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A Biblical Contradiction Or A Lesson?

Discussion in 'Christian Theology Forum' started by whirlwind, Jan 3, 2010.

  1. whirlwind

    whirlwind New Member

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    Five accounts of the same event. Are there contradictions or is there a lesson?


    1 Corinthians 15:4-8 And that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the scriptures: And that He was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, He was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, He was seen of James; then of all the apostles. And last of all He was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.


    Mark 16:9-11 Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom He had cast seven devils. And she went and told them that had been with Him, as they mourned and wept. And they, when they had heard that He was alive, and had been seen of her, believed not.


    Matthew 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 sepulchre. (8-9) And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring His disciples word. And as they went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held Him by the feet, and worshipped him.


    Luke 24:13-16 And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs. And they talked together of all these things which had happened. And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus Himself drew near, and went with them. But their eyes were holden that they should not know Him. (30-31) And it came to pass, as He sat at meat with them, He took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them. And their eyes were opened, and they knew Him; and He vanished out of their sight.


    John 20:11-16 But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre, And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my LORD, and I know not where they have laid Him. And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing Him to be the gardener, saith unto Him, Sir, if thou have borne Him hence, tell me where thou hast laid Him, and I will take Him away. Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto Him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master. ​


    I believe the various descriptions of the same event is a lesson. Those He showed Himself to, although listed as separate entities, are actually one....they are the body of Christ. The body will be the first to see the Savior.
     
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  2. SoldierforChrist

    SoldierforChrist New Member

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    There is no contradiction here. He was seen personally be everyone listed in all of those verses. None of the verses say that he was "solely" seen by the names they stated. Each verse simply stated several people's names but did not list every single person that saw him. These verses add more information to each other, not contradict. To contradict would mean to disagree and there is no disagreement here. He was seen by over 500 people(1 Corinthians 15:4-8), so there is no way the verses could list all of those people. They simply highlighted a few of the main ones.
     
  3. TheUnworthyServant

    TheUnworthyServant New Member

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    The Bible does not contradict but compliments itself. Let us remember: 1 Corinthians 14:33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

    I offer the following as an explanation.

    First we must define exactly what a contradiction is. The Law of non-Contradiction, which is the basis of all logical thinking, states that a thing cannot be and not be at the same time. In other words, it cannot be raining and not raining at the same time in the exact same place.

    If one can demonstrate a violation of this principle from Scripture, then and only then can he or she prove a contradiction. For example, if the Bible said that Jesus died by crucifixion both at Jerusalem and at Nazareth at the same time, ( which it does not ) this would be a provable error.

    It is important to remember that two statements may differ from each other without being contradictory. Some fail to make a distinction between contradiction and difference. For example, take the case of the blind men at Jericho. Matthew relates how two blind men met Jesus, while both Mark and Luke mention only one. However, neither statement denies the other; rather they are complementary.
    - Matthew 20:29-34 And as they departed from Jericho, a great multitude followed him. 30 And, behold, two blind men sitting by the way side, when they heard that Jesus passed by, cried out, saying, Have mercy on us, O LORD, thou Son of David. 31 And the multitude rebuked them, because they should hold their peace: but they cried the more, saying, Have mercy on us, O LORD, thou Son of David. 32 And Jesus stood still, and called them, and said, What will ye that I shall do unto you? 33 They say unto him, LORD, that our eyes may be opened. 34 So Jesus had compassion on them, and touched their eyes: and immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed him.
    - Mark 10:46-52 And they came to Jericho: and as he went out of Jericho with his disciples and a great number of people, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the highway side begging. 47 And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out, and say, Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me. 48 And many charged him that he should hold his peace: but he cried the more a great deal, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me. 49 And Jesus stood still, and commanded him to be called. And they call the blind man, saying unto him, Be of good comfort, rise; he calleth thee. 50 And he, casting away his garment, rose, and came to Jesus. 51 And Jesus answered and said unto him, What wilt thou that I should do unto thee? The blind man said unto him, LORD, that I might receive my sight. 52 And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.
    - Luke 18:35-43 And it came to pass, that as he was come nigh unto Jericho, a certain blind man sat by the way side begging: 36 And hearing the multitude pass by, he asked what it meant. 37 And they told him, that Jesus of Nazareth passeth by. 38 And he cried, saying, Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me. 39 And they which went before rebuked him, that he should hold his peace: but he cried so much the more, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me. 40 And Jesus stood, and commanded him to be brought unto him: and when he was come near, he asked him, 41 Saying, What wilt thou that I shall do unto thee? And he said, LORD, that I may receive my sight. 42 And Jesus said unto him, Receive thy sight: thy faith hath saved thee. 43 And immediately he received his sight, and followed him, glorifying God: and all the people, when they saw it, gave praise unto God.

    Suppose you were talking to the mayor of your city and the chief of police at city hall. Later, you see your friend Jim and tell him you talked to the mayor today. An hour later, you see your friend John and tell him you talked to both the mayor and the chief of police. The statements you actually made to Jim and John are different, but not contradictory. Likewise, many biblical statements fall into this category. Many think they find errors in passages that they have not correctly read.

    In the Book of Judges we have the account of the death of Sisera:
    - Judges 5:25-27 He asked water, and she gave him milk; she brought forth butter in a lordly dish. 26 She put her hand to the nail, and her right hand to the workmen's hammer; and with the hammer she smote Sisera, she smote off his head, when she had pierced and stricken through his temples. 27 At her feet he bowed, he fell, he lay down: at her feet he bowed, he fell: where he bowed, there he fell down dead.
    - Judges 4:21 Then Jael Heber's wife took a nail of the tent, and took an hammer in her hand, and went softly unto him, and smote the nail into his temples, and fastened it into the ground: for he was fast asleep and weary. So he died.

    Judges 5:25-27 is supposed to represent Jael as having slain him with her hammer and tent peg while he was drinking milk. Judges 4:21 says she did it while he was asleep. However, a closer reading of Judges 5:25-27 will reveal that it is not stated that he was drinking milk at the moment of impact. Thus, the discrepancy disappears.

    Sometimes two passages appear to be contradictory because the translation is not as accurate as it could be. A knowledge of the original languages of the Bible can immediately solve many of these difficulties. The reason is that both Greek and Hebrew, like all languages, have peculiarities that make them difficult to render into English or any other language. A classic example concerns the accounts of Paul’s conversion as recorded in the Book of Acts.
    - Acts 9:7 And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man.
    - Acts 22:9 And they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they heard not the voice of him that spake to me.

    These statements seem contradictory; one says that Paul’s companions heard a voice, while the other account says that no voice was heard. However, knowledge of Greek solves this difficulty. As the Greek scholar, W. F. Arndt, explains in his book: Does the Bible Contradict itself ? " The construction of the verb " to hear " ( akouo ) is not the same in both accounts. In Acts 9:7 it is used with the genitive, in Acts 22:9 with the accusative. The construction with the genetive simply expresses that something is being heard or that certain sounds reach the ear; nothing is indicated as to whether a person understands what he hears or not. The construction with the accusative, however, describes a hearing which includes mental apprehension of the message spoken. From this it becomes evident that the two passages are not contradictory. "

    " Acts 22:9 does not deny that the associates of Paul heard certain sounds; it simply declares that they did not hear in such a way as to understand what was being said. Our English idiom in this case simply is not so expressive as the original Greek. "

    It must also be stressed that when a possible explanation is given to a Bible difficulty, it is unreasonable to state that the passage contains a demonstrable error. Some difficulties in Scriptures result from our inadequate knowledge about the circumstances and do not necessarily involve an error. These only prove that we are ignorant of the background.

    As historical and archaeological studies proceed, new light is being shed on difficult portions of Scripture and many " so-called errors " have disappeared with better-informed understanding. We need a wait-and-see attitude regarding some problems. While all Bible difficulties have not yet been cleared up, it is our firm conviction that as more knowledge is gained of the Bible’s past, these problems will fade away. The biblical conception of God is as an all-knowing, all-powerful being who does not contradict Himself. Therefore, we feel that His Word ( when properly understood ) will not contradict itself.
     
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