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Contradictions In The Bible Answered…No 1 – 15

Contradictions 1 – 15 | Contradictions 16 – 30 | Contradictions 31 – 45 | Contradictions 46 – 60 | Contradictions 61 – 75 | Contradictions 76 – 90 | Contradictions 91 – 105 | Contradictions 106 – 120 | Contradictions 121 – 135 | Contradictions 136 – 150 | Contradictions 151 – 165 | (MORE SOON TO COME…this is a slow work in progress)

Bible Contradictions Answered 1 – 15

1. How many men did the chief of David’s captains kill? 2 Samuel 23:8 says it was 800 but 1 Chronicles 11:11 says it was 300.

2. Was Abraham justified by faith or by works? Romans 4:2 says it was by faith but James 2:21 says it was by works.

3. How many sons did Abraham have? Hebrews 11:17 & Genesis 22:2 says Isaac was Abraham’s only son but in Genesis 16:15, 21:2-3, 25:1-2, 4:22 it says Abraham had more than one son.

4. Was Abiathar the father or son of Ahimelech? 1 Samuel 22:20, 23:6 say he was the son of Ahimelech but 2 Samuel 8:17, 1 Chronicles 18:16, 24:6 say he was the father of Ahimelech.

5. Who was Abijam’s mother? 1 Kings 15:1-2 says it was Maachah, the daughter of Abishalom, but 2 Chronicles 13:1-2 says it was Michaiah.

6. How were Abijam and Asa related? 1 Kings 15:8 says Asa was his son and the mother of Abijam was Maachah (making Asa the grandson of Maachah) but 1 Kings 15:1-2, 15:9-10 says Asa’s Mother was Maachah. Wouldn’t that make him his brother.

7. How long was the ark of the covenant at Abinadab’s house? 1 Samuel 7:1-2, 10:24 shows us it was 20 years but from 2 Samuel 6:2-3 and Acts 13:21 we see it was forty years.

8. How old was Abram when Ishmael was born? Genesis 16:16 says 86 years old but Acts 7:2-4, Genesis 11:26, 11:32 says Terah begat Abram at the age of 70 and then Abram left his kindred after Terah died. Terah was 205 when he died. That means Abram must have been 135 years old before he left and had Ishmael.

9. *Number 9 is a duplicate question of number 7 so there is no need to go over it again.*

10. When did Absalom rebel against David? 2 Samuel 15:7 says it was after 40 years but 2 Samuel 5:4 says David was 30 years old when he began to reign and only reigned 40 years. Absalom could not have rebelled against David after 40 years when David only reigned 40 years to begin with.

11. The account of creation is contradictory. Genesis 1:25-27 and Genesis 2:18-22 are out of order.

12. Who was Achan’s father? Joshua 7:1 says it was Carmi but Joshua 7:24, 22:20 says it was Zerah.

13. How many of Adin’s offspring returned from Babylon? Ezra 2:15 says 454, But Nehemiah 7:20 says it was 655.

14. How many of Adonikam’s offspring returned from Babylon? Ezra 2:13 says 666, But Nehemiah 7:18 says it was 667.

15. How should adulterers be punished? Leviticus 20:10 says they should be put to death, but in John 8:3-8 Jesus tells them not to do that.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Q. How many men did the chief of David’s captains kill? 2 Samuel 23:8 says it was 800 but 1 Chronicles 11:11 says it was 300. Is this a contradiction in the Bible?

No. Actually 2 Samuel 23:8 says that ONE of the captains was a chief AMONG the other captains. In other words this man was in charge of the other captains. He was the highest among them.

1 Chronicles 11:11 speaks of a different man who was also a chief of the captains. In all there were 30 captains and 3 chiefs of the captains. In other words each of the 3 captains commanded 10 other captains.

And so the number given in 2 Samuel 23:8 only lists the number killed by that ONE captain named. 1 Chronicles 11:11 only lists the number killed by THAT one captain. So in total between the 2 there were actually 1,100 killed but each of these passages only lists those personally killed by the individual.

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Q. Was Abraham justified by faith or by works? Romans 4:2 says it was by faith but James 2:21 says it was by works. Is this a contradiction in the Bible?

No. We actually answer this elsewhere on our website. Here is the link: How To Understand The Bible Pay attention to the example of faith vs. works given.

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Q. How many sons did Abraham have? Hebrews 11:17 & Genesis 22:2 says Isaac was Abraham’s only son but in Genesis 16:15, 21:2-3, 25:1-2, 4:22 it says Abraham had more than one son. Is this a contradiction in the Bible?

No. Isaac was the son of Abraham and Sarah but Ishmael was the son of Abraham and Hagar. Though both were his biological sons only Isaac remained with the status of a son.

This is because Ishmael was removed from their household and no longer an heir. Thus he was no longer considered to have the same status as one of the sons of Abraham seeing as he was removed from the family.

The other sons of Abraham were born AFTER the events mentioned where he took Isaac to be sacrificed. Thus when Hebrews 11:17 speaks of Isaac being the only son whom Abraham went to offer up it is because he only had 2 biological sons at the time but one of them did not have the status as being a son since he was removed from the family line.

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Q. Was Abiathar the father or son of Ahimelech? 1 Samuel 22:20, 23:6 say he was the son of Ahimelech but 2 Samuel 8:17, 1 Chronicles 18:16, 24:6 say he was the father of Ahimelech. Is this a contradiction in the Bible?

No. There are actually 2 different families being spoken of with each family having a father and son (or son and father) with the names Ahimelech and Abiathar.

Numbers 3:2 & Exodus 6:23 show Aaron with 4 sons (Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, Ithamar).

Numbers 3:4 Nadab & Abihu die leaving no children. Eleazar & Ithamar remain alive.

1 Chronicles 6:4-8 show the family line of Eleazar going down to Ahitub who begat Zadok who begat Ahimaaz. This is not the full picture however since this is only a record of a certain line. No doubt these men had other brothers.

1 Samuel 22:20 shows that Abiathar who was a son of Ahimelech (This Ahimelech as the father and this Abiathar is his son) escaped and fled after David. Thus we see this blood line complete. Now lets go back up to the other son of Aaron and see what happens there.

1 Chronicles 24:3 shows a different Ahimelech who was of the sons of Ithamar. This is clear in that it says David distributed them BOTH Zadok of the sons of ELEAZAR AND Ahimelech of the sons of ITHAMAR.

To make this even more solid we can go to 1 Chronicles 24:6 Where it tells us Zadok (in the line of Eleazar) was ONE of those taken for Eleazar and Ahimelech was ONE taken for Ithamar.

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Q. Who was Abijam’s mother? 1 Kings 15:1-2 says it was Maachah, the daughter of Abishalom, but 2 Chronicles 13:1-2 says it was Michaiah. Is this a contradiction in the Bible?

No. The man known as Jacob in the Bible is also known as Israel due to a name change. This is the same type of situation. Maachah is called Michaiah as a name change. That is why 2 Chronicles 13:2 uses the word ALSO. This means her name IS ALSO (in combination with the other) Michaiah.

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Q. How were Abijam and Asa related? 1 Kings 15:8 says Asa was his son and the mother of Abijam was Maachah (making Asa the grandson of Maachah) but 1 Kings 15:1-2, 15:9-10 says Asa’s Mother was Maachah. Wouldn’t that make him his brother. Is this a contradiction in the Bible?

No. Just as the Bible calls Abraham the father of all of his descendants including grandchildren this woman is called the mother of her descendants. This doesn’t mean she personally gave birth to Asa but it does mean she was part of the line of women in his history that were mothers.

Just as my own grandmother also calls me her son and not just grandson.

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Q. How long was the ark of the covenant at Abinadab’s house? 1 Samuel 7:1-2, 10:24 Shows us it was 20 years but from 2 Samuel 6:2-3 and Acts 13:21 we see it was forty years. Is this a contradiction in the Bible?

No. The ark was placed at Abinadab’s house and then 20 years goes by while Samuel was a judge over Israel. Also during the 20 years we see Samuel anoint Saul to be king. During all this time the ark was never moved from Abinadab’s house.

Then Acts 13:21 says AFTER they desired a king God gave them Saul for 40 years. The ark still had not been moved. So in total now there was actually 60 years when you add the first 20 before Saul and the 40 after him.

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Q. How old was Abram when Ishmael was born? Genesis 16:16 says 86 years old but Acts 7:2-4, Genesis 11:26, 11:32 says Terah begat Abram at the age of 70 and then Abram left his kindred after Terah died. Terah was 205 when he died. That means Abram must have been 135 years old before he left and had Ishmael. Is this a contradiction in the Bible?

No. This question assumes Abram did not leave until Terah died. This is thought to be the case because Chapter 11 of Genesis ends by telling us how long Terah lived and chapter 12 begins by saying that God told Abram to leave.

But it does not actually say TERAH DIED before this happened. In fact, it implies quite the opposite. The verse reads: Now the Lord HAD SAID (past tense) unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and FROM THY KINDRED, and FROM THY FATHER’S house, unto a land that I will shew thee.

So, as many other places in scripture record the death of someone and then goes back in time before they died to speak of someone else it does so here as well.

Also the age of Abram at that time would be in question since Terah had begat 3 sons when he was 70. This doesn’t mean they all came along AT 70. Only that there were 3 by that time.

That would mean Abram could have been anywhere from 0-55 when Terah reached 70 depending on the age Terah had him.

So the correct reading of this tells us that Abram was 76 when he left his land and kin (remember, the only kin it speaks of was his wife and Lot…both of which went with him. Who else could he have left? Terah!). Ten years later at the age of 86 he had Ishmael.

So Genesis 16:16 is correct and the thought that Abram was 135 years old is based on false assumptions.

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Q. When did Absalom rebel against David? 2 Samuel 15:7 says it was after 40 years but 2 Samuel 5:4 says David was 30 years old when he began to reign and only reigned 40 years. Absalom could not have rebelled against David after 40 years when David only reigned 40 years to begin with. Is this a contradiction in the Bible?

No. Reading 2 Samuel 5:4 it does say 40 years. This however is only listing the FULL years of his reign. One verse later we see that it was 40 years AND six months. Absalom rebelled against David after 40 FULL years and BEFORE the 6th month of the 41st year.

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Q. The account of creation is contradictory. Genesis 1:25-27 and Genesis 2:18-22 are out of order. Is this a contradiction in the Bible?

No. These show two different events, while providing more detail to the first as well. The first event shows the creation of man and animals (after plants and so on). This happened on the 6th day. The account of this event listed in Gen. 1:25-27 is a brief overview.

The second event also happened on the 6th day and is a more detailed account of exactly what took place on the 6th day. In this event it shows that God also create a garden and place man there on the 6th day. At this time (still the 6th day) God creates more animals, like the ones before, and brings them to Adam to name.

It is also at this time that God creates woman. Thus this account provides more detail to the order of events recorded in Gen. 1:25-27 but does not contradict it. Thus the order of events is as follows: first God creates the animals, then man, then creates a garden, then places man in the garden, then creates more animals, and then creates woman all on the 6th day.

At no point does the Bible claim that the events in Genesis 2:18-22 happen after the 6th day.

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Q. Who was Achan’s father? Joshua 7:1 says it was Carmi but Joshua 7:24, 22:20 says it was Zerah. Is this a contradiction in the Bible?

No. This question is similar to the 6th question and has a similar answer. Just as the Bible calls Abraham the father of all of his descendants including grandchildren this man Zerah is called the father of his descendants. This doesn’t mean he personally was the man who impregnated Achan’s mother. But it does mean he was part of the line of men in Achan’s history that were fathers. Thus making him one of the forefathers of Achan.

Just as my own grandmother also calls me her son and not just grandson.

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Q. How many of Adin’s offspring returned from Babylon? Ezra 2:15 says 454, But Nehemiah 7:20 says it was 655. Is this a contradiction in the Bible?

No. The two accounts actually give different lists, most probably written at different times. Ezra 2:2 says that his list is of the people who came with Zerubbabel, Jeshua, Nehemiah, Seraiah, Reelaiah, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mizpar, Bigvai, Rehum, Baanah. The number of the men of the people of Israel:

Nehemiah 7:7 says that he is listing the people who came with Zerubbabel, Jeshua, Nehemiah, Azariah, Raamiah, Nahamani, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispereth, Bigvai, Nehum, Baanah. The number, I say, of the men of the people of Israel was this;

When you read over this you will see that there are 11 people listed in Ezra but 12 in Nehemiah. Of those people not all of them are the same either. So you have two lists with several different groups of people being talked about.

So if there is a different number of people listed between either book it can be attributed to this. If the number of people in Ezra was higher or lower than in Nehemiah it is because some of the people listed in Nehemiah came with different people than the ones listed in Ezra.

Here is an example: There were 400 people who followed Joshua, Sam, and Jason. This is on one list. But another list may say there were 302 people who followed Joshua, Sam, and Robert. If we just look at the numbers then we miss the point that 98 of them could have been with Jason while only 2 were with Robert.

This is why we may see different numbers. It’s because it is from two different lists giving accounts of different groups of travelers.

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Q. How many of Adonikam’s offspring returned from Babylon? Ezra 2:13 says 666, But Nehemiah 7:18 says it was 667. Is this a contradiction in the Bible?

No. The two accounts actually give different lists, most probably written at different times. Ezra 2:2 says that his list is of the people who came with Zerubbabel, Jeshua, Nehemiah, Seraiah, Reelaiah, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mizpar, Bigvai, Rehum, Baanah. The number of the men of the people of Israel:

Nehemiah 7:7 says that he is listing the people who came with Zerubbabel, Jeshua, Nehemiah, Azariah, Raamiah, Nahamani, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispereth, Bigvai, Nehum, Baanah. The number, I say, of the men of the people of Israel was this;

When you read over this you will see that there are 11 people listed in Ezra but 12 in Nehemiah. Of those people not all of them are the same either. So you have two lists with several different groups of people being talked about.

So if there is a different number of people listed between either book it can be attributed to this. If the number of people in Ezra was higher or lower than in Nehemiah it is because some of the people listed in Nehemiah came with different people than the ones listed in Ezra.

Here is an example: There were 400 people who followed Joshua, Sam, and Jason. This is on one list. But another list may say there were 302 people who followed Joshua, Sam, and Robert. If we just look at the numbers then we miss the point that 98 of them could have been with Jason while only 2 were with Robert.

This is why we may see different numbers. It’s because it is from two different lists giving accounts of different groups of travelers.

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Q. How should adulterers be punished? Leviticus 20:10 says they should be put to death, but in John 8:3-8 Jesus tells them not to do that. Is this a contradiction in the Bible?

No. Let’s put this into proper perspective. Leviticus establishes a legal system with rules and due process. The judgment and the sentence of death was to be carried out only by the established rulers who were given that task or at least only under their command.

Thus an angry mob dragging a woman through the streets to stone her was actually forbidden since the proper process was not followed. On top of that it should be noted that they only brought the WOMAN to Jesus. Again, this is not due process of the law.

Since Jesus was actually in a position to uphold that law and carry out the sentencing He could have done so if He wanted to. But God in His mercy is longsuffering and not willing that any should perish.

Jesus Himself says that He did not come at that time to destroy, but to save that which was lost. Judgment was to be reserved for another time. Again, Jesus follows due process. That is why He refused to carry out the sentencing at that time (plus it would not have been legal since the man went free).

When Jesus says “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.” He is establishing that they had no right to be her judge since they were condemned themselves because of their own sin and they were not the appointed judges that God had set in place anyway.

This does not mean a judge among men must be sinless himself though since all have sinned. It just means that without God appointing someone to be a judge they can not appoint themselves to be judge since they are not as righteous as God.

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Giving Praise

There has never been anyone like my God. There will never be anyone like my God. I love Him, I love Him, I love Him!


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