If you have followed my blog for very long you know that I have said on more than one occasion that there are NO contradictions in the Bible. The Bible is the Holy, authoritative Word of God. If there were contradictions, by definition, at least one of the verses in question would have to be wrong. Now I’m not completely insensitive to those who claim to have found contradictions. I would suggest to those people they study the verses carefully, pay attention to context, and seek the counsel of fellow Christians.
One of the “contradictions” that I have seen often concerns the number of angels present at the time of Jesus’ resurrection. In John’s Gospel, he tells us there were two angels seated where Jesus’ body had been. (John 20: 12) If you turn back to the Gospel of Matthew, he tells us that there was one angel. (Matthew 28: 2-6). Is this a contradiction? I’m a retired school teacher. Suppose I told you the Principal came to my door and gave me a bonus check. Later you talk to my wife, and she tells you, ‘the Principal and the Superintendent came to my husband’s door, and the Principal gave him a bonus check.’ Did my wife and I contradict each other? Of course not. She chose to mention the presences of the Superintendent, I chose not to. In the Matthew account, he doesn’t say there was only one angel present. Why does he mention only one angel? I don’t know. Maybe because only one angel spoke. The point is that this is not a contradiction!
Well, the reason I’m writing this blog at this time is that another “contradiction” was brought to my attention. It is one that I hadn’t heard before. In Matthew 23, Jesus comes down pretty hard on the Pharisees. In verse 17, Jesus refers to the Pharisees as, “blind fools”. In Matthew 5, we can read the Sermon on the Mount. Here, Jesus says, “…But anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fires of hell.” Is this a contradiction? In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus is talking about an attitude. Notice just before the verse mentioned Jesus tells us that it used to be said, “do not murder,” Now Jesus adds, “But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgement…” Jesus is talking about our attitude toward one another. In Matthew 23, Jesus is trying to teach the Pharisees the error of their ways. He is not attacking them personally, but pointing out their hypocritical ways. Their disbelief was foolish!
If someone suggests to you there is a ‘contradiction’, or you come across verses that seem to contradict each other, let me encourage you to look again.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Originally from Erie, Pennsylvania, Dan is a graduate of Otterbein College (now University). He graduated with a degree in education. From time to time Dan still substitute teaches. His interest in history led him to investigate the historical accuracy of the Bible. This, in turn, led to a full investigation of Apologetics.