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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 »

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 »

alarm02Another mysterious instance of time reckoning not seeming to align in different parts of Scripture is in the tally of the years of the children of Israel in the land as they are added up by Paul in the New Testament and as they are added up by the author of Kings in the Old Testament. Paul, in his address in the synagogue in Pisidian Antioch, speaks of the length of time the Israelites spent in the land. First, he starts off in Acts 13:18.

18. Now for a time of about forty years He put up with their ways in the wilderness.

Paul speaks of “about” forty years as it was a round number. Two years were spent in coming out of Egypt, coming to the Mount Sinai, making the covenant, etc. The wandering after that took thirty-eight years. Thus a number of forty is achieved. Forty years passed from the exodus from Egypt to the entrance into the land.

Paul then speaks of their entrance into the land.

19. And when He had destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan, He distributed their land to them by allotment.
20. “After that He gave them judges for about four hundred and fifty years, until Samuel the prophet.

So we now have a total of 40 years in the wilderness plus 450 years in the land until Samuel, for a total of 490 years. Next, he speaks of the time of King Saul. Read the rest of this entry »

bigben02The way time is reckoned in the Scriptures can sometimes be confusing and even seem contradictory. Time intervals do not seem to fit, dates do not add up, and altogether it can seem confusing. Do the Scriptures contradict when it comes to time? How can we explain these seeming “contradictions in Scripture”?

In our first message, we examined the idea of inclusive and exclusive time reckoning, whereby one can either include parts of days as full days (inclusive reckoning), or one can exclude parts of days as not being days (exclusive reckoning). We also examined the reigns of kings, and saw that sometimes, from comparing the kings of Israel to the kings of Judah, that we can see that there were gaps between or overlaps between kings, and considered the causes of these things. In our last message, we considered whether Christ was in the grave “three days and three nights” or whether He rose “on the third day.” We discovered that the “third day” was a figure of speech meaning when death was complete, and the Lord truly was a full three twenty-four hour days in the tomb. In this message, we will consider how the Hebrews marked time regarding their hours and days, and then consider the puzzle of Anno Dei versus Anno Mundi time. Read the rest of this entry »

grandfather02Of the problems that trouble the student of Scripture, one of the more puzzling is the discrepancies sometimes seen in the way time is reckoned in the Scriptures. Dates do not seem to add up, time intervals do not seem to fit, and confusion is the result. Does the Bible contradict Itself when it comes to time? How can we explain these seeming “contradictions in Scripture”?

In our last message, we examined the idea of inclusive and exclusive time reckoning, whereby one can either include parts of days as full days (inclusive reckoning), or one can exclude parts of days as not being days (exclusive reckoning). We also examined the reigns of kings, and saw that sometimes, from comparing the kings of Israel to the kings of Judah, that we can see that there were gaps between kings (caused, perhaps, by a disagreement over succession, or by a child being too young to take the throne when his father died). We also saw that there are overlaps sometimes, and suggested this was from co-regency, when a father would allow his son to take the throne and reign alongside him. In this issue, we will examine the topic of how long exactly Christ was in the grave. Did He rise from the dead on the third day, or was He in the tomb three days and three nights?

How long exactly was the Lord Jesus to be dead and in the tomb? The Lord Himself says so most plainly in Matthew 12:40. Read the rest of this entry »

sundial01A startling puzzle when we consider the reigns of the various kings of Israel and Judah is that sometimes the numbers in the years of their reigns simply does not work out. One who is familiar with the book(s) of Kings knows that the reigns of the kings of the one kingdom are dated by comparison to the reigns of the kings of the other kingdom. This should make everything plain and easily confirmable, and yet what often happens is that the numbers do not seem to add up. Are there historical errors in this record? Is the Biblical author simply guilty of bad math skills? Or is there another reason?

Let us consider an example of some of these badly overlapping reigns. One example is in the reigns of Elah, Zimri, Omri, and Ahab. This period is well marked out, since King Asa of Judah reigned for forty-one years, so his reign spanned that of Elah and Omri. In I Kings 16:8, we learn that Elah began to reign in the twenty-sixth year of Asa.

8. In the twenty-sixth year of Asa king of Judah, Elah the son of Baasha became king over Israel, and reigned two years in Tirzah.

So if Elah reigned two years, he would have reigned from Asa’s twenty-sixth year to his twenty-eighth year. The next king after him is Zimri, who kills him and takes his place. We read when his reign started in I Kings 16:15. Read the rest of this entry »

sandtimer02Of the problems that trouble the student of Scripture, one of the more puzzling is the discrepancies sometimes seen in the way time is reckoned in the Scriptures. Dates do not seem to add up, time intervals do not seem to fit, and confusion is the result. Does the Bible contradict Itself when it comes to time? How can we explain these seeming “contradictions in Scripture”?

The first problem with time reckoning we will consider is that of the time that passed between certain statements of the Lord and the transfiguration. We see this time interval first in Matthew 16:28-17:1.

28. “Assuredly, I say to you, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.”
17:1. Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves;

The same time gap is clear in Mark 9:1-2. Read the rest of this entry »

meat02When we examine things that seem to contradict in Scripture, few are so difficult to consider as those that are connected to issues about which many will have deep theological convictions. When contradictions are noticed between the Bible’s statements regarding these things, contradictory passages will be quickly explained away, and passages supporting the beliefs of those setting them forth will be the ones that are emphasized. However, when it comes to the most important of issues, passages that offer a different view should not be swept under the rug. If an issue is important, then understanding all the Bible passages related to it must be equally important. Therefore, all passages involved should be examined and have their proper place. Nothing should be shoved under the rug. An issue like this may be the issue of “Clean and Unclean Meats.”

In the book of Acts chapter 15, an argument arose between Paul and Barnabas and certain men who came from Judea. They were disputing as to whether the new believers had to be circumcised after the manner of Moses and keep the law in order to be saved. Paul and Barnabas, along with certain of the other party, went up to Jerusalem to the apostles and elders to determine the answer to this question. The decision of the resulting Jerusalem council is summarized in Acts 15:29. Read the rest of this entry »