num. 24:7 ~ I Sam. 15:8
b. The critic falsely assumes these verses speak of the same person. Obviously, these were different men separated by many years. (Note: "Agag" was a generic title applied to the chieftains of the Amalekites, much like "Pharaoh" was applied to all Egyptian kings.)

5. The Amalekites were utterly destroyed ~ The Amalekites were defeated at a later time
a. I Sam. 15:7,8 ~ I Sam. 30:1,17
b. The first text plainly states that Saul destroyed the Amalekites from Havilah to Shur. No doubt, there were other Amalekites in other areas. As the years passed the remaining Amalekites posed another threat to Israel.

6. Canaan possessed at the time of Joshua ~ Canaan called "land of the Hebrews" much earlier
a. Josh. 1:11 ~ Gen. 40:15
b. Here the critic assumes that "land of the Hebrews" meant all of Canaan. No doubt, since from the time of Abraham a part of Canaan had become the permanent settlement for the Jews, it is not unexpected that this location be spoken of as "land of the Hebrews."

7. Ahaziah began his reign at age 22 ~ Ahaziah began his reign at age 42
a. II Kings 8:26 ~ II Chron. 22:2
b. Here is an instance of an error made by some ancient scribe. The slight difference between one letter in the Hebrew words twenty (׀) and forty (מ) illustrates how easy it would have been for a copyist to mistake one numeral for another.

8. Jehoiachin began his reign at age 18 ~ Jehoiachin began his reign at age 8
a. II Kings 24:8 ~ II Chron. 36:9
b. It is highly unlikely that Jehoiachin would have been made king at such a immature age. Here, again, is an example of a copyist flaw in transcribing. It appears that one letter of the Hebrew word for ten (×™) was mistakenly overlooked in copying the text.

9. At one time the city of Ai was destroyed ~ The city of Ai was still inhabited
a. Josh. 8:28 ~ Neh. 7:32
b. This alleged contradiction is removed when it is realized that these events are separated by about 1000 years. It is to be expected that in the intervening time Ai was again inhabited.

10. The apostles were called at a certain time ~ The apostles were called later
a. Jn. 1:35ff ~ Matt. 4:18ff
b. While critics think they have found a contradiction, the fact is these were two different occasions. After the initial calling of the apostles in the first text, for a time they returned to their ordinary work. Later, they were called to the apostolic office.

11. Beersheba was named by Abraham ~ Beersheba was named at a later time by Isaac
a. Gen. 21:31 ~ Gen. 26:33
b. That this city is said to be named at different times poses no problem. The solution is that while Abraham gave the name originally, at a later time when Isaac was refurbishing the city and reopening covered wells, he renewed the name. In so doing Isaac was honoring Abraham by giving new significance to an old name.

12. Jesus was crucified the third hour ~ Jesus was crucified the sixth hour
a. Mk. 15:25 ~ Jn. 19:14
b. While Mark used Jewish time (with the day beginning about 6:00 a.m.) John used Roman time (with the day beginning about 12:00 a.m.). Note that the second text says nothing of the crucifixion; rather, it refers to some point prior to this. The fact is, Mark specified the exact hour of the crucifixion by Jewish time, about 9:00 a.m. However, by Roman time, John speaks of Jesus while still before Pilate sometime near 6:00 a.m.

13. Jesus was buried three days and three nights ~ Jesus was buried Friday and rose on Sunday
a. Matt. 12:40 ~ Jn. 19:42; 20:1
b. The phrase "three days and three nights" is an idiom not to be taken literally. Jesus was actually in the tomb a part of three days. Note the alternate readings in Matt. 16:21 and Mk. 8:31. (cf. Esther 4:16; 5:1 where three days and nights are equivalent to three days.)

14. The flood lasted 40 days ~ The flood lasted 150 days
a. Gen. 7:4,12,17 ~ Gen. 7:24; 8:3
b. Neither of the above statements is true. Actually, it was the rain that lasted 40 days and the water prevailed for 150 days. The flood itself lasted almost one year. (Gen. 7:11; 8:13)

15. The draught lasted for three years ~ The draught lasted for three and a half years
a. I Kings 17:1; 18:1 ~ Lk .4:25
b. According to the first verse the rains were to stop for three years. However, between the April and October rains there were dry periods approaching six months. In the last verse Jesus added this time to the three years, making the draught period three and a half years.

16. The fast was observed on the 9th day ~ The fast was observed on the 10th day
a. Lev. 23:32 ~ Lev. 16:29
b. The critic would do well to carefully read the first text. It states the fast would begin on the evening of the ninth day and continue through the next evening which, as the second text clearly states, would be the tenth day.

17. Heaven was prepared from eternity ~ Heaven was prepared after Christ's ascension
a. Matt. 25:34 ~ Jn. 14:2,3
b. In the second reference Jesus was not suggesting that there was no existing abode in heaven for man. In fact, he clearly said in his Father's there were "many mansions." Then he added that he was going to prepare a "place" for the saved within God's home.

18. The Holy Spirit was sent on Pentecost ~ The Holy Spirit was sent before Pentecost
a. Acts 2:1-4 ~ Jn. 20:22
b. The statement of the second text does not mean they received the Holy Spirit at that time. Rather, Jesus was telling what would happen later. (Acts 2) The sense is, "You will receive the Holy Spirit." This is a case of the present used as the future, parallel to Jesus telling people to believe the gospel (present) though the gospel had not yet come. Mark 1:15

19. Ishmael was a teenager ~ Ishmael was much younger
a. Gen. 17:25 ~ Gen. 21:14
b. In the second verse the word "child" does not imply Ishmael was very young. This word can also denote an older child. Neither does the verse imply that Hagar put the child on her shoulder; rather, the sense is that Abraham simply gave the boy to her. (cf. ASV)

20. Israel was in bondage 400 years ~ Israel was in bondage 430 years
a. Gen. 15:13 ~ Gal. 3:16,17
b. The answer to this is that while the first text gives the time frame for the captivity itself, the second relates the time between the confirmation of the promise at the time of Jacob (see Ps. 105: 9, 10) and the giving of the law to Israel 430 years later. (cf. Ex. 12:40,41)

21. The name Jehovah was known ~ The name Jehovah was not known
a. Gen. 2:4; 4;1; 16:2 (Hebrew text, see ASV) ~ Ex. 6:3
b. This supposed discrepancy is solved when noting that Moses used a figure of speech called prolepsis, whereby one writing of past history mentions a thing as if it was already known. Indeed, by the time Moses wrote the book of Genesis the name Jehovah was well known.

22. The judges ruled for 450 years ~ The judges ruled for much less time
a. Acts 13:20 ~ Computing the text of the book of Judges
b. In the first reference the wording of the KJV is lacking. Compare the ASV: "...he gave them their land for an inheritance, for about four hundred and fifty years. And after these things he gave them judges until Samuel the prophet." Acts 13:19,20

23. The Levites' service began at age 30 ~ The Levites' service began at age 20
a. Num. 4:3 ~ I Chron. 23:24
b. Though at first the age for regular service of the priests was 30, at the time of king David allowance was made for the age to be lowered. (Note: Even prior to this some of the lighter duties were performed by priests beginning at age 25. Num.8:24)

24. Light was created on the first day ~ The Sun was created on the 4th day
a. Gen. 1:3 ~ Gen. 1:14-18
b. It is assumed by the critic that the only light that exists is light from the sun. However, the light created in the beginning was obviously a light independent of the sun. Even today natural self-luminous light is known to exist in a variety of forms.

25. The supper was instituted at the passover ~ The supper was instituted the preceding day
a. Matt. 26:17,20 ~ Jn. 13:1,2
b. The expression of the second text "before the feast of the passover" does not mean the day before. This is an assumption made to create a contradiction. Rather, John simply means just before the feast or just before they began to eat the passover.

26. The length of man's life is 120 years ~ The length of man's life is longer
a. Gen. 6:3 ~ Gen. 9:29
b. This argument is evidence of shallow reasoning on the part of the critic. In the first verse God was not telling Noah that man's life span would be 120 years, but that man would only have that long before the flood came.

27. Moses feared the king of Egypt ~ Moses did not fear the king
a. Ex. 2:14,15 ~ Heb. 11:27
b. The first verse is not referring a fear of the king but to Moses' fear that his deed had been discovered. He said, "Surely this thing is known." Though Moses left Egypt to save his life, because of his faith in God he had no personal fear of the king.

28. Peter would deny Jesus at one time ~ Peter would deny Jesus at another time
a. Matt. 26:34; Lk. 22:34; Jn. 13:38 ~ Mk. 14:30
b. There is no discrepancy here. While Matthew, Luke and John state that Peter would deny Jesus before the cock would crow, Mark is more specific is giving the exact time of the denial, that is, before the second crowing.

29. Samuel judged Israel all the days of his life ~ Samuel judged until Saul was made king
a. I Sam. 7:15 ~ I Sam. 12:1
b. The critic only assumes that Samuel ceased to judge at Saul's accession. Though he turned over the civil authority to Saul, Samuel retained his office as judge in Israel until his death.

30. The tomb was visited at sunrise ~ The tomb was visited while it was dark
a. Mk. 16:2 ~ Jn. 20:1
b. The expressions "at the rising of the sun" and "when it was yet dark" are not mutually exclusive. When the sun is just beginning to rise it is still quite dark. Note that Mark's reference is specific in adding that it was "very early in the morning."

IV. Miscellaneous Contradictions

1. The alter of burnt offering was made of earth ~ The alter was made of wood
a. Ex. 20:24 ~ Ex. 27:1
b. The altar was called an "altar of earth" because, as Jewish history reveals, each time it was assembled for use it was filled with earth. The context of the second reference clearly shows that the altar was "hollow" making it suitable for holding dirt. (v.8)

2. This acreage of ground contained lentils ~ This acreage of ground contained barley
a. II Sam. 23:11 ~ I Chron. 11:13
b. There are several solutions to this supposed contradiction. First, these may be separate incidents altogether. Second, there may have been two separate fields adjacent to the battle area, one of barley and one of lentils.

3. All the animals of the Egyptians died ~ Not all the animals of the Egyptians died
a. Ex. 9:3,6 ~ Ex. 9:19-21
b. The context of Exodus nine clearly states that the animals that died were "in the field." Those animals not in the field were spared. This explains why later on the Egyptians still had horses. (cf. Ex. 14:9)

4. The earth was founded on the seas ~ The earth was founded on nothing
a. Ps. 24:2 ~ Job 26:7
b. These passages do not contradict. The Psalms text refers to the earth (man's habitation) being established above the waters (oceans) away from destruction. The Job text refers to the scientific truth that the earth has no support and is literally suspended on nothing.

5. The earth was saturated with water ~ The earth needed water
a. Gen. 1:9,10 ~ Gen. 2:6
b. The solution to this supposed contradiction is obvious. While the first text is speaking of the separation of earth and water at creation (creating the land masses and ocean basins), the second text refers to the earth later being moistened by mist.

6. The cloud was a reliable guide for Israel ~ The cloud was not a reliable guide for Israel
a. Ex. 13:21,22 ~ Num. 10:29-32
b. While the pillar gave Israel the general route to be taken through the wilderness, God allowed for human judgment in determining specifics, such as camping near adequate water, pasture, fuel, etc. Apparently Hobab was gifted with knowledge of surviving in the wilderness.

7. The manna tasted like wafers ~ The manna tasted like oil
a. Ex. 16:31 ~ Num. 11:8
b. According to the Exodus reference manna tasted like "coriander seed." Jewish interpreters explain that in the natural state coriander seed had a taste like "cakes with honey" but when cooked it tasted like "oil." This would account for the different flavor descriptions.

8. Knops [knobs] were beneath the brim of the basin ~ Oxen were beneath the brim of the basin
a. I Kings 7:24 ~ II Chron. 4:3
b. This is an example of one verse supplying added information not found in another. While the first verse gives a general description of these decorative attachments, the second verse gives more detail, explaining that the knops were in the form of miniature oxen.

9. The people were to go up to the mount ~ The people were not to go up to the mount
a. Ex. 19:13 ~ Ex. 19:12
b. The people were allowed to approach as far as the "nether (lower) part" of the mount. (v.17) Apparently, barriers were put in place to keep the people from going further. Hence, they were told not to "break through." (v.21)

10. This parable is the parable of the talents ~ This parable is the parable of the pounds
a. Matt. 25:14-30 ~ Lk. 19:11-27
b. This is another example of the critics confusing two separate events. It is assumed that these parables must be the same, however, a quick look at a parallel of the gospels shows the Luke reference to be of an earlier time.

11. All the water was turned to blood ~ All the water was not turned to blood
a. Ex. 7:20,21 ~ Ex. 7:22
b. It should be noted that the water turned to blood was "in the river." Since the Nile ran the length of Egypt it could be said "there was blood throughout all the land of Egypt." How- ever, there was still water available and could apparently be found by digging. (v.24)

12. Water was scarce in Canaan ~ Water was abundant in Canaan
a. I Kings 17:1,7; 18:5 ~ I Kings 18:32-35
b. To conclude from the second text that water was abundant is incorrect. Water used to pour on the altar could have been supplied from perennial springs in the area. Also, water could have been easily brought from the nearby Mediterranean Sea.

13. There is nothing new ~ There are new things
a. Eccl. 1:9,10 ~ Isa. 43:19
b. In Ecclesiastes Solomon is speaking of "new things" in regard to man's achievements; in this sense there is nothing new. However, the statement from Isaiah is prophetic in nature and has to do with the works of God. Surely, he has the ability to make "new things."

14. Kings of Israel are mentioned in Genesis ~ Kings were not in Israel until the time of Saul
a. Gen. 36:31 ~ I Sam. 10:24,25
b. Because Genesis makes reference to the kings of Israel does not imply the writer of Genesis lived during or after the time of the kings. In a prophetic sense these coming kings are mentioned several times elsewhere in Genesis. (see 17:6; 35:11)

15. Erring Christians are to be turned away ~ Erring Christians are to be accepted
a. II Jn. 10,11; II Thess. 3:14 ~ Gal. 6:1
b. The first texts have to do with those who are promoting false doctrines and are unwilling to be corrected. The Galatians text is not speaking of Christians who are teaching false doctrines, but of those who have been "overtaken" in sin and who can be "restored."

16. Intermarriage between brothers and sister was prohibited ~ Abraham married a half-sister
a. Lev. 20:17 ~ Gen. 20:11,12
b. Marriage between brothers and sisters was not always prohibited by God. Cain, and quite probably Seth, married their sisters. It was not until the giving of the law of Moses that such an exclusion was placed on marriage.

17. Adultery was prohibited ~ Adultery was sanctioned
a. Ex. 20:14 ~ Num. 31:18
b. The critic assumes the second text allowed the Israelites to use these women for immoral purposes. However, the fact is this is referring to marriage. Further explanation of this is found in Deuteronomy. After defeating an enemy the Israelites were allowed take the virgin women for wives. (see Deut. 21:10-13)

18. Left-over sacrifices were not to be kept to the next day ~ They could be eaten the next day
a. Lev. 7:15 ~ Lev. 19:6
b. A careful reading of the context of chapter 7 shows God gave an exception; that is, for some reason not explained, some of the remains could be eaten the next day. (v.16) While chapter 19 gives a general rule concerning the left-overs, chapter 7 gives more detail.

19. Michal had no children ~ Michal had five sons
a. II Sam. 6:23 ~ II Sam. 21:8
b. Michal, the daughter of Saul and wife of David, had children. How can it be said then that she had no children? The meaning is that from that time onward she had no children, which may have been the consequence of her insolence toward David. (II Sam. 6:20-22)

20. Seven hundred chariots ~ Seven thousand chariots
a. II Sam. 10:18 ~ I Chron. 19:18
b. The second text does not state there were 7000 chariots; rather that there were 7000 men who fought in chariots. With 10 men were assigned to a chariot this would account for the different figures. Some claim this to be a copyist's error - confusing ×€" (700) and ï€" (7000).

21. There was continual war between Asa and Baasha ~ Asa experienced a time of no war
a. I Kings 15:16 ~ II Chron. 14:5,6
b. It is true that between Asa (king of Judah) and Baasha (king of Israel) there was war "all their days." However, this is speaking of their contemporaneous reign. After Baasha's reign ended, Asa experienced a period of peace.

22. Marriage is commended ~ Marriage is questionable
a. Gen. 2:18 ~ I Cor. 7:27
b. Here is another instance of confusing two different things. The first passage states God's approval of marriage. However, in the second passage Paul was telling the unmarried that it would be better to remain unmarried because of the "present distress." (see v.26)

23. God repented ~ God does not repent
a. Gen. 6:6 ~ Num. 23:19
b. Here is a case of a word used in different ways. "Repent" in the first instance refers to God grieving over the sinfulness of man and regretting he had created him. However, in the second text Moses explains that since God is not like sinful man he has no need to repent.

24. All scriptures are inspired ~ Some scripture is not inspired
a. II Tim. 3:16 ~ I Cor. 7:12
b. When Paul states, "But to the rest I speak, not the Lord," he is not implying that what he writes is uninspired. Rather, he is saying on the point he is about to address the Lord had not, himself, spoken. Hence, Paul is giving additional information. (cf. v.25)

25. Christians can sin ~ Christians cannot sin
a. I Jn. 1:8-10 ~ I Jn. 3:9
b. The statement that one born of God "doth not commit sin" simply means he does not make this a practice. Why? Because his "seed" (God's word - Lk. 8:11) remains in him and helps him resist sin. The statement "he cannot sin" is to be understood in a qualified sense, that is, he cannot allow himself to follow sin. (cf. the use of "cannot" in Acts 4:16)

26. Man is to work for the necessities of life ~ Man is not to worry about these necessities
a. II Thess. 3:12 ~ Matt. 6:31
b. These are two different subjects. As stated in the first verse it is essential to work to obtain the necessities of life. However, in the second verse Jesus is speaking of the danger of being overly concerned about these things and failing to put one's trust in God.

27. Different inscriptions on the cross
a. Matt. 27:37 ~ Mk. 15:26 ~ Lk. 23:38 ~ Jn. 19:19
b. The gospel records recount in different ways the inscription on the cross. However, they do not constitute contradictions. All four writers relate the same message with each one expressing it in his own way. When placed together the entire inscription is revealed.

28. Man is accountable only for his own sins ~ Man is born guilty of sin
a. Ezek. 18:20 ~ Ps. 51:5
b. Man is responsible only for his own sins. The Psalms verse does not contradict this. Here David used a figure of speech called hyperbole (an intended exaggeration) in order to emphasize how sinful man is, almost as if he was this way from birth. (cf. Job 14:1 - here is an identical use of this figure of speech.)

29. There is only one bodily resurrection for man ~ There are two bodily resurrections for man
a. Jn. 5:28,29; Acts 24:15 ~ Rev. 20:5
b. In the Revelation text the "first resurrection" is referring, not to a bodily resurrection, but to the resurrection at baptism. (Rom.6:4; Col.2:12; 3:1) To those who have experienced this resurrection the second death (eternal punishment) has no power. (Note the following parallels: first resurrection = baptism; second resurrection = the bodily resurrection when Jesus returns; first death = physical death; second death = eternal punishment)