jonathan stone's blog

. . . posts on faith and life

Bible Contradictions

The folks at Project Reason have created the striking poster above as a visual for what they claim are 439 contradictions found in the bible. The full poster can be downloaded free here. As impressive as the visual is, the list is a little underwhelming. Some of the contradictions are mere semantics and many others are easily explained. There are even a few duplicates and typos. However, some of the examples do offer difficult solutions with profound theological implications.

In the poster each chapter in the bible is represented by a white line whose length correlates with the length of the chapter. The red lines connect chapters that appear to offer contradictions. Of course, depending on ones view of scripture and hermeneutical framework this may or may not seem like a very big deal. But in my mind this is important. I recognize that there are problematic passages of scripture, and I do not shy away from that reality. However, in this case it is important because a catchy image + striking statistic = viral marketing in our google it-see it-copy it-paste it culture, and this particular campaign is full of a lot of misleading information.

So, what can we do about it? Well, luckily there are some people who have gotten the ball rolling. Lex Wisniewski, along with some help from others, is posting responses to each of the 439 contradictions on the blog at The Esther Project. How can you get involved?

  1. Follow the progress of the project (you may want to start here).
  2. Comment on the posts there (the more dialogue the better).
  3. Check out some of the claimed contradictions (you will need to download the pdf to do that) and research them yourself.
  4. Pick an upcoming contradiction (Lex is currently on #51) and submit some research to the team at The Esther Project for them to use in their responses.
  5. Highlight this effort from The Esther Project by creating your own post, or simply reblog (WordPress users) this one.
  6. Share this post via Twitter, Facebook, Email, etc.
  7. Challenge yourself to be diligent in addressing these objections to scripture so that you might always be prepared to  give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have (1 Peter 3:15).

My concern is that projects such as the poster highlighted above are easy to find on the internet, while informed, reasonable responses can be hard to come by. Together we can make it easy to find responses to all 439 supposed contradictions. If you are willing to help this effort by sharing this post, or contributing in any other way, please take a moment to comment and let us know what you have done.

25 comments on “Bible Contradictions

  1. mendicant
    February 24, 2012

    Posted on my social networks and I’ll try and contribute myself.

  2. 2b14u
    February 24, 2012

    Am going to your links to take a look. Thanks.

  3. emilyelizabethstone
    February 24, 2012

    I reposted this on facebook and twitter. I am praying you get a lot of re-posts and contributors. Thanks for taking time in your posts to address this!

  4. Lex
    February 24, 2012

    Thanks for the plug, Jonathan. And a big thanks to anyone who wants to help, or just spread the word!

    I couldn’t agree more about the danger of a catchy graphic with a bold title in our online, short-attention-span society. Someone on the fence might easily take a glance at this poster and resolve against the gospel in a moment. The truth is, as you mentioned, that a LOT of the items are trivial, repetitions, and/or easily explained.

  5. hiwaychristian
    February 24, 2012

    When Jesus reaches down to that fence there comes a shaking. Some fall into His arms. Some fall prostrate on top the fence and hold on for dear life. These know the fence was put there for a reason. Some fall back and struggle to regain their footing so they can climb it again at another day. And some look in disgust at the fence, throw it a gesture and walk away. All the while, the Lord redeems those He wishes and continues to call to all men. While it is still called today, that fence will remain.

    I once thought of such a place: We must de-side. Either jump back from where we came or enter the land where there is a promise of war.

    I don’t worry much about the lies of this world against the Most High God. He is able to save regardless what the world says. Pray. Seek, find, tell, and leave the rest to the Mighty Lord who parts the waters and sends plagues on the enemies of His people.

    • Jonathan Stone
      February 24, 2012

      Paul, I think I understand where you are coming from. The counterbalance to that, however, is the very real duality between lies and truth. Right now it is easy to find the lies and hard to find the truth when it comes to this particular question of 439 contradictions. Why not make it easy to find the truth? It’s an easy thing for us to do. And while the results of anyone’s soul is always in the hands of the Lord that is not an excuse for me to be silent. I have decided to speak the truth.

      By the way, I’m loving the new layout of your blog!

      • hiwaychristian
        February 25, 2012

        My comment was a kind of picture that was in my heart. I don’t see us, as I used to, having to panic as defenders of the truth. I see us with the power of Christ Jesus. I don’t race to a war like I used to. I walk slowly, like a man who knows victory is a moment away. Each us has to apply what the Lord has supplied. And there are those who are runners also. Regardless, His house will be filled with those who believe. How they become such is the direct blessing of God in His people, both new and seasoned. There are men He has dispatched to encounter specific difficulties. I don’t mean to minimize your duties before Him. I was just commenting on how I have mellowed over the years I guess. In all things Jesus is King! And we are just men blessed by the power His wisdom deems necessary. May God grant you success in all you put your hand to accomplish.

  6. emilyelizabethstone
    February 25, 2012

    I was excited to share this blog post on my blog here: http://emilyelizabethstone.com/2012/02/25/saturday-sampling/

    Love it!

  7. Pingback: Saturday Sampling | Emily Elizabeth Stone

  8. Jeannie
    February 25, 2012

    I am sharing with my social groups. Thank you so much for taking this on! I, too know, that every soul is in God’s hands, but we are also held accountable for staying silent. To see a person being lied to and that result ended in their death would be a sin on my part if I stood by, knowing the truth and didn’t speak up. I found this blog via emilyelizabethstone.com! So, thanks to her as well!

    • blogging disciple
      February 25, 2012

      Agree!

      “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”
      Dietrich Bonhoeffer

      Peace.

  9. blogging disciple
    February 25, 2012

    Reblogged this on the blogging disciple and commented:
    Let’s pray for those souls who might be tragically influenced by this wicked endeavor, and also for the success of The Esther Project.
    (Were Bart Ehrman’s books an influencing factor of ‘Project Reason’?)

  10. Jonathan Stone
    February 26, 2012

    Paul, thanks for the clarification. Blessings!

  11. Christ Centered Teaching
    March 9, 2012

    I’ll check it out.
    The Bible does have paradoxical verses.
    A paradox only appears contradictory.
    Thanks for your post!

  12. shelleyring
    March 9, 2012

    Admittedly, it *is* a cool-looking picture, but perhaps like you, I think of all the people who only want to criticize the Bible and find inconsistencies. Maybe it will lead a few to actually read it and study it and begin to try understanding it. The Esther Project sounds like one great solution! Thanks for the post! Shelley Ring

  13. Talon's Point
    March 9, 2012

    Reblogged this on Talon's Point and commented:
    Interesting response project. In the end faith must be accepted with one’s spirit which often answers the legitimate questions of the mind.

  14. dluisa
    March 12, 2012

    Thanks for the post. I am checking out the Esther Project. Looks interesting. I will reblog this on my Adventuring with God blog and my facebook page. Thanks for sharing. Great blog by the way. Looking forward to continuing keeping up with this stuff again. I miss Bible school, it kept me deeper into theological stuff. 🙂

  15. dluisa
    March 12, 2012

    Reblogged this on adventuringwithgod and commented:
    Those interested in Theology check out this blog post.

  16. Jlue
    March 15, 2012

    Thank you for this post. I hope to get involved. Wouldn’t it be neat to do a poster similar only instead of making the arches connect prophecies that have been fulfilled from the old testament to the new.

  17. EricV
    June 5, 2012

    Has anyone worked on responses and be willing to send what they have so far? I was going to work on a list of responses of my own but it would be great if some had already been researched and I could work on ones that haven’t yet.

  18. Zack
    July 3, 2012

    Reasonable responses are hard to find? That makes no sense!

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