Is the Bible FULL of contradictions?
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Question: Does the word of God contradict itself? Why does the Bible have errors in it?
Answer: Even the most severe critics of God's word do not say that it is "full" of contradictions. There are, however, some legitimate questions about Bible accuracy that can be raised.
As a general point, when tackling apparent errors, it pays to consult such books as John W. Haley's "Alleged Discrepancies of the Bible," and Gleason Archer's "Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties." Many difficulties are hardly new discoveries - in fact, some have been known for a long time, even for centuries. The responses of conservative Christians (or, if applicable, Orthodox Jews) should be consulted by the open-minded before skeptics begin their criticisms.
Many alleged contradictions can be dealt with as being scribal errors, especially when concerning numbers in the books of Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles. For example, one has 700 horsemen versus 7,000 in 2Samuel 8:4 and 1Chronicles 18:4, or 8 versus 18 as being the age of Jehoiachin when he ascended the throne.
Gleason Archer, when explaining 1Samuel 13:5, which has an apparent scribal mistake in it that increases the number of chariots the Philistines had, said:
"The accurate preservation of statistics and of the spelling of proper names is notoriously difficult in manuscript transmission, and 1Samuel has more than its share of textual errors. But the doctrine of scriptural inerrancy guarantees only the original manuscripts of Scripture as preserved from all error; it does not guarantee absolute trustworthiness of all copies ever made from that original."
Another seeming contradiction occurs with Matthew, where we read that Jesus met two blind men. In Mark and Luke, we only read about one blind man meeting Jesus. In Matthew and Mark, we read that Jesus went to pray alone three times in the Garden of Gethsemane, whereas, in Luke, we read that Jesus went alone to pray on one occasion.
In both of these instances, the apparent inaccuracies can be explained because the events in one account could be contained in the other, which gives a more complete description of events.