Why So Many Contradicting Statements in the Old Testament?

We hear some people say that the Old testament contains a lot of contradicting statements such that the contents of the Bible should be questioned.

We must first understand that the Bible is a group of books written by different authors from different places at entirely different times. Some, decades apart; Others, centuries apart. There are bound to be certain variations and differences in their writings.

If anything, these contradictions should prove the validity of the Bible. They should prove that the Bible is not just an “arranged thing” but an original collection of writings composed by different people inspired by God. In as much as these truths were revealed to the writers by God who is a supernatural being, it is obvious that He did not turn the writers to robots whose writings will be flawless, without human errors and all perfect. God let them write these revelations while still being their normal human selves, while having their human nature which of course is seen by the imperfections in their writings. Since these are direct words of real people, we should not expect their words to be exactly the same that would be too good to be true.

Funny as it is, some so-called “rationalists” are convinced about by the assumptions of William Henry Burr in his book Self Contradictions of the Bible (1859). In the book, he calls certain statements “contradictions” when in fact the statements point at the same thing, though not in the same words. Statements like “There died of the plague, twenty-four thousand (num 25:9) and “there died of the plague but twenty-three thousand” (1 Cor 10:8). Obviously, these statements are both approximations stated by two different persons on the same matter which indicates that the number falls between twenty thousand and thirty thousand. It is indeed funny how arguments like these should be taken seriously.

The Bible is not a collection of theological propositions but a compilation of Truths revealed by God to people who wrote them according to their individual understanding and abilities. Though written in different words, they all point in the same direction.

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