by Edip Yuksel

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"There are claimed contradictions that theologians have  not
resolved  to every atheist's satisfaction. There are textual
difficulties with which scholars are still wrestling. Only a
Bible  illiterate would deny these and other problems." (The
Plain Truth, July 1975).
Here is a sample of some Biblical contradictions with  which
scholars are still wrestling.
** While Genesis, in chapter 5 & 11, mentions 19 generations
between Adam and Abraham, Luke adds one more.  According  to
Genesis  Shela  is the son of Arphaxad, but to Luke Shela is
the son of Cainan. Obviously, either one has added,  or  the
other has dismissed Cainan.
** Chapters 6, 7 and 8 of Genesis describe a worldwide flood
which destroys all living  creatures  on  the  face  of  the
Earth.  This  contradicts the findings of modern archeology.
John Allen Paulos, the professor of  mathematics  at  Temple
University  in Philadelphia has an entirely different reason
to reject this exaggerated story:
The book of Genesis says of the Flood that "... all the high
hills  that  were  under  the whole heaven were covered ..."
Taken literally, this seems  to  indicate  that  there  were
10,000  to 20,000 feet of water on the surface of the earth,
equivalent to more  than  half  a  billion  cubic  miles  of
liquid!  Since,  according to biblical accounts, it retained
for forty days and forty nights, or for only 960 hours,  the
rain must have fallen at a rate of at least fifteen feet per
hour, certainly enough to sink any  aircraft  carrier,  much
less  an ark with thousands of animals on board (Innumeracy,
John Allen Paulos, Vintage Books, New York, 1990, p. 16).
** According to 2 Samuel 24:1 God incited David  to  take  a
census  of  Israel.  However, according to 1 Chronicles 21:1
the one who incited David was Satan, not God.
** According to 2 Samuel 24:13 one of the options was "seven
years of famine," but according to 1 Chronicles 21:12 it was
"three years of famine."
** According to 1 Kings 4:26  Solomon  had  "forty  thousand
stalls of horses," but according to 2 Chronicles 9:25 he had
"four thousand stalls of horses."
** According to 2 Kings 24:8 "Jehoiachin was eighteen  years
old when he became king," but according to 2 Chronicles 36:9
he was "eight years old."
** According to 1 Chronicles 8:36 "Ahaz was  the  father  of
Jehoaddah," but in the following chapter, 9:42 "Ahaz was the
father of Jarah."
** According to 2 Samuel 24:9 Joab reported  the  number  of
fighting  men: "eight hundred thousand in Israel," and "five
hundred thousand in Juda," but the same report according  to
1  Chronicles  21:5  is "one million one hundred thousand in
Israel," and "four hundred and seventy thousand in Judah."
** According to 2 Kings 8:26 "Ahaziah was  twenty-two  years
old when he became king," but according to 2 Chronicles 22:2
he was "forty-two years old when he became king."  Obviously
the  later  one  is  wrong since Ahaziah's father was in his
40's when he died (2  Chronicles  21:5).  According  to  the
Chronicles  22:2 he was two years older than his father when
he became king just after his father's death!
** There are nineteen contradictions between Ezra chapter  2
and  Nehemiah  chapter  7  in  the  list  of  the exiles who
returned. When we  count  the  grand  total  of  exiles  who
returned  according  to  Ezra,  we  come  up with 29818, but
according to Nehemiah we  find  31089.  Ironically,  despite
their  differences in numbers of exiled tribes, both of them
give us the same grand total as  42360.  Nehemiah  is  11271
short, Ezra is 12542 short.
**  According  to 2 Samuel 6:23 "Michal daughter of Saul had
no children to the day of her death." However, in  2  Samuel
21:8  we  see  Michal  had  borne  five  sons.  Some revised
versions tried to get rid of this contradiction by  changing
the  name  of Michal to Merab, unceremoniously! You may find
the trace of this change in a footnote.
** According to Genesis 6:3, man can have a  maximum  of  "a
hundred and twenty years" life span. However in Genesis 9:29
we learn that Noah lived 950 years,  and  in  11:13  Arpaxad
lived 403 years.
** According  to  Numbers  23:19  "God is not a man, that he
should lie; neither the son of man, that he should  repent;"
but  according  to  Genesis  6:6,7  God  repented  (in  some
translations: he was sorry, or was grieved) that he made man
on the earth.
**  According  to Exodus 24:10 the elders of Israel "saw the
God of Israel;" however, John 1:18 claims that "no  man  has
seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the
bosom of the Father, he has declared him." John's enthusiasm
to make Jesus an incarnated God makes him contradict the Old
Testament. It is interesting that the "New Revised" versions
of  the  Bible  try to save John by inserting the magic word
"actually" into the verse as reads:  "No  one  has  actually
seen God ..."
**  According to Matthew 1:1 and Luke 3:31 "Jesus was son of
David;" but Matthew 22: 41-45 denies this claim from  Jesus'
own mouth.
**  The  genealogy  of  Jesus listed in Matthew and Luke has
numerous contradictions. In Question 8  we  mentioned  those
**  According  to  the three Synoptic Gospels, Judas betrays
Jesus with a  kiss;  but  according  to  John  18:3-5  Jesus
himself  went forth and told the soldiers that he was Jesus.
Obviously, the narration of the three  Synoptic  Gospels  do
not  make  sense,  since an exposed betrayer (Matthew 26:25)
will not try to hide himself  by  using  a  sign.  In  fact,
nobody  needed  to  identify  Jesus.  He  was  well known by
everyone in the region.
** While Matthew  27:44  sends both criminals to hell,  Luke
23:43 saves one of them.
                                             Still verbatim?
Whether these are important or not,  we must realize that we
cannot rely on the Bible verbatim. We must read them with  a
critical analytic consciousness. Some of the above have been
"corrected" such as in the "New International  Version"  and
"New  Revised  Standard  Version."  But,  the contradictions
between  the  ancient  manuscripts  are  admitted   in   the
footnotes   of   their  revised  versions.  Sometimes  those
footnotes are removed in the following editions in order  to
erase the trace of contradictions.
Related questions:
1.  How can we rely on the Bible to the letter, after
    witnessing many contradictions and mistranslations?
2.  How many times did you "revise" the Bible? Why?
    When will we have the Final Revised Bible?

Moslem Questions on Christianity Edip Yuksel P.O. Box 43476, Tucson, AZ 85733-3476 U.S.A. Tel/Fax: (520) 323-7636

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