By Pastor Bruce K. Oyen, First Baptist Church, Spearfish, SD
DOES THE BIBLE CONTAIN MISTAKES AND CONTRADICTIONS? A common answer to this question is, “Yes, of course it does!” But many times this opinion about the Bible is not based on firsthand knowledge of the Bible, but on secondhand knowledge of it.
As an example, many years ago an acquaintance told me the Bible contains mistakes and contradictions. But I learned FROM HIM that his opinion of the Bible was based secondhand knowledge of it. How did I learn this? We worked together, and it became obvious that he could barely read and write. Now, when someone can barley read simple things they certainly would have great difficulty reading the Bible which, in some ways, is a complex book.
Many well-educated persons have this opinion about the Bible for the same reason. Not having read it themselves, their objection to it is based on what others have said about it. This certainly is not a worthy reason to object to something as significant and influential as the Bible.
Therefore, the next time you hear someone say the Bible contains mistakes and contradictions, ask them if they have read it carefully and completely. And ask them to give specific examples of the Bible’s so-called mistakes and objections. Most persons will have to admit they know very little about the Bible. And what at first seem like mistakes and contradictions often have solutions that come from more study.
One more point about my acquaintance referred to above: I think the real reason he objected to the Bible was the fact he knew enough about it to know it condemned his sexual immorality, drunkenness, and foul language, things he did not want to give up.
And that could well be the reason many persons find fault with the Bible. Although they might not be sexually immoral, drunks, or use foul language, they don’t want anyone (including the Lord Jesus Christ), or anything (including God’s Word, the Bible) interfering with their lifestyle. They have chosen the path on which they want to walk, and have no interest in making a change.
And that is exactly what the Bible itself teaches. In the 53rd chapter of his book, the Old Testament prophet, Isaiah, said “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way.” For another example of this fact about the human race, one should read the first chapter of the apostle Paul’s letter to the Roman Christians. Many other examples from the Bible could be given, but these two are good introductions to the subject.