A comparison of the stories told in the books of Kings versus those told in the book of II Chronicles reveals some significant differences between the two. Besides the obvious fact that the books of Kings cover the reigns of kings both in the northern kingdom of Israel and in the southern kingdom of Judah whereas II Chronicles covers only the kings of the southern kingdom Judah, there are also many supplementary details found in Chronicles or in Kings that are not found in the other book. Yet we are particularly interested in cases where the story seems to be different between the two books. We will consider in this message when it appears that one book presents a king as a righteous king and the other as not a righteous king, or when one books seems to indicate wholehearted righteousness whereas the other seems to tell a very different story.

We have already considered the case of the wicked King Manasseh, who is presented as thoroughly wicked in the book of II Kings, but in II Chronicles is said to have turned back to the LORD God of his fathers in the end. In this article we will consider some of the other kings whose conduct seems to be presented differently in Kings than it is in Chronicles. Read the rest of this entry »

In this series, I have contended that the supposed “contradictions in Scripture” that many point to are in fact not contradictions at all. Usually, the problem is created by taking two, or sometimes even more than two, separate events and trying to make them out to be the same. I demonstrated how this might be done by pointing out the difference between Christ’s feeding of five thousand and His feeding of four thousand. Matthew and Mark contain records of both these events, whereas Luke and John only record the first of them. And I pointed out that, if Matthew and Mark had only contained the second event, no doubt many would have accused Matthew and Mark of contradicting Luke and John regarding how many were fed, how much original material was used to feed them, and in the other details of this “one” event. It is only because Matthew and Mark record both that such accusations are not made. But I believe that there are many other events in Christ’s story that likewise happened in a similar but different way more than once, and yet in these cases one gospel will record one of these events and another gospel another. Thus this claim of a “contradiction” is made in these cases.

In this article we will examine another example of this. We will consider it in the story of the woman who anointed Christ as He sat at table. This event, or at least one of these events, is recorded in all four gospels, and yet there are clear contradictions between some of the records. Let us consider all these records in order. First, we see the record in Matthew 26:6-13. Read the rest of this entry »

I received the following question:

There seems to have been a number of false apostles, prophets, and teachers who flourished during the Acts period. I cite just a few passages: Acts 13:6; II Cor. 11:13, 26; Gal 1:8, 2:4; I John 2:19, 4:1. When we consider that Ananias and Sapphira met their death for misrepresenting their giving, how is it that these false brethren were allowed to operate openly, either opposing or misrepresenting God’s truth?

The Acts period was a strange period in Biblical history. It was the beginning stages of the kingdom of God, yet the full kingdom was not yet here. It was the night period of the kingdom, and the day, while at hand, had not yet come (Romans 13:12). It was the kingdom in part, and the complete kingdom had not yet come (I Corinthians 13:9-10). Those who believed in Jesus Christ became a part of the kingdom of God from that moment on. As such, they received the blessings of the kingdom that were then available to all believers, like perfect health and healing. However, they were also brought under the responsibilities of the kingdom, and were expected to obey its laws and its representatives. Read the rest of this entry »

I received the following question:

This question pertains to the Acts dispensation. During the Acts period, Mr. Sellers taught that when a God-commissioned man speaking a God-inspired message, that message being confirmed by signs following, then the person or persons for whom the message was intended, had one clean-cut, clear-cut opportunity to believe. We know from such passages as Gal. 3:1 and Heb. 6:4-6 that if anyone, having been so enlightened, failed to believe, the message would not be repeated a second time. Paul himself, in II Cor. 2:15-16, states that they were either a savour of life or a savour of death.

Now, what does Paul mean in Rom. 11:23 when he speaks of those who, “if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be grafted in: for God is able to graft them in again.”?

To which Israelites is he referring? In verse 20, he says that “because of unbelief they were broken off.” Are these Jews who have already heard the gospel and have not believed, or could it be those who have not yet heard? This portion in Romans sounds almost like they are being given a second opportunity to believe. What is your understanding of this?

I shall be looking forward to hearing from you. Thank you for your help.

I have recently started on a study of the book of Romans in my Precepts studies, so will be getting to this issue eventually. But I would think Romans 11 itself will provide us with the explanation of the conundrum. First of all, notice Romans 11:13-14. Read the rest of this entry »

Details surrounding the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ are some of the most crucial and important in all the Word of God. Though it is important for us to believe in the veracity of all Scripture, the integrity of the salvation-bringing message that surrounds Jesus Christ, both Who He is and what He did when He paid the penalty for our sins, is of paramount importance. Thus we must be very careful about the details regarding these events, and claims that there are contradictions in the Biblical record surrounding these things are some of the most disturbing of all.

We have already examined supposed contradictions surrounding the titles placed on the cross, the drinks Christ was given on the cross, the response of the thieves on the cross, and the visits of the women to the tomb. Yet there is another supposed contradiction that takes place in this record of the death of Christ, and that is regarding the Field of Blood related to Judas. Read the rest of this entry »

Most Christians are aware that there are many controversies regarding the creation account recorded in the Bible in Genesis 1. Whether or not God created the heavens and the earth and everything in them in six days and rested the seventh day, or whether this is not how everything came into being, is hotly debated. Whether the debate is theistic evolution versus creation, or the day-age theory, or the gap theory, or old earth creationism versus young earth creationism, much discussion and debate is generated about this portion of Scripture. Yet perhaps most are not aware that this passage is also a matter of controversy when it comes to contradictions in Scripture. Yes, there are some who claim that Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 contain two contradictory creation accounts, and that these two passages contain what would be chronologically the very first contradiction in Scripture.

The idea is that there are, in Genesis, two separate creation accounts that are drawn from two separate oral traditions about the origins of man on the earth. This view postulates that the author of Genesis combined these two creation accounts into one in his book. The first account is said to be found in Genesis 1:1-2:3. The second account is said to span from Genesis 2:4-25. Read the rest of this entry »

II Timothy 4 Part 6

New King James Version 17. But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that the message might be preached fully through me, and that all the Gentiles might hear. Also I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.

When all men forsook Paul, the Lord stood with him. He did not abandon His faithful apostle when all men turned away. Paul was teaching what He wanted him to teach, and so the Lord strengthened him to make his defense. The Lord had a goal for Paul and He would not allow him to be stopped short of reaching that goal: that through Paul the proclamation might be accomplished. We are not sure all that this entailed, but we do know that, at this first defense, Paul still had II Timothy to write. The Lord was not going to allow him to be stopped short prior to finishing this great task. This task was important so that all the nations might hear Paul’s proclamation. This was being proclaimed to them, and it was the Lord’s will that it get through to them, as Paul stated in Acts 28:28.

The Lord was with Paul to the end. We are reminded of Stephen, standing before the outraged Sanhedrin who were about to stone him. Gazing up into heaven, he saw the glory of God, even Jesus standing on the rights of God, and he said, “Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing on the rights of God!” (Acts 7:56) Stephen was about to die, but the Lord was there, watching and encouraging him. Paul knew the Lord stood with him as well, even though all men had abandoned him. May we realize that He stands with us too at our moment of trial. He is faithful above all, and we know He will be there to welcome us back to life when the time comes for our resurrection. Praise the Lord that He does indeed stand with us! Read the rest of this entry »

II Timothy 4 Part 5

New King James Version 13. Bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas when you come—and the books, especially the parchments.

Next Paul mentions a cloak he left with Carpus at Troas. A cloak is something warm for the winter. Probably summer is getting on, and Paul knows he can use his cloak in the coming winter. Yet why is this statement here? Why was it important for this minor detail to be in the Word of God? Some have actually argued against the inspiration of Scripture based on this, claiming that such an insignificant statement shows II Timothy to be a merely human document! Yet I reject such an idea utterly. I think the Lord wrote this like He did all Scripture, and there is a lesson in it: that God cares for the needs of His people. He wants Paul to be warm in the wintertime. He cares for people, even in the little comforts we enjoy and need like a warm cloak in the winter. This is a good thing to know about our God. His tenderness is revealed in it. He cares for us.

This also shows us that Paul is not expecting to be executed at any moment. Why would Paul worry about warm clothes, if he was about to lose his head to a Roman executioner? This makes no sense. Paul’s preparations for winter show us that he is not expecting to die at any moment. It is his ministry, given to him by God, that is drawing to a close. His life may continue for some time yet. Once again we see evidence that his persecution was on the part of believers who were rejecting the truths he was teaching, not on the part of Rome.

This is our only mention of Carpus. The name Karpos in Greek means “Fruit.” This person is probably a fellow believer, since Paul entrusted some of his things into his care. Probably the winter was over when he left Karpos, and so he did not need the cloak. Now, as winter is again coming on, he will need it. Read the rest of this entry »

II Timothy 4 Part 4

New King James Version 9. Be diligent to come to me quickly;

Now Paul charges Timothy to be diligent to come quickly or speedily. The word for “be diligent” is spoudazo, the same word used in II Timothy 2:15 wherein Paul told Timothy to “study” or apply himself diligently to show himself approved unto God as a workman. In this case, the diligent work Paul wants him to do simply has to do with him coming to Paul quickly.

As we have seen earlier in the epistle, Timothy has completed his work in Ephesus completely unsuccessfully. The believers in Ephesus want nothing to do with him really, and so he has little work left there to do or that he even can do. Therefore Paul calls on him to be diligent to hurry and to come to him speedily. He wants to see Timothy now, and he wants Timothy with him. Read the rest of this entry »

II Timothy 4 Part 3

New King James Version 6. For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand.

The Resultant Version 6. For I am now ready to be poured out, and the time of my being untied is at hand.

Paul now states that he is already being poured out as a drink offering. One of the offerings in the temple was the drink offering, and this offering was always poured out. First and foremost, it was part of the morning and evening daily offerings, as set forth in Exodus 29:38-41. Read the rest of this entry »