Tim debunks the assertion that the Bible is filled with contradictions.
0:00 How many of you have seen this graphic before? Has anyone seen this?
0:04 There's one of you. If you google "Bible contradictions" you will stumble upon
0:10 this graphic. What you are looking at is every single chapter of the Bible. The
0:17 white is the Old Testament, and then we get over here, that's the grey. That's the
0:21 New Testament. Every rainbow you see starts one place at one verse and ends
0:28 at another verse, and the claim is every single bow you see on this graphic is a
0:34 contradiction. Okay? Is a contradiction. So there's contradictions within the Old
0:40 Testament, there's contradictions within the New Testament, and then there are
0:45 contradictions that go from the Old Testament into the New Testament. That's
0:49 a lot of contradictions. In fact, they list them.
0:53 There are about 440 on this one graphic. Does anyone feel uncomfortable? I hope so.
1:04 Alright, so this is the kind of thing that's out there. It's
1:10 the kind of thing that's out there. We need to be careful to define what we
1:14 mean by a contradiction. The word gets thrown around by unbelievers when
1:19 talking about the Bible all the time, but we need to distinguish between a genuine
1:25 contradiction which cannot be resolved, it's impossible to reconcile, and a mere
1:33 difference which is possible to reconcile. Okay, so the difference between
1:38 a contradiction and a difference: One can be reconciled, and one can't be. Now, to
1:46 illustrate this, let me tell you about the Titanic. In 1912,
1:56 The Titanic sank. Big boat, 800 feet long, and eyewitnesses who
2:04 saw the boat sink had conflicting testimonies. Some eyewitnesses said the
2:12 boat sank in one piece. Other eyewitnesses said it
2:18 broke in two and then the two pieces sank. How you can get this wrong, I
2:23 don't know, but these are contradictory accounts that cannot be reconciled, okay?
2:30 So that's an example of a contradiction. Let me tell you another story. Consider
2:36 my wife winning the Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes. This is not a true
2:41 story. When I get home from work, she explains what happened. She says, "Around
2:47 noon the doorbell rang, and I went to the door, and there was a man holding a giant
2:51 check for a million dollars." That's what she tells me. And then I hear her talking
2:57 with her mom on the phone an hour later explaining what happened, okay? And this
3:03 is what she says to her mother, "At 12:10 p.m. I was right in the middle of making
3:08 lunch when the doorbell rang. I ran and got Allison because the doorbell woke her up
3:13 from her nap. I wasn't impressed. But when I answered the door, there was a
3:17 man holding a giant check for a million dollars and another man recording the
3:21 whole thing on live TV. At first I thought this was a big joke, but when I
3:25 realized it was for real, I started crying with joy." Now, are those two
3:31 accounts contradictory? I actually didn't say anything contradictory in those
3:37 accounts. One was just giving way more detail than the other. One gave more
3:42 precise details than the other. And so this is the kind of thing we're going to
3:48 see in the gospels. Notice that many of the differences in these two
3:53 stories are differences, but they're not contradictory. Okay, it would
3:59 have been an issue if my wife got off the phone with her mother and I
4:02 said, "You stinkin' liar," right? "You lied!" No, she didn't lie. "You contradicted yourself!"
4:09 No. So, many of these alleged contradictions that arise, arise because
4:15 we apply an unfair standard or expectation to the Bible, okay?
4:23 What can happen is we just assume that the biblical authors
4:27 wrote just as we do today in the 21st century. And then we end up applying
4:33 our 21st century standard to a, in the case of the New Testament, a first
4:39 century document, and that would be a gross mistake. In fact, listen, most claims
4:47 of Bible contradictions stem from the reader misunderstanding the author's
4:54 intent, okay? If you didn't put anything else in this lesson, this is how most
4:59 contradictions, alleged contradictions come out. It's the reader who
5:04 misunderstands the author's intent. Sometimes they misunderstand it.
5:09 Sometimes they just misrepresent it, okay? That can happen too
5:14 So the error stems in the reader, not the author.