Contradictions in Scripture?

Richard Anthony

The variations contained in the scripture actually indicate the Truth of the Scripture.

In a court today, if witnesses all testify precisely the same regarding an incident, the conclusion is, not that they are truthful, but that they are perjurers. Why? Because experience teaches us that no two people see an event exactly alike. One point impresses one witness; another point impresses another. Again, they may all have heard exactly the same words spoken in connection with the event, but each reports the words a little differently. One witness may even report certain parts of a conversation that the other witnesses do not report. But so long as there is no clear contradiction in the thought or meaning of the variant statements, the witnesses may be considered to have told the truth. Indeed, apparently contradictory statements may often prove to be not contradictory at all, but actually complementary.

All experience, and especially the experience of the courts through the long years, leads to the conclusion that truthful witnessing need not be - indeed, should not be - equated with carbon-copy identity of testimony of the different witnesses to an event, including their testimony as to what was said at the particular event.

  1. How can the Bible say God made the world (Acts 17:24) and loves the world (John 3:16) on the one hand, and then turn around and tell us not to love the world (1 John 2:15) on the other? Is this a contradiction in the Bible?

    Answer: No, but it does need some explanation. The Bible uses the word "world" in three different ways. First, it can mean the material universe or earth which God created. This is how the word is used in Act 17:24. Second, it can mean the world of mankind, as in John 3:16. God loves all people. Third, it can mean the affairs and things of ungodly men. This is how the word is used in 1 John 2:15-16, and this is the primary meaning of the word "world" throughout the New Testament.

  2. In the first day of creation, God divided the light from the dark (Genesis 1:4), but the sun was not created until the fourth day (Genesis 1:16)! How do you explain this?

    Answer: This does not imply that light and darkness are two distinct substances, seeing darkness is only the privation of light; but the words simply refer us by anticipation to the rotation of the earth round its own axis once in twenty-three hours, fifty-six minutes, and four seconds, which is the cause of the distinction between day and night, by bringing the different parts of the surface of the earth successively into and from under the solar rays; and it was probably at this moment that God gave this rotation to the earth, to produce this merciful provision of day and night. For the manner in which light is supposed to be produced, see Genesis 1:16, under the word sun.

  3. Is God both good and evil? Isaiah 45:7.

    Answer: Notice it does not say that God is evil but that He creates evil. What this is saying is that God has allowed evil to co-exist in this sphere in order to test man as well as to perfect him. It is in the midst of such opposition, unpleasant though it often is, that man grows spiritually the most. Therefore, as God gave Satan permission to afflict Job, so He permits the same with us, unless our affliction is of our own making or the collective fault of unredeemed society. God creates evil, yes, but not the evil of sin, he creates the evil of punishment. He is the Author of all that is true, holy, and good, but evil, error, and misery came into the world by his permission, through the willful disobedience of man, but are restrained and overruled to his righteous purpose. Evil is the instrument which he employs in his government, and is permitted by him in order to execute his wise and just decrees.

  4. The Gospel records Jesus' prayer in Gethsemane (John 17:1-26; Luke 22:39-46), but the writers were asleep when Jesus prayed. How do you explain this?

    Answer: Some believe it was revealed to the apostle John by revelation after the event. This is a possible explanation but unlikely. We know the disciples were asleep whilst Jesus prayed but what we don't know is how much of the prayer they heard, or didn't hear. Let us remember these facts: (1) Jesus was only a "stone's throw away" from the disciples; (2) The silence of the night was around them; and (3) it is more than likely that Jesus prayed aloud because people did everything aloud in those days. Therefore, the disciples heard the opening words of the prayer before they went to sleep.

    Sit down and read Jesus' Prayer aloud for yourself and time how long it takes you (John 17:1-26; Luke 22:39-46). I would estimate that this is a three minute prayer. I very much doubt that the disciples fell asleep instantly and that Jesus returned to them three minutes later. What is more probable is that this prayer was the introduction to a much longer prayer. The Comforter brought the part which they had heard back to remembrance after He had ascended, this being a promise made to them (John 14:26 ). Thus the part of the prayer we have recorded is that which the disciples could remember. It must be the part they heard whilst they were fully awake. No doubt providence intended that we hear no more, and no doubt the same providence had intended that they fall asleep too.

  5. Jesus said, "If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true" (John 5:31) and then claims, "I am one that bear witness of myself" (John 8:18). Aren't these contradictory comments?

    Answer: Jesus did not claim Himself as a witness. Jesus said His own witness agreed with the witness of the Father (John 8:18), satisfying the Law's requirement of two witnesses (John 8:17).

  6. After Moses and Aaron turned all the waters that were in the Nile river into blood (Exodus 7:20), the magicians did the same (verse 22). But if all the water in Egypt was turned into blood by Moses, where did the magicians get the water which they changed into blood?

    Answer: This question is answered in Exodus 7:24. The Egyptians digged round about the river for water to drink, and it seems that the water obtained by this means was not bloody like that in the river. On this water therefore the magicians might operate. Again, though a general commission was given to Moses, not only to turn the waters of the river (Nile) into blood, but also those of their streams, rivers, ponds, and pools (Exodus 7:19); yet it seems pretty clear from Exodus 7:20 that he did not proceed thus far, at least in the first instance; for it is there stated that only the waters of the river were turned into blood. Afterwards the plague doubtless became general. At the commencement therefore of this plague, the magicians might obtain other water to imitate the miracle; and it would not be difficult for them, by juggling tricks or the assistance of a familiar spirit, to give it a bloody appearance, a fetid smell, and a bad taste. On either of these grounds there is no contradiction in the Mosaic account, though some have been very studious to find one.

  7. If God is full of love, why did he destroy nations?

    Answer: He destroyed them out of love for the people. Just like the world interceded and destroyed Nazi Germany to protect the people of the world from violence, God did likewise. God destroyed the land in the time of Noah because of the violence it was filled with (Genesis 6:13). God destroyed Sodom and Gomorra because of the violence that it was filled with (Genesis 13:13), and the fact that there was not one righteous man living there (Genesis 18:16-25). He threatened to destroy Nineveh because of the violence in their land (Jonah 3:8), but Nineveh changed their ways and was spared (verse 10). God destroyed Jerusalem because the city was full of violence (Ezekiel 7:23-25). God could not find one righteous man in Israel, so he had to destroy it to save the people from their misery (Ezekiel 22:29-31). If God would have found even one man that sought God's Truth, God would have pardoned it (Jeremiah 5:1).

  8. For a chapter and a half, David has been Saul's personal musician, and in 1 Samuel 17:55-58, Saul wants to know who David is? The Scripture is not reliable!

    Answer: Saul never asked, "Who is this man", he didn't want to know who David was! He asked, three times, the same basic question. He wanted to know whose son he was (verses 55,56,58). He wanted to know who David's father was!

  9. Did David buy it for fifty shekels of silver, or six hundred shekels of gold? 2 Samuel 24:24, 1 Chronicles 21:25.

    Answer: In Samuel, David purchased the threshing floor and the oxen, and there built an altar to the Lord. In Chronicles, David bought the whole place. Being much larger than the threshing, he paid more. Solomon's temple could not have been built on a threshing floor (2 Chronicles 3:1). The fifty shekels of silver was the earnest payment, and the six hundred shekels of gold the total price.

  10. Why does Matthew attribute a quote about the potter's field to Jeremiah, when Jeremiah has no such passage, and the closest one in the Old Testament is Zechariah (Matthew 27:9-10; Zechariah 11:12)?

    Answer: Matthew 27:9 says this prophesy was "spoken by Jeremy (Jeremiah)." Some prophecies were spoken and not written. Some others were not spoken but only written, while some others were both spoken and written. When we read a quotation that says "as it is written", we will find it 100% in the Scripture, since it is guaranteed that it is written. However, when what is quoted is said that it was simply spoken, then we may find it written but we may also not find it written. The Word does not guarantee that it was written. What it guarantees is that it was spoken. This prophecy was only spoken by the prophets and it was latter written down by Matthew.

    There are sixteen quotations in the Scripture for which we are told that they were spoken. These are Matthew 1:22, 2:15, 17, 23, 3:13, 4:14, 8:17, 12:17, 13:35, 21:4, 22:31, 24:15, 27:9, 27:35, Mark 13:14, and Acts 2:16. To see whether they were both spoken and written, or whether they were only spoken, we have to search the Scripture to see if we can find them. A search like this shows that most of the prophecies that were spoken were also written, but not all of them (Matthew 2:23 and 27:10 for instance).

  11. Matthew 2:23 is a cause of trouble since the spoken prophecy that the Messiah would be called a Nazarene can nowhere be found written in the Old Testament.

    Answer: Again, this is a prophesy that was spoken, so it is not necessarily written (see above answer). However, you may also consider this:

    First, you must understand that a "Nazarene" is not a "Nazarite." There's the Nazerite vow (Numbers 6:13), Samson was a Nazarite (Judges 13:5,24), but a "Nazarene" simply means a citizen of Nazarite. There are passages in the Old Testament which say Jesus would be called a Nazarene, but it's a matter of what is meant by the term "Nazarene." A "Nazarene" came to be a synonym for one who is contemptible or despised (John 1:46). We see similar terms today dealing with racism and nationalism. But notice that the previous two prophesies in Matthew 2; verse 15 says "the prophet, saying..." (singular) then he quotes directly from the scripture; verse 17 says "Jeremiah the prophet, saying..." (singular) then he quotes directly from Jeremiah. But notice how verse 23 is worded, "which was spoken by the prophets,..." (plural) and there's no word "saying" indicating a direct quote, "He shall be called a Nazarene." Notice the difference? It's because Matthew is using a summation statement. He's using something that the people of his time would be familiar with which would state the same thing that the prophets stated in Isaiah 49:7; 53:3, Psalm 22:6, that he would be despised.

  12. Then what about 1Corinthians 15:4: "Christ rose again the third day, according to the Scriptures"? Where is it written in the Old Testament that Christ would rise the third day? You may search the Old Testament for prophesies of Jesus' death, burial and resurrection on the third day, but you will never find them!

    Answer: Hosea 6:2 says, "After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight." This is antitypical language which refers to Messiah, the ideal Israel (Isaiah 49:3; compare Hosea 11:1, Matthew 2:15), who was raised on the third day (John 2:19; 1Corinthians 15:4; compare Isaiah 53:10). Compare the similar use of Israel's political resurrection as the type of the general resurrection of which "Christ is the first-fruits" (Isaiah 26:19; Ezekiel 37:1-14; Daniel 12:2).

    Additionally, 2 Peter 3:16 says that the "epistles" are scriptures also. So, the "scriptures" in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 could easily refer to the epistles from the new Testament books, many of which were written prior to the writing of 1 Corinthians.

  13. Matthew 12:30 says those who are neutral are against Jesus, but Mark 9:40 says those who are neutral are for Jesus.

    Answer: These two verses address two different situations. In Matthew 12:30, when it comes to the critical point of accepting or rejecting Jesus, not being for Jesus amounts to opposing Him (John 3:18). In Mark 9:40, when it comes to someone attempting to work in Christ's name, but perhaps with less than a full knowledge of him (Acts 18:25), there is no need to believe he is against Christ.

  14. The Scripture tells us to seek and understand God (Psalms 53:2, Proverbs 2:5, Daniel 9:13 ), but at the same time says that God cannot be understood (Job 11:7; 37:23, Romans 11:33).

    Answer: To quote from Job 11:7; 37:23 is misleading. It is like quoting from the Jews who said Jesus was a sinner, and then quote from Jesus who said he was not a sinner, and claim the Scripture contradicts itself.

    Job 11:7 is a quote from what Zophar said, and Job 37:23 is a quote from what Elihu said. These two people condemned righteous Job falsely. God condemned Zophar and Elihu for what they said! God himself said of these 2 people that they spoke wrong: Job 42:7, "...for ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right." Therefore, these 2 verses are not the teachings of God, but of man.

    As for Romans 11:33, this verse is saying how unattainable it is to have the same wisdom and knowledge that God possesses, not how hard it is to understand God. The point is that man, in a limited, physical body, cannot know the same knowledge that an infinite, spiritual entity possesses. For example, someone can say they "know" someone, like their wife. And they do! They know their thoughts, what they will choose to do, how they react to situations, etc. They know them! But what that husband doesn't know is all the wisdom and knowledge that she herself possesses. Only she knows that. And with God, it is impossible for a pea-brained man to have the same amount of knowledge that an infinite God possesses.

  15. "Those that seek me early shall find me" (Proverbs 8:17; Luke 11:9-10) contradicts "they shall seek me early, but shall not find me" (Proverbs 1:28).

    Answer: Proverbs 8:17 is in reference to only those who "love" the Lord. Proverbs 1:28 is in reference to fools (verse 7) and sinners (verse 9), who do not love the Lord. In Luke 11:9-10, only those who have a repentant heart can ask and seek God's knowledge. Proverbs 1:28 is dealing with sinners who are in calamity, distress, and anguish (verses 26-27) and despise the knowledge of God (verses 29-30), who are seeking God out of selfishness, not a repentant heart.

  16. With God all things are possible (Matthew 19:26), God is all powerful (Jeremiah 32:27), yet God "could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron" (Judges 1:19).

    Answer: It was not God, but Judah, who could not do this. God's spirit was with Judah, and he approved of what Judah was doing, but it was not God's will, at that time, that the inhabitants be driven out. Judah probably prayed, "Please help me drive these inhabitant out, if it be your will". Just like Jesus prayed for the Father to "let this cup pass" from him, and added, "nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt" (Matthew 26:39). Just like Jesus placed God's will above his own will, Judah would not want to have done something contrary to God's will.

  17. Is God a Deceiver? Jeremiah says, "Lord GOD! surely thou hast greatly deceived this people and Jerusalem, saying, Ye shall have peace" (Jeremiah 4:10)?

    Answer: No. Jeremiah is the speaker of this passage. If one reads Jeremiah, he will find that there were many false prophets that prophesied that there would be peace. In fact, the only prophet that spoke the word of God, the only genuine prophet, was Jeremiah whose prophecy was constantly a warning to the people of Israel for the destruction that would come (and finally came) if they continued to disobey God.

    Those prophets, through whom the deception came, prophesied by Baal. The Lord never spoke to them. This is the literal truth. When Jeremiah 4:10 says that the Lord deceived the people, this was only Jeremiah's opinion at the time he spoke this. He later came to the truth that the Lord never spoke to these false prophets, and tells us by whom those false prophets prophesied by:

    Jeremiah 23:13, 16-17, 21, "And I (the Lord) have seen folly in the prophets of Samaria: they prophesied by Baal ........ Thus says the Lord of hosts: Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you...... They continually say to those who despise me, The Lord has said, you shall have peace......... I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran. I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied." (See also Jeremiah 2:8; 6:14; 8:11; 28).

  18. Jeremiah complains and says "O LORD, thou hast deceived me" (Jeremiah 20:7), and Ezekiel 14:9 says, "And if the prophet be deceived when he hath spoken a thing, I the LORD have deceived that prophet.

    Answer: Jeremiah's complaint was due to his infirmity in consequence of his imprisonment. Thou didst promise never to give me up to the will of mine enemies, and yet Thou hast done so. But Jeremiah misunderstood God's promise, which was not that he should have nothing to suffer, but that God would deliver him out of sufferings (Jeremiah 1:19). Under its pressure, the best of men are liable to lose their patience, and indulge in unbecoming complaints concerning God's providence.

  19. The prophet Micaiah says "...the LORD hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of these thy prophets, and the LORD hath spoken evil against thee" (2 Chronicles 18:22). How do you explain this?

    Answer: When read in context (2 Chronicles 18:18-22), this is basically what it says:

    "Then the spirit of Naboth of Jezreel came out from the abode of the righteous, and stood before the Lord, and said, I will deceive him. And the Lord said, By what means? To which he answered, I will be a spirit of false prophecy in the mouth of his prophets. And the Lord said, Thou mayest then. But although the power of deceiving them is given unto thee, nevertheless it will not be lawful for thee to sit among the righteous; for whosoever shall speak falsely cannot have a mansion among the righteous. Therefore go forth from me, and do as thou hast said."

    To those who would not believe the truth, God sent a strong delusion, that they would believe lies:

    2 Thessalonians 2:11, "And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:"

  20. Jesus said, "…whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire" (Matthew 5:22). Since Jesus called people "fools" (Matthew 23:17,19) does that mean Jesus is in danger of hell fire?

    Answer: No. This verse is taken out of context. One key to understanding Matthew 5:22-24 is to recognize that it deals with a disciple's relationship to his "brother." "Brother" does not refer to males having the same parent, but to those of the same spiritual family -- in this case, to Jesus' disciples (Matthew 12:48-50). A brother is a member of the Christ's assembly (Matthew 18:15-17; 28:10). The term is a general reference to the members of the household of faith. Never to enemies.

    In Mathew 23, Jesus was calling his enemies, the scribes and Pharisees, "fools". Matthew 5 is in reference to calling a "brother" a fool. To properly apply Matthew 5:22 to enemies, Jesus must, at times, use "brother" to refer to an enemy. Yet, nowhere in Jesus' teaching, nowhere in the New Testament, does brother ever refer to an enemy. Moreover, 2 Thessalonians 3:15 tells us that if we find it necessary to disfellowship a brother for moral reasons, we are not to regard him as an enemy. An enemy is not a brother.

    So when Jesus teaches against anger directed toward a brother, Jesus is teaching his disciples to love one another. He is not commenting on their relationships with those outside the faith, or with those who have departed from the faith, or with enemies. What he would not stand for was for one of his disciples calling another disciple a fool.

  21. The Old Testament says "an eye for an eye" (Exodus 21:24), but the New Testament has the opposite! (Matthew 5:38-39) Why?

    Answer: This "An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, foot for foot" statement is no more to be taken literally than when Jesus said we should pluck out our eyes (Matthew 5:29) or cut off our hands (Matthew 5:30) to avoid sinning. We know that Jesus did not mean for us to take Him in a literal fashion, for to dismember one's body would violate the Law of God. If one were to maliciously cut off another's hand, it would not help the victim if the evil doer simply had his hand removed. A criminal minus one hand could not very well repay his victim for he would not be so readily employable.

    The Old Testament standard of justice of an "eye for eye, tooth for tooth" was not intended as a justification for revenge, as is popularly believed. When originally framed and set forth by Moses, this code was intended to attain equal and consistent justice and to limit vengeful retaliation. Under most ancient legal systems, noblemen and higher classes received less punishment than did servants or slaves who committed similar offenses. It was also common for a lower class person to be killed or seriously injured in retaliation for a very minor injury caused to someone of a privileged class. As part of the law of retaliation, this ordinance was meant to check passionate vengeance for a slight injury, and was meant to limit retaliation only to the extent of the first wrongful act and to provide equal justice for everyone.

    When Jesus spoke in Matthew 5:38-39, He was attacking the common misconceptions and misapplications of God's Law in His day. The Pharisees and their followers misused this law as a principle of personal revenge, so that they could give "tit for tat" to those who harmed them. A law which was meant to be a guide to judges rendering judicial decisions and handing down sentences was never meant to be a rule of our personal relationships. The function of civil government is to administer the vengeance of God upon evil doers (Romans 13:4), but not so with individuals. Our duty is to love our neighbor as the Lord Jesus has instructed us.

  22. Luke tells the story of the taxation ordered by Caesar that forces Mary and Joseph to go to Bethlehem where Jesus is born in a manger (Luke 2). Matthew assumes that Mary and Joseph are residents of Bethlehem, living in a house (Matthew 2). Both cannot be correct.

    Answer: Notice that while Matthew simply says that Joseph, Mary and Jesus were "in the house" when the wise men came, they were not "residents in Bethlehem!" Jesus was born in Bethlehem and placed in a manger because there was no room at the inn (Luke 2:7). The shepherds visited Him there that night and left. Later, Joseph and Mary found more suitable lodging "in a house." (Is it so unreasonable that although the inn had no vacancies on the "spur of the moment," lodging could not be found later)? This is complementary, not contradiction!

  23. Luke has Jesus circumcised in a rather leisurely fashion on the eighth day of his life and presented in the Temple on the 40th day—all in Jerusalem (Luke 2:21–40). Matthew says, however, that at the same time this baby boy and his family were fleeing into Egypt to avoid Herod (Matthew 2:13ff). Both cannot be right."

    Answer: Luke's time-frame is correct. But Matthew's own account, when Herod figured out he had been tricked by the wise men, he ordered the slaying of all the male children two years old and younger "according to the time he had diligently enquired of the wise men." (Matthew 2:16). According to Matthew's account, nearly two years could have elapsed from the time of Jesus' birth until his escape into Egypt! Again, complementary, not contradiction!

  24. Did God literally talk face to face with Moses or not? Exodus 33:9,11,20.

    Answer: God didn't literally talk face to face with Moses, for no man can see God's face and live (Exodus 33:20). This is a figurative expression intended to convey the intimacy of their relationship that is captured in the phrase, "as a man speaketh unto his friend" (verse 11).

    Exodus 33:11 intimates not only that God revealed himself to Moses with greater clearness than to any other of the prophets, but also with greater expressions of particular kindness than to any other. He spake not as a prince to a subject, but as a man to his friend, whom he loves, and with whom he takes sweet counsel. The communications made by God to Moses were not by visions, ecstacies, dreams, inward inspirations, or the mediation of angels, but with familiarity and confidence with which the Divine Being treated his servant.

  25. If God cannot tempt any man (James 1:13), how could God tempt Abraham (Genesis 22:1)?

    Answer: The words "tempt" and "try" are used interchangeably in the Scripture. It's meaning usually depends on who is doing it and for what reason. The difference between temptation and trial is that temptation says, "Do this pleasant thing and do not let yourself be hindered by the fact that it is wrong," whereas trial says, "Do this good and noble thing, and do not let yourself be hindered by the fact that it is painful". Temptation leads us down the path of sin and death, but trial leads us upward to a higher and nobler life. Simply defined: the Devil tempts us to get us to fall; God tries us to strengthen us. God tries, the Devil tempts. For this reason, the Devil is called "the tempter" (Matthew 4:3).

  26. Did Jesus die at the 3rd hour (Mark 15:25), 6th hour (Luke 23:44-46; John 19:14-30) or at the 9th hour (Matthew 27:45-50; Mark 15:26-37)?

    Answer: 9th hour. These verses are complimentary, not contradictory. Luke is explained by Matthew (the sun was darkened at the 6th hour, and Jesus cried the 9th hour). John has the trial being held at the 6th hour, and it was 3 hours after the trial (Mark 15:25) when Jesus was crucified.

  27. The Gospel of John states that Jesus was crucified on the day before Passover (John 13; 18:28), the other three Gospels state that he was crucified on the Passover (Mark 14: 12-17 for example).

    Answer: The word translated passover means properly the paschal lamb which was slain and eaten on the observance of this feast. This rite Jesus had observed with his disciples the day before this. It has been supposed by many that he anticipated the usual time of observing it one day, and was crucified on the day on which the Jews observed it; but this opinion is improbable. The very day of keeping the ordinance was specified in the law of Moses, and it is not probable that the Saviour departed from the commandment. All the circumstances, also, lead us to suppose that he observed it at the usual time and manner (Matthew 26:17,19). The only passage which has led to a contrary opinion is this in John; but here the word passover does not, of necessity, mean the paschal lamb. It probably refers to the feast which followed the sacrifice of the lamb, and which continued seven days (Numbers 28:16-17). The whole feast was called the Passover, and they were unwilling to defile themselves, even though the paschal lamb had been killed, because it would disqualify them for participating in the remainder of the ceremonies.

    In 2 Chronicles 30:22 we read: "And they did eat the festival seven days" when the paschal festival is meant, not the paschal lamb or the paschal supper. There are eight other examples of pascha in John's Gospel and in all of them the feast is meant, not the supper. If we follow John's use of the word, it is the feast here, not the meal of John 13:2 which was the regular passover meal. This interpretation keeps John in harmony with the Synoptics.

    That Jesus ate a passover supper this last year of his life is sufficiently evident from Matthew 26:17-19; Mark 14:12-18; Luke 22:8-15.

  28. Did Abraham have 2 sons (Galatians 4:22), 1 son. (Genesis 22:2, Hebrews 11:17), or at least 8 children (Genesis 25:2,6)?

    Answer: Abraham indeed had two sons (one by his wife and the other by his maidservant). However, Isaac was his (only begotten) son of the promise (Genesis 21:12). Later, when Abraham was about 140 years old, he married another wife, Keturah, who bore him 6 children. Abraham also had sons from his other wives of secondary rank (concubines).

  29. Jesus said that he would not always be with his disciples, and then said, "Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world." Matthew 26:11; 28:20.

    Answer: The body of Christ left the earth at the ascension. But "the Spirit of Christ," or His Word, is always with us.

  30. There is a commandment "honor thy father and thy mother." Jesus later said "If you do not hate your father and mother you cannot be my disciple." Exodus 20:12, Luke 14:26.

    Answer: God speaks in absolute terms and sometimes he speaks in comparative terms. Compared to our love for God, love and honor for our parents cannot interfere. Similarly, because Jacob had less regard for Leah than he did for Rachel, that is called "hating her" (Genesis 29:30-31). But the hate was only by way of comparison to his love for Rachel.

  31. Who was the High Priest? Caiaphas (Matthew 26:3), Annas (Acts 4:6), or both (Luke 3:2)?

    Answer: Caiaphas was the officially appointed high priest from about 18 AD to 36 AD (during Christ's ministry and the early years of His assembly). John 18:3 records that Jesus, after his arrest, was led "to Annas first; for he was the father-in-law to Caiaphas, which was the high priest that same year." Yet the verses that follow immediately refer to Annas also as high priest (verses 15, 19, 22). Later, Jesus is led to Caiaphas, the official high priest. Annas had served as high priest until he was deposed by Rome in 15 AD. Yet his power and influence continued over the high priestly office, with five of his sons occupying that position. Hence, Annas could also be properly identified as high priest in that he was the patriarchal head of this line of high priests. Caiaphas was the high priest responsible for Christ's death and the severe persecution of His servants (Acts 5:17; 9:1).

  32. Did Michal have 0 or 5 children? 2 Samuel 6:23; 21:8.

    Answer: They where adopted children, from Merab, Saul's daughter (1 Samuel 18:19), the wife of Adriel, the son of Barzillai the Meholathite.

  33. 700 or 7000 horsemen? 2 Samuel 8:4, 1 Chronicles 18:4.

    Answer: These are two different men. "Hadarezer" is the son from who David took 7000 horsemen. Hadarezer Rehob was the father of Haderezer from who David took 700 horsemen.

  34. 23,000 killed or 24,000 killed? 1 Corinthians 10:8, Numbers 25:9.

    Answer: Paul, in 1 Corinthians 10:8, refers to the number of slain in one day. Numbers refer to the total number that died. These numbers are given in approximate terms.

  35. Did Ahaziah start his reign at 22 years of age or 42 years of age? 2 Kings 8:26, 2 Chronicles 22:2.

    Answer: In the Septuagint, both verses read 22. However, there is a possible alternative.

    This is a classic supposed "contradiction" in the King James Scripture. There are some interesting things to consider if you compare scripture with scripture. In 2 Chronicles 22:9 Ahaziah is said to be "the son of Jehoshaphat" and Jehoshaphat is said to be "the king of Israel" (2 Chronicles 21:2). But Jehoshaphat was king of Judah, was he not (1 Kings 22)? Now, hold that thought for a moment. In addition to this, Ahaziah was also "son in law" to the house of Ahab (2 Kings 8:27). Question: How does Ahaziah become a "son in law" to the house of Ahab when he married Zibiah of Beersheba (2 Chronicles 24:1)? He didn't marry any of Ahab's daughters or Omri's daughters. But now look over at 1 Kings 22:26 and notice that there's a man named "Joash" who is waiting in Israel to take over the dual kingdom if Ahab or Jehoshaphat gets killed (1 Kings 22:26,28,29, 34, 37). But he's only one year old and won't ascend the throne until he's eight years old (2 Chronicles 24:1). Ahaziah had a son named Joash before Ahaziah ever sat on the throne of Judah. When Ahab was killed, a different Ahaziah took over the throne of Israel (2 Kings 1), not the Ahaziah whose mother was the daughter of Omri and who was said to be the son of Jehoshaphat--not the son of Ahab (2 Chronicles 22:9). Even his other name appears in the list of Jehoshaphat's sons (2 Chronicles 21:2).

    The Azariah in our problem, then, was not Jehoram's literal son, and obviously he was intended for the southern throne (Judah) many years before he actually took the throne. His mother was Athaliah, who was Omri's daughter; that is, she was Ahab's sister (1 Kings 16:29). If Ahaziah was her son and Jehoshaphat was his father, then when Jehoshaphat "joined affinity with Ahab" (2 Chronicles 18:1), this was more than just a military move. Jehoshaphat's title was "king of Israel" (2 Chronicles 21:2), and this signifies the ominous alliance, for Jehoram killed "divers of the princes of Israel." So if Ahab got killed, one of Jehoshaphat's kin could take over Israel; on the other hand, if Jehoshaphat died in battle, then one of Ahab's kin could take over Judah when Jehoram was finished. And that's what happened. Ahaziah, after the death of Jehoshaphat, is Ahab's nephew and a son in law to his household. He had to have married one of Ahab's daughters or granddaughters. Ahaziah is the step son or son in law to Jehoram. He was a favorite to Omri because his mother was Omri's daughter. He was anointed, like David, years before he actually began to reign, even though he was the king by anointing. He was undoubtedly anointed at age 22 and upon the death of his predecessor, assumed the throne and actual rulership at age 42.

  36. Is lying evil or not? Proverbs 12:22, 1 Kings 22:23.

    Answer: It is evil. In 1 Kings, Micaiah boasted of the Spirit (as those commonly do that know least of the Holy Spirit's operations), and said the "Lord" made him lie, which is a mistake on Micaiah's part. Micaiah later confesses, in 1 Kings 22:28, that the Lord did not speak through him. God does not tempt man with evil (James 1:13).

  37. Is Jesus equal to God (John 5:18) or is the Father greater than him (John 14:28)?

    Answer: The term "better" refers to nature, not position. Here is a good example in illustrating this passage. The President is greater than you or I, correct? Yes, as Chief Executive Officer of the United States he is greater than you or I. But, is the President better than you or I? What I mean is, is there anything about the President that makes him a superior being to you or me? No. If Jesus wanted to say He was inferior to God in nature, He would have said, "The Father is better than I."

    Here is a biblical example of the use of the term "better" in Hebrews 1:4, "Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they." Here we see that Jesus is a being superior to the angels, so the term "better" is used.

    Therefore, the Father is greater than Jesus, His son, in power, but Jesus is equal to him in spirit and in nature.

  38. Of the 42 numbers given by Ezra, 18 differ from the corresponding numbers in Nehemiah. Ezra 2:3-60, Nehemiah 7.

    Answer: Your answer can be found in the following verses:

    Ezra 2:1, "And these are the people of the land that went up, of the number of prisoners who were removed, whom Nabuchodonosor king of Babylon carried away to Babylon, and they returned to Juda and Jerusalem, every man to his city;"

    As we can see, this is written as a FACT. It is written as inspired by the Holy Spirit. However, the numbers found in Nehemiah are NOT inspired by the Holy Spirit, the numbers in Nehemiah are based upon hearsay and are read from a piece of paper which was written by man.

    Nehemiah, 7:5, "And God put it into my heart, and I gathered the nobles, and the rulers, and the people, into companies: and I found a register of the company that came up first, and I found written in it as follows:"

    Notice that Nehemiah is simply reading from a register. This register is not inspired by God. It is a man made document, of which man is fallible.

    Therefore, the numbers in Ezra, since they are not read from a man made document, but are spoken as fact, and inspired by the Holy Spirit, are the correct and true numbers. Whereas, since the numbers in Nehemiah are not stated as FACT, but are based upon hearsay, and read from a piece of paper that was written by man, which is fallible, these numbers are not accurate.

  39. 8 days or 6 days? Matthew 17:1, Mark 9:2, Luke 9:28.

    Answer: Both. Eight days after "But I tell you" and six days after "Verily verily" when he reminded them of His sayings.

  40. Centurion alone or with Jewish Elders? Matthew 8:5, Luke 7:2-4.

    Answer: The Jewish elders were his ambassadors.

  41. 7 years of famine (2 Samuel 24:13) or 3 years of famine (1 Chronicles 21:12)?

    Answer: The Septuagint accurately states three years for both verses.

  42. Jesus says John is Elijah, John says he is not. Matthew 11:14, John 1:21.

    Answer: He was, in fact, not actually Elijah in the sense they may have been asking. John had the spirit of Elijah, but did not physically look like him.

  43. Did, or did not, the people hear at the conversion of the Apostle Paul? Acts 9:7; 22:9.

    Answer: The Greek word for "hear" (#191 akouo) is used in two Greek cases in these two verses. The genitive case is the sense of "being aware but not understanding", whereas the other is in the sense of "you heard it."

  44. Is Lot Abraham's nephew or brother? Genesis 14:12,14,16.

    Answer: Nephew. Lot was of the seed of Abraham's brother.

  45. Children to be punished for the iniquity of the fathers or not? Deuteronomy 1:39; 24:16, Ezekiel 18:2-4,17,19,20, Exodus 20:5, Isaiah 14:21.

    Answer: We know that it is contrary to the character of God to visit the iniquity of the fathers upon those who are innocent (Ezekiel 18:19). Exodus 20:5, on the surface, does seem to teach that God visits the iniquity of the Father on the children. However, by really reading it in more depth, it actually says the opposite. Only the children who "hate God", and sin themselves, are the ones who are punished, only the wicked and ungodly children who are following the wicked example of their fathers are punished. The very next verse (Exodus 20:6) confirms that God shows mercy on the children who love Him and keep his Law. This is in harmony with the teaching, "Each man shall die for his own sins" (2 Chronicles 25:4, Ezekiel 18:4,20).

  46. Then why did David's son die for the punishment of David? 2 Samuel 12:14,18-19.

    Answer: King David saw a woman bathing and decided that he wanted her, but she was Bathsheba, wife of Uriah the Hittite. David had no intention of being deprived of anything he wanted. He sent for the woman and lay with her. For David, it was all over after that one night of self-indulgence. Bathsheba conceived and eventually sent word to David that she was pregnant. When David's efforts to deceive Uriah (and the people) into thinking Uriah had fathered this child, he had Uriah killed in battle with the help of Joab. After she had mourned for her husband, David brought Bathsheba into his home, taking her as his wife.

    This thing which David had done displeased God, however, and God would give David no rest or peace until he had come to see his sin for what it was and repented of it. After some period of distress (Psalm 32:3-4), David confessed “I have sinned against the Lord” (2 Samuel 12:13). Based upon divine grace by God, David was forgiven for his sins and assured that he would not die.

    2 Samuel 12:13-14., "And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD. And Nathan said unto David, The LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die. However, because by this deed you have given occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born to you shall surely die.”

    The tragic death of David's son is a painful consequence of David's sin, but it is not the punishment for his sin. The penalty for adultery and murder is death, on each count. David deserves to die, on two counts: adultery and murder. But scripture has made it very clear that the punishment for David's sin has been taken away. But God cannot allow His name to be blasphemed by allowing it to appear that He does not care about sin. For God to allow David's sins to have no painful consequences would enable the wicked to conclude that God does not really hate sin, nor does He do anything about it when we do sin.

    The Law of Moses was given to set Israel apart from the nations. It was given so that Israel could reflect God's character to the world. When David sinned, he violated God's law, and he also dishonored God. This hypocrisy was observed by the nations, and it resulted in their dishonoring God. Paul would make this same charge against the Jews centuries later:

    Romans 2:21-24, "Thou therefore which teachest another, teachest thou not thyself? thou that preachest a man should not steal, dost thou steal? Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, dost thou commit adultery? thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege? Thou that makest thy boast of the law, through breaking the law dishonourest thou God? For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written."

    Elsewhere, the apostle Paul instructs Timothy that elders -- those spiritual leaders whose lives are publicly under scrutiny -- who persist in their sin are to be corrected publicly, so that all will learn (1 Timothy 5:19-20). God is very concerned about his reputation. He works in such a way as to instruct not only men who look on, but also angels who do likewise (Exodus 32:9-14; 34:10; Ephesians 3:8-10).

    God could not look the other way when David sinned, for his disobedience to God's commands was a matter of public knowledge. As his victories and triumphs were known among the Gentiles, so his sins would be widely known as well. By taking the life of this child, conceived in sin, God makes a statement to those looking on. If God does not deal with the sin of His saints, they might reason, then He will not be concerned with mine, either. Thus, they will mock God with the confidence that they can get away with their sin.

    God could not allow David to come through this monumental sin without doing something about it, something visible to all. This was for David's discipline, and to silence those who would use David's sin as an occasion to blaspheme the name of God; it was to proclaim and promote the glory of God.

    2 Samuel 12:14 gives the reason for the death of this child. The purpose for the death of this child was not to punish David. The appropriate punishment for David's sins under the law would have been the death penalty. Nathan has not given David news of a reduced sentence, but of complete forgiveness, because the guilt and punishment for his sins had been taken away (2 Samuel 12:13). The purpose for this child's death was instructive. It was meant to silence any blasphemy on the part of the “enemies of the Lord” (2 Samuel 12:14). Lest any might wrongly conclude that Israel's God was oblivious to David's sin in the breaking of God's law, God made it apparent that He would not wink at sin, even the sin of a man after His own heart. The death of David's son was an object lesson to the enemies of God.

    David's sin is to be understood as the exception, rather than the rule in his life:

    1 Kings 15:5, “Because David did what was right in the sight of the LORD, and had not turned aside from anything that He commanded him all the days of his life, except in the case of Uriah the Hittite.”

  47. Did Adam die that day or 930 years later? Genesis 2:17; 5:5.

    Answer: That day spiritually, the second physically.

  48. 75 or 70 persons? Acts 7:14, Genesis 46:27, Exodus 1:5.

    Answer: 75. The New Testament is quoted from the Septuagint mostly. Genesis 46:27 and Exodus 1:5 in the Septuagint correctly read 75, which agrees with Acts 7:14. The Old Testament books, in most bibles, is translated from a corrupted Masoretic Text, which is why "70" is mistranslated at Genesis 46:27 and Exodus 1:5 in most bibles.

  49. Who killed Saul; Saul, Philistines, or Amalekites? 1 Samuel 31:4, 2 Samuel 1:8; 21:12.

    Answer: Saul failed at suicide and died by the Amalekite, unless the Amalekite lied. After he was dead his dead body was hung by the Philistines.

  50. 2000 or 3000 baths? 1 Kings 7:26, 2 Chronicles 4:5.

    Answer: It was not full in Kings. It had more capacity then 2000, that of 3000 and then it was drained down to 2000 so it would not spill over or birds would not drink out of it and defile it.

  51. 40,000 or 4000 stalls? 1 Kings 4:26, 2 Chronicles 9:25.

    Answer: 4,000 for [extra] and 40,000 filled.

  52. 3300 or 3600 overseers? 1 Kings 5:16, 2 Chronicles 2:18.

    Answer: There were two classes of workers.

  53. 800,000 or 1,100,000 men of Israel that drew the sword? 2 Samuel 24:9, 1 Chronicles 21:5.

    Answer: The first list has restrictions on younger men for military campaigns. The second list includes every able bodied individual, in the case of a defense or war against Jerusalem. Or perhaps it's due to the unofficial and incomplete nature of the census (1 Chronicles 27:23-24).

  54. 500,000 or 470,000 men of Judah drew the sword? 2 Samuel 24:9, 1 Chronicles 21:5.

    Answer: See the above answer.

  55. Did Nebuzaradan come on the 7th or 10th day? 2 Kings 25:8, Jeremiah 52:12.

    Answer: He came twice. Once to persuade Jerusalem to surrender (the 7th day) and the second time to wage war (the 10th day).

  56. 550 or 250 that bear rule? 1 Kings 9:23, 2 Chronicles 8:10.

    Answer: These two numbers represent two different groups

  57. Was Jehoiachin 18 or 8 years old when he began to reign? 2 Kings 24:8, 2 Chronicles 36:9.

    Answer: Jehoachin's father, Madehim, became an unofficial co-ruler at the age of eight to train him! This was followed with Jehoachin becoming officially the king at his father's death at 18 years of age!

  58. Did Jehoiachin reign 3 months or 3 months and 10 days? 2 Kings 24:8, 2 Chronicles 36:9.

    Answer: Two different times

  59. Order of events {A} and {B} is opposite in these 2 passages. Matthew 21:12, Mark 11:13-15.

    Answer: Could be either. Does it matter?

  60. Order of events {A} and {B} is opposite in the 2 passages. Matthew 4:5-8, Luke 4:5.

    Answer: Does it matter?

  61. All judgment is done by Jesus or Jesus judges no man? John 5:22; 8:15; 12:47.

    Answer: Man's already guilty, doesn't need to be personally judged in the flesh by Jesus, the Father has already judged man.

  62. Christ first to arise from the dead or not? Acts 26:23, 1 Kings 17:17, 2 Kings 13:21.

    Answer: Christ was the first to rise to life eternal from death. These others died again physically. The life of Christ also represents more then merely physical life.

  63. Do all people sin or not? 1 John 1:8; 3:6.

    Answer: A saved man does not abide in sin and make it his end, or his goal. If you are in Jesus you will not want to sin.

  64. Did Judas hang himself or fall headlong? Matthew 27:5, Acts 1:18.

    Answer: Both, in that order, the rope broke first.

  65. Take staff and sandals or neither? Mark 6:8-9, Matthew 10:9 ff.

    Answer: Two groups. One group had sandals and staff's.

  66. Is Moses' father in law called Jethro, Reuel, or Hobab? Exodus 2:18; 3:1, Numbers 10:29.

    Answer: The man was simply known by more than one name. Gibeah was also known as Kirjath-Jearim and Baalah. All three place names refer to the same town. The same person or same place may have more than one name.

  67. If there were seven of each clean beast, how could they go in two by two? Seven is not an even number. Genesis 7:1-8.

    Answer: Put two groups of seven together and it is divisible by two. Seven plus seven equals fourteen. Therefore, six deer could enter the ark in pairs with one deer left over. Six elk could enter the ark in pairs with one elk left over. The leftover elk and the leftover deer could go together to make a pair. Or their could be seven females and seven males of the deer, elk, etc. This would equal fourteen of each clean animal which is divisible by two. This theory is based on the verse where it says "the male and his female." This would also allow for the re-population of the earth as each pair went their own separate ways to establish their own territory apart from the other deer.

  68. Does God see everything (Proverbs 15:3; Job 34:21-22) or doesn't he (Genesis 18:20,21)?

    Answer: The eyes of the Lord sees everything. However, the eyes of the Lord are through his angels (1 Corinthians 4:9, Hebrews 12:22; 13:2). Genesis 18:21 says that reports came to God about the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah. It was not enough for him to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah on hearsay. He said, "I am going to go down and I'm going to see for myself in the flesh," so that his judgment would be right. Because he is a God of justice, and a great leader will always face up to his problems and the things he has to deal with, and will deal with them personally; he will not deal with them from a distance.

    In reference to sinners, 2 Peter 2:11 says angels "bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord." It does not say angels do not make accusations against sinners, but "railing" accusations. The tern "railing" means blasphemous, slanderous, abusive, reproachful, and to speak bitterly. However, angels do make true accusations with sorrow, love, and a caring attitude (Ezekiel 9:4,11). These verses show how angels make reports to God, and act as His eyes in the world.

  69. Does this mean that God does not know everything?

    Answer: When God left Abraham to go on to Sodom, God said, "I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know" (Genesis 18:21). How come he didn't already know? Why did God go down there himself, in the flesh, to find out?

    Another example is when God tested Abraham in Genesis 22. He told Abraham to sacrifice his son because God wanted to find out something. After God tested Abraham and stopped him from slaying his son at the last moment, God said, "Now I know that thou fearest God" (verse 12). The implication is that before that period of time, there was some degree of uncertainty as to what Abraham would do. Would God have tried Abraham if he already knew what Abraham would do?

    Another example is Genesis 6:5-6, "And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart." How would you say it if you don't want to say, "I wish I hadn't done it"?

    Genesis 6:7, "And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them." God was sorry he even made them! No wise person would make a machine, if he knew before he made it, that it would be a failure . If God had eternally foreseen all the wickedness of man, before he made man; why did he make him, if he knew before his creation that he would repent afterwards ?

    The Lord said to Jeremiah: Jeremiah 32:35, “And they built the high places of Baal, which are in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire unto Molech; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my mind , that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.”

    2 Chronicles 32:31, "Howbeit in the business of the ambassadors of the princes of Babylon, who sent unto him to enquire of the wonder that was done in the land, God left him, to try him, that he might know all that was in his heart." Is it possible to harmonize such Scriptures as these with the doctrine that God's foresight is "eternal and universal"?

    The Lord said to Samuel in 1 Samuel 15:11,23 "It repenteth me that I have set up Saul to be king: for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments...Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king." Did God eternally foresee just what Saul would do? If so, why did he have him made king? Why did he not repent before he made him king? Would any sensible person employ a man to do a piece of work, if he knew before he hired him that he would be a complete failure?

    Revelation 3:5, "He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life," Our name is written in the book of life. If God knew ahead of time whose name would be written in this book and whose name would not be written, why did God bother to write their name in the book in the first place? Just to have the LORD "blot out his name from under heaven" (Deuteronomy 29:20) after He already wrote it in the book?

  70. When Paul addressed the qualifications for deacons and elders, he stated that they must be the husband of one wife (1 Timothy 3:2,12; Titus 1:6). However, Paul himself was an elder and was unmarried and he even encouraged it (1 Corinthians 7:7,8)!

    Answer: A glance at Liddell and Scott's Greek-English Lexicon will reveal that 'unmarried' is used to denote both 'bachelors' and 'widowers'. The parallelism thus suggests that in 1 Corinthians 7:8 'unmarried' refers only to 'widowers', and not to any bachelor or single person. Paul himself could have been a widower. Paul's purpose in 1 Corinthians 7 was not to give requirements and advice for the eldership, anyway! Due to the "present distress" (verse 26) Paul advised "that it is good for a man so to be." This "present distress" was a situation unique to the earlier church due to the persecution that was prophesied by Daniel and Jesus.

  71. It is recorded that there were two distinct purchases by Abraham and Jacob for the purpose of burying their dead: one a field with a cave (Machpelah) at the end of it, which was bought by Abraham of Ephron the Hittite for 400 shekels of silver (Genesis 23:16-18); the other, "a parcel of a field" which was bought by Jacob of the sons of Hamor, the father of Shechem, for 100 pieces of money (Genesis 33:18,19).

    Answer: In the former were buried Sarah (Genesis 23:19), Abraham (Genesis 25:9), Isaac (Genesis 49:31), Rebekah and Leah (Genesis 49:31), and Jacob (Genesis 50:12,13).

    In the latter were buried Joseph (Joshua 24:32), and the other sons of Jacob who died in Egypt (Acts 7:16).

    In Acts 7:15-16 Stephen referred to these events, well known to his hearers who were seeking his life. These found nothing to stumble at in his statement that Abraham bought the sepulcher of the sons of Emmor (the father) of Sychem, whereas Genesis 33:18,19 states that Jacob was the buyer of "a parcel of a field" from the sons of Hamor in Shechem.

    The explanation is simple, -- Abraham was a rich man : rich men often buy, if they can, "parcels" of land for some reason or other : why should not Abraham have had a second place of sepulture assured, if he so desired?

    As the Hittites were eager to oblige the rich and powerful sojourner among them, in the matter of Machpelah, as we know; so he would have little difficulty in buying the parcel at Sychem from the original holders in his time. Between Abraham's death and the appearance of Jacob at Sychem, eighty-five years had passed. Jacob was a keen man of business, but during his long absence "abroad" the title may have lapsed, or become obscure. Hence, when he desired to resume possession of a piece of family property, so to speak, he had to pay something by way of forfeit to make good his claim. The comparatively small sum recorded strengthens this suggestion. Modern instances are familiar to us. There is no reason why it should not be so in this case. And have we never heard of two family burying -places? So here, Jacob was buried in the one, Machpelah; Joseph and his brethren in the other at Sychem.

  72. Acts 1:12 tells us that when the disciples came back from the place where our Lord had ascended, they returned from mount Olivet, distant from Jerusalem a Sabbath day's journey. A Sabbath days journey was seven and a half furlongs, but the town of Bethany was about fifteen furlongs from Jerusalem (John 11:18), and that is double a Sabbath day's journey.

    Answer: These things are all true:

    • That the mount of Olives lay but five furlongs distant from Jerusalem.
    • That the town of Bethany was fifteen furlongs.
    • That the disciples were brought by Christ as far as Bethany.
    • That, when they returned from the mount of Olives, they traveled more than five furlongs. And,
    • Returning from Bethany, they traveled but a Sabbath day's journey.

    Part of mount of Olives was known by that name to the length of about a Sabbath day's journey, till it came to that part which is called Bethany. For there was a Bethany, a tract of the mount, and the town of Bethany. The town was distant from the city about fifteen furlongs, i.e. about two miles, or a double Sabbath day's journey: but the first border of this tract (which also bore the name of Bethany) was distant but one mile, or a single Sabbath day's journey. Luke 24:50 Lu 24:50

    Verse 50. He led them out as far as to Bethany] The difficulties in this verse, when collated with the accounts given by the other evangelists, are thus reconciled by Dr. Lightfoot.

    "I. This very evangelist (Ac 1:12) tells us, that when the disciples came back from the place where our Lord had ascended, they returned from mount Olivet, distant from Jerusalem a Sabbath day's journey. But now the town of Bethany was about fifteen furlongs from Jerusalem, Joh 11:18, and that is double a Sabbath day's journey.

    "II. Josephus tells us that mount Olivet was but five furlongs from the city, and a Sabbath day's journey was seven furlongs and a half. Antiq. lib. 20, cap. 6. About that time there came to Jerusalem a certain Egyptian, pretending himself a prophet, and persuading the people that they should go out with him to the mount of Olives, 'o kai thn polewv antikruv keimenon, apecei stadia pente; which, being situated on the front of the city, is distant five furlongs. These things are all true: 1. That the mount of Olives lay but five furlongs distant from Jerusalem. 2. That the town of Bethany was fifteen furlongs. 3. That the disciples were brought by Christ as far as Bethany. 4. That, when they returned from the mount of Olives, they traveled more than five furlongs. And, 5. Returning from Bethany, they traveled but a Sabbath day's journey. All which may be easily reconciled, if we would observe:-That the first space from the city was called Bethphage, which I have cleared elsewhere from Talmudic authors, the evangelists themselves also confirming it. That part of that mount was known by that name to the length of about a Sabbath day's journey, till it came to that part which is called Bethany. For there was a Bethany, a tract of the mount, and the town of Bethany. The town was distant from the city about fifteen furlongs, i.e. about two miles, or a double Sabbath day's journey: but the first border of this tract (which also bore the name of Bethany) was distant but one mile, or a single Sabbath day's journey.

    Jesus led out his disciples, when he was about to ascend, to the very first region or tract of mount Olivet, which was called Bethany, and was distant from the city a Sabbath day's journey. And so far from the city itself did that tract extend itself which was called Bethphage; and when he was come to that place where the bounds of Bethphage and Bethany met and touched one another, he then ascended; in that very place where he got upon the ass when he rode into Jerusalem (Mark 11:1).

  73. If a man sleeps with a menstrous woman, is the penalty death (Leviticus 18:19; 20:18) or is the penalty that he will be unclean for seven days (Leviticus 15:24)?

    Answer: If both the man and woman were acquainted with the situation, the penalty was death. If it was a case where the circumstance was not known till afterwards, then he would be unclean for seven days.

  74. James says we are saved by works (James 2:14,17,26), and Paul says that we are saved by faith (Romans 3:21,28; 4:4,5; 5:1, Ephesians 2:8,9, Titus 3:5). Which one is correct?

    Answer: James is not saying that works alone save us. Paul is not saying that faith alone saves us. They are both saying that one without the other is dead. James shows us that faith without works is dead. Paul shows us that works without faith is dead. We need both.

  75. In Genesis 1:26, God said he created man to be like "us," meaning to be like God. Yet, in Genesis 3:22, God rebuked man for being like "us," like God.

    Answer: In Genesis 1:26, the "image" of God is his Spirit. God created Adam and Eve with a Spirit, because one is only in the image of God when one has His Spirit. When they sinned, they "died" that day, and it was not their body or soul that died, it was their "Spirit" that died that day. As far as Genesis 3:22, the sin Adam and Eve did was re-defining what good and evil was. God said it was evil to eat the tree, but Adam and Eve justified themselves in that evil and convinced themselves it was actually good. When man redefines what is good and evil, they are becoming as gods, because only God defines good and evil

  76. Ezekiel 20:25 says God gave His children statutes that were not good, and judgments whereby they should not live. I thought God only gave good laws?

    Answer: What a foolish noise has been made about this verse by critics, believers and infidels! How is it that God can be said "to give a people statutes that were not good, and judgments whereby they could not live?" God never gave any such, at any time, to any people. Let any man produce an example of this kind if he can; or show even the fragment of such a law, sanctioned by the Most High! The simple meaning of this place and all such places is, that when they had rebelled against the Lord, despised his statutes, and polluted his Sabbaths-in effect cast him off, and given themselves wholly to their idols, then he abandoned them, and they abandoned themselves to the customs and ordinances of the heathen.

    Psalms 81:12, "So I gave them up unto their own hearts' lust: and they walked in their own counsels."

    Romans 1:24, "Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:"

    Ezekiel 20:39 and Isaiah 63:17 proves this view to be correct.

    Ezekiel 20:39, "As for you, O house of Israel, thus saith the Lord GOD; Go ye, serve ye every one his idols, and hereafter also, if ye will not hearken unto me: but pollute ye my holy name no more with your gifts, and with your idols."

    Isaiah 63:17, "O LORD, why hast thou made us to err from thy ways, and hardened our heart from thy fear? Return for thy servants' sake, the tribes of thine inheritance."

  77. In Matthew 2:6, a statement identified as a prophecy of the birthplace of Jesus is quoted from Micah 5:2, but Micah says Bethlehem is "little among nations" whereas Matthew quotes him as saying that Bethlehem is "not the least among the princes of Judah." In other words, a negative has been substituted for a positive.

    Answer: Some manuscripts of very good note, among which is the Codex Bezae, have "Art thou not the least?" This reconciles the prophet and evangelist without farther trouble.

  78. According to Matthew, the Capernaum centurion spoke man-to-man with Jesus (8:5-10). Luke, however, says the centurion sent some Jewish elders and friends to speak on his behalf (7: 1-9).

    Answer: As it is not unusual in all languages, so in the Hebrew it is peculiarly frequent, to ascribe to a person himself the thing which is done, and the words which are spoken by his messenger. And accordingly, Matthew relates as said by the centurion himself, what others said by messenger from him. We learn from Luke 7:3, he came to Jesus, not in person, but by Jewish elders, whom he supposed would have more influence with the Lord. An instance of the same kind we have in the case of Zebedee's children. From Matthew 20:20, we learn it was their mother that spoke those words, which, Mark 10:35,37, themselves are said to speak; because she was only their mouth. This is very frequent in scripture, where what a messenger says, is spoken as if the speaker himself has said it.

  79. Scripture says God does not visit the sins of the fathers on the children (Ezekiel 8:14,17; 18:2,3,14,17,19,20, Deuteronomy 1:39; 24:16, II Kings 14:6, II Chronicles 25:4). But what about the children of Israel who had to wander forty years in the wilderness because of the sins of the fathers?

    Answer: There is a difference between God visiting the sins of the fathers on their children, and the consequences of the father's actions being felt by the children.

    God punished the fathers in the wilderness, not the children. The fathers were prohibited from entering into the promised land. The children are the ones who entered the promised land. The Fathers were punished, the children were blessed.

    Think about this. How could God allow only the babies and children, at the time, to enter the promised land, while taking all the fathers and mothers away from the children? How would you feel if God ripped your mother and father from you when you were a child? Who would take care of these children if no adult was allowed to enter the promised land?

    God did the most merciful thing for these children. He allowed them to be with their mothers and fathers, until they all died. When the children were all old enough to take care of themselves, and when all the fathers and mothers died of natural causes, the children were ready to go to the promised land. No family members were left stranded in the desert alone. What a wonderful, loving Heavenly Father we have!

    The wanderings in the desert were not a punishment on the children. On the contrary, they were a true blessing. They learned obedience through the things they suffered. They were humbled. They learned many great spiritual truths while in the desert.

    God did not punish these children, and visit the punishment of the fathers upon the children. The punishment of the fathers were that they were not to enter the promised land. The children entered the promised land. The reason the children wandered the wilderness for 40 years was a consequence of their father's actions, it was man's fault. God blessed these children, but punished the fathers.

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