WVW: Bible Contradictions - Part 2
This is part two of my Bible contradictions series, responding to this list –
16. GE 6:3 The Lord said, "My spirit will not be in man forever, for he is only flesh; so the days of his life will be a hundred and twenty years." GE 9:29 Noah lived nine hnndred and fifty years.
Response: Hundred*. This is not a contradiction, as there was a gradual decrease in life until we got to our 120 years as a cap. Of course, the writer of this post requires God’s intended outcome to happen immediately. That’s just not always the case. God works through natural means many times. Our friend Zach from Adherent Apologetics tackled the topic of age in our “Five Pentateuch Problems” episode. You can check that out here –
17. GE 6:4 There were Nephilim (giants) before the Flood. GE 7:21 All creatures other than Noah and his clan were annihilated by the Flood. NU 13:33 There were Nephilim after the Flood.
Response: It’s funny that these objections are back to back. We also covered the topic of Nephilim in the episode link listed above. Nick covers that topic. This all depends on your view of what Nephilim actually are, however I believe any way you look at it, why can’t there be giant people before and after the flood? Realistically we know that these giants were only about 7 feet tall. It’s not as if Shaquille O’neal descended from one specific line of people that only existed pre flood.
18. GE 6:6. EX 32:14, NU 14:20, 1SA 15:35, 2SA 24:16 God does change his mind. NU 23:19-20, 1SA 15:29, JA 1:17 God does not change his mind.
Response: I mentioned a large word in Part 1 of this series, that applies to this objection as well. Anthropopathism is a literary device used to attribute a humanly trait to God, in order to understand Him with our finite minds. God’s character and unconditional purpose of God does not change. However, the authors of the Bible used this language in order to describe God’s relation to mankind. He has emotions and we are image bearers of that. For further reading you can refer to our friends at Got Questions –
19. GE 6:19-22, 7:8-9, 7:14-16 Two of each kind are to be taken, and are taken, aboard Noah's Ark. GE 7:2-5 Seven pairs of some kinds are to be taken, and are taken, aboard the Ark.
Response: This is not a contradiction at all. God commands Noah to bring two of each kind of animal aboard, except for sacrificial and ritually clean animals in which he is supposed to bring 7 pairs on board.
20. GE 7:1 Noah was righteous. JB 1:1,8, JB 2:3 Job was righteous. LK 1:6 Zechariah and Elizabeth were righteous. JA 5:16 Some men are righteous, (which makes their prayers effective). 1JN 3:6-9 Christians become righteous (or else they are not really Christians). RO 3:10, 3:23, 1JN 1:8-10 No one was or is righteous.
Response: Both answers are true. Certain people in the Bible are deemed righteous, however at the same time no one is righteous. The difference is whom they’re compared to. Noah, Job, Elizabeth, etc. are righteous when comparing them to other people. Their conduct is upright against the conduct of others. However in comparison to a perfect, holy God, no one is righteous.
21. GE 7:7 Noah and his clan enter the Ark. GE 7:13 They enter the Ark (again?).
Response: Noah entered the ark, and the fact was repeated again 6 verses later. Of course, just because an action is mentioned twice does not mean that it happened twice…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. I can’t.
22. GE 11:7-9 God sows discord. PR 6:16-19 God hates anyone who sows discord.
Response: In Genesis 11:7-9 God caused confusion. He did not “sow discord”. Sowing discording is stirring the pot – causing conflict – being an instigator. He caused people to be confused. Not to be in conflict with one another.
23. GE 11:9 At Babel, the Lord confused the language of the whole world. 1CO 14:33 Paul says that God is not the author of confusion.
Response: I’d like to start with a note that 1 Corinthians 14:33 does not say God is not the author of confusion in the better translations of the Bible. It says that God is not a God of confusion. Altogether, God is not defined by chaos and confusion. That does not mean that in certain instances God cannot cause confusion.
Think about a boxer. When he or she is in the ring, they attempt to confuse their opponent in order to win the match. However, that doesn’t mean that their character and life is defined by confusion. God is not defined by confusion although He confused people at on point.
24. GE 11:12 Arpachshad [Arphaxad] was the father of Shelah. LK 3:35-36 Cainan was the father of Shelah. Arpachshad was the grandfather of Shelah.
Response: This is probably the first legitimate contention I’ve encountered on this list. This comes down to your beliefs about Bible translations. There are essentially two camps when it comes to beliefs about Bible translations.
First what I’d like to mention is that the Bible has not been translated over and over again like a game of telephone, as some atheists attribute to it. Rather, we have early manuscripts of the Bible that were essentially contemporaries of the original books. Now, there are many manuscripts of the Bible. The two camps fall like this – one camp believes that our modern English translations should be based on the majority of the manuscripts we have; then the other camp believes that we should base our English translations on the earliest manuscripts that we have.
I happen to side with the group that believes our modern English translation should be based on the earliest manuscripts that we have. There are many reasons why, but essentially this cuts down on the margin of error from the original books.
Remember, we don’t believe our modern English translation is inerrant. We believe the original text is inerrant.
Now, with that in mind, there is a simple resolution to this contention. We do not see “Cainan” from Luke 3 in the earliest Hebrew manuscripts. It was a copyist’s mistake when copying Luke very early on. Luke did not include “Cainan” in his original book.
Another thing that leads me to believe this, is that the name “Kenan” appears just a few names later. However, Cainan and Kenan are the same name in Hebrew – Toukainan. This makes it easy for us to understand that one of the early copyist’s of the Scripture was tired or something and accidentally wrote a name twice in his copy. Unfortunately, since it was such an early copy, that copy went on to contaminate many other copies.
Like I said, although this error is in most of the manuscripts we have, it is not in the earliest manuscripts that we have, and therefore was not in the original book. The original is still inerrant, although human error has crept in via translations and copies by uninspired copyists.
25. GE 11:26 Terah was 70 years old when his son Abram was born. GE 11:32 Terah was 205 years old when he died (making Abram 135 at the time). GE 12:4, AC 7:4 Abram was 75 when he left Haran. This was after Terah died. Thus, Terah could have been no more than 145 when he died; or Abram was only 75 years old after he had lived 135 years.
Response: Genesis 11:26 does not say that Terah was 70 years old when his son Abram was born. It says “after Terah had lived 70 years, Abram, Nahor, and Haran were born”. It would be pretty crazy if three sons were born in one year. The verse indicates that these 3 were born after Terah had lived 70 years, not on the 70th year. Therefore, we do not get a birth year for Abram from this verse. Abram was 75 when he left Harran.
26. GE 12:7, 17:1, 18:1, 26:2, 32:30, EX 3:16, 6:2-3, 24:9-11, 33:11, NU 12:7-8, 14:14, JB 42:5, AM 7:7-8, 9:1 God is seen. EX 33:20, JN 1:18, 1JN 4:12 God is not seen. No one can see God's face and live. No one has ever seen him.
Response: In the verses that pertain to no person being able to see God, these are all about God the Father. Indeed, we must be able to see God, since Jesus is God and thousands of people saw Him. We may not be able to see God the Father, however we can see Jesus, and I believe the sightings of God in the Old Testament are simply the pre-incarnate Christ. Still God – but seeable! How you doin.
27. GE 10:5, 20, 31 There were many languages before the Tower of Babel. GE 11:1 There was only one language before the Tower of Babel.
Response: As many things in the Bible, this is not in chronological order. It is not true that the events in Genesis 10 occur until completion, and then Genesis 11 occurs. Genesis 10 is an overview of the descendants of Noah. The tower of Babel occurred early on within the history of Genesis 10. Thus, they descendants indeed started out with one language, and then were dispersed with many languages, and both occurrences happen within the historical frame of Genesis 10.
28. GE 15:9, EX 20:24, 29:10-42, LE 1:1-7:38, NU 28:1-29:40, God details sacrificial offerings. JE 7:21-22 God says he did no such thing.
Response: My response to this “contradiction” – wow.
Throughout this list, I’ve felt that the creator is a bit disingenuous, but this is straight up deception. Jeremiah 7:22 ends in a comma. The creator of this list literally uses half of a sentence in order to prove the point. Talk about out of context! Here’s the full three verses –
21 “‘This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Go ahead, add your burnt offerings to your other sacrifices and eat the meat yourselves! 22 For when I brought your ancestors out of Egypt and spoke to them, I did not just give them commands about burnt offerings and sacrifices, 23 but I gave them this command: Obey me, and I will be your God and you will be my people. Walk in obedience to all I command you, that it may go well with you.
29. GE 16:15, 21:1-3, GA 4:22 Abraham had two sons, Ishmael and Isaac. HE 11:17 Abraham had only one son.
Response: First of all, Abraham actually had eight sons. The creator of this list did not include the six sons he had by Keturah. Hebrews 11:17 calls Isaac Abraham’s only son, though, because it is speaking to the covenant God made with Abraham. Isaac was the son of the promise. He was the only son of the promise. Not to mention, he was the only legitimate son with a legitimate wife.
30. GE 17:1, 35:11, 1CH 29:11-12, LK 1:37 God is omnipotent. Nothing is impossible with (or for) God. JG 1:19 Although God was with Judah, together they could not defeat the plainsmen because the latter had iron chariots.
Response: Note that the one’s who cannot defeat the plainsmen are the people of Judah, not God. It is worth mentioning that just because God can do something doesn’t mean that He will do something. I suppose God could have indeed caused the plainsmen to be defeated and could have also caused the whole earth to be defeated by the tribe of Judah. That does not mean, however, that He would do that.
I can eat a whole pizza pie in one sitting. That doesn’t mean I will. (I might though)