For a supposedly error-free book supposedly written under the influence of a supposedly perfect God who supposedly wants everyone to know the truth, the Bible sure contradicts itself a lot.
When the Bible contradicts what we know about reality, Bible believers have the option of denying those inconvenient facts. But when the Bible contradicts itself, the only thing that can be wrong is the Bible.
And the Bible does contradict itself, constantly. On this blog, I plan to write about hundreds of biblical contradictions,1 many of which you won’t find documented anywhere else.
Here are all the biblical contradictions (questions that the Bible answers in multiple incompatible ways) that I’ve written about so far. I will be adding a new one every two weeks.
- Is it more beneficial to unbelievers to prophesy or to speak in tongues?
- Did Daniel normally eat choice food, meat, and wine?
- Should people follow their hearts and eyes?
- Should people do good things publicly?
- Do workers deserve payment?
- Should people be happy?
- Should people be wise or foolish?
- Was Jesus the first to rise from the dead?
- Should diseased people be isolated?
- Which tribe was Huram’s mother from?
- What is the beginning of wisdom?
- Should people get married?
- Do all fathers discipline their children?
- Will the day of the Lord be at the beginning or the end of the thousand years?
- Is Jesus’s kingdom of this world?
- Is Jesus the only foundation the church can have?
- Are bald men always clean?
- Should people give everything to the poor?
- Was Shelah the son or grandson of Arphaxad?
- Should we follow God’s example?
- Why did God leave some nations among Israel?
- Will there be death and curses in the new heaven and earth?
- How many men were possessed by the Legion of demons?
- Does God listen to humans?
- Will the mountains and hills last forever?
- When was Jesus born?
- What are the Ten Commandments?
- Should people drink wine?
- Are there Jews and Gentiles?
- Did Saul already know that God was with David and that Michal loved David?
- Did Paul think he should get a reward for his work?
- Does God sleep?
- Should foreigners eat the Passover meal?
- Should people offer God things they got for free?
- Is honesty pleasant?
- Will the heavens and earth last forever?
- What was in the wine Jesus was offered before he was crucified?
- Who was Achan’s father?
If you think you can resolve any of these contradictions, feel free to leave a comment explaining how you think it’s possible for everything the Bible says on the subject to be true. If I’m convinced that you’ve completely explained away the contradiction and it’s really not a contradiction at all, I’ll delete that contradiction from my blog.
If I find your explanation logically possible but not entirely convincing (especially if it seems implausible, or conflicts with other things the Bible says, or conflicts with common Christian beliefs), I will leave the post up, but add a note about your possible explanation at the end. If I find that your explanation fails to resolve the contradiction at all, I may list it as a non-explanation. If you claim that the Bible means something completely different from what it says, I’m probably not going to accept that as an explanation.
One popular explanation for the existence of contradictions in the Bible is that it was originally written without errors, but errors have been introduced over time as fallible humans repeatedly made copies and translations of it. However, even the oldest Biblical manuscripts that still exist are full of contradictions and falsehoods.
We have no evidence that any error-free versions of the Bible ever existed. And even if they did exist in the past, they can’t do us any good now that we don’t have access to those versions anymore. All we have now is a Bible that is clearly far from being free of errors, so we shouldn’t be treating this Bible as if it was a reliable source of information.