Answering supposed Bible Contradictions

I responded to a post on a discussion thread in the Islam and Christianity Debate Group earlier today. Unfortunately, my answer would not post to the site, perhaps because this discussion thread has been closed. So, in order not to lose the effort I made to begin an answer to the question or challenge, I am posting the original question and my salvaged response here.


Olayiwola Abubakr Siddiqq. Gud of you Mr. Jerome Smith, I appreciate how you respond to this. Now, please also explain these verses to me may be it might be of help.

  1. Who incited David to count the fighting men of Israel?

God did (2 Samuel 24: 1)

Satan did (I Chronicles 21:1)

  1. In that count how many fighting men were found in Israel?

Eight hundred thousand (2 Samuel 24:9)

One million, one hundred thousand (I Chronicles 21:5)

  1. How many fighting men were found in Judah?

Five hundred thousand (2 Samuel 24:9)

Four hundred and seventy thousand (I Chronicles 21:5)

  1. God sent his prophet to threaten David with how many years of famine?

Seven (2 Samuel 24:13)

Three (I Chronicles 21:12)

  1. How old was Ahaziah when he began to rule over Jerusalem?

Twenty-two (2 Kings 8:26)

Forty-two (2 Chronicles 22:2)

  1. How old was Jehoiachin when he became king of Jerusalem?

Eighteen (2 Kings 24:8)

Eight (2 Chronicles 36:9)

  1. How long did he rule over Jerusalem?

Three months (2 Kings 24:8)

Three months and ten days (2 Chronicles 36:9)

  1. The chief of the mighty men of David lifted up his spear and killed how many men at one time?

Eight hundred (2 Samuel 23:8)

Three hundred (I Chronicles 11: 11)

  1. When did David bring the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem? Before defeating the Philistines or after?

After (2 Samuel 5 and 6)

Before (I Chronicles 13 and 14)

  1. How many pairs of clean animals did God tell Noah to take into the Ark?

Two (Genesis 6:19, 20)

Seven (Genesis 7:2).

But despite this last instruction only two pairs went into the ark (Genesis 7:8-9).

It all look like contradictions.

Like · Reply · February 23 at 4:39am

It looks like there is now a new list of 10 supposed contradictions in the Bible. I have already answered another such list here before. The issue is, are there explanations of these supposed contradictions? If a contradiction is really not a contradiction, but a misunderstanding on the part of the Bible reader, then when a reasonable explanation is given, that dismisses the supposed contradiction.


But I have noticed that some Muslim readers are not willing to have the contradictions they post here actually answered. The problem is with them. They will not agree to allow an expert’s explanation to stand, for they have their mind made up already. That is not an honest way to arrive at truth, and proves the Muslims are wrong to begin with when they employ this tactic.


(1) Who incited David to count the fighting men of Israel?

God did (2 Samuel 24: 1)

Satan did (I Chronicles 21:1)


I have provided the answer to this supposed contradiction in my new reference work on the Bible, The Ultimate Cross Reference Treasury, as follows:


2Sa 24:1 And again the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them to say, Go, number Israel and Judah.


  1. he. That is, Satan, 1Ch 21:1. FS63A1, +Gen 14:20. Note (from the Treasury of Scripture Knowledge, not in the Comprehensive Bible): This verse, when read without reference to any other part of the word of God, is very difficult to understand, and has been used by those who desire to undermine the justice of God, to shew that he sought occasion to punish—that he incited David to sin; and when he had so incited him, gave to him the dreadful alternative of choosing one of three scourges by which his people were to be cut off. On the face of the passage these thoughts naturally arise, because “the Lord” is the antecedent to the pronoun “he,”—HE moved David. But to those who “search the Scriptures,” this exceedingly difficult passage receives a wonderful elucidation. By referring to 1Ch 21:1, the reader will there find that Satan was the mover, and that the Lord most righteously punished David for the display of pride he had manifested. Oh! that Christians, who sometimes have their minds harassed with doubts, would remember the promise, that what they know not now they shall know hereafter (Joh 13:7); and if no other instance of elucidation than this passage occurred to them to remove their doubts, let this be a means of stirring them up to dig deeper than ever into the inexhaustible mines of the Inspired Word. 1Ki 11:14, **Jas 1:13; **Jas 1:14.


That is the explanation. The unexpressed antecedent of “he” in 2 Samuel 24:1 is to be supplied from the parallel account found in 1 Chronicles 21:1 where the proper antecedent is given. This resolves the contradiction, and no further explanation is required.

Remember that ancient writers and their writings do not always conform to what we as modern readers expect.

This entry was posted in Apologetics Issues--Other Faiths, Bible 'Contradictions' Answered, Bible Historicity and Validity and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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