How many of my readers knew about all these discrepancies? And how many are now a little fearful by the sudden presentation of them?
If we, as messengers of the Good News of Jesus Christ are troubled by Moslems and Atheists presenting us with such material, then our faith is not robust.
My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly trust in Jesus’ Name.
On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand;
All other ground is sinking sand.
Why was it popular? Simply because Christians had been taught the truth of these poetic words. Sadly much of modern gospel music is related to self, by how much God has blessed ME, rather than to sing the foundational truths of the Christian faith. We need to get back to fundamentals, and know where we stand in relation to the revealed message of God in the Bible. Yes, my faith is built on Jesus’ blood and righteousness, and the New Testament trumpets the truth of this with strident and clear tones.
My faith is not troubled or undermined by whether hares do or do not chew the cud, or whether Solomon had 4,000 or 40,000 stalls for his horses, or the many other apparent discrepancies listed in yesterday’s writing. I know that God has used faulty human beings to present Himself to the world, and we should not be surprised to find that their records contain a number of factual errors, many of which could well be due to ancient copyists. But you will never find any errors connected with the basic truths of the Gospel message. We should stop using the expression “The Word of God” for the Bible. The Word of God is Jesus Himself. (John 1:1) Those who deify the Bible are breaking the First Commandment.
Jews have been meticulously careful in the copying of their scrolls, even to leave impossible sentences unchanged. They knew, for example, that Saul was not an “infant of one year” when he began to reign. They also knew that he reigned for forty years, not just two, but they left the text of 1 Samuel 13:1 unchanged. Their commentators wrestled with such impossibilities, but never contemplated “correcting” their text. They were reading material written hundreds of years before their time, and saw the imperfections, but sought not to make changes. They never considered their Tanach (the O.T.) “verbally inspired”, but were slavish in making accurate copies. That was a commendable principle.
But translations of Hebrew, Chaldee, and Greek leave open the possibility of changes to the original meaning of Scripture. Western minds think in different ways to Middle Eastern minds. Translators are human and fallible, but nevertheless try their best to obtain an accurate rendition of original texts. Some suggest the Authorised Version to be an “inspired” translation, but research has shown many errors in the work of the 1611 translators. But care has been cast aside by some modern translators in the profusion of “versions” before us today. To them, the attitude of Jewish copyists is no longer considered appropriate. This is not commendable.
However, as long as we realise that in the Bible we are confronted by the writings of men who were led by the Spirit of the Lord, and used their best abilities to record what God had revealed to them, we enter into the spirit of the written documents at our disposal. Yes, the Bible contains “the words of God”, but is not itself “the Word of God”. There are many passages in Scripture which record horrific events, bad attitudes, misunderstandings, and downright evil, and no one can possibly say that such is “the word of God”. But Scriptural history is given to us to show the true nature of mankind in all its basic and beastly ways. Shall we not recognise our own sin as a result? There is true inspiration in that. But don’t get sidetracked by those minor errors. They are also the product of human frailty.
I present all this as my answer to those who might be troubled by Biblical contradictions. Let us stand firm on the Rock which is Jesus Christ, and not moved away from the hope of our calling. The Bible is our superb manual of instruction in all things pertaining to our walk of faith, and we thank God for the way in which it has been preserved through thousands of years for our learning today. May God be praised for this unspeakable privilege.