Some alleged Bible contradictions answered


My Comment:

The following list of contradictions was posted in chart form on Facebook today by a Muslim poster. I attempted to answer the supposed contradictions, but I do not think my comment successfully posted on Facebook (maybe it was too long), so I present it here, minus the chart.

The Muslim Challenge (listing 5 contradictions):

(1A) Men have seen God:

The intended reference is not Genesis 32:20 as given, but Genesis 32:30,

Genesis 32:30

30  And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.

King James Version

(1B) No man has seen God:

John 1:18  No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.

That is, hath seen God as He is in Himself, or apart from some form assumed to render Himself visible: and thus this passage and the following references are not contradictory to Gen 32:30, or Exo 24:9-10, or Exo 33:11, or Mat 5:8. Moreover there is reason to believe that, on the occasions recorded in the Old Testament, it was The Word or Christ who appeared in the form of that nature in which he was afterwards to be revealed. Compare Isa 6:1 with John 12:41, and 1Co 10:4; 1Co 10:9.

(2A) God doesn’t keep anger forever (Jeremiah 3:12)

Jer 3:12  Go and proclaim these words toward the north, and say, Return, thou backsliding Israel, saith the LORD; and I will not cause mine anger to fall upon you: for I am merciful, saith the LORD, and I will not keep anger for ever.

Notice that there is a condition or requirement that God set before them, which, if met, would result in God not keeping His anger forever, the condition of returning, or repenting.

(2B) God keeps anger forever, Jeremiah 17:4,

Jer 17:4  And thou, even thyself, shalt discontinue from thine heritage that I gave thee; and I will cause thee to serve thine enemies in the land which thou knowest not: for ye have kindled a fire in mine anger, which shall burn for ever.

God clearly states that since they did not repent, but continued in their idolatry, that His anger would burn forever. Sin, unrepented of, has some rather unpleasant eternal consequences. There is no contradiction here for those who read the context carefully (see Jeremiah 17:2, 3).

(3A) God creates man then animals, Genesis 2:7, 19,

Gen 2:7  And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. (KJV)

Gen 2:19 Now out of the ground the LORD God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. (ESV)

(3B) God creates animals then man, Genesis 1:24-27,

Gen 1:24  And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.

Gen 1:25  And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

Gen 1:26  And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

Gen 1:27  So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

No contradiction to be seen here once more than one English translation is checked. Furthermore, the account of creation is stated in terms of its order in Genesis chapter one; Genesis chapter two expands upon what was told in chapter one and most assuredly does not contradict it.

(4A) Man can be righteous, Genesis 7:1; Job 2:3; James 5:16,

Gen 7:1  And the LORD said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation.

Job 2:3  And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause.

Jas 5:16  Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

Noah and Job are seen righteous before God because of their faith and obedience to the revealed word of God. They each believed God and followed His word.

The righteous man of James 5:16 is the person who believes on the Lord Jesus Christ, and in this context, was a functioning member of the local church, the community of saved individuals who trusted Christ for salvation, and in this case was an elder of the church who could be called upon for prayer support.

(4B) Man cannot be righteous, Romans 3:10,

Rom 3:10  As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

Notice that Romans 3:10 is a quotation from Psalm 14:3,

Psalms 14:1-3

1  To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.

2  The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God.

3  They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

King James Version


In context, therefore, the reference is to the fool who has said in his heart, “There is no God.” No such person, of course, would be considered righteous by God.


(5) Two blind men healed on the road (Matthew 20:29) may seem to contradict the account in Mark 10:46-47 of one blind man healed on the road. It is common for one author to focus on the more prominent individual and name just him, while another author will mention the presence of two that were healed. This is not a contradiction. Furthermore, sometimes similar accounts appear to be contradictory when in actuality they make reference to two different incidents which differ in detail. There is no contradiction here.

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