2.2 A small sampling of these contradictions
"And the chief priests and all the council sought for witness against Jesus to put him to death; and found none. For many bare false witness against him, but their witness agreed not together. And there arose certain, and bare false witness against him, saying, We heard him say, I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and within three days I will build another made without hands. But neither so did their witness agree together."
Christian scholars have known, recognized, and documented the many and varied contradictions to be found in the Bible for centuries now. These contradictions are a direct result of the continuous and unrelenting attempts to correct, fix, and amend the Bible in order to make a given doctrine "clear" to the reader. It is the masses who have been kept in the dark in this regard. There is extensive historical and scriptural evidence to be found in the books of the Bible which support this conclusion. Many detailed examples have been presented in this and other chapters of this book. As shown previously, some Christian scholars estimate the errors in the Bible to be in the range of 14,800-50,000 or even much more. This is why it has become necessary for the Church to demand "blind faith" from the masses.
Matthew is now recognized as not being the author of Matthew (read for example Matthew 9:9). John is also recognized as not being the author of John (read for example John 21:24).... and on and on. These Christian scholars (not Muslims) have even gone so far as to attempt to identify the original documents from which these books were originally derived, such as J, P, Y, Q,...etc.(see section 2.3) . For centuries now, the Qur'an has been bearing witness that the previous books of God had been modified by the hands of the unscrupulous few. Even now when Christians and their universities themselves recognize this to be a historical fact they still do not bother to tell the masses. Some of these Conservative scholars, such as Mr. F.F. Bruce, appear to have completely given up on refuting the proof of distortion and have now resorted to "spiritualizing" the Bible and telling people in effect that the teachings of the Bible are useful anyway even if we don't even know who the inspired authors are.
Others will adamantly refuse to believe that anyone has changed the word of God or that the Bible contains any conflictions whatsoever no matter how much evidence is presented. They are willing to either:
1) Explain it away using abstraction to explain the "true" meanings of the verses presented, or
2) Explain it based upon assumptions of their own not contained in the Bible, or
3) Claim that these matters are all insignificant and that the words remain the inspiration of God even if we don't know who the "inspired" authors were and their narrations contradict one another.
Even at that, they don't attempt to explain all the contradictions presented. As we have seen in the previous chapter, they have developed a system where in one paragraph they manage to reduce many thousands of discrepancies to "only a handful which are at all important," and even before reaching the end of the paragraph, even this "handful" is quickly brushed away as being "only apparent discrepancies."
The problem in many cases is that it is human nature when given a choice between two matters, to take the simpler of the two, sometimes even against one's better judgment. This is indeed how many people lose their life savings to people who tell them that they will invest it for them in a "sure thing," or people who encourage others to participate in lotteries. We would not expect that our land would grow fruit without our having to lavish upon it months of back breaking work. We would not expect that a large company would be willing to pay us a handsome weekly paycheck without our actually doing some useful work for them, however, when it comes to the ultimate reward and the ultimate prize, the Paradise of the Lord of creation, now we are told that it is no longer necessary to work for the ultimate prize.
Paul has made salvation a very easy commodity to come by in Christianity. They only have to "believe." No actual work is required. No one has to work for their salvation (Romans 3:28, etc.). Paul has brought for them the "sure thing" and the short cut to salvation. The commandments of Jesus (pbuh) which he himself observed faithfully and fully up until the crucifixion, are all discarded by Paul as old, decaying, and ready to vanish away (Hebrews 8:13, etc.). The fact that Jesus (pbuh) himself told his followers that observing the commandments and selling their belongings shall make them "perfect" is forgotten (Matthew 19:16-21). The fact that Jesus (pbuh) himself commanded his followers to keep the commandments until the end of time is also forgotten (Matthew 5:17-19). All they need is "faith." They have already been saved. The Law and commandments are merely "extra."
In this chapter I have presented a table containing only a small sampling of the many and varied contradictions between the verses of the Bible. These are only some of the very simple and obvious examples known today. Other more serious ones require comparisons of many passages with each other (see for example sections 5.2, 5.4 and 5.5) or with historical or scientific knowledge. The reader is encouraged to investigate these examples and to try to analyze the excuses given for them objectively. Please do not accept any and all attempts to justify these contradictions without first analyzing them carefully. When someone tells you that something was a scribal error then remember that the transmitters of even the Old Testament claim that every word and every letter was faithfully counted and recorded and thus, it would be impossible for unintentional errors to creep in. This claim by itself should refute all excuses.
I have seen many such claims of 'numerical miracles' and 'Code finds' in the Bible. Once such claim which I recently came across claimed that the Torah has recently been shown to be statistically valid to over 99.998%. One of those men who became obsesed with this issue was Ivan Panin who spent 50 years writing over 43,000 pages investigating Bible numerics in an attempt to prove that the Bible contains a numerical miracle regarding the numbers seven and eleven, and the position value of letters and other devices.
Firstly, as observed by Gary Miller, the Bible does not state that these things have any relevance. Nowhere has God said: "Behold the miracle of seven and eleven!" Second, these "numerical miracles" are cited in regard to the Bible in order to prove that it is "perfectly preserved." Yet the Bible also contains numerical inconsistencies (see examples in table below) which are then brushed off by these same scholars as being "slips of the pen." So which is it? Is the Bible so perfectly and flawlessly preserved that it contains hidden numerical miracles and messages, and every word and every letter has been counted and recorded, or has the Bible been exposed to "slips of the pen" such that our current Bibles are not 100% completely and fully the absolute unfailing and unerrant word of God? Obviously we can't have it both ways.
For example, Panin himself revised the New Testament based on his ideas. In places where the text does not conform to his theory he decides on the basis of that which fits his scheme. One author of "theomatics" maintained that the anonymous book of Hebrews was written by Paul because this would mean that the total number of books in the Bible credited to Paul would then be equal to fourteen -a multiple of seven. Notice how the text is made to conform to the theory rather than vice-versa?
To take one example of the methods used to attempt to explain the contradictions which have crept into the Bible as a result of centuries of "correction" to its text; the contradiction between Matthew 17:13 and John 1:21 (point 16 below) is explained by Mr. J as: "John is answering the question directly and literally, he is not Elijah, he is John the son of Zechariah.... John was not interested in promoting all kind of speculation about his identity, but to focus attention upon the one he had been sent to prepare the way for." So, if Joe is a vice principal, and someone asks the principal "Is Joe the vice principal?" and the Principal says "yes," then it is OK for Joe to say "I am not the vice principal" because he is "talking within the context that he is Joe" and he wants to "focus attention" on the principal?
Does this sound logical? These apologists' arguments are usually presented with such confidence that people don't bother to analyze them or look any further. The Jews acceptance of Jesus as the Messiah hinges on John admitting he is Elias (Mark 9:12). If John does not admit to being Elias then Jesus' (pbuh) whole message will lose credibility. Is this how John "focuses attention" on Jesus?
It is inconceivable to think that John, peace be upon him, a prophet of God, would intentionally lie especially in a matter that can totally nullify Jesus' whole message. It is also inconceivable that a prophet of God would remain a prophet of God for many years before the coming of Jesus (pbuh), fulfilling many prophesies, but neither know that he was sent by God, nor be informed by God that He sent him.
The Qur'an tells us that if the word of God were ever to be tampered with by the hands of mankind then it will be easy to detect this tampering by the contradictions which will inevitably result. We read
"Do they not consider the Qur'an (with care)? Had it been from other than Allah, they would have surely found therein much discrepancy."
The noble Qur'an, Al-Nissa(4):82.
Even the Bible itself gives the same criteria for discovering such modifications,
"For many bare false witness against him(Jesus), but their witness agreed not together."
As we have seen in the previous chapters and will see the following table, the "witness" of the Gospels in our hands today do indeed "agree not together." This is a result of countless modifying fingers. Thus, as claimed in the Qur'an, this has resulted in it bearing "false witness against him(Jesus)." I hope you find these examples enlightening and informative.
# verse contradicting verse
1 Matthew 2:1 Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king (So Jesus was born between the years 37 B.C. and 4 B.C..)
Luke 2:1-7And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. ([And] this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)... And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. (so Jesus was born about the year 7 C.E. More than ten years later)
2 Acts 9:26-29 and Acts 26:19-21(Paul is saved) Galatians 1:15-22(Was he really?)
3 Acts 9:7(heard voice, saw no man) Acts 22:9(no voice, saw light)
4 Matt.10:2-4, Mark3:16-19 (Jesus apostles' names, the twelfth is Lebbeus who's surname was Thaddeus) Luke 6:14-16 (apostles' names now different, the twelfth in Luke is Judas the brother of James)
5 Matthew 27:5 (Judas hangs himself) Acts 1:18 (Judas falls headlong, his bowels gush)
6 Matthew 11:13-14,17:13 (Elias is John the Baptist) John 1:21 (Elias is not John the Baptist)
7 Luke 3:23-31 + Romans 1:3 ("according to the flesh" 41 men between Jesus and David) Matthew 1:6-16 + Romans 1:3 ("according to the flesh" 26 men between Jesus and David)
8 Matthew 21:12-18 (temple before passing fig tree) Mark 11:12-15 (temple After passing fig tree)
9 Mark 15:25 (crucified by third hour) John 19:14 (not crucified by sixth hour)
10 Matthew 27:32, Luke 23:26, Mark 15:21 (Simon carries the cross) John 19:17 (Jesus carries the cross)
11 Mark 15:23 (gave wine with myrrh to drink) Matthew27:34 (Gave vinegar with gall to drink)
12 Matthew 1:16 (Jesus son of Joseph son of Jacob) Luke 3:23 (Jesus son of Joseph son of Heli)
13 1 Corinthians 15:5 (Jesus seen by twelve) Matthew 28:16 (Jesus seen by eleven)
14 1 Chronicles 7:6 (Three sons), 1Chronicles 8:1 (Five sons), Genesis 46:21 (ten sons) (How many sons did Benjamin have and what are their names?)
15 Acts 9:6-7 Paul falls to ground, others remain standing. Paul receives very simple command. Acts 26-14-18 Paul falls to ground and the others also fall to the ground. Paul receives a long sermon and detailed instructions.
16 Matthew 20:20-21 (The mother of the Zebedee's sons makes the request) Mark 10:35-37 (The Zebedee's sons make the request themselves)
17 (four different accounts of who visited the grave of Jesus)
Matthew 28:1 In the end of the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulcher.
Mark 16:1 And when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.
John 20:1 The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulcher, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulcher.
Luke 24:10 It was Mary Magdalene and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and other women that were with them, which told these things unto the apostles.
18 (four different accounts of who saw what at Jesus' grave) Matthew 28:2-5 And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men. And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.
Mark 16:5 And entering into the sepulcher, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted.
Luke 24:4 And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments:
John 20:12 And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.
19 Luke 24:9-10 And returned from the sepulcher, and told all these things unto the eleven, and to all the rest. It was Mary Magdalene and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and other women that were with them, which told these things unto the apostles. (three women + speak) Mark 16:1-8 And when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him. And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulcher at the rising of the sun... And they went out quickly, and fled from the sepulcher; for they trembled and were amazed: neither said they any thing to any man; for they were afraid. (three different women + afraid)
20 John 5:31 (my witness is not true) John 8:14 (My record is true)
21 Matthew 27:11-14 Mark 15:1-5, Luke 23:1-4 (Jesus said "Thou sayest" and NOTHING ELSE) John 18:33-38 (Jesus says many things and answers many questions in detail)
22 (Three different narrations of Jesus' last words)
Luke23:46: "And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, "Father, unto thy hands I commend my spirit:" and having said thus, he gave up the ghost."
John19:30: "When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, "It is finished:" and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost."
Matt.27:46,50: "And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?" that is to say, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" ...Jesus, when he cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost."
23 Acts 2:30 Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; Matthew 1:18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.
(Was Jesus the descendant of King David "according to the flesh" or the son of God?)
24 Matt.5:1,2: "And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying...." Luke6:17,20: "And he came down with them, and stood in the plain, and the company of his disciples, and a great multitude of people...came to hear him.. And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples and said..."
25 Exodus 24:9 "Then went up Moses, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel: And they saw the God of Israel:".
Amos 9:1 "I saw the LORD standing upon the altar"
Genesis 26:2 "And the LORD appeared unto him, and said"
Exodus 33:23: "And I will take away my hand, and thou shalt see my backparts."
Exodus 33:11: "And the Lord spake to Moses face to face, as a man speaketh to his friend."
Genesis 32:30: "For I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved."
Also see Genesis 12:7, 17:1, 18:1, Exodus 3:16, 6:2-3, Numbers 12:7-8, 14:14, Job 42:5, Amos 7:7-8
(These verses claim that God can be seen) John 1:18: "No man hath seen God at any time."
Exodus 33:20: "And he said, Thou canst not see my face; for there shall no man see me and live."
1 John 4:12 No man hath seen God at any time.
1 Timothy 6:16: "Whom no man hath seen nor can see."
(These verses claim that God can not be seen)
26 Malachi 3:6 For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.
James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
Jonah 3:10 And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.
Genesis 6:6 And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.
(please read section 5.1 for more on this)
27 Matthew 27:9 Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him that was valued, whom they of the children of Israel did value; Jeremiah never said anything even remotely similar. Maybe Zechariah 11:11-13 is intended?
28 2 Chronicles 36:1 Then the people of the land took Jehoahaz the son of Josiah, and made him king in his father's stead in Jerusalem. Jeremiah 22:11 For thus saith the LORD touching Shallum the son of Josiah king of Judah, which reigned instead of Josiah his father, which went forth out of this place; He shall not return thither any more:
(Who was Josiah's successor? Jehoahaz, or Shallum?)
29 Matthew 27:28 And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe. John 19:2 And the soldiers platted a crown of thorns, and put it on his head, and they put on him a purple robe,
30 2 Kings 2:11: "And Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven."
Genesis 5:22-24 And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters: And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years:
And Enoch walked with God: and he [was] not; for God took him. John 3:13: "No man hath ascended up to heaven but he that came down from heaven, ... the Son of Man."
31 Genesis 22:1: "And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham." James 1:13: "Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God; for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man."
32 Isaiah 14:21 Prepare slaughter for his children for the iniquity of their fathers; that they do not rise, nor possess the land, nor fill the face of the world with cities. Deuteronomy 24:16 The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: every man shall be put to death for his own sin.
33 Matthew 8:5: The centurion came in person. Luke 7:3 The centurion sent elders of the Jews
34 Matthew 26:6-9 "Now when Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper, There came unto him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and poured it on his head, as he sat at meat. But when his disciples saw it, they had indignation, saying, To what purpose is this waste? For this ointment might have been sold for much, and given to the poor." (Mark 14:3-7 is about the same)
Luke 7:36-39 "And one of the Pharisees desired him that he would eat with him. And he went into the Pharisee's house, and sat down to meat. And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment. Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner."
John 12:1-6 "Then Jesus six days before the Passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead There they made him a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him. Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odor of the ointment. Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, which should betray him, Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor? This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein." 1) Matthew and Mark say it was the house of Simon the leper, Luke says that it was the Pharisee's house, John on the other hand claims that it was the house of Martha, Mary, and Lazarus.
A Large Sample of Contradictions
Paul said: "God is not the author of confusion," (I Corinthians 14:33), yet never has a book produced more confusion than the Bible! Some clear contradictions which were compiled by a former Evangelical minister and Missionary.