The Inspiration Of The Scriptures #9
I sometimes hear it said, "the Bible is full of contradictions."
If this were true, then the inspirational claim of the forty men who wrote it, would well deserve the Guiness Book of Records, for having made the most ridiculous claim ever advanced.
We are presently considering some of these would-be contradictions. In previous articles, we have found that due to a lack of understanding, the difference in the first and second covenants (or the Old and New Testaments), and a failure to take into account that words may have more than one meaning, have misled some into believing the Bible contains many contradictions.
The purpose of this article will be to call attention unto some of the alleged contradictions which have been made by those who were unaware of the plurality of the same names, things, and events written about by the men who wrote the Bible.
It is said by some that Colossians 3:8 and Ephesians 4:26 say anger is and is not a sin.
True, Colossians 3:8 teaches anger is a sin, and Ephesians 4:26 seems to declare anger is not a sin. That is, until we remember the Bible writers wrote about two different types of anger. There is one type of anger which results in temper fits and violence. This anger is sin. Then there is a type of anger which is nothing more than righteous indignation. Both God and Jesus experienced this type of anger (Isaiah 5:25 and Mark 3:5). Type "a" anger is a sin, but type "b" (righteous indignation) is not. Therefore Colossians 3:8 is in no way at variance with Ephesians 4:26.
Others say what is written in John 8:51 contradicts what is written in 1 Corinthians 15:21-22, because one offers and the other denies the possibility of an eternal physical existence.
John 8:51 truly does say if we will keep the sayings of Jesus, we will never die, and 1 Corinthians 15:21-22 indeed says all will die. Now, if the two writers were writing about the same event, or the same death, then these two scriptures are contradictory. However, such is not the case.
In Revelation 20:15 and Revelation 21:8, we read of a second death. Since without a first, a second is impossible, we know the writers of the Bible wrote of at least two deaths.
Revelation 20:15 and Revelation 21:8 and 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9, speak of the second death at the Judgment Day separation from God of those who refused to obey Jesus. Whereas, 1 Corinthians 15:21-22, addresses the first death or one's end of physical life. So you see, John 8:51 is a written statement peculiar to the second death (or being eternally lost) whereas 1 Corinthians 15:21-22 pertains to the separation of the body and spirit at the end of a physical life.
No, this is no contradiction, but the declaration of two great truths which are in perfect harmony with what is taught by the scriptures as a whole.
Then there are those who contend that Matthew 7:1-5 and Romans 2:1-2 condemns, and 1 Corinthians 5:12 and 1 Corinthians 6:1-4 sanctions the judging of others.
Now, if all these scriptures were speaking about the same type of judging, then as the critics say, this would be a true example of a Biblical contradiction. However, such is not the case. No, the type of judging Matthew 7;1-5, and Romans 2:1-2 condemns, is our judging others when we are doing the same thing. Or in other words, they are saying, do not judge others before you judge yourself, or clean up your own backyard before you criticize your neighbors. The first part of john 7:24 forbids judging according to appearances. Many times that which is not, appears to be that which is. Also 1 Corinthians 2:11 forbids judging the heart of another person. I may know what one does is wrong, but I can't always know why he did it.
Whereas, 1 Corinthians 5:12 and 1 Corinthians 6:1-4 teaches Christians are to judge the outward actions of other Christians, by the word of God, so they may know when they have need of withdrawing fellowship (1 Corinthians 5; 2 Thessalonians 3).
The unawareness of John's writing of two different laws in John 19:7 and John 18:31 has been responsible for some believing that he taught it was and was not lawful for Israel to put anyone to death.
It, was, as is said in John 19:7, lawful according to Israel's own laws or the Old Testament, for them to put some of their own to death (Deuteronomy 18:20 and Leveticus 24). However, several years before the beginning of the personal ministry of Jesus--Archelaus (King of Judah) was banished to Vienna, and that which he ruled became a Roman province. So, as subjects of the Roman government, the right of life or death for anyone had been taken out of their hands.
Therefore, since John's two statements did not pertain to one and the same law, but one statement referred to one law and the other to another, then there is not to be found here even the shadow of a contradiction.
Others believe what is said in John 20;30-31, contradicts that wich was written by Matthew in Matthew 12:38-40. True, John said Jesus did many signs and Matthew said only one sign would be given.
However, here again it is only a contradiction in the mind of those who are unaware that in the Bible, we read of two types of signs. In John 20:30-31 and Acts 2:22, we read of signs God did by Christ. Whereas, in Matthew 12 and Mark's parallel account in Mark 8, we read about a sign from heaven, or direct from God. Jesus, according to Matthew, said you will receive one requested sign when God raises me from the dead.
Oh, yes, my friends, these and many more apparent Biblical contradictions fade away when we remember the writers of the Bible wrote about a plurality of the same names, things, and events.
By: Tommy Hodge
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