Are There Errors in Scripture in the Small Details, Like Measurements of Time and Distance?
By Randy Alcorn
The issue of the Bible’s nature and its inerrancy will inevitably affect how we approach the reading and study of Scripture, as well as our personal time with God and how we listen to sermons in our churches. It will largely determine whether we trust God’s Word or trust ourselves or the current drift of our culture. It will determine whether we sit under Scripture as the decree issued by our divine judge, or whether we set up ourselves as judges over Scripture.
Many apparent contradictions in Scripture are resolved through a closer look. I recently responded to a question related to the differing number of days that the gospel writers use to refer to the same event. I share it as an example of how details in biblical passages are often claimed to be errors, but upon careful examination, we can see they are not. (For those who are interested, I’ve written a booklet-length article on the subject of inerrancy and why it matters.)
Here are two parallel passages from the Gospels:
“And he said to them, ‘Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God after it has come with power.’ And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them…” (Mark 9:1-2)
“‘But I tell you truly, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God.’ Now about eight days after these sayings he took with him Peter and John and James and went up on the mountain to pray.” (Luke 9:27-28)
So was it six days, or eight? Did one of the gospel writers record it wrong? Does it even matter?…
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