Bible Believers know that the real author of the Scriptures (not just the pen pushers like Peter, Paul, and Moses) is Jehovah God Almighty, the Creator of Heaven and Earth. Our main proof of that is FULFILLED PROPHECY.
Muslims claim that the creator of the universe is Allah and that he authored the Quran, but their proof is not something substantive like fulfilled prophecy. They claim that the writing is so great that no one could ever make something else so great. They call this the INIMITABILITY of the Quran. This is a faulty argument for a number of reasons. One could make a similar argument about Luca Polare Carmel Almond gelato. Carmel Almond gelato was made by God because no one else can make Carmel Almond gelato that is like Luca Polare’s Carmel Almond gelato… See the flaws? Our reason for believing the Bible is much better than the Muslim’s reason for believing the Quran. Fulfilled prophecy is much better than an argument according to taste. Taste is subjective, fulfilled prophecy is objective.
Of course the average Laodicean, baby Christian will claim that they know that the Bible was written by God because they “feel” it or because of “faith”. Please, if you believe this, don’t tell anyone. This argument amounts to “turn off your brain.” This argument doesn’t fit with a God who would write in Is 1:18, “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”
Now notice in my first paragraph that I wrote: “main proof”. I believe that there are other or secondary reasons that prove that God wrote the Bible and not man. Today I would like to point out that because of APPARENT CONTRADICTIONS we have a secondary witness to the fact that God wrote the Bible.
Beyond that, I believe that the fact of apparent contradictions prove that God has also PRESERVED the Bible from the tinkering of scribes. We know that, through the ages, men have tried to iron out the rough passages of scripture. None is more “helpful” than Origen of Alexandria who actually rewrote the Old Testament in order to “help out” the apparent contradictions of the New Testament quotations. Nevertheless, God has rejected his so called Septuagint, even if the scholars and the Eastern Orthodox churches didn’t. And He left in the those nasty apparent contradictions in your King James. Had the Bible not have been supernaturally written and preserved, men could easily have covered up the mistakes of those uneducated original authors… I am joking of course.
There are no real contradictions in the King James Bible. But it must be said that there are in the modern versions. The NIV, ESV, etc all have “Isaiah the prophet” in Mark 1:2 instead of just “prophets“. This creates a real contradiction because the next two quotations are from Malachi 1 AND Isaiah 40. But the real Bible, the King James Bible, only has what appears to be contradictions. When you look into it and give the text a fair shake, as you would any other writing, it turns out that the contradiction doesn’t actually exist.
But we would be fools to claim that there are no “apparent contradictions” in the King James Bible. I believe that these apparent contradictions are there for a reason: to test the hearts of the readers and to find out if they really want the truth. Prov. 17:3, “The fining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold: but the LORD trieth the hearts.” It has been said many times that the Bible is the only book that reads you while you read it. I’ll say that again and give it it’s own paragraph… it’s just that important.
It has been said many times that the Bible is the only book that reads you while you read it.
See for proof Heb 4:12, “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Who is piercing? The word of God. Who is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart? The word of God. It’s alive and it’s reading you…
So why, you ask, could these apparent contradictions prove that God wrote it and preserved it? As much as man is stupid compared to the wisdom of God (I Cor 1:25 – “Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.“), he is not so stupid as to make obvious apparent contradictions that even another man could figure out. Modern man’s great problem is that he thinks because of the increases in information and transportation of the last 200 years, that he is so much smarter than his forefathers. This is a great error. It is the error of pride, which of course is the error of the Devil himself (see Eze 28 which doesn’t have the word, pride, but perfectly describes it).
If the author of the average cheap series of novels is smart enough to avoid making obvious errors and multiple contradictions then don’t you think that the authors of the Bible were smart enough to do so too? Yet we find wordings that I can only describe as deliberately worded so as to seem like a contradiction. This proves that men weren’t the real authors. God was. And it also shows you something about the character of God that most people, even Christians, don’t want to think about.
II Thess 2:11,12 – And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
Eze 14:9, And if the prophet be deceived when he hath spoken a thing, I the LORD have deceived that prophet, and I will stretch out my hand upon him, and will destroy him from the midst of my people Israel.
If you don’t come to God on his terms, he will give you information that will destroy you. I believe that a partial of the fulfillment of these passages are these apparent contradictions. Let’s look at a few times that God deliberately worded the text in a deceptive manner so that he could test the reader’s heart.
Look at what the writers of the Gospels claimed was written on the cross above Jesus’ head…
Matt 27:37 – And set up over his head his accusation written, THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.
Mark 15:26 – And the superscription of his accusation was written over, THE KING OF THE JEWS.
Luke 23:38 – And a superscription also was written over him in letters of Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew, THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.
John 19:19 – And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the writing was, JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS.
They are not the same.
The average scholar will claim that the author of Matthew (they are postmodernists but they are 100% positive that Matthew didn’t write Matthew…) copied from Mark. If so, how could he not copy perfectly something so simple as a five word phrase? Why would he change it. Especially, if he had the text sitting in front of him. Didn’t he know that Richard Dawkins, Stalin, Pope Clement IV, Pope Clement III, James White, Obama, the guy named Jason that I used to work with, Westcott, Hort, Mussolini, and Tischendorff would be smart enough to be able to see a problem there? Obviously, yes. So the best thing you can do is throw out the modern theories as to how the Scriptures were written, especially the theory that Matthew copied Mark, etc.
And if God is the author, which He was, then why didn’t he put the exact phrase in every Gospel? Clearly, what was written was “THIS IS JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS”. God is testing men to see if they will look at the obvious problem or the obvious solution. If you can get on board with the simple way of putting all this together to get the truth, then he will move on and give you something else to deal with (maybe an apparent contradiction in Kings and Chronicles) and test you out again. If you take it as a contradiction, then God will give you more contradictions to make you an atheist. And, horror of horrors, you will go to hell and burn for forever over the exact phrasing of the sign above Jesus’ head. This issue couldn’t be more serious.
And if primarily men were responsible for preserving the Bible, then why didn’t this get changed? Answer: God not only wrote the Bible with rough edges, he also preserved the Bible, rough edges and all. Do you see how important apparent contradictions are? Many are found in the Gospels, and I Samuel through II Chronicles. Yet when is the last time your pastor taught through these books? Most don’t because they want to avoid the issue. Don’t avoid apparent contradictions, research them. Read about them. Pray about them. Cry over them if you must. Read The Chronology of the Old Testament by Dr. Floyd Nolen Jones. Read Dr. Ruckman’s The “Errors” in the King James Bible. And see something about the character of the God you serve and stand in awe (Ps 119:161)
PS – All that being said, apparent contradictions are also a good way to prove that the doctrine of dispensationalism is the only proper way of studying and teaching the Bible. I have yet to hear a decent reason from Steven Anderson as to why we have church on Sunday instead of Saturday and why Acts 2:38 is not the plan of salvation today. All this because of the apparent contradictions that God purposefully wrote into the Bible to prove that he is the Author, not of confusion, but of the HOLY Scriptures and that they are to be rightly divided.