The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Contradictions: OT V NT

This section will include verses between the old and new testaments that plainly contradict each other. Please add any that you have seen.

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But first, an important commercial from Got Questions:

“38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 But I say to you, Do not resist an evildoer” (Matthew 5:38)

“24 eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot,” (Exodus 21:24)

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This is not a contradiction, the former is from The Law of Moses & the latter is from Jesus who is establishing Christian principals sometimes known as “The Law of Christ” as well as 6 other descriptions.
The Law of Moses is part of Judaism , & while many moral laws were incorporated into Christianity , Jesus had the authority to change law which he did here.

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What is the purpose of this thread?

I agree with your explanation. It is only a contradiction if it is assumed that the Bible is inerrant, that it must be read “literally” (plainly) and that the OT is a revelation equal to the NT. All apparent contradictions can be explained if some or all those requirements are dropped (as you’ve done).

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What is the point of the thread? I’m not against it, I would like to know the purpose behind it though.

@DaveB2.0 Just to see what contradictions there are between the old v new. Also, if they are actual contradictions or just in need of more understanding. Too add, also to find Truth in biblical matters. Does that answer your question?

As an example:

Arpachshad’s son was Shelah - Gen 11:12
Arpachshad’s grandson was Shelah - Luke 3:35-36

Seems to be a contradiction. Which one is correct?


MLK - I know what contradictions are, and that there are some; I guess what makes me a nervous Nellie is that some people go from a few unimportant contradictions to a full-blown theory of “Oh we can’t trust God or the Bible” and a lot of hand-wringing. Not saying that’s what you are doing at all - that’s why I asked, though I was already pretty sure of what you meant. Cool beans.

@DaveB2.0 No worries there Dave, I totally get your point on that. It is quite unfortunate when it happens - yet for me personally I will always trust Gods words and look for more understanding.

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Don’t know. Don’t really care. Maybe Luke was using a different, maybe more up to date, genealogy than Moses (or whoever) was using. There are so many “begats” listed that any poor scribe could hardly be faulted for mixing up one or two of the family trees. My own family tree contains so many Norms, Rodericks, James, Hamishes, Margarets, Catherines, and many other names to confuse anybody trying to figure out who I was begotten of going back six generations and who has been begotten of me going forward four generations.

It would be incredible if there were no apparent contradictions. The fact that there are so few, if any, is an amazing testimony to divine guidance in the compilations of the scriptures we have.

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I am curious how those who think the Bible is inerrant account for that difference about Shelah’s genealogy.

M - it sounds like you just want to back them into the corner. Is it that important to you??

People who want to find supposed contradictions usually will… but there is inevitably some rational explanation to be found somewhere. But why limit this to OT vs NT… just go to NT vs NT or in particular Jn vs Jn, for example…

Jn 1:18 No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.

Jn 14:9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?

Bet that puts a hole in someone’s divinity argument.

Personally, I don’t think that the NT can be considered as undeniable scripture. I think that people should care if there are contradictions between the two, or within each other. If there is even just one contradiction, you have to examine the reasoning as to why this is so and not just accept it. I don’t believe in blind faith, but tested and reliable faith.

As a side note, genealogies were extremely important in differentiating if the Messiah was actually the Messiah. Obviously we don’t get that from a hellenistic point of view, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t important and there isn’t any purpose to it.

I think it’s important to acknowledge the apparent discrepancies in the Bible rather than try to paper over them for two reasons:

  1. For a fair number of people when they hit a faith crisis, instead of being able to work through it, because they have been educated to believe that their faith is binary - believe everything you’re told or nothing at all - end up falling into the nothing at all option as their faith collapses. (And ironically are often encouraged along that path by their former fellow congregants dismissing them as someone who was never predestined to be saved in the first place).
  2. We want to encourage people to come to Christ and while a certain amount of that is about spiritual experience, presenting something from the Bible they can see with their own eyes is a discrepancy and saying nothing to see here or you’re imagining it is unlikely to help.

I’m inclined to agree, but I’m not convinced discrepancies thereby automatically equals contradictions per sé.

With all due respect, Mik, that is bunkum (pretentious nonsense). Presuming that you drive a car and don’t just lie in bed all day believing (hoping?) that your ceiling won’t collapse, you exercise a great deal of blind faith a) in your vehicle and, more so, b) in the competence of all the other drivers. No, your faith is very touching, Mik, but it is blind.

On the other hand, the faith exercised by the believer in Christ is not blind. Initially, it is like the faith a small child places in a father who tosses him gently in the air then catches him before he falls - a very simple faith, proved true because the father never drops him.

Hebrews 11:6 (TLB) You can never please God without faith, without depending on him. Anyone who wants to come to God must believe that there is a God and that he rewards those who sincerely look for him.

True faith may start off as innocent as that small child’s, but it grows and grows as believers experience its impact more and more in their lives. God the Father becomes real, not just an abstract thought. Jesus the Son becomes increasingly precious as we experience Him in our lives. In short, true faith is an experiential faith.

Think of Paul and Silas sitting on the filthy floor of their cell in a Philippian jailhouse. Were they discussing, maybe arguing over, the apparent contradictions in the OT genealogies? Were they debating over how the Lord’s teachings to His disciples seemed to be at odds with some of the OT scriptures? I kinda doubt it, but it is possible, I suppose. Or maybe they were just pondering over the eternal question about how many angels can actually dance on the head, not the pointy part, of a pin. None of the above - you know what they were doing.