Alleged Contradictions

“The first to present his case seems right, till another comes forward and questions him.” (Proverbs 18:17)

“…they contain some things that are hard to
understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction..” (Injīl, 2 Peter 3:16)

“Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful.
(Injīl, 2 Timothy 2:23,24)

“No change can there be in the Words of God—that is the supreme triumph.” (Qur’ān , Yunus 10:64)

Browse through the pull-down menu on the left sidebar for answers to attacks leveled against the Bible.

This collection is a reference library of answers to common questions critics have raised against God’s Holy Word the Kitabul Muqaddas, or Bible. Each of the critics’ objections provide a wonderful platform to demonstrate the abundant positive evidence for the reliability of the Scriptures and the gospel message.

The information given here is concise, intended for people who may not have access to all the thousands of scholarly books and research summarized in this book. It is important to note that this book presents no new theories, but it is simply a compilation condensing far more detailed research and writing by many scholars. It has borrowed heavily from the detailed writings of scholars such as Dr Gleason Archer (PhD Harvard), Dr Norman Geisler (PhD Loyola), Dr Steven Masood (PhD Brunel) and various other eminent scholars who have written about these topics. One of these scholars, Dr Gleason Archer, has described his lifelong study of Biblical texts as follows:

As an undergraduate student at Harvard, I was fascinated by apologetics and biblical evidences; so I labored to obtain a knowledge of the languages and cultures that have any bearing on biblical scholarship. As a classics major in college, I received training in Latin and Greek, also in French and German. At seminary I majored in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Arabic; and in post-graduate years I became involved in Syriac and Akkadian, to the extent of teaching elective courses in each of these subjects. Earlier, during my final two years of high school, I had acquired a special interest in Middle Kingdom Egyptian studies, which was futhered as I later taught courses in this field. At the Oriental Institute in Chicago, I did specialized study in Eighteenth Century Dynasty historical records and also studied Coptic and Sumerian. Combined with this work in ancient languages was a full course of training at law school, after which I was admitted to the Massachusetts Bar in 1939. This gave me a thorough grounding in the field of legal evidences.1As I have dealt with one apparent discrepancy after another and have studied the alleged contradictions between the biblical record and the evidence of linguistics, archaeology, or science, my confidence in the trustworthiness of Scripture has been repeatedly verified and strengthened by the discovery that almost every problem in Scripture that has ever been discovered by man, from ancient times until now, has been dealt with in a completely satisfactory manner by the biblical text itself.—or else by objective archaeological information. The deductions that may be validly drawn from ancient Egyptian, Sumerian, or Akkadian documents all harmonize with the biblical record; and no properly trained evangelical scholar has anything to fear from the hostile arguments and challenges of humanistic rationalists or detractors of any and every persuasion.2

A fuller list of these sources is given in the back of this book. For more detailed discussions of each topic there is a list of helpful resources at the end as well.

Understanding “Contradictions”

Critics’ misinterpretations of Scripture fit into a few general categories:

Ignoring Original Languages – I do not know of a single Muslim Bible critic who can fluently read Hebrew or Greek, though literally millions of Bible students in the world can. They often will get their contradictions from the English word meanings, for instance wrongly insisting that יום means only day, or that ארץ means only globe, or that גּרה עלה means only rumination (English: ‘chewing the cud’) and not refection.

Unfamiliarity with Scripture – Many contradictions only appear so to those who have not read the whole Bible. I met with one enthusiastic Bible-critic who had painstakingly memorized many Bible contradictions, but who admitted he had never read through the Bible or Qur’ān once.

Supposed “Contradictions” which also appear in the Qur’ān & Hadith— When critics attack the Bible for 950-year-old prophets, 24-hour creation days, the Sun ‘standing still’ for Joshua, or vegetation created before light, they ignore that the same things are found in the Qur’ān and Sahih Hadith. If the Bible is four times as long as the Qur’ān , so would be expected to contain four times as many difficult passages.

Arguing from Discarded Copyist Errors – The historical record shows that in some manuscripts of both the Qur’ān and Bible, there have been minor copyist typos in some manuscripts, representing far less than 1% of the text. There is a very developed science of identifying and eliminating these, called textual criticism. Especially with numerical discrepancies, critics will use numbers from copyist errors which have long been proved as such. For more on this, see the article about Copyist Errors.

Misreading Quotations of Fallible Men as Divine Statements – Both Bible and Qur’ān contain quotations from other men which contain falsehood. For example, the Qur’ān says, “Ezra is the Son of God,” but it is merely a quotation. Often critics of the Bible take quotations, such as those of Nehemiah, Job, and Hannah, and find objections in them.

Premature Judgments —When Kepler found a seeming inconsistency in his study of nature, he did not give up on the laws of nature; he kept his faith in nature. Decades ago scientists said that it should be impossible for the bumblebee to fly; but they didn’t en masse abandon physics, they just admitted that they didn’t know the answer and kept believing physics.

Ignoring the Wider Context — This is the standard approach of critics—ignore ninety-nine passages which directly refute their ideas, and selectively present one or two misinterpreted passages which seem to confirm their ideas. To honestly understand a passage we need to read it in context.

Deliberate Lies – No scientific text will say, as critics have done, that contrary to the Bible ants have ‘rulers’ or ‘foremen.’

Why this material?

Recently, television has been broadcasting propaganda by pseudo-scholars denigrating the Bible with lists of alleged contradictions and obscenities. Likewise, other speakers around the world have denigrated the Qur’ān with lists of contradictions. One website lists 188 contradictions in the Qur’ān , another website presents 101 contradictions in the Bible. This book is not intending to attack either scripture, but simply to answer all the alleged contradictions in the Bible, for they are all false. Since both Qur’ān and Bible contain many similarly confusing passages, each alleged Bible contradiction’s explanation will mention similar confusing passages in the Qur’ān. This is not to attack or undermine the Qur’ān , but simply to show that there are very similar difficulties with both scriptures.

  1. Josh McDowell, The New Evidence That Demands A Verdict (Nelson, Nashville, 1999) p.46.
  2. Gleason Archer, Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties (), p.12.

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