Response to Contradictions in the Bible by

bibleContra_big copy <<click to download and view original Reason Project PDF detailing perceived Biblical errancy.

Perceived Contradiction #1 “How many men did the chief of David’s captain kill?

These are the names of the mighty men whom David had: Josheb-basshebeth a Tahchemonite; he was chief of the three.[a] He wielded his spear[b] against eight hundred whom he killed at one time. (2 Samuel 23.8 ESV)

11 This is an account of David’s mighty men: Jashobeam, a Hachmonite, was chief of the three.[a] He wielded his spear against 300 whom he killed at one time. (1 Chronicles 11.11 ESV)

  • Say I drink 8 cans of Sun Drop on any given day and then refer to others to tell such an exciting story. One person testifies to my drinking of 8 cans while another testifies that I drank from 3. Who is correct? Tis’ the same with many stories written by different hands. Does Jashobeam wielding his spear against 800 mean that he did not rise it against 300? Does his rising against 300 discredit his rising against 800? Why should it? If he did indeed rise against 800, it must also be true that he rose against 300 for the 300 must be contained within the 800. If this were not so, there simply cannot be 800. At this point, and with the first accusation, it seems as though this reason project is experiencing a case of non-reason in which it looks for contradictions that do not exist because of its seemingly mislead presuppositions.

Perceived Contradiction #2 “Was Abraham justified by faith or by works?”

For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. (Romans 4.2 ESV)

21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? (James 2.21)

  • Romans 4 declares, especially in the verse after the one listed, that Abraham was justified by faith. James 2, especially in the verse after the one listed, states that Abraham’s works came from his faith and was thus justified by faith. So it seems that this same reason project is not only unreasonable, but also fails to sufficiently examine the collection of documents it hopes to attack. Again, looking for contradictions were there are none to be found.

Perceived contradiction #3 “How many sons did Abraham have?”

17 By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son, (Hebrew 11.17 ESV)

He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” (Genesis 22.2 ESV)

15 And Hagar bore Abram a son, and Abram called the name of his son, whom Hagar bore, Ishmael. (Genesis 16.15 ESV)

And Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age at the time of which God had spoken to him. Abraham called the name of his son who was born to him, whom Sarah bore him, Isaac.[a] (Genesis 21.2,3 ESV)

25 Abraham took another wife, whose name was Keturah. She bore him Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah. (Genesis 25.1,2 ESV)

22 Zillah also bore Tubal-cain; he was the forger of all instruments of bronze and iron. The sister of Tubal-cain was Naamah. (Genesis 4.22 ESV)

  • Oh no! Abraham had more than one son! You’ve destroyed the Christian faith! Sarah died in Genesis 24.67, before Abraham took another wife. Meaning that all of her children were born after Issac was grown… The only son born to Abraham before the story with Isaac was Ishmael. Since Sarah could not conceive, she gave Abraham her slave (Hagar) and Ishmael was born illegitimately (because Hagar was not Hebrew). Hebrew culture did not allow Ismael to be considered a legitimate son of Abraham and surely not a firstborn. Thus, Isaac would have been considered, at the time of the story, Abraham’s only son. Reason project has once again displayed its incompetency by not exploring cultural and historic values from which the Hebrew scripture came, and therefore have failed to understand it. It seems as though they are lacking both reason and intellegence.
  • Zillah was the wife of Lamech, not Abraham… It seems as though reason project has also mastered incoherence. =)

Perceived contradiction #4 “Was Abiathar the father or the son of Ahimelech?”

20 But one of the sons of Ahimelech the son of Ahitub, named Abiathar, escaped and fled after David. (1 Samuel 22.20 ESV)

When Abiathar the son of Ahimelech had fled to David to Keilah, he had come down with an ephod in his hand. (1 Samuel 23.6 ESV)

17 and Zadok the son of Ahitub and Ahimelech the son of Abiathar were priests, and Seraiah was secretary, (2 Samuel 8.17 ESV)

16 and Zadok the son of Ahitub and Ahimelech the son of Abiathar were priests; and Shavsha was secretary; (1 Chronicles 18.16 ESV)

And the scribe Shemaiah, the son of Nethanel, a Levite, recorded them in the presence of the king and the princes and Zadok the priest and Ahimelech the son of Abiathar and the heads of the fathers’ houses of the priests and of the Levites, one father’s house being chosen for Eleazar and one chosen for Ithamar. (1 Chronicles 24.6 ESV)

  • In a culture where names are important, it is not uncommon to find a person that receives the same name as his grandfather. In order to know if there is anything contradictory here, reason project would have to prove that Abiathar did not give his son the same name that his father had (Ahimilech). I would address this as a misunderstanding of a culture where names are important, but we see names being addressed like this everywhere in the world even today. Project reason, at this point, just seems to be ignorant of the external world and content with the ability to only understand what existing ideas it already holds. You guys really need to get out more.

many of these contradictions look the same, so in the interest of time we will sort through some of the 439 listed perceived contradictions. If you see one that I did not address and legitimately want it addressed, just ask =).

Perceived contradiction #11 “The two contradictory creation accounts.”

25 And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

26 Then God said, “Let us make man[a] in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

27 So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them. (Genesis 1.25-27 ESV)

18 Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for[a] him.” 19 Now out of the ground the Lord God had formed[b] every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. 20 The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam[c] there was not found a helper fit for him. 21 So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. 22 And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made[d] into a woman and brought her to the man. (Genesis 2.18-22 ESV)

  • In the second account, Moses writes a prerequisite in order to continue the story of Woman coming out of man. This prerequisite refers to the creation account (Genesis 1). Animals were created before mankind. We tell stories in much the same way today.
Perceived contradiction #16 “Is it wrong to commit adultery?”
14 “You shall not commit adultery. (Exodus 20.14 ESV)
18 “‘And you shall not commit adultery. (Deuteronomy 5.18 ESV)
Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous. (Hebrews 13.4 ESV)
18 But all the young girls who have not known man by lying with him keep alive for yourselves. (Numbers 31.18 ESV)
When the Lord first spoke through Hosea, the Lord said to Hosea, “Go, take to yourself a wife of whoredom and have children of whoredom, for the land commits great whoredom by forsaking the Lord.” (Hosea 1.2 ESV)
3 And the Lord said to me, “Go again, love a woman who is loved by another man and is an adulteress, even as the Lord loves the children of Israel, though they turn to other gods and love cakes of raisins.” (Hosea 3.1 ESV)
  • Adultery= WRONG!!!
  • God commanded the Israelite to let live the young women who had NOT been sexually defiled. The Israelites were allowed to marry them.
  • Hosea was not commanded to commit adultery. His marrying a prostitute symbolized the love God had for Israel and for all people. Even though we have committed acts against God and have committed adultery against Him, He chooses to come after us and to draw us unto Himself. Yes, God hates adultery, but He loves each and every one of us; even those with project reason. He desires to have a relationship with even them; though they commit adultery in the worst way.

Perceived contradiction #23 “Does God want some to go to Hell?”

This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. (1 Timothy 2.3,4 ESV)

The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you,[a] not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. (2 Peter 3.9 ESV)

The Lord has made everything for its purpose,
even the wicked for the day of trouble. (Proverbs 16.4 ESV)

40 “He has blinded their eyes
and hardened their heart,
lest they see with their eyes,
and understand with their heart, and turn,
and I would heal them.” (John 12.40 ESV)

18 So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills. (Romans 9.18 ESV)

11 Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, 12 in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (2 Thessalonians 2.11,12 ESV)

  • My mother did not want me to grow up and become trapped by some unspeakable evil (alcoholism for example). Thus, she implemented a system of punishment. When I did wrong, I was punished. When I was punished, I despised my mother for punishing me even though it was what was best. It can be said that my mother hardened my heart. She did so because she cared for me and did not want me to be unhappy in life. I believe it is much the same with God. People are vile, and God chooses to punish them in order that they might return to Him. He hardens their heart for their own benefit. Even if they choose not to turn (that is to choose to live with a hardened heart), God is able to use their hardened heart for the benefit of His Kingdom.
  • If we are to truly believe that God made everything that began to exist, then we must also believe that God created the wicked. The question you must ask, then, is whether or not God caused them to be wicked. This question is not asked or answered by project reason.
  • The 2 verses preceding 2 Thessalonians 2.11 reveal that the delusion sent by God is found in the person of Satan. Men and women of the earth are prone to this delusion if they meet the specified premise of not loving the truth. So, people who do not love the truth are deluded. God offers first the truth, and if people do not believe it they are left with delusion. Thus, God sends a delusion because they do not believe the truth. Project reason may be experiencing this type of delusion regarding the documents within the Holy Bible.

Perceived contradiction #93 “What color was Jesus’ robe?”

28 And they stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, (Matthew 27.28 ESV)

17 And they clothed him in a purple cloak, and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on him. (Mark 15.17 ESV)

And the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head and arrayed him in a purple robe. (John 19.2 ESV)

  •   I wonder what color this is? Scarlet or purple? Perhaps both are accurate descriptions when telling a story. When interpreting any historical documents, we must all do the best we can in order to consider all possibilities before declaring falsehood. That is what we do with all of history.

Perceived contradictions #419 “Who created heaven and earth?”

1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1.1 ESV)

24 Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer,
who formed you from the womb:
“I am the Lord, who made all things,
who alone stretched out the heavens,
who spread out the earth by myself, (Isaiah 44.24 ESV)

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light.

The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. (John 1.6-10 ESV)

yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist. (1 Corinthians 8:6 ESV)

  • It seems as though project reason misunderstands the person of God as described in the same scriptures they hope to discredit illegitimately. John 1 tells a story of how Jesus was with God and was God in the beginning. Thus, God is the creator of the heavens and the earth.

A quick glance at the rest of the list will reveal a great repetitiveness and an abounding ignorance protruding from the project reason group. Many of these perceived contradictions become non-contradictions at a simple reading of the text or consideration of historical data surrounding the text. They seemed to be a simple and ill ploy to cause one who believes scripture to doubt. Project reason quoted no scripture and only referenced specific verses when they should have provided a systematic database for their accusations and approached answers to legitimate questions reasonably and honestly. This document is nothing more than a clever ruse against Christianity. Project reason, on these grounds, has no credibility on the subject (subject of correct reasoning). I did not address all of the perceived contradictions in this post (all 439 of them). If there are any others of interest, I will be glad to address those as well and to the best of my current ability.


  • “Say I drink 8 cans of Sun Drop on any given day and then refer to others to tell such an exciting story. One person testifies to my drinking of 8 cans while another testifies that I drank from 3. Who is correct? Tis’ the same with many stories written by different hands….”

    That is a huuuuge stretch. No, I’m sorry but if God reports two different numbers for the same event, he’s contradicting himself. Its so unreasonable to consider both accounts to be from the same source of information (God).

    “Scarlet or purple? Perhaps both are accurate descriptions when telling a story. When interpreting any historical documents, we must all do the best we can in order to consider all possibilities before declaring falsehood.”

    Nobody to arguing “falsehood” just pointing out contradictions. Yes, scarlet, a brilliant red is indeed different than (contradicting) purple, which is just as much blue as it is red.

    Nice try I could probably go on but what would be the point, you’d still have to address hundreds more to call the bible infallible.

    • Thank you for your reply. To “prove” scripture infallible, we would need to walk through all of scripture and prove it at every point. Scientists have not even done this with the universe we live in, yet we trust the universe to be true.

      However, in order to prove scripture as fallible, all we need to do is find one false statement presented in scripture as absolutely true. I would like to challenge you, friend, to find such a statement for I have not yet seen one. If you do find one, or know of one, please let me know.

      Thank you for your interest in this topic. I hope to hear back from you.

  • Here’s an error I’d like to point out: Matthew 1 and Luke 3 give two wildly different accounts of Jesus’ lineage. Between David and Joseph, none of the names match, and neither do the number of generations. By listing the genealogies name for name, the authors are implying fact, yet the two accounts are entirely different. Even if one of the lists is Mary’s side of the family, that doesn’t account for the number of generations being way off. This seems to be a clear discrepancy.

    • Thank you for your reply. Allow me to ask you a question. Have you yet explored the cultural context surrounding each genealogy? Each culture develops genealogies differently and some cultures may or may not consider it to be important to list every name. For example, In Matthew’s genealogy it was probably not considered important to list every name in between the patriarchs who were listed. Matthew was Jewish, meaning the naming of the patriarchs validated Jesus’ role as the King of the Jews. Also in Jewish culture, the grandfathers were referred to as fathers of the grandchildren for several generations and grandchildren were referred to as sons for several generations: making Jesus a son of David, son of Abraham; which was the point of the genealogy and even stated explicitly before the genealogy. You might pay a little more attention to the text before pointing out a discrepancy that is not there.

      Luke’s Gospel lists a more or less direct genealogy of Jesus. Luke, being Greek and a historian, got this information from others as he investigated the life of Jesus. Even before he lists his genealogy, he qualifies it by saying, “As He began His ministry, Jesus was about 30 years old and was thought to be the…” and then lists Jesus’ fathers as told to him by witnesses of Jesus’ life. His key phrase is “thought to be…”

      In any case, the genealogies were written in order that people may see that Jesus did literally come from a kingly line; a line that God had promised (in Hebrew scriptures) would always have a descendant on the throne. To see these two genealogies as somehow contradictory or at all fallacious in nature just presents a failure to read the text for what it is.

      Again, thank you for your reply. I am glad I was able to address your concern.

  • So you’re explaining WHY the difference in genealogies exists, but you’re not accepting that the difference ITSELF is a discrepancy? This is a prime example of 2 different accounts that say 2 different things. I understand that both authors are trying to make the point that Jesus is a descendant of Abraham and David, but if you’re going to claim the Bible is flawless, than even the details must be perfect. And since in this case they are clearly not, I consider that a boldface error.

    Also, the reason the Bible holds weight is because it’s supposed to be the inspired word of God. It shouldn’t matter if the authors are Greek or Jewish or Chinese. If they’re getting their info from GOD, then they’re not going to give entirely different accounts of Jesus’ lineage. The fact that the genealogies don’t even come close to matching is evidence that they were produced not by divine inspiration, but by the hand of human being who were no more inspired than you and me.

    I’m not saying that nothing in the Bible is true, just that it’s clearly marred by erroneous hearsay. Another example: how many angels were at the tomb Christ? Matthew and Mark say 1; Luke and John say 2. Which is correct? Only God knows.

    • Thank you again for your response. I hope that you will go back and read my previous reply again, for it seems as if you did not pay much attention. The genealogies’ different portrayal of Jesus’ lineage does not necessitate that either lineage is false. They simply mention different people within Jesus’ family tree. As you now know from the explanation of Hebrew and Greek culture in my previous comment (and hopefully in your own study) this is not a big deal except to those who wish to worthlessly make a big deal of it. Both genealogies, though they emphasize different people, can be correct. This, of course, means that there does not have to be a discrepancy and we would be foolish to place such a discrepancy on any text.

      Suppose also that I see a man juggling six watermelons and later give an account that he juggled five. You, though, remember that the number was exactly six and so give a different account. Which if us is incorrect? The man did indeed juggle five melons, even though the total number was six. The gospel accounts would only present a discrepancy if one listed there being one and only one man, or if the account qualified the man as not being an angel. There is no such statement in the whole of scripture. There does not exist a necessary discrepancy here either.

      Thank you again for your reply and I am glad that we are in agreement on at least God’s existence as a thinking and rational mind as admitted in your final sentance. I hope to hear from you again, friend.

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