Contradictions in the Bible Answered
War or Peace?
Exodus 15:3, Romans 15:33
The Genealogy of Jesus - Who is the father of Jesus?
Matthew 1:16, Luke 3:23
Who was at the empty tomb?
Matt. 28:1, Mark 16:1-2, Luke 24:1, John 20:1
How many of
each beast went into the ark? Were there 7 of each
clean animal or 2? Genesis 7
stalls and horsemen were there? I Kings 4:26, II
Is it folly to be wise
Will children pay for
their father's sins or not? Deut. 5:9; 24:6
Does the Bible wrongly
call the bat a bird? Lev. 11:13, 19
Rabbits don't chew their cud. Lev.
Insects and fowl do not have 4 feet.
Snails do not melt. Psalms
Doesn't Genesis 30:39 imply some
kind of magical genetics?
While snakes travel on their
bellies, they do not "eat dirt" as the Bible says.
Do the righteous flourish or
perish? Psalm 92:12, Isaiah 57:1
did Judas die, by hanging or falling headlong? Matthew
27:3-8, Acts 1:18-19
first sermon on a plain or a mountain? Matthew 5:1,2,
Do the Gospels Disagree on
Jesus' Last Words on the Cross? Matthew 27:46,50, Luke
23:46, John 19:30
Can God be seen or not?
John 1:18, Exodus 33:20, 1 Timothy 6:16, Exodus 24:9-10,
Amos 9:1, Genesis 26:2
Was Jesus the first to ascend
up to heaven, or was Elijah?
Kings 2:11, John 3:13
killed Saul? 1 Samuel 31:4-6, 2 Samuel 1:8-10
there contradictions in the details of the sermon on the
mount? Luke 6:17, Matthew 5:1
contradictions are being added. Check back for an
War or Peace?
Exodus 15:3 The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his
Romans 15:33 Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen.
ask a simple question -- is it not reasonable to say that
God can be both a "warrior" (NIV) and a God of peace, as
the circumstances require? Can a person not be a soldier
at some time in their life, during a time of war, and say,
a tuba inspector during times of peace? Is God not allowed
to react to what we do as He sees fit?
contradiction would only exist if God were described as
being of war and peace at the same time and while
performing the same action.
Ecclesiastes 3:17 “I
said in mine heart, God shall judge the righteous and the
wicked: for there is a time there for every purpose and
for every work.”
Genealogy of Jesus - Who is the father of Jesus?
Matthew 1:16 And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of
whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.
Luke 3:23 And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years
of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which
was the son of Heli.
Matthew and Luke present different genealogies of
Jesus--one through David's son Solomon (the royal line)
and the other through David's son Nathan (the non-royal
line). The royal line is traced in Matthew; the "natural"
line in Luke. Matthew's genealogy goes only back to
Abraham (to show the Jewish character of the King); Luke's
goes back to Adam (to show the universal aspect of the
Savior). Matthew's emphasizes Jesus' royalty; Luke, his
humanity. It is generally accepted (but not unanimously)
that the genealogy in Matthew belongs to Joseph's family,
and the one in Luke applies to Mary's line. (The
historical evidence is fairly strong that both Mary and
Joseph were of the house of David.) Both genealogies are
'aware' of the virgin birth: Luke adds the phrase "He was
the son, SO IT WAS THOUGHT, of Joseph" (3:23) and Matthew
switches verbs from "X begat Y" to "Joseph, the husband of
Mary, of whom (feminine pronoun) was born Jesus".
Who was at the empty tomb?
Matt. 28:1 In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the
week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the
Mark 16:1-2 And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of
James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they
might come and anoint him. And very early in the morning
the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre
at the rising of the sun.
Luke 24:1 Now upon the first
day of the week, very early in the morning, they came
unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had
prepared, and certain others with them.
John 20:1 The first day of
the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet
dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away
from the sepulchre.
First, some will claim that the descriptions given for
WHEN they went to the tomb creates a contradiction.
These times are given as "as it began to dawn," "very
early in the morning," (twice), and "when it was yet
dark". All of these are fully capable of describing
the pre-dawn twilight hours just before the sun peaks over
the horizon. This is no more contradiction than if I
were to tell you I went somewhere in the evening and later
said I had gone late in the day. Both can be
descriptions of the same time period.
The second point
critics will claim is a contradiction is the list of WHO
went to the tomb. We are told in the different
accounts that Mary and the other Mary went; Mary, Mary and
Salome went; Mary, Mary, Joanna, and several others went;
Mary Magdalene went, though obviously not alone (vs. 2
"we" do not know...). No one verse here excludes any
other. In other words, no one account speaks of the
ones listed as being the only ones who went to the tomb.
First it's important to understand that it was common
practice for women to go to the tomb to perform burial
work. It wasn't as if this was something unusual
that would need a great deal of explanation.
Obviously, each writer picked different women who were
representative of the party in their description.
Mary Magdalene appears in all four accounts suggesting her
prominence in the group, but Matthew chose to spend more
time on his description of the stolen body and include at
the end of his account the great commission. However
John's account is short and to the point, and it is quite
logical that he wouldn't give a detailed list of all women
present in his summarization. As an example of how
silly it is to claim this is a contradiction, we can look
at modern day journalism. If an Associated Press
article claimed that the President, the First Lady, and
the Secretary of State attended a dinner with foreign
leaders, and a Reuters article simply stated that the
President was at a dinner with foreign leaders, you
wouldn't say that the AP article contradicted the Reuters
article. The AP article just gave more detail and
told us more about who was present at the dinner.
They both agree that the President was at the dinner.
The accounts given in the gospels here are not
identical. However, if you aren't reading them with
the sole intent of finding a discrepancy, it's easy to see
that the differences are in how much detail is given and
they do not contradict each other.
How many of each beast went
into the ark? Were there 7 of each clean animal or 2
Gen. 7:2 Of every clean beast thou shalt take
to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of
beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his
Gen. 7:8-9 Of clean beasts, and of
beasts that are not clean, and of fowls, and of every
thing that creepeth upon the earth, There went in two
and two unto Noah into the ark, the male and the female,
as God had commanded Noah.
There were 7 of each clean
animal as Genesis 7:2 says. Verses 8-9 are simply
saying that the animals entered the ark in pairs, "two
and two". Notice when speaking of two unclean
animals it says "by two", but in verses 8-9 it says "two
The NIV translates it this
way. "Pairs of clean and unclean animals, of birds
and of all creatures that move along the ground, male
and female, came to Noah and entered the ark."
They came in pairs, but that
does not mean there were only one pair of each clean
animal. There were 3 pairs of each and one oddball
to be used for sacrifice.
Genesis 8:20 "Then Noah built
an altar to the LORD and, taking some of all the clean
animals and clean birds, he sacrificed burnt offerings
If there were only two of each
clean animal, Noah would have had to sacrifice one of a
lone pair thereby rendering that species extinct.
How many stalls and
horsemen were there?
1 Kings 4:26 And Solomon had forty
thousand stalls of horses for his chariots,
and twelve thousand horsemen.
2 Chron. 9:25 And Solomon had four
thousand stalls for horses and chariots, and
twelve thousand horsemen; whom he bestowed in the
chariot cities, and with the king at Jerusalem.
These verses, taken from the King James Bible, are an
example of some of the minor errors found in the KJV due
to the date it was written. At the time the KJV
was written, translators had far fewer extant
manuscripts to translate from . The NIV, using
thousands of manuscripts, dating much earlier, that have
been found since the KJV was written correct this
copyist error found in some but not all, or even most,
manuscripts. The NIV reads as follows:
I Kings 4:26 "Solomon had four thousand stalls for
chariot horses, and twelve thousand horses"
Other proofs that the manuscripts used in translation
of of the King James Version contained a copyist
error can be found as well:
- The reading found in 2 Chronicles is evidence of
the correct number.
- Archaeological data indicating that 4000 would be
an appropriate number of stalls for a nation the size
of ancient Israel, whereas 40,000 would be very
- 4000 comports better with the number of horsemen.
- There is sufficient explanation for a change. It
would be easy for a scribe to copy the number
incorrectly. The number "40" is spelled
aleph-resh-bet-ayin-yodh-mem with "4" being
spelled aleph-resh-bet-ayin-heh , the only
difference being the plural "-im" ending in "40" while
"4" has the singular feminine ending.
To read more on the translation of the KJV and the
reliability of the newer versions, see
folly to be wise or not?
Prov 3:13 Happy is the man that findeth wisdom
and the man that getteth understanding.
Prov. 4:7 Wisdom is the principal thing;
therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get
Eccl. 1:18 For in much wisdom is much grief:
and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.
1 Cor.1:19 "For it is written, I will destroy
the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the
understanding of the prudent."
I'm sure you've heard the phrase "ignorance is bliss".
This is very true. For example, not knowing
anything of the things in this world that would be upsetting to you
would be a blissful state to be in. However, it's
equally true that ignorance can be dangerous,
embarrassing, and harmful. These two statements
don't contradict each other - they're both true.
In the same way, wisdom and understanding can bring you
happiness as you gain understanding of the good things
in life, but gaining wisdom will also expose you to the
bad things in life - those things that bring sorrow.
Corinthians 1:19 makes another point. There are
those who call themselves wise, but they are really
fools. Their earthly wisdom blinds them to the
truth. In other words, becoming wise by human
rather than the truth of the Bible will lead to destruction.
This kind of wisdom will be exposed for what it is when
Christ returns and the nations are forced to see the
truth. Secular wisdom will not help them.
Romans 1:21-22 Because that, when they knew God,
they glorified [him] not as God, neither were thankful;
but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish
heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be
wise, they became fools.
children pay for the sins of the father or not?
Deut. 5:9 You shall not bow down to them or
worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous
God, punishing the children for the sin of the
fathers to the third and fourth generation of those
who hate me...
Deut. 24:16 Fathers shall not be put to death for
their children, nor children put to death for their
fathers; each is to die for his own sin.
Patrick Holding gives an excellent explanation for
this "contradiction" that says it all:
A couple of years ago, when I first faced this
"contradiction" in reply to Jim Merritt, I gave this
brief and rather off-the-cuff answer:
(Deuteronomy 24:16) refers to punishments meted out
for crimes, as does Ezekiel. Isaiah and the others
refer to punishments and sufferings that are the
natural results of one persons' actions "rolling
downhill" on another person. In other words, if Dad
goes alone and robs the Hickory Farms store and
steals all the weinerschnitzel, then Junior doesn't
get thrown in the slammer if he wasn't part of it.
But if Dad is a smoker, then Junior's lungs will get
polluted; if Mom drinks too much when pregnant,
Junior may be born with fetal alcohol syndrome. If
Dad brags about robbing the Hickory Farms store or
seems content with his lot in jail, and Junior hears
or finds out about it, Junior might be inspired to a
life of crime also!
To this I also added the point that "four
generations" in Deut. 5:9 and elsewhere refers to
the normal lifespan of a human being, so that
essentially, the verse means that punishment will be
meted out over the lifetime a person alone -- to
which I will add here, that punishment is not the
same as guilt. Thus my explanation above is somewhat
correct -- but far from complete.
read the rest of Holding's explanation
the Bible wrongly call the bat a bird?
Lev. 11:13, 19 And these are they which ye shall
have in abomination among the fowls...And the stork,
the heron after her kind, and the lapwing, and the
bat. (See also Deut. 14:11, 18)
First, linean classification was not available
when Leviticus and Deuteronomy were written, nor did a
specific scientific definition for what a bird was
exist. The classification of animals was made by
function and form. This can be seen in the
definition of words used to describe animals in the
Old Testament. For example, the word here that
we render "fowl" comes from the Hebrew word owph
which means flying creatures, to include birds, winged
insects, and any animal that owns a wing. It
comes from a root word that means to cover or to fly.
This verse could rightly be interpreted, "And these
are they which ye shall have in abomination among
flying creatures....". The King James Version
seems to call the bat a fowl, but when you understand
the times in which it was written, and the meaning of
the original Hebrew, it's obvious there is no error
Rabbits do not chew their cud.
Lev. 11:6 And the hare, because he cheweth the
cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto
you. (See also Deut. 14:7)
This objection is answered
here in great detail.
Insects and fowl do not have four feet.
Lev. 11:20-3 All fowls that creep, going
upon all four, shall be an abomination unto
you. Yet these may ye eat of every flying creeping
thing that goeth upon all four, which have
legs above their feet, to leap withal upon the
earth; even these of them ye may eat; the locust after
his kind, and the bald locust after his kind, and the
beetle after his kind, and the grasshopper after his
kind. But all other flying creeping things, which
have four feet, shall be an abomination unto you.
Once again the word translated fowl here is 'owph',
which means a creature with wings. It's the same
word used in verse 21 and translated flying.
The reference in both cases is referring to insects.
Notice the differentiation between the four feet and
"legs above their feet". The large legs
on insects such as the locust, grasshopper, cricket
(beetle) etc., are considered legs, but they are
different than the other legs which are called
"feet" in every instance here. You can add
the four feet (legs) to the legs above their feet
(legs) and get 6 legs if you like, however, the
Hebrews chose to differentiate between the regular
legs on the insects described here and the large legs
used for jumping or lifting off to take flight.
Snails do not melt.
Ps. 58:8 As a snail which melteth, let every
one of them pass away: like the untimely birth of a
woman, that they may not see the sun.
What have we here -- a sort of fantastic
creature-feature idea of a snail which slowly
dissolves in the heat? Not exactly. The Hebrew word
here is temec, and this is the only place where
it appears in the Bible. Strong's says that the main
meaning here is liquefaction, with a root in a word
referring to dissolution. All agree that slugs and
snails leave a trail behind as they move -- this is
not something that is hard to observe or unknown. And
of course, it is obvious that this liquid comes from
their own bodies -- and presumably, especially in a
hot, desert climate like Palestine's, a snail that
doesn't find a source of moisture to replenish itself
is going to eventually shrivel away: hence the
comparison to the "untimely birth of a woman."
For this objection to work, it would have to be
assumed that temec means "dissolve" in the
sense that snow, for example, melts -- but there is no
point of comparison, and no reason why this word
cannot refer to the dehydration process we describe.2
Doesn't Genesis 30:39 imply some kind of magical
Gen. 30:39 And the flocks conceived before the
rods, and brought forth cattle ringstraked, speckled,
This verse seems to show Jacob engaging
in some kind of superstitious form of magic
while breeding his cattle. Indeed it
was superstitious and Jacob was engaging in
magical arts. However, the Bible does
not condone this act. It's a factual
part of the story. As you read on you
learn that it wasn't the rods and Jacob's
superstition that produced ringstraked,
speckled, and spotted cattle. It was
God's intervention. He intervened to
prevent Rachel and Leah's father from
cheating Jacob again. Jacob admits
that it was God's intervention and not
creative genetic engineering that brought
him this result. See Genesis 31:9
While snakes travel on their bellies,
they do not "eat dirt" as the Bible says.
And the LORD God said unto the serpent,
Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed
above all cattle, and above every beast of
the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and
dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy
There are two ways of looking at this. First, snakes
use their tongues as their sense of smell,
and do indeed ingest dirt as they flick the
ground with their tongues. However,
it's more likely that this was meant
figuratively. Being brought low, and
eating dirt are used several times in the
Bible to indicate abject humiliation.
Ps. 72:9 They that dwell in the
wilderness shall bow before him; and his
enemies shall lick the dust.
Is. 49:23 And kings shall be thy
nursing fathers, and their queens thy
nursing mothers: they shall bow down to thee
with their face toward the earth, and lick
up the dust of thy feet.
Mic. 7:17 They shall lick the dust
like a serpent.
This verse in Genesis is simply a way of
saying that Satan would be cursed and
humiliated. It does not mean that the
serpent literally subsists on dirt as it's
main food source.
Do the righteous flourish
Ps.92:12 The righteous
shall flourish like the palm tree.
righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to
When you rip verses out of context, of course they won't make
sense. Psalm 92 is a psalm of praise.
It is speaking of the righteous in eternity.
In other words, it speaks of the blessed
hope. "Though the wicked spring up
like grass and all evildoers flourish, they
will be forever destroyed" (v. 7). You
see, while the wicked may flourish in this
life on earth, the righteous will flourish
for eternity with the Lord. If you
read the entire Psalm, the eschatological
meaning becomes abundantly clear.
Now, the verse in Isaiah, is speaking of
the present. Reading the verse in
context helps tremendously.
Isa.57:1-2 The righteous
perish, and no one ponders it in his heart;
devout men are taken away and no one
understands that the righteous are taken
away to be spared from evil. Those who
walk uprightly enter into peace; they find
rest as they lie in death. (NIV)
When the righteous perish, they are being
spared from evil and enter into an eternity
of peace. They flourish while the
wicked spend eternity in hell. No
contradiction here. Just a lack of
How did Judas die, by
hanging or falling headlong?
27:3-8 Then when Judas, who
had betrayed Him, saw that He had been
condemned, he felt remorse and returned the
thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests
and elders, saying, "I have sinned by
betraying innocent blood." But they said,
"What is that to us? See to that yourself!"
And he threw the pieces of silver into the
sanctuary and departed; and he went away and
hanged himself. And the chief priests
took the pieces of silver and said, "It is
not lawful to put them into the temple
treasury, since it is the price of blood."
nd they counseled together and with the
money bought the Potter’s Field as a burial
place for strangers. For
this reason that field has been called the
Field of Blood to this day.
Acts 1:16-19 Brethren, the
Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the
Holy Spirit foretold by the mouth of David
concerning Judas, who became a guide to
those who arrested Jesus. "For
he was counted among us, and received his
portion in this ministry." (Now
this man acquired a field with the price of
his wickedness; and falling headlong, he
burst open in the middle and all his bowels
gushed out. And it became
known to all who were living in Jerusalem;
so that in their own language that field was
called Hakeldama, that is, Field of Blood.)
There is no contradiction here
at all because both are true. A
contradiction occurs when one statement
excludes the possibility of another. In
fact, what happened here is that Judas went
and hung himself and then his body later
fell down and split open. In other words,
the rope or branch of the tree probably
broke due to the weight and his body fell
down and his bowels spilled out.
that Matt. 27:3-8 tells us specifically how
Judas died, by hanging. Acts 1:16-19 merely
tells us that he fell headlong and his
bowels gushed out. Acts does not tell us
that this is the means of his death where
This "contradiction" is also addressed in
Was Jesus' first sermon on
a plain or a mountain?
Matt.5:1,2: And seeing the
multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and
when he was set, his disciples came unto
him: And he opened his mouth, and taught
Luke 6:17,20 And he came down with
them, and stood in the plain, and the
company of his disciples, and a great
multitude of people...came to hear him.. And
he lifted up his eyes on his disciples and
First let's look at the NIV in order to deal
with some translation issues here.
Matthew 5:1,2 Now when he saw the
crowds, he went up on a mountainside
and sat down. His disciples came to
him and he began to teach them, saying:
Luke 6:17,20 He went down with
them and stood on a level place.
A large crowd of his disciples was there and
a great number of people from all over
Judea, from from Jerusalem, and from the
coast of Tyre and Sidon, who had come to
hear him and to be healed of their diseases.
Those troubled by evil spirits were cured
and the people all tried to touch him,
because power was coming from him and
healing them all. Looking at his
disciples he said:
The Greek word translated as "plain" in
the KJV is pedinos, which means level
ground, as in easy for the feet. If
you've ever been on a mountainside you've
undoubtedly noticed that the terrain changes
and isn't always a steady incline.
There are steep areas, rocky areas, grassy
areas, and even flat areas. If you
were going to preach a sermon, would you try
to gather on a steep, uneven area of the
mountainside, or on a flat, even area?
I'd choose the level area too.
Now, some of the skeptics out there might
be asking, "but how do we know the KJV isn't
more accurate, and it was actually a vast
plain with no mountains?" If you go
back to Luke 6:12, you find that, just
before giving the sermon, Luke records Jesus
as being on a mountainside, in agreement
with the verses in Matthew.
Luke 6:12 One of those days
Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray,
and spent the night praying to God.
When morning came, he called his disciples
to him and chose twelve of them, whom he
also designated apostles.....He went down
with them and stood on a level place.
In both cases, Jesus is on a
mountainside. The only difference
comes from the added detail in Luke that
Jesus found a level area to stand while
Do the Gospels
Disagree on Jesus' Last Words on the Cross?
27:46,50 (also Mark 15:34) "And about the ninth hour Jesus cried
a loud voice, saying, 'Eli, eli, lama sabachthani?' that is to say,
my God, why hast thou forsaken me?'....Jesus, when he cried again with
voice, yielded up the ghost."
Luke 23:46 "And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said,
unto thy hands I commend my spirit:' and having said thus, he gave up
John 19:30: "When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he
said, 'It is
finished:' and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost."
First, John was nearer to the cross and probably heard things
didn't. John is referred to in scripture as
the disciple that Jesus loved
(John 13:23). Notice he is mentioned as
being near the cross of Jesus.
John 19:25 Near the cross of
Jesus stood his mother, his mother's sister,
Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene.
When Jesus saw his mother
there, and the disciple whom he loved
standing nearby, he said to his
mother, "Dear woman, here is your son," and
to the disciple, "Here is your
mother." From that time on, this disciple
took her into his home."
Notice, in the verse above, Jesus is
speaking only to Mary and John who are
directly below the
When John recounts the events at the cross,
he's focusing on what was said
privately to him at the foot of the cross
and what's said to those standing
close by - the plea of thirst, the statement
of completion, and the turning
over of responsibility for Jesus' mother to
Matthew focused on the words Jesus said "in
a loud voice" to all that were
there (the crowd).
The Last thing Matthew heard was "My god, my
God, why hast thou forsaken me?
Then a loud cry before giving up the ghost.
Luke hears the same loud cry that Matthew
mentions, but also hears after
that, probably because he's closer, "Father,
unto thy hands I commend my
spirit". It makes sense that he would say
"My God, My God..." in a louder
voice than he would say his last words
commending his spirit into the
When Jesus asked for something to drink, he
was speaking to those below the
cross where John was standing. John heard
what the others farther back heard,
but also heard the dialogue about asking the
people near the cross for water and his
"It is finished".
Here are the three accounts put together:
"And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a
loud voice, saying, 'Eli, eli, lama
sabachthani?' that is to say, 'My God, my
God, why hast thou forsaken me?'....Jesus,
when he had cried again with a loud voice
said , 'Father, unto thy hands I commend my
spirit:' (notice the cry with a loud voice
is separated from Jesus commending His
spirit, probably quieter), then he said
softly, 'It is finished:' and he bowed
his head, and gave up the ghost."
Can God be
seen or not?
John 1:18 "No one has ever seen God,
but God the One and Only who is at the
Father's side, has made him known."
Exodus 33:20 And he said, Thou
canst not see my face; for there shall no
man see me and live.
1 Tim. 6:16 Whom no
man hath seen nor can see.
Exodus 24:9-10 Moses and
Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and the seventy
elders of Israel went up and saw the God of
Israel. Under his feet was something
like a pavement made of sapphire, clear as
the sky itself.
Amos 9:1 I saw the Lord
standing by the altar, and he said: .....
Gen. 26:2 The Lord appeared
to Isaac and said, "Do not go down to
(Exodus 24:9-10) Those who saw God did not see him in
all His glory. Exodus 33:20-21 says
"But", he said, "you cannot see my face, for
no one may see me and live." Then the
Lord said, "There is a place near me where
you may stand on a rock. When my glory
passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the
rock and cover you with my hand until I have
passed by. Then I will remove my hand
and you will see my back; but my face must
not be seen." Clearly, there are parts
of God we can see, and certain forms of God
we can see, but His full glory and His face
we cannot see.
(Amos 9:1) Earlier in the book of
Amos (chapter 7 and 8) we see that God is
showing Amos visions. God showing Amos
a vision is very different from God coming
to him in His full glory and showing himself
to Amos. As in other verses, God shows
Himself in other forms and in visions, but
they do not see Him in His full glory or see
His face present before them outside of the
(Genesis 26:2) The Lord at times
"appeared" in some way to the patriarchs and
others, but not in all his glory (Exodus
33:18-20). Seeing God in visions or in
other forms is similar to the Apostles
seeing God through Christ. John 1:18
"No one has ever seen God, but God the One
and Only, who is at the Father's side, has
made him known." The Bible tells us
throughout that Jesus is God. While we
can't see the face of God or God in all his
glory, many did see Jesus and live.
So, we obviously can see God in the person
of Christ and in other forms.
"Then the Lord came down in a pillar of
cloud; he stood at the entrance to the
Tent and summoned Aaron and Miriam.
When both of them stepped forward, he
said, "Listen to my words: When a prophet
of the Lord is among you, I reveal
myself to him in visions, I speak to him
in dreams. But this is not true
of my servant Moses; he is faithful in all
my house. With him I speak face to
face, clearly and not in riddles, he sees
the form of the Lord."
Here we see God appearing to a lesser
person in a pillar of cloud. To a
prophet, God appears in visions and dreams.
To Moses, who is of a higher position in
God's sight, a form of the Lord appears to
him face to face. There is a reason
God said Moses saw the "form of the Lord"
and not just "the Lord". Moses, while
seeing God outside of visions and dreams,
still is not allowed to fully see God in all
"Face to Face" is translated "mouth to
mouth" in the King James version. This
would seem to be more correct as the Hebrew
here is "peh", which means a) mouth (of man)
b) mouth (as organ of speech)
A detailed look at the original Hebrew,
and a look at the paradox that unfolds when
these verses are read in chronological order
can be found
Was Jesus the first to
ascend up to heaven, or was Elijah?
2 Kings 2:11 And Elijah went up by a
whirlwind into heaven.
John 3:13 "No man hath ascended up to
heaven but he that came down from heaven,
... the Son of Man."
In this context, Jesus is
setting forth His superior knowledge of
heavenly things. In essence He is saying,
“No other human being can speak from
firsthand knowledge about these things, as I
can, since I came down from heaven.” He is
claiming that no one has ascended to heaven
to bring down the message that He brought.
In no way is He denying that anyone else is
heaven, such as Elijah
and Enoch ( Gen.
5:24 ). Rather,
Jesus is simply claiming that no one on
earth has gone
to heaven and
with a message such as He
offered to them.4
Gospels Disagree on the Number of Times the Rooster Crowed?
Matthew and John (13:38)
say before the rooster crows once, Peter will have denied the Lord
three times. But Mark affirms that before the rooster crows twice
Peter will deny Christ three times. Which account is right?
Mark 14:30 And Jesus
saith unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this day, even in this
night, before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice.
Then Jesus answered, "Will you really lay down your life for me? I
tell you the truth, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three
Mark 14:68 But he denied, saying, I know not, neither
understand I what thou sayest. And he went out into the porch; and the
Mark 14:72 And the second time the cock crew. And Peter called
to mind the word that Jesus said unto him, Before the cock crow twice,
thou shalt deny me thrice. And when he thought thereon, he wept.
There is no contradiction
between the two accounts because, given the
correctness of the text, Matthew and John do
not expressly state how many times the
rooster will crow. They simply say Peter
will deny Christ three times “before the
rooster crows,” but they do not say how many
times it will crow. Mark may simply be more
specific, affirming exactly how many times
the rooster would crow.
It is also possible that
different accounts are due to an early
copyist error in Mark, that resulted in the
insertion of “two” in early manuscripts (at
Mark 14:30 and 72
). This would explain why
some important manuscripts of Mark mention
only one crowing, just like Matthew and
John, and why “two” appears at different
places in some manuscripts. 5
Who killed Saul?
1 Samuel 31:4-6 Then said Saul unto
his armourbearer, Draw thy sword, and thrust
me through therewith; lest these
uncircumcised come and thrust me through,
and abuse me. But his armourbearer would
not; for he was sore afraid. Therefore Saul
took a sword, and fell upon it. And when his
armourbearer saw that Saul was dead, he fell
likewise upon his sword, and died with him.
So Saul died, and his three sons, and his
armourbearer, and all his men, that same day
2 Samuel 1:8-10 And he said unto me,
Who art thou? And I answered him, I am an
Amalekite. [Saul] said unto me again, Stand,
I pray thee, upon me, and slay me: for
anguish is come upon me, because my life is
yet whole in me. So I stood upon him, and
slew him, because I was sure that he could
not live after that he was fallen: and I
took the crown that was upon his head, and
the bracelet that was on his arm, and have
brought them hither unto my lord.
HERE. This is one of the more
humorous supposed contradictions used by
Why does Luke say Jesus
stood to teach them during the sermon on the
mount when Matthew declares that He sat to
teach them? Was the Sermon on the
mount on a mountain or a level place?
Luke 6:17 He went down with
them and stood on a level place. A large
crowd of his disciples was there and a great
number of people from all over Judea, from
Jerusalem, and from the coast of Tyre and
Matthew 5:1 Now when he saw the
crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat
down. His disciples came to him,
2and he began
to teach them saying:
address whether Jesus was sitting or
standing. There is no contradiction
here, rather both are likely correct.
In Matthew 5:1 Jesus is not yet on the
mountainside. He went up into a
mountainous area and sat down UNTIL his
disciples came to him. Luke picks up
the story after Jesus has already traveled
up the mountain. When the crowd of his
disciples arrived, Jesus stood to teach
them. Similarly, Jesus was on a
mountainside AND moved to a level place to
teach. If you've ever been camping in
the mountains and went hiking on a
mountainside, this will make sense to you.
Mountains aren't perfect pyramids.
There are often level areas and even valleys
between peaks and rises on the mountain.
Sometimes "contradictions" are simply the
result of a skeptics bias and unwillingness
to allow the possibility that there is no
1. James Patrick Holding,
"Copyist Errors and Estimations",
Tektonics Apologetics Ministry,
James Patrick Holding, "Was the Psalmist wrong
about snails melting",
Tektonics Apologetics Ministry,
3. Matt Slick, "Bible
Geisler, N. L., & Howe, T. A. (1992).
When critics ask : A popular handbook on Bible difficulties (Page
407). Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books.
5. Geisler, N. L., & Howe, T.
A. (1992). When critics ask : A popular handbook on Bible
difficulties (Page 360). Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books.