What Should We Make of the Discrepancies Found in the Bible?

Bible Gateway Blog

What Should We Make of the Discrepancies Found in the Bible?Is it true that the Bible contradicts itself? This essay, drawn from the Investigating the Bible email newsletter, addresses a tough question about the Bible’s reliability.

What Should We Make of the Discrepancies Found in the Bible?

Skeptics often charge that the Bible’s historical books hopelessly contradict each other. And if that’s the case, they charge, then the Bible cannot be trusted in anything it says. Take, for example, 1 Chronicles 2:13–15, which states that Jesse had seven sons, while 1 Samuel 17:12 indicates Jesse had eight sons.

On the surface, the Bible’s historical books can appear to disagree. These range all the way from very minor variations in wording to the most famous apparent contradictions. But once you allow for paraphrase, abridgment, explanatory additions, selection and omission—acceptable techniques even in many of today’s writing styles—the books are extremely consistent with each other by ancient standards, which are the only standards by which it’s fair to judge them. As in the case of Jesse’s sons, it’s important to realize that the reference to the fewer number of sons appears in a genealogical section of the Bible. If one of David’s brothers died without leaving an heir, he would have been properly omitted from the list….

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What Should We Make of the Discrepancies Found in the Bible? | Bible Gateway Blog

 

RECOMMENDED FOR FURTHER READING:

The Big Book of Bible Difficulties: Clear and Concise Answers from Genesis to Revelation

How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth

The Poached Egg Apologetics

 

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