Does the Bible contain errors, contradictions, or discrepancies?
We often receive questions along the lines of “Explain how these verses do not contradict!” or “Look, here is an error in the Bible!” Admittedly, some of the things people bring up are difficult to answer. However, there are viable and intellectually plausible answers to every supposed Bible contradiction and error. There are books and websites available that list “all the errors in the Bible.” Most people simply get their ammunition from these places – they do not find supposed errors on their own. There are also books and websites available that refute each and every last one of these supposed errors. The saddest thing is that most people who attack the Bible are not truly interested in an answer – all they want to do is attack. Many “Bible attackers” are even aware of the answers, but they continue to use the same old shallow attacks again and again.
If you read the Bible, at face value, without a preconceived bias for finding errors – you will find it to be a coherent, consistent, and relatively easy-to-understand book. Yes, there are difficult passages. Yes, there are verses that appear to contradict each other. We must remember that the Bible was written by approximately 40 different authors over a period of around 1500 years. Each writer wrote from a different perspective, to a different audience, for a different purpose. We should expect some differences! However, a difference is not a contradiction or an error. It is only an error if there is absolutely no conceivable manner in which the verses or passages can be reconciled. Even if we do not have the answer right now, that does not mean the answer does not exist. Many have found a supposed error in the Bible in relation to history or geography only to find out that the Bible is correct once further archaeological evidence is discovered.
So, what are we to do when someone approaches us with an alleged Bible error? (1) Prayerfully study the problem and see if there is a simple solution. 2) Do some research using some of the fine Bible commentaries, “Bible defense” books, and Biblical research websites that are available. (3) Ask the helpful servants at www.gotquestions.org or your pastor to see if they can find a solution. (4) If there is still no clear answer after steps (1), (2), and (3) are followed – trust God that His Word is truth and that there is a solution that just simply has not been realized yet (2 Timothy 2:15; 3:16-17).