We repeatedly hear that there are many errors in the Bible. Yet there is a difference between errors and apparent contradictions. The Bible does not have errors, but no one can deny that it has apparent contradictions. They were designed for the following reasons:
# 1. To help people to study and investigate the things of God. ’The Bible is a book designed to stimulate the intellect. No book, not nature itself, has ever waked up intellectual activity like the Bible. On the battlefield of truth, it has ever been round this that the conflict has raged. What book besides it ever caused the writing of so many other books? Take from the library of the Christendom all those which have sprung, I will not say indirectly, but directly from it – those written to oppose, or defend, or elucidate it – and how would they be diminished! The very multitude of infidel books is a witness to the power with which the Bible stimulates the intellect. Why do we not see the same amount of active intellect coming up, and dashing and roaring around the Koran?‘ 1
# 2. To sift between those who love the Lord, and those who don’t. ‘God reveals Himself in His Word, as He does in His works. In both we see a self-revealing, self-concealing God, who makes Himself known only to those who earnestly seek Him. In both we find stimulants to faith and occasions for unbelief. In both we find contradictions, whose higher harmony is hidden, except from him who gives up his whole mind in reverence. In both, in a word, it is a law of revelation that the heart of man should be tested in receiving it, and that in the spiritual life, as well as in the bodily, man must eat his bread in the sweat of his brow’ 2 (bold ours). The Bible gives the man who is not interested, a superficial reason to reject it. For those interested, it gives all the more reason to trust and love it.
# 3. To prove that the Bible is not a human book where the different writers came together to coordinate what they would write. If all the writers would have agreed, we would never have heard the end of the word ‘collusion.’ The discrepancies between the different writers and books are evidence of the purity and integrity of Scripture. If we study and ask the Holy Spirit, most of them will be resolved. Some are not, since Scripture teaches us, ‘The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children for ever, that we may follow all the words of this law.’ 3 There are some things God will reveal to us on the other side of the grave. We have enough revealed to keep us busy till that time.
It is absolutely brilliant. We have a book with a supernatural Author who does two functions together. First it eliminates the unbeliever. Then it forces the believer to seek the Lord like Joshua, ‘Do not let this Book of the law depart from your mouth, meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.’ 4
The Holy Scripture is a blessing to those who love the Lord.
- President Hopkins, Evidences of Christianity, p 144, cited by J Haley, Alleged Discrepancies of the Bible, Whitaker House, 1992, p 39,40.
- Neander, Life of Christ, Preface to first edition, cited by J Haley, Alleged Discrepancies of the Bible, Whitaker House, 1992, p 15.
- Deuteronomy 29:29.
- Joshua 1:8.